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Spectacula Motorcycle Is Proof Some Builds Are Better Than Custom Harleys

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Absolutely awesome. These are the words used by a German custom bike garage to describe the Specula, a motorcycle the like of which the European continent had never been gifted with before.

Used to seeing incredible motorcycle builds coming from the U.S., the world is at times blind when it comes to noticing other incredible machines rolling out garage doors elsewhere in the world. In Europe, for instance, the last couple of decades have seen some stunning bikes roll out into the sunset.

One of the main custom garages there is Thunderbike, a German group that started out as a repair shop for Japanese motorcycles, and then moved on to customizing Harleys and making their own frames. The bike in the gallery above, called Spectacula, is part of the latter category.

The design is 15 years old, but despite not being the newest kid on the block, it’s still one of the most extreme.

Unlike many of the Thunderbike designs we talked about recently, the Spectacula is not powered by a Harley-Davidson engine, but uses a TP-Pro one. It is rated at 120 ps and resides in the middle of a custom frame that has been built from scratch, as did every other part of the motorcycle, for that matter.

Shaped like no other bike out there, the Spectacula carefully hides all of the working parts so they are not visible: throttle, clutch, brake, gearshift and air suspension, all seem to have not been visibly linked to the fork or frame.

It took the Thunderbike guys six months to bring this project from the drawing board into the real world, with a full month of that time being spent on carefully applying 28 layers of paint on the bike’s body.

The Spectacula is not for sale, as it was intended only as a show build.

Harley-Davidson RS Lambo Is How a Supercar Looks Like on Two Wheels

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com/

For years, our lives have been flooded with incredible custom motorcycle builds made in the U.S.A, thanks to the avalanche of TV shows that over the past two decades have focused on the different garages there. But incredible custom bikes are being made elsewhere as well.

Germany, for instance, is the place where for the past two decades incredible Harley-based machines came to be. Whether we’re talking about remakes of existing Harleys as a whole, or adaptations of some Harley parts into a custom frame, the things the German garage called Thunderbike can do are incredible.

The group has begun toying with motorcycles since the 1980s, when they came into being as a repair shop for Japanese bikes. They kept doing that well until the early 2000s, when a switch to Harleys made the birth of these insane machines possible.

We’ve already talked about 2019’s Imola Softail conversion, or the CVO 110-powered Flawless 3, but it’s time for something a bit more extreme, because it seems there are so many ideas popping into the heads of these guys that they even dreamt up a motorcycle dedicated to a supercar manufacturer.

Enter the RS Lambo, a Thunderbike design created as a “tribute custom bike to the Italian sports car manufacturer [from] Sant’Agata Bolognese.”

The build uses an older Thunderbike frame kit called Dragster RS, inside which the engine and transmission from the Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle 110 series were fitted. The frame rides on Lowrider wheels and an air suspension that allows ride height to be adjusted in order to increase or decrease ground clearance.

The Lamborghini tribute can of course be seen as the paint chosen for the fuel tank, frame, and even wheel rims.

As many other Thunderbike builds, this is not just a custom project, but a show of force. One that kind of makes us wonder how would a build-off competition look like between a U.S.-based team and one from elsewhere in the world.

Harley-Powered Custom Bike Is All About Naked Metal Bones

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com/

Simple, low, naked metallic skeleton. That’s all you need to describe the custom bike build that goes by the name of Flawless 3, assembled in Germany by a group called Thunderbike.

The Germans have been a solid group of bike builders since the 1980s, when they came into being as a repair shop for Japanese bikes, mostly. They kept doing that well until the early 2000s, when sales dropped in the motorcycle industry in general.

Among the few last standing in those troubled times was Harley-Davidson, so Thunderbike made a turn in its business mode and decided to focus on customizing the American-made machines. And we’re glad they did.

After the Softail-based Black Star 110 we showed you yesterday, it’s time to have a look at another build Thunderbike was responsible for. We’re not talking about another Harley conversion, but an original frame.

The garage calls this build Flawless 3, because it has been constructed on an existing platform that goes by the same name. And it’s a stunner.

The flowing frame of the bike seems to have been cast upright, made of melted metal that was instantly frozen in place when the desired, complete shape was achieved. The paint job chosen for the frame and fuel tank helps maintain the cold look of the motorcycle.

The frame rides very low to the ground, supported by a full air-suspension. Thanks to it, the ride height can be increased by up to 10 cm (4 inches) in times of need so no harm is done to the underside.

It holds a 110ci Harley-Davidson engine from CVO models, and rides on differently-sized wheels made out of solid aluminum blocks: 26 inches front and 21 inches rear.

Thunderbike’s frame line includes more insane builds, that sell either as kits or are one-offs. You can have a look at them all at this link.

Black Star 110 Is What Happens to a Harley-Davidson in Germany

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

There’s no official data on the number of custom shops around the world in the business of remaking Harleys, but rest assured there’s plenty of them. Some spit out new models several years apart, but there are others, far fewer, that work around the clock on making the already incredible machines even better.

