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1984 Harley-Davidson XR1000 Street Tracker Up for Grabs

By | General Posts

by Mircea Panait from https://www.autoevolution.com/

Even though the Sportster line goes back to the 1957, Harley-Davidson treated the world to a rather special model in 1983 in the guise of the XR1000. Alternatively spelled XR-1000, the “street tracker” isn’t only rare but it combines XL Sportster parts with XR750 go-faster goodies.

You can think of the 1984 model year XR1000 as the best of both worlds. A “backroom special” is how Mecum Auctions describes it, and this fellow here is an unaltered example with the original paint and no mods whatsoever since it left the factory. And yes, it’s also looking for a new owner.

Only 1,018 units have been produced for ’84, featuring 36-millimeter carburetors on the right side of the motorcycle and dirt track-style exhausts swept high on the left side. Tipping the scales at 490 pounds (222 kilograms; dry), the XR1000 can easily shoot to 125 miles per hour (201 kph).

When new, the XR1000 used to cost $6,995 or $18,499 in today’s money based on a cumulative inflation of 164.46 percent. Iron cylinders reduced by half an inch, Jerry Branch aluminum SR heads, aluminum pushrods, and a 9:1 compression ratio are also worthy of note. With 71 horsepower on tap and capable of pulling away from as low as 1,500 revs in top gear, the bike shipped as standard with an electric starter and a rather small fuel tank.

Obviously enough, one of the many quirks of riding the XR1000 is the exhaust system. Not only does it weigh the bike to the left, but the headers could burn through the rider’s jeans. The suspension is another annoyance when riding on anything other than smooth asphalt because the forks are underdamped and softly sprung while the shocks don’t offer much travel.

Nevertheless, it’s one of the most desirable Harleys from the 1980s out there, a collectible if you will. Using an online valuation tool, you’ll find out that concours-condition bikes are going for $21,300 these days while an excellent example is $18,400 or so. The seller didn’t mention which chassis his XR1000 is nor did Mecum Auctions provide the mileage in the online listing.

Harley-Davidson Production-R Is Nothing Like a Series Milwaukee Motorcycle

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

We’re not sure how many Harley-Davidson branded parts are needed for a custom motorcycle build to justify the use of the name Harley, but we’re pretty sure the deployment of a Screamin’ Eagle, even on a custom frame, is reason enough.

Despite this name, the bike in the gallery above is of course not a series production Harley. It is actually a custom creation coming from Germany, from the hands of a garage called Thunderbike – we’ve talked about this crew’s products at length over the past couple of months.

As most of the group’s other two-wheelers based on a custom frame, this too was meant as an exercise for seeing what can be “technically feasible with Thunderbike frames and parts.” That means tons of original hardware was fitted on the same frame, linked to a Harley engine, and made to work both visually and mechanically.

The skeleton of the motorcycle is a frame Thunderbike calls TBR-R. Inside it sits a Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle 110 good for 100 ps and 160 Nm of torque. But that’s not the impressive part.

No matter your opinion on custom motorcycles so extreme, we’re pretty sure you can’t help but notice the massive wheels fitted on this one, especially the airplane turbine-shaped one at the back. Sized 26-inch front and 21-inch rear, they eclipse pretty much every single other part of the build.

As usual, the Ingo Kruse-painted bike rides on an air suspension that should give it a bit more ground clearance that shown in the photos above.

The Harley-Davidson Production-R by Thunderbike made its official debut way back in 2014 at the European Bike Week in Faak, Austria. We are not being told what happened to it since, but we’re pretty certain we’ve seen an evolution of the design language chosen for this bike making quite an impression on subsequent Thunderbike creations.

Harley-Davidson Marrajo Is How Two-Wheeled Metal Sharks Look Like

By | General Posts

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

It’s Two-Wheeler Month here at autoevolution, and since the beginning of June we’ve tried to bring you not only the best, but also the craziest vehicles on two wheels. But never until now did we uncover something like the bike in the gallery below.

