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Thunderbike Gulf Edition Wraps Harley-Davidson Custom Build in Le Mans Colors

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by Daniel Patrascu from

There are a few car colors in this world that are perhaps more recognizable than the vehicles they are sprayed on. When talking about production cars, who doesn’t know about the Nardo Gray, or the British Racing Green?

Motorsport has its share of stars as well. One of them is called Gulf Oil livery, and was made famous back in the 1960s by Ford and its efforts to better Ferrari at Le Mans. It was later sprayed on other machines as well, and it is presently to be found on one of the many versions of the Ford GT.

We must admit though that we’ve never seen the Gulf on a motorcycle. At least not until we uncovered the Thunderbike Gulf Edition, a motorcycle made by the famous German shop with the goal of paying tribute to the “absolute cult in racing” color scheme.

The bike itself is the usual blend of a custom frame (in this case one called Dragster RS) and the power of a Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle engine. The two were paired to a wealth of custom parts that look great, but are made stunning by the color wrap.

We’re not told who handled the paint scheme, but knowing Thunderbike it was probably Kruse Design. The specialist really outdid itself this time, somehow managing to closely replicate the blue and orange scheme seen on the Le Mans racers.

The entire frame of the bike is blue, and so are the fuel tank and fenders. An orange stripe runs smack down the middle, from the right fender, over the fuel tank and seat, and ends on the rear fender. Both shades seems to be the proper ones, and look amazing with the black of the engine block and the wheels.

We are not being told how much the Gulf Edition cost to make, but the result is truly spectacular and unexpected.

Hall of Famer Hagadorn Cashes NHDRO’s Biggest Check

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It was a straight-up bracket hustler’s convention. The most dangerous motorcycle bracket racers in the nation converged on Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana, for the $62,000 BB Racing Bracket Shootout—the biggest-ever payout in motorcycle drag racing history. It was all part of NHDRO’s Big Show, which included the rain-delayed June race.


Two ladders—one with delay boxes and one without—with 64 bikes each ran off to put a finalist from each ladder in one big final round. Round after round, blow-by-blow, with margins of victory decided by tens of thousandths until each bracket boiled down to finals.


Box eliminations saw Tennesse’s Ronnie Woodall Jr. coolly slicing his way through the field to meet Florida legend Roy Hagadorn in the final. In a perfect example of what defined winning and losing in this intense event, Woodall’s .015 light was just far enough behind Hagadorn’s .011 to push him out too far with a 9.311 on his 9.32 dial in the double breakout race. Hagadorn ran an 8.844 on his 8.85 dial-in.


Two streetbike racers reached the No-Box final—Louisville racer Terry Hoke and Gateway regular Janie Palm. Hoke’s light went red as a Cardinal, sending Palm to the Big final.


So there it was, the defining battle of sportsman motorcycle drag racing—Palm on her true, stock hand-clutch Suzuki Hayabusa streetbike vs. box skills master Hagadorn on a Suzuki GS wheelie bar bike.


Palm was stellar at the tree, nailing a .007 Bond Bulb to Hagadorn’s .021. But then it was Roy who was Bad to the Bond, going dead-on with a .007 against his 8.85 dial. Janie’s 9.133 on her 9.11 left her $38,000 short and lit Hagadorn’s winlight—Palm’s closest round of the day.


Last year’s Big Money bracket winner (a quaint $12,000 by comparison, and $1000 less than what Palm got to runner-up this year) Tom Klemme rode an ancient KZ Kawasaki from the late 1970s. This year, Hagadorn won $50,000 on a bike he bought brand new in 1981, proving that it ain’t gotta be new or fancy to be lethal and profitable. As someone once said, “It’s not about the bike.”


“I put 160 miles on it and I’ve drag raced it ever since,” said Hagadorn.


“I wanna thank my daughter and my wife,” continued Roy, who also thanked his crew and friends. “My daughter, every round, dialed me in from Florida. She’d punch in (to her computer) the weather every time. On my two time runs yesterday, she’d say ‘Dad, it’s gonna run 8.82 with a 2, and it ran 8.82 with a 2. She came back and said ‘Dad, it’s gonna run 8.88 with a 2, and it ran 8.88 with a 2.’”