Germany-based Thuderbike is part of the latter category. Having started life in the 1980s as a repair shop for mainly Japanese bikes, Thunderbike turned its sights on products of American behemoth Harley-Davidson, and spat out the first custom bike based on a Milwaukee-made machine in 2003.

Since then, many others have hit the roads, most of them customized at the request of the owners. The latest project Thunderbike was involved in is the Black Star 110, a build that started life as a Harley-Davidson Softail Slim S, transitioned to a custom form the company calls Black Apple, and then settled into the shape you see in the gallery above.

The bike was commissioned by a customer about nine months ago, and was ready for a photoshoot at the end of April. The result is according to Thunderbike “one of the most radical bikes in our 18-series Softail Collection.”

It rides on differently-sized wheels (21-inch front, 23-inch rear) and, with the exception of the fuel tank and the fork, which received only minor upgrades, features extensive modifications. The front and rear fenders are new, as are the swingwarm and the turn signals. There are other handlebars than the ones you would see on the stock Harley, new footpegs, and new mirrors.

The paint job on the motorcycle is unique as well and comes with Harley lettering on the fuel tank and the Black Star 110 name beneath the saddle.

There is no word on whether modifications were made to the bike’s engine, the Screamin’ Eagle 110.

 

Curtiss Hades Electric Motorcycle Looks Amazing

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by Mihnea Radu from https://www.autoevolution.com

We hate regular concept art sometimes – here’s a nice rendering we did and a press release, now give us some money. However, Curtiss Motorcycle Co. has just built a prototype for its electric bike and it’s even more amazing than its sketches.

Seriously, just look at this thing! Look at it, and then scroll to the end of the photo gallery to see the 3D model. The final destination is obviously building a bike that hasn’t existed before, purely electric and looking cool.

Curtiss used to be known as Confederate Motorcycles but in 2017 decided to go all-electric and re-brand itself. Since then, they’ve basically just shown prototypes and concepts.

The Hades promises to be different. It’s being introduced with some amazing specs. The electric motor is supposed to produce something like 215 horsepower and 147 lb-ft of torque (200 Nm). It’s mounted coaxially with the rear swingarm and drives the rear wheel via a belt.

The battery itself is mounted in that weird rocket-like enclosure under the frame. The rose gold coating is what really sets this apart from other bikes.

The battery is a 399 VDC pack with capacity having been quoted at 16.8 kWh, which would give it a higher capacity than the largest standard battery offering in the Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire (15.5 kWh).

The “prototype” part of what we see here is probably the frame. Based on the concept, it’s probably going to get a carbon fiber chassis for lightness. Sounds exotic, but then this is supposed to be a $75,000+ bike. That sounds like a lot of money compared to the LiveWire, but plenty of people are willing to pay extra for custom fabrication. To their credit, Curtis are reportedly also working on a cheaper version.

If it were our money, we’d skip that funky front end, just have some normal forks and save a few bucks.

Bikernet Bike Builder of the Month

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Cole Rogers from Cycle Fabrications in Lebanon, Ohio

By Bandit and Michael Lichter with photos by Michael Lichter

This is a kick-off piece. For years I attended every show in the country and met all the old and new builders. As my travel budget decreased and my desire to work in the shop and go to Bonneville increased, I missed out on some of the shows and the chance to meet new builders.

With the help of Michael Lichter, we are going to introduce Bikernet Readers to new, young, less well-known builders. The first one is Cole Rogers, from Lebanon, Ohio, who is 46 and has been building bikes since he was 15, when his brother scored a 1972 BSA A-70L for $300, 750 Lightening. There were only 201 built.

CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ARTICLE ON BIKERNET

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Redneck Mafia Has Its Way with a Harley-Davidson FXSTI, This Is the Result

By | General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

For years on end, the Specialty Equipment Market Association event in Las Vegas was the place where all the mechanical and engineering wonders of our time came out to play. On two, three, four or more wheels, vehicles that sometimes take years to build are shown for the first time at the aftermarket show.

The event is generally known as SEMA, and on the floor of the 2018 show, among the countless other incredible builds, was this strangely shaped 2004 Harley-Davidson FXSTI Softail. If one can still call it that.

The bike was on display on the stand of Coker Tires, a Chattanooga-based company in charge of making vintage-style tires based on various famous brands of our age. In charge of reinventing the motorcycle this way was a garage called Redneck Mafia, and the fact that they built it for a tire company show.

Extremely large Coker 600-16 bias ply tires wrap the two wheels of the motorcycle, blending perfectly with the completely reworked, Sunset Bronze Mica body. Metal accents on the fuel tank, wheels and of course the large engine further enhance the bike’s coolness and coldness.

A lot of custom parts went into making the motorcycle what it is. They include, among others, the internal throttle and foot controls, the air breather, exhaust and belly pan, fork legs, suspension and the headlight assembly.

The last time we heard of this motorcycle, known in the industry as the El Rey, was during the Mecum Houston auction about one year ago. Somehow, the bike ended as a display in a dealer’s location in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, since then. They are now selling it again, this time not at an auction, but directly. The asking price for the motorcycle is $16,000.