Custom motorcycle shops, especially those usually handling Harley-Davidsons, have made a habit out of creating complicated builds meant to send whatever message the garage needs sending. We’re not sure what the message of this one is, but we still like it.

The two-wheeler you can see in the gallery is called Marrajo; that’s the Spanish word for the shortfin mako shark. It’s in Spanish because the build belongs to a Spanish shop that goes by the name El Solitario MC.

Sometime in its past, this motorcycle was a 1998 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200. El Solitario came across it at a time when it had just 10,000 miles on it (16,000 km), and decided to turn into a “Chupito but suitable for longer distance cruising.” For reference, Chupito is also an El Solitario creation based on a 1977 Ducati 350.

Chupito is funky-looking too, but this Harley is a whole new level of funky, probably thanks to the shark snout-like nacelle fitted around the headlight, and the steel bars that rise from under the seat to form what is supposed to be a shark fin.

There are tons of other custom parts fitted on the bike, ranging from the leather seat to the modified fenders. They all combine with one another and the colors chosen for the tank and exhaust to create an image the Milwaukee-based bike maker never had in mind for this particular 1200.

El Solitario says because the engine had barely been used before they got their hands on the bike, it required no extra work, and the entire build “runs like an angry shark.’

Harley-Davidson Titanium Is a Lower and Slimmer Breakout

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

German Harley-Davidson dealer/custom bike builder Thunderbike has been in the business of reimagining Milwaukee made machines for two decades now, and one of the favorite stock motorcycles it likes to tamper with is the Breakout.

Part of the Softail family that presently includes no less than 12 models, the Breakout is described by Harley itself as a “muscular modern chopper that turns stoplights into drag strips.” For Thunderbike, the stock bike is more of a canvas to be remodeled at will.

The Breakout conversion in the gallery above is called Titanium, and that name was chosen because almost all the aluminum parts fitted on the motorcycle have been polished in titanium – and there’s a long list of them, ranging from the tiny side mount license bracket to the more visible 21- and 23-inch wheels.

Some of these parts have other functions than being just visual enhancements for the custom build. The air suspension, for instance, brings the two-wheeler much closer to the ground than in stock form, while the wheels, fork and custom fuel tank significantly alters the shape of the bike compared to the original Breakout.

The engine remains the stock 114ci fitted from factory, only it breathes through a Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system.

Visually, the cold look of the Titanium-polished parts is enhanced by means of a custom paint job performed by one of Thunderbike’s favorite partners in this field, Ingo Kruse. The German garage says it took just a few weeks to put together, paint job included.

The bike in this condition, which was first shown in public last year at the garage’s Jokerfest event, is listed by Thunderbie as for sale, but no mention of the price is given. Full details, as well as a way to contact the garage, can be found at this link.

Harley-Davidson Roar Packs Screamin’ Eagle Stage 3 Kit, Is a Quarter Mile Devil

By | General Posts

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

During our Harley-Davidson month event back in April, we talked at length about this year’s Harley King of Kings competition, and over the course of a couple of weeks we got to see 15 incredible builds from across the world. But the bike maker’s customizing competition has been around for a while now, and stunning creations have been made in the previous years as well.

The motorcycle in the gallery above is one of the older bikes entered in the Battle of the Kings in 2019 – that’s how the competition was called last year. It is the work of German garage Thunderbike, it is based on the FXDR 114, and is supposed to be “a deep and evil dragster conversion.”

The official name of the bike is Roar, probably because that’s the sound it should be making thanks to the fitting of a Stage 3 tuning kit that increased the Screamin’ Eagle engine’s displacement to 117ci, but also added around 40 percent more power over the stock output.

Because bikes taking part in this type of Harley build-off competitions need to be styled in a unique manner as well, Thunderbike did that by adding hardware from their rather large inventory. In all, 21 custom Thunderbike parts were fitted on the two-wheeler, accompanied by 9 custom Harley parts that are not usually deployed from the factory on the FXDR.

To make a more fierce dragster out of the build, Thunderbike also lowered the height of the chassis by 50 mm and added a 260 mm rear tire to better make the connection to the road.

