Fat Daddy Baggers new custom ‘cycle shop in Cherryville
Vernon Skidmore, one of the owners of Fat Daddy Baggers bike shop in Cherryville, stands by his Road Glide, customized with a bagger kit. (photo by MEP/The Eagle)
by MICHAEL E. POWELL
As everybody who loves big, loud, and monster Harleys knows, personalizing your ride is a matter of one’s choice, The sky’s literally the limit when it comes to chopping, bobbing, bagging, and, well, name your desire when it comes to customizing your favorite two- or three-wheeled chrome-laden H-D beast.
Enter Fat Daddy Baggers, located at 905 East Main Street in Cherryville and owned by Bobby and Dawn Horne and Vernon and Julie Skidmore. The Horne’s hail originally from Florida, and the Skidmore’s are from Crouse.
Bobby and Vernon had their store’s ribbon cutting and Grand Opening back in July, they said, and are continuing to build their business every day.
Bobby said, “We started off as riders and owners of Harleys but we found a small problem; namely no one does decent customer service. We were on a couple of rides with some friends out-of-state and stopped in to look over a couple of newer bikes, in case we wanted to add to our collection, or just have a newer ride.
“We stopped at this one place and were treated like we were nothing; had no money or credit to buy anything.
“Fortunately for the business, one of their more seasoned sales guys came along and took care of us, so it was problem solved. Still, just being treated that way made an impression on us and sent us in the business direction we wound up going in, namely starting our own bike service business for folks like us.”
Horne said he and his buddy Vernon were working out of their houses, adding the bagger kits to their friends’ bikes, but as with all good things like this, it mushroomed, he said.
“It got too busy for us there, so we took the leap and decided to try opening our own business,” he said.
In addition to Fat Daddy Baggers, Horne said he and his wife also own two repair shops, Ms. D’s in Gastonia and Belmont, as well as Horne’s Towing.
Horne said his first Harley-Davidson was a ‘94 Road King police bike which he purchased in Florida at an auction. He now owns a 2014 Street Glide, a customized 2004 Electra Glide, and a new 2019 Ultra Classic “trike”, or three-wheeler.
Vernon said he is on his third Road Glide, which he has in the shop for show, when he’s not out riding.
Also working with them in the shop is Robbie V., their mechanic and technician, said Horne. Robbie was currently working on a bike for a customer, said Horne, changing it over to a bagger and doing some handlebar changes.
The glossy, stunning paint work on the big bikes is “farmed out”, said Vernon, to a shop in Gastonia called Hampton’s.
While the bagger kits appear to make the Harleys look larger, and they are a bit longer, said Horne, their weight is actually reduced when the bagger kits are installed.
Both men said the time frame involved in adding the bagger kits to a customer’s ride takes about four weeks, from start to finish, depending, of course, on availability of the parts and how long it takes to paint the bike.
Fat Daddy Baggers is in the building that used to house the old NAPA Parts store, which has moved out onto Hwy. 150, going toward Shelby, said Skidmore.
The duo are working on getting their Harley dealers’ license.
Said Vernon, “We’ve known each other for seven years and actually met through dirt track racing. I’ve been into riding Harleys for about three years now.”
The business can be accessed by going to their Facebook site at Fat Daddy Baggers, or by emailing them at [email protected], or calling (704) 802-4063.