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Harley-Davidson R-Odynamic Is Screamin’ Eagle Heart in the Right Custom Body

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

If we were to choose between a custom made motorcycle (that means built from the ground up, with different parts made to fit together in previously untried ways) and an extreme conversion of an existing series production model, we’d certainly go full custom.

Perhaps that’s owed to the countless hours spent in front of a TV screen in our childhood, seeing the likes of the Teutuls working their magic on metal while fighting each other like they were enemies. Thanks to them and others that go back decades, custom motorcycles are still very hot in America today.

Not the same can be said about Europe. There are far fewer shops there, and most of them are involved in bringing back to life old, locally-made models the likes of 1970s-1980s BMWs. Sure, there are shops specializing in reimagining Harleys, as we’ve seen in the recently concluded King of Kings competition, but almost none of them is in the business of mating Harley engines to custom frames, for instance.

We said almost because in Germany there’s a very active shop that goes by the name Thunderbike. The group has in its portfolio literally hundreds of Harley builds, most of them based on existing models, but also around 15 frames they have been playing around with for the past 25 years.

One of those frames is called Dragster R-Odynamic, and is used to underpin the bike in the gallery above. Specifically designed to work with 21-inch rear tires, it only includes the single-side swingarm, meaning everything else has to be carefully fitted to work with it.

First, the engine. The shop went in this case with a Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle 110. Tied to a Harley-Davidson 6-speed transmission and ignition, it breathes through a Vance & Hines exhaust system.

A combination of Harley and custom Thunderbike parts was used to put the whole thing together. Aside from the engine and transmission, Milwaukee also made the headlamp, electric system, and the primary, while the Germans are responsible for the suspension, grips and handlebar, rims (23-inch front and 21-inch rear), brakes, and pretty much everything else.

The bike was completed back in 2011, and was put through its paces down Germany’s roads, as you can see in the video attached below. We are not being told how much the entire assembly cost, but you should know the frame alone is worth over 12,000 euros (roughly $14,000).

 

Harley-Davidson El Fuego Brings German Heat to the Road

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

A custom, German-made frame, a proven, Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle 110ci engine sitting inside, and a paint job to die for – these are the three elements of the custom motorcycle known as El Fuego.

Shown in all its glory in the gallery above, the El Fuego is one of the hottest builds coming our way from Germany-based custom garage Thunderbike. Responsible for literally hundreds of custom motorcycles, all based or inspired by the Milwaukee-made two-wheelers, the crew behind this machine surely outdone themselves with this one.

First, the frame. Thunderbike has around 15 in its portfolio, meaning it could design bikes to suit all tastes. The one used here is called Dragster RS, and is more of a kit: it includes the frame itself, the fuel and oil tanks, CNC-milled aluminum swingarm with battery holder, rear section, rear wheel axle, motor bracket, and seat plate.

Ready for the road, it only needed an engine and some wheels to get it moving. In the case of the former, the shop went for the Screamin’ Eagle 110ci, adn tied it to a Thunderbike exhaust. For the latter, the elements of choice were monoblock wheels, milled from solid aluminum blocks and wrapped in Metzeler tires.

The flowing lines and curves of the build would have been nothing without a proper paint job. As usual, Thunderbike turned to Kruse Design for the visual tweaking, which in this case translated into a hot combination between the black on pretty much all parts of the motorcycle and the metallic orange on the tanks, fenders, and wheels.

Thunderbike does not say how much El Fuego cost to make, but you should know the Dragster RS frame kit alone is worth close to 12,000 euros. That’s about $14,000 at today’s exchange rates.

Red Scorpion Is What Happens When Custom Frame Meets Harley-Davidson Hardware

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

There’s nothing better in the world of custom bike-making than coming up with your own frame. Sure, you could choose the easy way and start modifying existing motorcycles, but that doesn’t say that much about your skills as a custom builder.

We know of a huge number of shops in the U.S. making their own custom frames, that in turn end up becoming the base for incredible two-wheelers. But there are garages outside the States that do the same thing.

One of them – and a very lucrative one – is Germany-based Thunderbike. We talked about their work extensively over the past few months as part of our various special coverages, but given the large number of builds they make, there seems to be no end in sight.

Until recently, we covered at length Thunderbike’s skills when it comes to modified Harleys, but from this week on we decided to have a closer look at their custom frames, and we’ve already said a word or two about some other of their creations for this segment. And now it’s time for another.

In the gallery above sits a motorcycle the garage completed all the way back in 2007. It is called the Red Scorpion, and it is one of the finest examples of how you can pair your own custom frame with custom parts and available Harley-Davidson hardware.