As for the paint job, that is the work of Thunderbike’s usual partner in this field, Ingo Kruse, and is a mix of black, orange and white that makes the bike look quite joyful.

You can see the Harley-Davidson Roar in detail in the gallery above and the video attached below.


Harley-Davidson’s gyroscope patent app would help new riders not drop their bikes

By | General Posts

by Kyle Hyatt from https://www.cnet.com

The system would fit inside a top case and be easily removable from the motorcycle.

So, the thing is about motorcycles is that even the light ones are real damned heavy and that means that keeping one upright — particularly as a new rider — can not only be tough, it’s also intimidating.

Harley-Davidson — makers of definitely-not-lightweight motorcycles — believes that it has a solution to this and it’s kind of ingenious. According to Cycle World, Harley filed a patent application for a type of gyroscope that would work at very low speeds to keep the bike upright and make the bike a little easier to sling up when dropped.

The best part is that this whole gyroscope deal is designed to fit inside Harley’s already-existing top case, so you don’t need to build it into the motorcycle — something that would drive up cost and complexity — and which also means you can remove it once you feel more comfortable with your motorcycle.

Like all gyroscopes, this one works by using an electric motor to spin a heavy weight around really fast (like between 10,000 and 20,000 rpm), and that motion imparts a stabilizing effect on the motorcycle at low speeds. The gyro would shut off at speeds over three miles per hour because as you begin moving faster, the motorcycle’s wheels start to offer their own gyroscopic stabilizing effect.

Also cool is that this wouldn’t necessarily be limited to one bike. As long as you had a power source and a way for the unit to detect vehicle speed, it would work. Now, precisely what something like this would retail for is hard to say, but if it’s coming from Harley, we expect that it wouldn’t be especially cheap, if it ever comes to market.

Harley-Davidson Black Rebel Is a Full Custom Thunderbike

By | General Posts

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

As one of the largest Harley-Davidson garages on the European continent, Thunderbike has a long list of custom parts at the ready for any build that is required of them. And with 20 years of customizing Harleys behind them, the Germans are not playing around.

Usually Thunderbike builds come to the world as per customer request, but from time to time they do make a project or two just as a means to showcase that wealth of parts. The bike in the gallery above, called Black Rebel (alternatively spelled Blackrebell), has been made to fulfill the wishes of a customer.

Based on a Softail FXDR, the build has been designed as the “full Thunderbike drone.” It comes with a long list of custom parts, ranging from the license plate frame to the exhaust system that swerves toward the rear.

“The Blackrebell got the complete series of the new Thunderbike FXDR parts,” says the tuner, the most prominent of which being the front and rear fenders that cover the massive wheels.

As most other Thunderbike builds, this one rides on an air suspension system also, which depending on the swing arm can vary the bike’s ride by 100 mm with the push of a button.

The exhaust system is also of Thunderbike make, designed specifically to run with Milwaukee-Eight engines, and comes as a complete kit with header and muffler.

The host of modifications made to the FXDR make it stand out quite a lot from the usual production version of the motorcycle. We are not being told how much the final product ended up costing, but if you’re curious about an estimate you can head on to the Germans’ official website and sum up all those custom parts – there are 21 in all, each painted in such a way as to match the black motif of the two-wheeler.

Harley-Davidson Silverforce Is the FXDR Milwaukee Never Imagined

By | General Posts

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

Try as you might, there are slim chances you’ll find something in the long list of Harley motorcycle models that’s not customizable. No matter the class, model or variant of the bike, a shop somewhere more than likely has a thing or two in mind that could change the stock look into something more exciting.

Take the FXDR for instance, one of the many versions available in the bike maker’s Softail lineup. The close- to-$19K motorcycle is not an unpleasant look on the roads in stock form, but that’s mostly because of the customizing potential the motorcycle has. A potential some custom garages like Germany-based Thunderbike have no problem in seeing.

The Europeans are a force to be reckoned with on the global custom Harley front, and they are even awarded official recognition from Milwaukee from time to time. Their chopperized 1995 Sportster called Emperor, for instance, was one of the main builds of the bike maker’s King of Kings competition this year.

