EDITOR’S NOTE: Luca Manni’s customized 2000 Deuce was featured in IronWorks magazine many years ago and it started a long-distance friendship that persists to this day, connecting an American writer to an Italian rider. When Luca told us he’d lately customized a Sportster SuperLow 1200T for his wife Valeria, we
had to see the bike and learn about the process.
Here’s the story of Valeria’s Sportster – and the other loves of her life, in her own words (edited lightly for
better translation from the Italian.)
Having a Harley-Davidson of my own has always been a dream. Now that I actually have one I can hardly believe it! My motorcycle is a surprise novelty that I am always savoring. When I met my husband Luca 11 years ago, the first thing I did with him was take a really nice ride on his Deuce. Wind in your face, background rumble, breathtaking views contemplating the beautiful scenery where we now live, the Maremma in Tuscany. All these factors have contributed to sharing pleasantly his passion with him. Every spare moment was used to get on the saddle and enjoy. Was it
possible to think that yes, one day I would be able to ride a Harley-Davidson of my own in my husband’s company? Then the precarious considerations: the fixed expenses of the home, personal training courses, and would they even allow me to purchase such a jewel? Therefore, I always put it off. Then comes the birth of my daughter Greta Luna which is, in reality, the most beautiful gift that life could ever give: consequently, I dedicated myself, body and soul, (and therefore time) to her. Getting the bike happily become one of my last concerns. But it was still my dream and as such sooner or later I hoped it would happen. This year by pure chance I
told Luca that I wanted to get my motorcycle license. Luca is pleased and, surprising me, “forces”me to
choose a model because he has already paid a deposit to the Harley-Davidson dealership in Viterbo for me!
What a husband!
Well, we go down to Viterbo Harley-Davidson and I try all models within my reach and I find myself very fussy. Not this one because it has too recognizable the tank. Not that one because it has the seat I don’t like. That one? No because it’s too aggressive. The other? No because it doesn’t know anything about me.
Then I sat on one that was my choice and it is love at first sight. Yes, it’s her. Picking it up, it’s a little heavy but I will learn. The tank is beautiful, the seat okay, the handlebar in perfect position, the windscreen not but it rises, perfect leather bags. And on this model Greta Luna can ride. Okay, it’s done. She is my Harley.
And that’s how I got my Sportster Superlow 1200T.
From there, everything happened very quickly: I simply scrolled through the events without too many concerns. “In hindsight, you get to piazza del mai” says an old, wise-man proverb. The time had come to finally do everything that I had always put off, saying it wasn’t necessary or useful or did not bring an
economic return. Now was finally the time for action and the changes began immediately. I rightly delegated the modifications to Luca for execution. A great fan and expert of Harley customization I
had only two requests: 1.) respect of my personality and 2.) to be involved myself in choosing the right parts.
Luca immediately went to work: 3-4 catalogs of 2000 pages each at the same time, he knows them in every single detail, and slowly the Baggerina plan is formed. I always loved the baggers, especially the Electra Glide, but the wallet did not allow it and my physical figure could not handle it. (I am a meter tall so the matter became complicated.) So Luca planned to build a mini bagger. Perfect!
We started with the Batwing fairing from Memphis Shades which gives character immediately to the front on sportsterina. The most complicated part was the choice of the exhaust: difficult to find the perfect combination of aesthetics and rumble. It took more than 2 months between the choice and the arrival at home. In the meantime, I received baptism; a nice 2-degree burn in the calf from the original exhaust.
Finally comes the Bassani. 2-into-1, matte black full and engaging rumble. The best! The most artisan part was the setting of the lights behind. We completely eliminated that huge red piece
that came out too much from the mudguard and gracelessly exaggeratedly the line. It was replaced with a multifunction led light bar, thanks to the hands of Alessandro Oddi of Monster Cycles in Grosetto. We then added the Badlander leather saddle, (lower than the original), a Kuryakyn Hypercharger ES air filter with electronic opening valves, luggage rack, and front led light with double function arrows.
And here she is! My Baggerina is completed.