“To my knowledge and research, Roy is the winningest drag racer ever, or at least in the top four,” said drag racing historian Bret Kepner, who inducted Hagadorn into the East Coast Drag Racing Hall of Fame in 2015. “NHRA? Can’t find anybody close. He has won the Division II bike title at least ten times.”


“This, by far, is the biggest race I’ve ever won,” said Hagadorn, casting huge praise on NHDRO’s Big Show and its 128 competitors—the absolute best motorcycle bracket racers on the planet, with the exception of NHDRO’s many Canadian racers who couldn’t cross the border due to COVID19 restrictions.

Chad Isley runner-upped to Klemme for last year’s Big Money, but lost to Jeremy Teasley in E1 this time around. Isley recovered well, beating Matthew Knaggs in the 8.90 index BB Racing Super Comp final. Knaggs nailed a .055 bulb to Isley’s .035 but didn’t run the number.


Super Comp number one qualifier Chanston Moll lost to No-Box finalist Hoke in round 2.

In fact, Hoke was going rounds on both of his bikes in many classes this weekend—the GSXR streetbike that he bracket and index races, and his Pro Ultra 4.60 bike.


Hoke won the I-65 vs XDA 4.60 Shootout, presented with the I-65 series, which was dominated by the I-65 racers. Terry beat Maegan “Bikerchicc” Petway in the Shootout final. Both bikes were built by Louisville’s Deshawn Wheeler.

Chase Van Sant won the last NHDRO points-paying Pro Ultra 4.60 race in 2019 on his Trick-Tools Suzuki, and even though it took until August, he also won the first race of 2020. Van Sant’s final round .008 light vs. number one qualifier “Chicken Head” Chad Otts’ .043 pretty much sealed the deal in the world’s quickest two-wheel index class, as Otts broke out trying to make up the difference.


“It was a tough but really good weekend for us,” said Van Sant. “The weather made things really challenging, with running only one qualifier and first round on Friday, and then having a full day off on Saturday, and then jumping into eliminations on Sunday. It made things tough, but everyone was dealing with the same circumstance, so it added a little extra challenge.


“The turnout was great and we got to see a lot of bikes that we have never seen before or raced against, so that made the win that much more rewarding. The class is really competitive and there are so many good racers, that a win in this class really does feel like a good accomplishment.”


Provisional number one qualifier from June, Dan McCarten, threw a rod on Friday and was finished for the weekend.


Like Van Sant, Joe “Big” Deck was also a “last in ’19, first in ‘20” winner. Deck won last year’s Hardcore Cycles Top Gas 8.20 index finale and the championship, and now he’s also won the first race of 2020.

Deck ceded .007 to fellow finalist Donnie Emerson at the tree, but ran closer to the number for the win. Number one qualifier Jeremy Teasley fell to John “Spooky” Markham in the quarterfinals.

Teasley may not have completed the deal in Top Gas, but he took both ends against Marcus Taylor in the in M2.Shocks 8.70 Quick Street final for that win. Teasley vanquished number one qualifier Dustin “Biscuits” Lee in the semis.


HTP Super Stock is a variation of a class that Teasley used to dominate—the old Prostar Supersport. But on Friday, Teasley was lamenting a lack of testing time and laughed that, when faced with competing against 103 pound XDA winner David Fondon, “Now I know how everyone used to feel about racing me.”


But weight wasn’t a factor this particular weekend. Teasley qualified fourth but fell to number five Richard Gadson in E1. Both had identical .092 lights, but Richard ran low ET of the weekend 8.84 to Jeremy’s 8.95 for the win. Both were on Suzuki GSXR1000s.

Gadson then faced number one qualifier Dustin “Naked Boy” Clark (8.852 at 159.61) and his Kawasaki ZX14. Clark struggled to keep the front wheel down and Gadson advanced to the final to face Ryan Schnitz.