The bike is part of the garage’s Freestyle collection of bikes, and it is built around one of the 15 or so frames available in its inventory.

Riding low thanks to the use of an air suspension, and with an appearance of having a broken back, the Red Scorpion is animated by a Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle 103ci engine. The powerplant draws its fuel through a Mikuni HSR 42 injection system, and is controlled through a Harley 5-speed transmission.

The motorcycle rides on equally-sized 18-inch wheels front and back, chromed of course, and offset by the red paint spread on the rest of the body by Thunderbike’s favorite partner in this area, Kruse Design.

We are not being told how much the bike cost to be put together, but to give you an idea, just the Thunderbike frames now available are somewhere in the 11,000 euros (around $12,500) ballpark.

CCE Bagger Thunderbolt Is a Whole Lot of Name for a Custom Harley Street Glide

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

The Harley-Davidson Street Glide is one of those bikes you should not mess with. Described by its maker as a stripped down version of a hot-rod bagger, the no-nonsense bike has been made with long trips in mind.

But baggers have also been favorites of the custom industry. Either reshaped from stock motorcycles or made from scratch on a custom frame, custom baggers are a common sight on American roads.

We’re not sure how many of them are in Europe, but you can count at least one, this one here. The work of a German shop that goes by the name Thunderbike, it takes a stock Harley Street Glide to whole new levels of cool.

The build is based on 2017 Street Glide Special, still packing the original Milwaukee-Eight engine. But other than that everything about it is enhanced, including the name.

Using custom parts made all over the world, Thunderbike kept the overall appearance of the motorcycle, but increased the size and reach of most of the hardware on the bike, from the front fender to the saddlebags at the rear. The fairing at the front, the fuel tank behind it, and the wheels – including the barely visible one at the rear – are of course custom, and contribute to giving the bike a retro-style look.

Thunderbike, who has been in the business of engineering motorcycles for the past 25 years, is usually very good at naming its creations too. And even if the name of this one might seem a bit pompous, there’s a reason for that.

The CCE in the name stands for Custom Chrome Europe, a parts wholesale company founded in 1986, while Thunderbolt is the creative side of the project.

So, no matter how you call it – Thunderbike CCE Bagger Thunderbolt or Harley-Davidson CCE Bagger Thunderbolt – this one is a mouthful.

BMW Motorrad celebrates 40 years of BMW GS models

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from https://chennaivision.com

A concept that changed the motorcycle world.

A motorcycle concept that is as legendary as it is sophisticated will celebrate its anniversary in 2020: The BMW GS models are turning 40. In autumn 1980 BMW Motorrad presented the R 80 G/S, a motorcycle which combined two very special areas of riding for the first time: Off-road and on-road. Thanks to its unique combination of road, touring and off-road capability – without compromising on everyday use – the R 80 G/S became the conceptual forerunner of the new motorcycle category of touring enduros created by BMW Motorrad. And what is more: The BMW GS models became the perfect synonym for the perfect partner on two wheels to explore even the most remote corners of our planet. To date, BMW Motorrad has been able to hand over more than 1.2 million BMW GS models to customers.

Legendary BMW GS talents: Riding dynamics, off-road mastery, comfort and robustness.

But it wasn’t just motorcycle adventures that were ideally suited for the BMW GS right from the outset; the R 80 G/S and its descendants also quickly proved their qualities in racing. In 1981 Hubert Auriol rode to victory in the equally prestigious and challenging Paris – Dakar Rally. This is just one of the many motorsport successes that BMW Motorrad was able to celebrate with a GS. The outstanding talents of the boxer GS models – riding dynamics, off-road mastery, comfort and robustness – have been continuously maintained and developed by BMW Motorrad over the past 40 years and successfully transferred to other BMW Motorrad model series. In 1993, the F 650 “Funduro” was the first single-cylinder BMW enduro to come onto the market. While this bike drew its riding dynamics from its low weight and the thrust of the 47 hp single cylinder, the changing of the guard took place simultaneously on the BMW GS models with boxer engine.

The GS as an innovation driver: Four-valve technology and Telelever.

With the BMW R 1100 GS, BMW Motorrad not only presented the first GS with a 4-valve boxer and 80 bhp output, but also trod new paths with regard to suspension technology for large touring enduros. For the first time in an enduro, the engine and gearbox acted as load-bearing elements of the chassis, making a main frame superfluous. While the BMW Paralever rear wheel suspension system had already eliminated the drive reactions of the shaft drive in the models with the two-valve boxer years earlier, the BMW engineers had now created an innovative way of guiding the front wheels using the Telelever suspension. With the pitch compensation and highly sensitive response they set new standards in this area. In addition, the new R 1100 GS was the first enduro ever to be equipped with ABS – a safety plus that is now standard equipment on all BMW motorcycles.

