When I first purchased my 2011 Street Glide,” James Horn said, “I did the same as everyone else does. I started with bolt-on parts to personalize it to my own tastes.” That’s a pretty fair take on how a lot of us first start to personalize our own bikes. Horn gave his tourer pipes, plenty of chrome, custom wheels, and so on to really make the machine reflect his own tastes. The true personalization, the stuff you can’t buy off-the-rack, so to speak, came a bit later. James didn’t do anything with paint, knowing it would take valuable saddle time away from him and his bike. That next-level customizing takes time, a lot of money, or (usually) both. In this case, the paint work would wait until he had the cash.

Paint work in general, and real custom paint work in particular, is very expensive, but James found himself with plenty of time to really put some thought into what he wanted while saving up the cash for the job. What he came up with is a salute to one of his personal heroes. “This paint job is called ‘Tribute,’ ” Horn continued. “I’m a lifelong fan of the late Dale Earnhardt and I knew my paint would reflect that with traditional colors. I knew I wanted old-school Candy Orange metalflake, two-toned with Root Beer.” The colors aren’t what you’d call intimidating, but with some time, thought, and James’ drawing pad, he worked it out.

When you look at one side of Tribute, you’ll see the letter E for Earnhardt on the gas tank and also on a stretched bag. Take your gaze to the other side of the bike and you’ll find #3. James gives special thanks to Phil Palmer, Bonnell’s Hot Rod Shop, Jeremy Seanor, and Lucky Strike Designs for all their work in bringing Tribute to life. “Dale Earnhardt lives as a legend in my heart. He also rides with me everywhere I go!”

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