Schnitz’s Ducati Panigale V4R is the wild card in the Super Stock field. The Italian’s dry clutch is a riddle for even smooth Schnitz, but he kept it consistent and made it to the final where he met his match in Gadson’s GSXR. Richard’s 8.86 allowed him the comfort of a .065 disadvantage at the tree and still win against Schnitz’s 9.03.


“What a fun weekend!” said Gadson. “Rain or sunshine, NHDRO events are a bunch of fun, especially in Indy. That’s probably one of my favorite things about Brian and Niki’s events—they create a fun atmosphere for everyone, even the children. Kudos to NHDRO!”


After running a 6.63 at over 219 miles per hour on his turbocharged Suzuki Hayabusa in round 1 of eliminations, Gabe Frederick looked poised to waltz to a Pro Street win. But a -.003 redlight in E2 ended Frederick’s day and continued his Indy frustration—he’s never one at the fabled track.


The beneficiary of Gabe’s redlight was Brad Christian on Quicktime Racing’s “Pops” bike. Brad’s whole day was kind of like that, starting with a bye in E1, the Frederick redlight in 2, teammate Brett Ware’s bike pulling through the beams in the semi, and a broken Mike Bayes in the final.

Christian then went to the final against Quicktime boss Rudy Sanzottera in the Pro Street Shootout final, and again, the other lane’s misfortune was Christian’s reward as Sanzottera chewed a transmission.


“We got down the track every pass, most of them were not pretty, but got the job done,” said Christian. “Definitely wasn’t the way I wanted to win in either of the races, but a win is a win. (With) a little tuning and chassis adjustments, Pops’ bike will be hauling ass at the next race.”

Street Fighter champion Ron “Ju-Jitsu” Arnold picked up the first-ever Dirty 30 win—the 9.30 index class that replaced Street Fighter’s 9.50. Arnold’s .013 light pushed runner-up Todd Smith too quick in the double breakout race. Number one qualifier Joseph Klemme lost to Jeremy Murphy in E2.


Jason Keller’s daughter thought sure her dad was gonna win the $50K race, but they both were thrilled with his MPS Pro ET win. Dustin Lee redlit by -.004 in the final while Keller nailed his own .007 Bond Bulb with a 7.77 dial-in aboard his former Karen Stoffer Pro Stock chassis. Let’s hope Keller hit the craps tables on his way back to Toledo.

Three years ago, Wes Brown’s ‘Busa burned here at Indy. Now it’s been rebuilt, named “Crispy,” and took the Kevin Dennis Insurance Street ET win. A Bond Bulb wasn’t good enough for runner-up Mark Parmenter, who was a tenth off of his 9.68 dial after putting a .007 up against Brown’s .023.

Kaleigh Welch (no relation to NHDRO’s Welch family) won NHDRO’s first ever Hard Times Parts and Service Jr. Dragster race when final round opponent Noah Taylor redlit by -.011. Welch ran her rail out the back door, posting an 8.101 at 80.21 on her 8.14 dial.


The weekend’s VooDoo Grudge highlight might have been watching Teasley post a 7.554 at 187.31 mph on Devin “Doe” Ragland’s Real Street GSXR1000, even though it fell far short of the 7.40something pass that the team was hoping for.


The event also featured a weekend full of raffles and giveaways. Joe Klemme may not have parlayed his Dirty 30 number one qualifier into a win, but he did get $50 from Corey Lee of 865 Racing for accomplishing what he did. Tom Ewig won a Shinko tire from Rudy Sanzottera and Quicktime Racing. Shane Cunningham took Mike Reed’s $100 for driving the farthest—from Naples, Florida. Michael D’Addio won a $300 gift certificate from CP-Carrillo. Mike Moore, Jr. got a sweet pair of Vanson Leathers gloves. Kevin Hoskins won a $500 FuelTech gift certificate from Liguori Drag Racing. Joey Brandgard won a Fuel Spectrum Power battery. David Griffith and Chad Isley won $100 and $50 gift certificates (respectively) from APE. Eric Birchfield won an LED dial-in board from Bracket Shootout sponsor BB Racing. Marshall Hutchinson, Jr. had the first perfect light in MPS Pro ET eliminations, earning him a customized Scentsy Warmer & Wax from KJ Shellhaas. Boo Brown took home an MTC logo accessories package, and Zach Hunter won a photo from Eatmyink Motorsport Media.


