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

By | General Posts

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

By | General Posts

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

By | General Posts

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.

Harley-Davidson Top Chop Is a Panhead Ode to Copper, Brass and Nickel

By | General Posts

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

Nowhere in the transportation industry is metal held in such high regard as in motorcycle manufacturing. When it comes to cars we tend to cover metal in all kinds of colors and paints, as if to hide it, but motorcycles, at least from time to time, proudly display their metal parts with no shame.

Sure, there are custom bikes that get painted extensively to cover most of their bodies, but the engine, for instance, almost always remains exposed in its metallic form. And their a sight to behold, because what are motorcycles if not an ode to carefully shaped metal?

The build in the gallery above takes pride in the materials it is made from. Sure, paint was used on it, but we’re not talking about colors that remind us of trees or the clear blue sky, but ones that scream metal: copper, brass, nickel, and of course chrome here and there.

Initially a 1957 Harley-Davidson EL, the bike was modified at the hands of German custom garage Thunderbike and turned into something they call Top Chop. The idea was to have a motorcycle tribute to the “glittering choppers of the 70s,” and for the most part the Germans succeeded.

Just like when it comes to the rest of the shop’s builds, this motorcycle here is packed with custom made parts (that are also available for purchase), ranging from the handlebar to the fuel tank – it is the tank that gives the name of the motorcycle.

At the core of the Top Chop’s frame sits a Panhead engine with Shovelhead looks, and gifted with a Magneto ignition and a Mikuni carburetor. We are not being told anything about the bike’s performances.

The Top Chop is of course a one-off build (an older one made by Thunderbike) meant to advertise both the engineering prowess of the Germans, and the parts they have in their shop for Harley owners.

Harley-Davidson Ego Shooter Is Not Your Usual Rocker

By | General Posts

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

For the past 20 years or so, the European custom motorcycle segment has been flooded with Harley-Davidson based or inspired builds coming from Germany.

The group responsible for this onslaught is called Thunderbike and as part of our Two-Wheeler Month coverage in June we’ve talked about them at length over the past few weeks. Generally, we focused more on their most recent builds, but there are others, much older, that deserve their time under the spotlight.

For the end of this week we chose a build the Germans call Ego Shooter. It was first presented in 2011, at a time when the shop was half the age it is today. Unfortunately, we have no info on what happened to it since, but records, including photographs and a bizarre YouTube video (attached below) are still here to tell the bike’s story.

Built on a Softail Rocker base, the bike is described as “not exactly the first choice for custom friends.” The line was produced by the Milwaukee-based bike builder from 2008 to 2011, and it couldn’t have been more different than the variant portrayed in the gallery above.

As usual with all the Thunderbike builds we’ve covered, this one too is a mobile display of German imagination when it comes to custom parts. From the rear end that can move up and down thanks to an air suspension to the small fender at the front, all speak volumes about what stock Harleys can become in the right hands.

The exhaust system, air filter, pegs and handle fittings, fork, and the handlebar are just a few of the custom parts fitted on the motorcycle, all topped off by a custom paint job (containing more colors than we’re used to seeing when it comes to Thunderbike machines) that spells the name of the shop in massive letters on the fuel tank.

 

Harley-Davidson Solid Dude Is the Latest Thunderbike Stunt

By | General Posts

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

For the past month or so, as part of our Two-Wheeler Month coverage, we talked at length about some of the craziest builds on two wheels out there. A good portion of our attention was focused on a German group called Thunderbike.

In the business of customizing Harleys but also create their own frames for about 20 years, Thunderbike is one of the most active shops not only in Europe, but in the world. The number of bikes they modified over the years is simply huge, and there seems to be no stopping them.

Their latest stunt is called Solid Dude, and is a Fat Boy turned into the “absolute power cruiser.” Previewed this week by Thunderbike, the motorcycle is the usual display of custom parts extravaganza.

As they usually do when modifying existing motorcycles. Thunderbike seems to have spared no expense with this one either. Around 30 new parts have been made to work together and look like a solid piece of engineering on the body of the Fat Boy.

A quick look at the modifications made shows that, aside for the engine itself, there was little that wasn’t touched by the Thunderbike magic. Larger elements like the front and rear fenders are custom, but so are smaller ones like the handlebar or the turn signals.

A highlight of the build are of course the wheels. Sized equally in diameter at 21 inches, they’re of Thunderbike spoked design and painted in such a way as to match the bike’s apparent Nardo Grey paint wrapping. Complementing the whole thing are the pipes of the Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system.

We are not being told who commissioned the motorcycle and not even how much it cost to make, but if you have the time, you can head over to the Thunderbike website for a closer look at each part (and pricing).