The GS models of the F series: GS fascination for the middle range.

In addition to numerous new and further developments, including the F 650 GS (first single-cylinder with electronic fuel injection, catalytic converter and ABS), which was manufactured in Berlin from the year 2000 onwards, the F 650 GS and F 800 GS models launched in 2007 marked another outstanding milestone in BMW GS history. With their powerful, high-torque 2-cylinder in-line engine and torsionally stiff tubular frame, they interpreted the BMW GS theme in their own, yet very typical BMW way. With these new models, BMW Motorrad not only presented the successors to the extremely successful F 650 GS with its single-cylinder engine, but at the same time expanded the enduro offer in the medium range.

Advanced DOHC boxer with two overhead camshafts.

BMW Motorrad presented another highlight in autumn 2009 with the launch of the revised BMW R 1200 GS. Now equipped with the even more free-revving DOHC boxer with two overhead camshafts per cylinder, it offered 81 kW/110 hp and even more advanced riding dynamics. In the 2010 anniversary year, BMW Motorrad paid tribute to the 30th anniversary of the GS models and their successes in both production motorcycle manufacturing and motorsport alike with the “30 Years GS” special models of the BMW R 1200 GS, R 1200 GS Adventure, F 800 GS and F 650 GS painted in the BMW Motorrad Motorsport corporate colours.

BMW Motorrad continued the success story of the GS models in autumn 2010. With the BMW G 650 GS, BMW Motorrad added another attractive member to the BMW GS family. Thanks to its slender, wiry off-road stature, the new single-cylinder enduro looked bold, light and adventurous. At the same time it clearly stood out from its competitors in terms of quality, equipment and comfort. In combination with its comparatively low weight and the reduced seat height, it was the attractive entry bike into the world of motorcycling and into the fascinating BMW GS world of experience.

The power GS: Newly designed boxer featuring vertical flow.

The dynamic development of the BMW GS theme continued unabated in the fourth decade. When BMW Motorrad presented the new R 1200 GS at Intermot in autumn 2012, interest was particularly focused on the completely redesigned engine. The air/liquid-cooled flat twin engine introduced cylinder heads featuring vertical flow; they had an integrated gearbox and a shaft drive on the left side from then on, supplemented by state-of-the-art chassis technology and electronic control systems such as ABS, traction control or semi-active chassis. With an output of 92 kW (125 hp), the new R 1200 GS also provided superior riding performance. Barely one and a half years later, in March 2014, the 500,000th BMW motorcycle of the boxer-engine GS model series rolled off the assembly line at the plant in Berlin – this was an R 1200 GS Adventure.

The GS for the capacity segment below 500 cc: the G 310 GS.

In autumn 2016, BMW Motorrad presented yet another GS model. This time it was the G 310 GS. It transferred the core qualities of a BMW GS to the engine capacity segment below 500 cc and interpreted these in its own style. Extremely compact, yet fully grown and comfortable, it opened up a whole new world of experience in its segment and became unique in the entry-level segment, above all due to its versatility. With the new R 1200 GS, BMW Motorrad expanded the GS portfolio not only with further product optimisations but also by broadening the motorcycle’s range of properties. For the first time, customers were able to give a BMW GS a more marked touch of enduro or distinguished style to suit its preferred area of use by ordering the style packages Rallye and Exclusive.

In the same year a completely different interpretation of the GS theme came on the scene: the R nineT Urban G/S. The R nineT Urban G/S drew on the genes of the very first and legendary BMW R 80 G/S of the year 1980, transporting them into the modern era with contemporary technology in the form of a classic enduro-style BMW motorcycle with boxer engine. As with the other R nineT models, the powerful, air/oil-cooled boxer engine with 81 kW (110 hp) output in combination with a six-speed transmission was installed.

New engine, new chassis: The new GS models of the F series.

In 2017 BMW Motorrad continued to write GS history with the two completely redesigned F 750 GS and F 850 GS enduro models. BMW Motorrad consistently built on the typical GS strengths in the successor models to the successful 2-cylinder F 650 GS, F 700 GS and F 800 GS motorcycles with the aim of making good things even better. As before, the GS abbreviation again represented a perfect synthesis of touring and long-distance capability combined with racing dynamics and supreme offroad performance. In short: A BMW GS is the perfect companion when it comes to discovering remote corners of the world by motorcycle. At the heart of the new development was a newly designed, powerful 2-cylinder in-line engine with two balancer shafts and 270/450 degrees ignition distance for optimised running characteristics and emotional sound. It generated 57 kW (77 hp) for the F 750 GS and 70 kW (95 hp) for the F 850 GS from 853 cc, thus providing superior drive power for both GS models.