NHDRO’s Brian and Niki Welch look forward to welcoming the NHDRO family back to Indy for the World Finals on October 2-4. And while there is not another Big Money Shootout planned, Brian is cooking up some NHDRO magic for the event, so expect something special to be announced soon.


Even though 2020 turned out to be only a two-race season (rain this past weekend and a huge turnout scuttled plans to run two races) for the Midwest’s biggest drag racing series, NHDRO will crown champions in October. 2019 Gold Cards will still be good in 2021, along with the new 2020 champs.


Find out more about NHDRO at


NHDRO thanks M2.Shocks , Kevin Dennis Insurance , MPS , Hardcore Cycles , Liguori Drag Racing , CC Powersports , Schnitz Racing , Voodoo Custom Motorcycle Components , Vanson Leathers , BB Racing , Hard Times Parts and Service and APE


This report was prepared by Tim Hailey. Enjoy everything there is to read, see and watch about motorcycle drag racing and more at


Joe’s Stupid Fast Bagger Collection

By | General Posts

About the Time Doom and Gloom Hits the Horizon another Market Blossoms
by Bandit with photos by Wrench

The Badlands represents the old west and now bikers, due predominately to the 80-year-old Sturgis Rally, Pappy Hoel and Michael Lichter. More brothers and sisters feel the magic in the hills and want to stay. Plus, for outlaw brothers of the wind, this area still represents freedom, and something untouched, for now.

I discovered a new breed of riders in Boulder Canyon in a large open shop. Hidden between pine trees were five Stupid Fast Harley Baggers, a Ducati Panigale and a tricked out 200 mph Kawasaki cop bike.

A handful of guys with the moxie and the money to ride from Deadwood to Denver at 140 mph plus.

Let me know what you think of his Stupid Fast Fleet.


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The Only Harley-Davidson Bits on This Dragster Bike Are the Engine and Transmiss

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by Daniel Patrascu from

Like it or not, the name Harley-Davidson is the dominant one in the world of motorcycle building. You get bikes made in Milwaukee either in factory-form or as one of the countless interpretations made by garages across the world. But you also get Harley DNA in most of the otherwise full-custom motorcycles out there.

That’s because the hardware made in Milwaukee – and that includes first and foremost the engine and transmission – is suitable for all kind of projects, provided you have all the required parts to accommodate them. And Thunderbike, one of the major players in the custom bike segment in Europe, sure does.

The motorcycle you see in the gallery above is called RS-O. Just like other builds made by the Germans, it is based on a frame called Dragster RS – one of the about 15 such frames available in Thunderbike’s portfolio. The frame, and pretty much everything else, with the exception of the engine and transmission, are custom made.

But first things first. The Dragster RS is more of a kit than a simple frame. It comes in thick-walled steel tubes and CNC-milled side profiles, oil and fuel tank, aluminum swingarm with battery holder, rear section, rear wheel axle, motor bracket, and seat plate.

Inside it, the shop fitted a Screamin’ Eagle engine and tied to a Harley 5-speed transmission. The unit gets its jolts from a custom fuel injection system, and breathes through a custom exhaust.

The bike is wrapped in a graphic signed by the shop’s usual partner in this field, Kruse Design, and we must say it really sticks out in the crowd: the bright orange on the bodywork looks even better offset by the blackness of the engine block, and the chequered pattern adorning the fuel tank and the rear fender bring a touch of character.

The RS-O, as it’s called in Thunderbike speak, was completed a while ago for one of the shop’s customers. We’re not being told how much it cost, but the frame alone is worth over 11,000 euros (close to $13,000), so it isn’t exactly cheap.

AFT Returns to Legendary Indy Mile for Doubleheader During Indianapolis 500 Weekend

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Harley Developing V-Twin With Variable Valve Timing

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Seems there’s still some life left in the air-cooled pushrod engine.