 

Harley-Davidson Silverstone Is a Motorcycle Bumblebee

By | General Posts

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

After talking for quite some time about the builds coming out a German shop by the name of Thunderbike, one can confidently say that once you’ve seen one their builds, you’ve seen them all. Based largely on the same Milwaukee machines, they are generally moving displays of German custom parts, a sort of two-wheeled billboard if you like.

Yet these guys somehow manage to make each of these billboards look unique, and from time to time stunning. Like it’s the case with the heavily modified Breakout displayed here.

The bike is called Silverstone, and is one in a longer series meant to celebrate various racetracks around the world. Thunderbike calls this series GP, and we’ve already talked about two other builds belonging to it, the Laguna Seca and Grand Prix 2.

The series comprises both motorcycles based on custom Thunderbike frames, like the Grand Prix and Grand Prix 2, and ones based on Harley frames, like this here Silverstone. As said, this one is at its core a Breakout, one of the Germans’ favorite models.

Designed largely like most of the bikes in its series, the Silverstone is a wealth of parts combined and make to work together. From small to big (read from license plate lighting to fuel tank), they all make the build look uniquely incredible.

The perfectly matched parts are even more impressive thanks to the bright yellow color chosen for them, a color that fits it just as well as it fitted the Camaro-based Bumblebee from Transformers. In fact, with all the metal twisted together to form the bike, and the black and yellow sprayed all over, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to imagine this is how the Autobot might look like if it were a two-wheeler.

As most other Thunderbike builds, this one too is just for show and not a production bike. But if you will it, the Germans can probably build one for you.

Harley-Davidson Prison Break Is a Fat Boy Let Loose

By | General Posts

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

The garage behind this Harley-Davidson Fat Boy conversion calls its creation “one of the elegant custom conversions.” They also call it Prison Break, despite it having nothing to do with the TV series, nor the actual act of breaking out of a prison.

The custom motorcycle is German in conception, being the work of a shop called Thunderbike. On the market customizing Harleys for the past 20 years or so, Thunderbike is one of the most active such garages outside the United States, and one we’ve become quite accustomed to as part of our Two-Wheeler Month coverage.

Generally, the shop goes out of its way to create unique interpretations of Milwaukee-made machines as a means to advertise the long list of custom parts it makes. The Prison Break is an advertising tool as well, and it was gifted with the name just to attract attention. And it succeeded, bringing the build before our eyes in a “simple and elegant” form.

Thunderbike based this build on the Fat Boy from 2018, making it a relatively recent creation. It sports the usual complement of custom parts that range from tiny elements like the license plate frame and turn signals to the more prominent wheels and the functional air ride suspension.

The wheels, which have always been the highlight of Thunderbike builds, are in this case of equal size front and rear, at 21-inches each. They’re not the most spectacular we’ve seen, yet they do seem to get the job done on this particular Fat Boy.

Mechanically, a Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system, a pulley brake kit, and a fork lowering kit are all on deck to make the Prison Break look, feel and drive like an unchained Fat Boy, a tad different from what Harley usually spits out its factory doors.

The motorcycle is not for sale, but the parts used on it are. You can see them all at this link.

Harley-Davidson TwentyOne Pirate Craves an Outlaw’s Life

By | General Posts

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

“Treasures, women and fame: These are usually the intentions a pirate wants on land. Maybe this Fat Boy is not so far away from it…” This is how German custom motorcycle garage Thunderbike describes one of the most exciting addition to their garage, the TwentyOne Pirate.

As that short description reveals, the base for this build is the Fat Boy, one of the families of HD bikes born closer to our time. Only in this configuration it appears to be much cleaner and simpler in design, and it shows a somewhat more elegant stance.

The TwentyOne in the name is of course a reference to the bikes massive wheels. Not one, but two equally-sized 21-inch metal circles of Thunderbike make wrapped in rubber are the main connection between the motorcycle and the road.

As from where Pirate comes from, that’s probably just marketing, and a rather good one at that, as we’ve previously seen on other Thunderbike machines. The bike is named so just for kicks, because it doesn’t lack a leg (or a wheel, for that matter) and it doesn’t come with an eye patch.

It does come however with a long list of custom parts, over 40 of them in fact, some extreme and others less so. The handlebars, mirrors, turns signals, and pretty much every other small-sized hardware on the bike is new. And new or modified are some of the other, larger parts: fuel tank, fenders, swingarms, and so on (the full list of changes made can be found at this link).

Like most other Thunderbike builds, this too is a one-off, a display of what is available for purchase from Germany as aftermarket parts for Harley owners. It looks good enough though for it to be featured into some motorcycle flick, preferably ridden by some outlaw in search of money and fame.