This meant even more power, torque and efficiency for the big boxer-engined GS.

In autumn 2018, BMW Motorrad once again introduced a radical upgrade for the boxer engine of the large GS models in order to further improve power and torque yield as well as reduce fuel consumption and emission values. For this purpose, BMW ShiftCam Technology was used for the first time in the serial production of BMW Motorrad engines: this allowed valve timings and valve stroke on the intake side to be varied. In addition, the intake camshafts were designed for asynchronous opening of the two intake valves, resulting in enhanced swirl of the fresh, incoming mixture and therefore more effective combustion. Other technical changes to the engine related to the camshaft drive – now taken care of by a toothed chain (previously a roller chain) – optimised oil supply, twin-jet injection valves and a new exhaust system.

Harley-Davidson Breakout CVO Gets an Extra Touch of German Custom

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

In the world of Harley-Davidson, CVO stands for Custom Vehicle Operations. Going further, that means motorcycles specifically created by the American bike builder with the custom industry in mind, for garages all across the world to tweak even further.

The program was born at Harley in 1999 and each year a small batch of bikes was chosen and gifted with limited edition runs that were all about customization: bigger engines, crazy paints, and a wealth of accessories one usually didn’t get with the road-going versions.

Among the motorcycles chosen by Harley to go down the CVO path in 2014 was the Breakout (it was offered alongside the Ultra Limited Electra Glide, Softail Deluxe, and Road King). And since this model is a favorite of a German custom shop that goes by the name Thunderbike, it of course didn’t escape some further upgrades.

Thunderbike’s interpretation of the CVO Breakout comes with a more radical look, achieved especially because of the deployment of bigger wheels, a new exhaust system, and a polished paint over the bike’s main parts.

The motorcycle rides on Harley Turbine wheels (sized 21 and 18 inches), but with the rear one wrapped in a Metzeler tire that is 20 mm wider than what came standard. Additionally, a pulley brake kit was deployed on the rear wheel to allow a clear view from one side at the design.

The engine, which was lest pretty much stock, breathes through an electronically adjustable exhaust system from Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde.

A wealth of other parts, smaller in size and impact, are also custom: the rocker boxes, oil tank, turn signals, mirrors, and even the license plate bracket and frame.

We are not being told how much it cost the Germans to put the entire build together, but you can learn more about it by hitting this link.

 

Anthracite Grey Harley-Davidson TB-2 Is the Unlikely Low Rider S Superbike

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

As part of autoevolution’s Custom Builds Month, we talked aplenty about a number of customized Harley-Davidson motorcycles handled all the way in Germany. The country is home to a very active shop called Thunderbike, who over the past 25 years has made a name for itself in the industry with literally hundreds of projects.

On Monday, July 13, we talked about the TB-1 Superbike, a conversion of a Low Rider S the likes of which we don’t get to see that often. As it usually happens with Thunderbike ideas, the TB-1 has a sequel of sorts.

It is called TB-2, naturally, and is, at least as far as the paint goes, a more conservative approach than it’s older sibling.
Most of the changes designed for the TB-1 have been kept on this one. The bike’s stock wheels (19-inch front and 17-inch rear) have been replaced with bigger hardware, namely 21-inch front and 18-inch rear, to give the machine a “slimmer” look.

Turning the Low Rider into a racer-style bike was achieved through the fitting of a lowering kit for the telescopic fork, Hyperpro shock absorbers with height adjustment, and of course a custom new front fairing.

The listed of custom parts fitted on the motorcycle comprises around 20 elements, and even if we are not told how much the conversion cost, simple math (that is adding the prices of each of those parts) points to it being worth a little over 5,000 euros (roughly $5,600). That does not including the bike itself, the man hours spent on assembling it, and of course the base Low Rider.

The thing that sets TB-2 apart the most from its earlier incarnation is of course the paint job. Whereas on the first iteration the shop went for a dark look offset by yellow lettering spelling the names Harley-Davidson, Thunderbike and TB-1, this time around we are presented with an anthracite grey look all around, dotted by white lettering.

Harley-Davidson GP-Style Is the Radical Way to Make a Breakout

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

“Probably the most radical Softail who saw the light of day” – this is how the Germans from Thunderbike describe one of their builds from two years ago. And just by looking at the two-wheeler, you can tell they’re not far from it.