The FXDR-based build here serves another purpose: to advertise the garage’s own custom parts, and how much they can change the appearance of a stock two-wheeler.

As it happened countless times with their builds, this one too is a moving display of imagination. A long list of custom hardware (from elements as tiny as the turn signals to more prominent ones like the huge wheels) transformed the bike into a lower, meaner and more eye-pleasing machine.

As usual, Thunderbike toyed with the stance of the ride by fitting an Air Ride suspension over two large wheels, sized 21 inches at the front and 18 inches at the rear. The custom paint, mostly gray, has been generously spread on the custom fenders and tank, and together with the silvery-look of the Kesstech exhaust is supposed to give the build a “rocket-like spaceship look.“

The Silverforce, as the Germans call their creation, is not a series production bike, but almost every single one of the parts on it can be specified for whatever Harley models their customers ride.

Harley-Davidson Razorback Is a Sharp, Low and Loud Breakout

By | General Posts

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

Harley-Davidson describes its Breakout model as a “muscular modern chopper with pure stop you in your tracks attitude” and by all accounts they are right. But as is the case with most Harleys, the Breakout too can be much more than what stock has to offer.

Usually coming to the road as a long ride with round lines, the Breakout was turned into something else, lower and sharper, by a German custom shop by the name of Thunderbike.

The group has been in the business of selling both stock Harleys and customized parts for them for the past 20 years, and it is one of the most active such garages in the industry.

Their Breakout conversion is named Razorback mostly due to the fact that the soft, flowing fuel tank and rear fender have been replaced with custom hardware, both designed with edges sharp enough to give the motorcycle a whole new shape.

Aside from the tank and fender, the Breakout has been fitted with the usual Thunderbike styling kit, which includes anything from the headlight to the license plate mounting.

New matte bicolor wheels, sized 18 inches rear and 21 inches front are of a special Thunderbike design, and to make sure anyone can admire the wheels in their full glory, a left side pulley brake system was fitted. Also, the shock at the rear was swapped for an Air Ride suspension that can bring the bike much closer to the ground than what Harley originally intended.

Also at the rear, a new Jekyll and Hyde exhaust system has been included to make sure the motorcycle has enough decibels on its side.

We are not being told what happened to the bike once the build was completed, but as with all other Thunderbike designs, this too is not a series machine, but more of a display panel for all the custom Harley parts the Germans are making,


Harley-Davidson Grand Prix 2 Makes Big Gold Wheels Great Again

By | General Posts

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

Whereas American custom motorcycle garages have a thing for choppers, with their extended front ends and lowered rear suspension, elsewhere in the world the focus is on something else: massive, intricately-designed wheels, fitted on custom frames that ride so low they almost touch the ground.

One of the largest custom shops outside the U.S. is in Germany and goes by the name of Thunderbike. For the past 20 years, the crew there released a great number of customized Harleys, but also a long list of custom frames running Harley powertrains.

The custom frame in the gallery above, complete with its Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle 110ci engine, is one of those special builds. Completed in 2017, it is part of a set of bikes the group calls the Racing Series, which also includes motorcycles like the Laguna Seca, Silverstone and Mugello.

As with most other Thunderbike creations, this too has been made to be a display of custom parts the garage is selling. The focus, as admitted by the builders themselves, was on the wheels, elements that are not only big (sized 23 and 21 inches), but also complicated in design.

What’s more interesting about them is that somehow Thunderbike managed to make the gold on the milled hardware look right at home next to the red, white and blue of the bike’s body.

“Used properly, they can become the most important style elements and make a great impression on a bike,” Thuderbike says about the build.

“It’s the combination of these powerful wheels, the radial brakes, the clippers and an extremely low seating position that make this bike look like a brutal racing dragster.”

The very lowered stance of the bike as seen in the gallery above is supposedly the one displayed while the build is standing still, as there’s a custom air ride suspension that could save both the underside of the two-wheeler and the wellbeing of the rider in case an unexpected bump in the road suddenly appears.