Despite launching the LiveWire electric bike and entering a new performance echelon with the 145-hp, water-cooled Revolution Max engine, Harley-Davidson’s future is still firmly pinned on its traditional air-cooled, cam-in-block V-twins—and the firm is developing a completely new engine that ticks those familiar boxes.

New patent applications from the firm reveal that it’s developing a completely new air-cooled, pushrod V-twin that combines old-school appearances with modern technology including variable valve timing.


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South Dakota’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally expecting to draw 250K, amid coronavirus concerns

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by David Aaro, Stephen Groves from

Some residents worry that the event could result in an uncontrolled spread of the virus

The Sturgis Motorcycle Rally is expecting to see some quarter-million people descend upon a scarcely populated South Dakota city in August, making it likely the biggest event so far during the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report.

At least 250,000 people are anticipated to pass through Sturgis and cruise through the western portions of the state during this year’s Aug. 7 to Aug. 16 rally, which is roughly half the number of people who normally attend. While South Dakota has seen just 165 deaths from the virus so far, some residents worry that the event could result in an uncontrolled spread of the virus amid a recent surge in cases.

“This is a huge, foolish mistake to make to host the rally this year,” Sturgis resident Lynelle Chapman told city counselors at a June meeting. “The government of Sturgis needs to care most for its citizens.”

A debate has continued in recent months, with many residents wishing for the rally to be postponed and businesses arguing they need the race to make a living. A recent survey of residents conducted by the city found that more than 60 percent believe the rally should be postponed amid concerns over the virus.

Those attending the event have spent roughly $800 million in recent years, and businesses that depend on the rally see it as a chance to make up for losses during the pandemic.

Pressure from the tourism business and a realization from officials that people would still come to Sturgis forced the city to implement a scaled-back version of the event.

“After considering many options, the City Council voted in favor of moving forward with preparations for the large influx of tourists and participants coming to enjoy the Black Hills, with a focus on preserving the safety of our residents,” said a release by the city on June 16.

Officials canceled city-hosted events and slashed advertising for the 80th edition of the rally. Other preventive measures will include public hand sanitizing stations throughout the downtown area and nightly sanitization of sidewalk areas.

Mass coronavirus testing will also be conducted to see if all those people brought the pandemic to Sturgis.

“Attendees will be asked to be respectful of the community concerns by practicing social distancing and taking personal responsibility for their health by following CDC guidelines,” the city release said. “PPE will be available for all city staff, and any businesses that have issues with finding available personal protective equipment for their employees.”

Jerry Cole, who directs the rally for the city, said organizers are expecting at least 250,000 to show up. Others believe it could be even bigger.

“It’s the biggest single event that’s going on in the United States that didn’t get canceled,” said Rod Woodruff, who operates the Buffalo Chip, a local campground and concert venue. “A lot of people think it’s going to be bigger than ever.”

Apple TV+ Unveils First Look at “Long Way Up,”

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New Original Series Starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman

“Long Way Up” to Debut Globally September 18 on Apple TV+

Apple TV+ today unveiled a first look at “Long Way Up,” an epic new motorcycle series, starring and executive produced by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, which reunites best friends after more than a decade since their last motorbike adventure around the world.  The first three episodes of “Long Way Up” will premiere globally on Apple TV+ on Friday, September 18, and new episodes will roll out weekly.

Covering 13,000 miles over 100 days through 16 border crossings and 13 countries, starting from the city of Ushuaia at the tip of South America, Ewan and Charley journey through the glorious and underexposed landscapes of South and Central America in their most challenging expedition to date, using cutting edge technology on the backs of their electric Harley-Davidson LiveWire® motorcycles in order to contribute to the sustainability of the planet.

The new series will follow Ewan and Charley as they journey through Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and up through Colombia, Central America and Mexico. Also joining them are their longtime collaborators, directors David Alexanian and Russ Malkin following them in their electric Rivians.

“Long Way Up” is a new original series that follows Ewan and Charley’s previous adventures in “Long Way Round” and “Long Way Down.”