Thunderbike has been in the business of customizing Harleys for more than two decades now. The shop seems to be determined to break some record or something, as they now have in their portfolio several hundred bikes customized in one way or another.

For its work, Thunderbike uses both stock Harleys, which it modifies, or custom frames built in-house, which they generally gift with Harley hardware.

The one in the gallery above is called GP-Style, and it is somehow related to the Grand Prix we talked about earlier this week – that bike, in turn, is an evolution of another build by Thunderbike, the Outerlimit.

The GP-Style was completed back in 2018, and believed it or not, it used to be a stock Harley-Davidson Breakout from that year. According to the shop, “except for the last screw, the Breakout was disassembled; frames and attachments scanned and were taken as a base for our new parts.” And that shows, as this is nothing like what the American bike maker lets loose in Milwaukee.

The motorcycle comes with more custom parts that we can count. The wheels – both sized 21-inches – are from the Digger series and come with many spokes – that allowed for the installation of a “huge” perimeter brake from Brembo.

The engine is a Milwaukee Eight 114 from the Breakout series, sitting inside a custom frame drawing its fuel from a Thunderbike tank. The entire frame, so different from what Softails are over at Harley, rides on an air suspension system.

As usual, Thunderbike does not say how much the entire conversion cost. If you have the stomach for it, you can head over to the shop’s website, where most of the parts used on this are listed and available for others to purchase, and get an idea.

Racing Red Harley-Davidson Grand Prix Pushes the Outerlimit to the Extreme

By | General Posts

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

Over the past few months, as part of our various special coverages, we’ve talked at length about certain custom motorcycles coming from Germany. As you can see, we’re not quite done yet, because the number of extreme builds a certain shop there is responsible for is huge.

The shop is called Thunderbike, and this weekend we’re showing you a machine it unveiled at the 2016 Custombike show in Bad Salzuflen, Germany. It’s called Grand Prix, and it’s an even more radical interpretation of another build that goes by the name Outerlimit.

The Outerlimit was made for one of the shop’s customers specifically to mirror the design and colors of a Lamborghini Aventador. Built on a custom frame, it sports a Harley-Davidson twin cam 120R engine linked to a 6-speed manual transmission, which gives the bike a power output of 140 ps and 190 Nm of torque.

Likewise, the Grand Prix too uses the same Screamin’ Eagle, packed in a frame that offers a 1,780 mm (70 inches) wheelbase, 132 mm (5 inches) caster, a steering head angle of 36 degrees.

That makes the overall design of the bike pretty similar to the Outerlimit, only there are exceptions, too. The most visible one is the color. Instead of the white used on the Lambo-mimicking bike, this one comes in racing red, hence the name Grand Prix.

The wheels on the build are a tad different, too. The custom shop went for a new design, more aggressive, for the rims (they are sized 23 inches at the front and 21 inches at the rear) to give the motorcycle a more racing-like look.

We are not being told how much the Grand Prix cost to put together, but we do know that a lot of CNC-machining, CAD design and man hours went into making it look like an extreme interpretation of the Outerlimit.

 

BMW to Add New Cruise Control System to Motorcycles

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

For reasons that have to do with the way they are built and used, motorcycles do not benefit from the same wide array of comfort or safety systems developed for cars. Strides are being made though to have some of these technologies migrate to motorcycles as well.

As far as cars are concerned, cruise control has been around in some form or another from about the time they were invented, but for motorcycles adapting the tech proved a bit more complicated.

There are a few bikes out there with cruise control, such as the BMW S1000RR, or the Yamaha FJR-1300, but the tech is not widely available, and of course not as standard. BMW Motorrad plans to change that, and announced that it would “soon offer this type of rider assistance system.”

Called in BMW speak Active Cruise Control (ACC), it is a brand new system that has been developed together with Bosch. It can automatically regulate the speed at which the bike is traveling based on the speed set by the rider and the distance to the vehicle driving in front.

The system will try to maintain the distance from the vehicle in front as set by the rider, who can choose one of three settings. To calculate the distance, ACC uses a radar fitted at the front of the motorcycle, and it works together with some of the other systems on the two-wheeler, including the brakes and the ABS system.

The system can detect only moving vehicles, and will not react to stopped cars or traffic lights, BMW warns.

According to company, the new system is also able to automatically reduce speed during lean angle cornering, while at the same time trying to keep acceleration and deceleration within tolerable limits during an increased angle cornering.

The German bike maker did not say when the ACC will be rolled out and what models will get it.