BOSS HOGS

Fort worth-based American IronHorse is giving Harley-Davidson a run for its money.

THE CUSTOM MOTORCYCLES AT FORT WORTH’S American IronHorse can cost as much as a sport utility vehicle-$29,000. But if you want to make a statement, that oversized Ford or Chevy just doesn’t compare to the deep rumbling roar of a powerful touring bike.

American IronHorse (www.americaniron- ), like about 35 small custom manufacturers around the country, is carving out an increasingly large share of Harley-Davidson’s market, appealing to aging Baby Boomers who might have been “Born to Be Wild,” but whose lives are considerably tamer now.

Led by entrepreneur Bill Rucker and former motorcycle racer Tim Edmondson, American IronHorse, in four short years-less than two years of actually building the bikes-reached $10 million in sales in 1999, with projections for this year nearing $18 million. By next year, the company chaired by former Texas Rangers president Mike Stone expects to go public.

The V-twin engines that power the bikes put out more horsepower than a Harley, and the custom options built into each bike far exceed anything Harley makes. You’d have to spend $10,000 or more upgrading a Harley to get what American IronHorse offers right off its assembly line.

If you want a closer look at the bikes, which last year were featured in a series of WCW pro wrestling events, American IronHorse has a retail store in Bedford, which also has a full line of logo-embossed clothes and accessories. ITs motorcycles also decorate the three Rider’s World bar and restaurants at DFW Airport.

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