The series will join an expanding offering of acclaimed unscripted series and films including the recently announced Fireball,” an original feature documentary directed by acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog and Professor Clive Oppenheimer; the soon-to-premiere 2020 Sundance US Grand Jury Prize award-winning documentary, “Boys State”; and the acclaimed, five-time Emmy nominated – including for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special – “Beastie Boys Story.”


Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac, select Samsung and LG smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV and Roku devices, as well as at, for £4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. The Apple TV app will be available on Sony and VIZIO smart TVs later this year. For a limited time, customers who purchase a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can enjoy one year of Apple TV+ for free. This special offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device.* For more information, please visit



Covid-19 puts low-cost 350cc Harley-Davidson bike plans in danger

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by Pradeep Shah from

The proposal by Zeitz suggests scrapping 30 percent of the current models in the favour of a more sorted lineup. So far, the models that would be axed have not been revealed but expect a lot of bikes to retire especially from the Softail family that includes as many as 14 models. Here is why the upcoming India-bound 350cc Harley might be in danger.

The year 2020 is no less than a nightmare for multiple sectors and the automotive space is no different! Not only the production of the vehicles is getting affected but the sales have taken a severe hit too. America has been one of the worst affected nations by Covid-19 and hence, for obvious reasons, the industries and companies there are seeing some of the worst days. One such manufacturer is Harley-Davidson that has reported a loss of USD 92 million. Now, in order to offset the losses a bit, the company has came up with a new ‘Hardwire’ plan that includes aborting some of the models that the brand was planning to bring in the coming months. Now the worst piece of news is that the company’s strategy might include a 350cc low-cost motorcycle that was meant for Indian and some of the Asian markets.

Previously, the brand had announced the introduction of as many as 50 new models over the next five years. As a part to rejig strategies, the proposal of Jochen Zeitz, President, CEO and Chairman, Harley-Davidson suggests scrapping 30 percent of the current models in the favour of a more sorted lineup. So far, the models that would be axed have not been revealed but expect a lot of bikes to retire especially from the Softail family that includes as many as 14 models. Now here comes the worrying part. During one of the conversations, Zeitz said that complexity needed to be dramatically reduced and goals set needed to be achievable and realistic. He adds that the company is streamlining its motorcycle models by approximately 30 percent with plans to further refine its product portfolio.

This will enable the brand to invest in the products and platforms that matter the most while better balancing the company’s investment in new, high-potential segments. The reason why we think that India-bound 350cc Harley might not be a part of the plans now is because Zeitz further stated that “the brand is not willing to sacrifice the strength of its legacy in a quest for pure volume growth going forward”.

Thunderbike Smoothless Custom Motorcycle Is the Snow White Beauty of Dubai

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from

Dubai is one of those places where there’s no shortage of extreme and luxury cars. The city’s residents have made a name for themselves as being among the richest on the planet, and this is why here you get to see more high-end products than anywhere else in the world.

Having found an undying love for all things motorized, those in Dubai spare no expense in flashing their wealth on the roads and on the dunes. The city’s police force, for instance, drives around in Lamborghinis, Ferraris, or Bentleys. They’re even looking into making flying bikes a reality.

What we don’t see so often however are the custom motorcycles made for the local elite.

The custom bike you see in the gallery above is one of the bikes that can be found in Dubai. It is named Smoothless, and has been built by German custom shop Thunderbike for one of the customers there.

The two-wheeler is custom from front to rear, and despite its name is as smooth as they come. The backbone is a custom high neck frame the garage calls Radical Over Curved. It is more of a kit actually, as it comes with all the extras needed for a successful build: the frame itself, the fuel and oil tanks, a CNC-milled aluminum swingarm with battery holder, rear section with wheel axle motor bracket, seat plate and tank transition.

Made from thick-walled tubes and CNC milled side profiles, it offers a steering head height of nine inches and supports the engine.

As usual when it comes to Thunderbike builds, we are not given the full specs or the price of the finished product. We do know however that the frame alone is worth a bit over 11,000 euros (close to $13,000). Add the engine, and all the other extras, and you probably get close to $25,000, if not more.

That is, of course, a bargain for most people living in Dubai, and it kind of makes us wonder why we aren’t seeing more of them.