Think you know what you’re going to see when you browse through the entries to a Harley-Davidson custom competition? Think again.
It’s becoming customary these days (pardon the pun) for manufacturers to run their own custom-build competitions for dealers and workshops. As the new wave custom scene continues at a pace, the notion of having a host of new builders and their ideas showcasing the versatility of specific machines is a solid one.
A prime example of this type of exercise over the past couple of years has been Harley with their Custom Kings competition, and although previous years have only been open to dealers, for 2017 the entrant list now includes other types of builder as well.
And the results are as varied as the list of entrants.
We’ve selected some of our favourites below…
1200 Roadster Concept by Harley-Davidson Limoges
A super clean entry from Cyril and Quentin from Limoges in France, this 1200CX is neither Cafe Racer nor Street Tracker. With a combination of parts from the HD catalogue and Roland Sands – as well as some solid technical know-how – the boys from France look to have taken their lead from some of the more contemporary motorcycle designs. Is anyone else reminded of the Husqvarna Vitpilen?
Mello’ Yello’ by Oxford Harley-Davidson
Clean, simple and classic. We’re a sucker for a white-wall tyre, so it’s probably expected that we’d choose this subtle reworking from the Oxford H-D crew. It just shows what a couple of clean design ideas and a lick of paint can do to an already classic motorcycle.
Lakester by Harley-Davidson La Rochelle
Stick a dustbin fairing on an 883 Sportster, add a lick of paint, tune the engine and you’ve got yourself a straight-line destroyer. Lovely.
As American as apple pie – only this bike is from the Czech Republic. Reminiscent of the classic Evel Knievel machines, this Roadster screams U-S-A, like an Eagle diving into a Texan oil field whilst whistling the Star Spangled Banner!
Velvet by H-D Ravenna
It’s brown. It has a single-piece fairing and body and is Italian. It’s as unlikely a Harley build as you’ll ever see and we LOVE IT!
No cuts, no welds, just a monocoque body that transforms the Roadster in an instant. For us, this is design at its purest. Plus we like brown.
Beach Bobber by Shaw Harley-Davidson
You can’t really have a Harley custom contest without Shaw’s and they’ve proven once again just how innovative a builder they are.
Fun, funky and perhaps a cheeky little dig at other ‘beach and lifestyle’ aimed machines of the past couple of years, this build even includes a Santa Cruz, skateboard bash plate. Brilliant.
BOTK by Stratstone Harley-Davidson
Sometimes just a browse through a catalogue and a consistent design idea is all you need. This build by Stratstone of Wolverhampton is perhaps a little too understated in its appearance, but the thick, chunky and packed look of everything added combines to become a menacing looking machine that just screams Harley. Great and consistent design lines too!
La Rata by Warr’s Harley-Davidson
Like with Shaw’s (above), if it’s a Harley custom competition, it’ll have something from Warr’s in it somewhere.
This ‘ratted’ out build features intentionally patina’d paintwork and hand-shifter with built in clutch. Lots of little details, all wrapped within a South-American themed package.
Circuits 70 by Harley-Davidson Treviso
It’s Italian, has a full fairing and is unashamedly retro. And it’s a Harley. That’ll be one for our list then!
With 214 bikes in total to be voted upon, there’s quite a selection.
We’re sure of our favourite – and yes, it is one of these listed above – but if you’re in the mood for some inspiration, the full list is well worth checking out.