Full details on this Redneck Mafia-remade Harley-Davidson FXSTI can be found at this link.

Weston man builds epic motorcycle to promote saving lives through Be The Match donations

By | General Posts

WESTON – It’s a gleaming, curvy, sport-style motorcycle with a distinct Art Deco look, and there’s no other bike like it on Earth.

Mark Ecklund of Weston took two years of painstaking, detail-oriented work to build it, hand-fabricating most of its body work from thin aluminum. For just the tail section, the 53-year-old machinist took two weeks to patiently and gently tap — using a hand-held, hammer-like metal molding tool — a piece of aluminum into the shape he wanted.

The project represents the ability to save lives. Mark created the motorcycle to honor and promote Be The Match, a worldwide organization that works to match donors of life-saving bone marrow and stem cells to people suffering from blood cancers such a leukemia and lymphoma. In 2012, Mark donated stem cells that were used to save the life of a 53-year-old Pennsylvania man, who is a husband, father and grandfather.

Mark is a serial inventor who has built and designed things such as a one-person hovercraft, a safety faucet that prevents scalding and an improved version of a compound bow, and it’s his habit to enthusiastically and compulsively throw himself into projects. But even for his standards, this motorcycle, once a brand-new Indian cruiser, is special.

A year after the transplant, Ecklund and the stem cell recipient, Todd Euen of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, met and became instant friends. The experience was so gratifying that Ecklund can’t even begin to explain it. All he can say is that the motorcycle is a physical manifestation of those feelings, and a vehicle to promote Be The Match. He and his wife, Chris Ecklund, are doing anything they can to encourage people to register for Be The Match donations.

“We want to bring that awareness to people, to have more people register,” Chris said.

The motorcycle is a work of art, Mark said, “that is more of a campaign.”

‘Forever grateful’

Todd, a controller at a Ford dealership, was diagnosed with leukemia in July 2012. In order to save his life, doctors rushed him to Pittsburgh, located about 66 miles west of Johnstown. If Todd hadn’t gotten treatment, he likely would have died within two weeks, doctors told him.

“I was in shock,” Todd said.

He received Mark’s donation in a procedure done on Christmas Eve of 2012.

Be The Match requires that donors and recipients wait a year after procedures before connecting with each other. After that year passed, Todd contacted Mark to get to know him and thank him.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I met him. He basically saved my life,” Todd said. “It was real emotional when we met. … Our family is forever grateful to him.”

‘I knew exactly what I was going to do’

Chris and Mark decided to become donors when Mark turned 35. They both regularly give blood, and it was Mark’s idea to do more.

“We just wanted to help people,” Mark said.

They found Be The Match, did a little research, and then, almost on a whim, drove to the Appleton office of Be The Match to register. Chris still hasn’t been matched with a recipient.

“I’m really jealous of Mark,” she said.

After meeting Todd , Mark came up with the idea to design and build the Be The Match motorcycle. He talked about his plans with Chris, and she agreed that they should purchase the 2015 Indian Scout to convert. Chris didn’t quite grasp what her husband had in mind; she thought it would be a light modification of the new Indian model.

As Mark started to the project, “I thought, ‘We spent all this money to tear it apart,'” Chris said.

Mark visualized his motorcycle from the start. “I knew exactly what I wanted. I knew exactly what I was going to do,” he said.

He wanted something that would be magnetic to other motorcycle enthusiasts. And even though Chris didn’t know the details, she’s been married to Mark for 29 years. So she wasn’t surprised when he spend nearly all his free time working on the bike. Nor was she surprised at the result.

They take the motorcycle to races and shows. First riders come see the bike, then Chris and Mark go into their Be The Match spiel, and often Chris will get people to register for donations on the spot. (It requires filling out a form and doing some cheek swabs to get DNA samples.)

Jess Klingberg, the Be The Match community engagement specialist based in Appleton, said the motorcycle is magnet for potential donors, helping sign up potential donors by the dozen. She attended a motorcycle rally with the Ecklunds. “That motorcycle turns a lot of heads,” she said.

Todd accompanied Mark and Chris to one show near Pittsburgh, and even though he’s gotten to know Mark and his all-in attitude, he was still surprised at how much gusto both Mark and Chris display when promoting Be The Match.

“They have jumped all in,” Todd said with a laugh.

Be the Match Radiothon

A live, over-the-air Radiothon for Be the Match will be held from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 19 on the Wausau rock radio station WIFC-FM 95.5 Jess Klingberg, the Be The Match community engagement specialist who works in the organization’s Appleton office, will be on air to explain details about the program and tell stories about what Be The Match can mean for individuals dealing with cancer.

Funky Panhead Part 5

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New front wheel and disc brake

With the help of Paughco and Black Bike Wheels

Okay, so the classic 19-inch spoked wheel rolled in from Black Bike Wheels, in Van Nuys. They have grown to build spoked wheels for every make and model in virtually every size. Too cool. If you need a spoked wheel give them a call and speak to Elliot or Eric. Tell them Bikernet sent you.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE TECH ARTICLE