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Thunderbike Archives — Bikernet Blog - Online Biker Magazine

Harley-Davidson Dynamight Is a Metal Predator

By | General Posts

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

The beauty about the custom projects, be it the car or motorcycle ones, is that generally speaking these products never get old. No matter when a build was made, and no matter how old the base for the project was, many of these creations still turn heads, cause a stir, or ignite debate once they come into the spotlight.

Take this 2010 Harley-Davidson Street Bob, for instance. Or should we say, the Dynamight, as this is its post-conversion nickname, bestowed upon it by the garage responsible for its coming into the world, the Germans from Thunderbike.

Completed a while back after a two-month effort, the motorcycle is a great representative of what custom Harleys mean over in Germany, even if, at first glance, it kind of does not look aggressive, as Thunderbike bikes usually do, but cutesy, like a metal panda of sorts.

But truth be told, it’s anything but. Packing the original 96ci engine, the bike breaths through a custom exhaust system, rides on 23-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels, and bows on an air ride system.

There is a long list of parts that went into the build of this two-wheeler. Thunderbike itself is responsible for most of them, from the rocker boxes and air cleaner to the fuel tank and forward control kit.

The clutch and brake cylinder are from Rebuffini, the speedometer was made by Motogadget, tires from Avon (front) and Metzeler (Pirelli, rear), while the painting is the work of a shop by the name Kruse Design.

We are not given any hint as to how much the entire build cost to make, but we do have the list of some of the parts used and their prices. Simple math gives us a guesstimate of at least 6,500 euros (about $7,800 at today’s exchange rates) – but that does not include a wealth of parts, the base bike, the man-hours invested in it, and paint job.

Harley-Davidson Big Spoke Is All About Wheel Play

By | General Posts

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

Wheels play a big part in the final look of both cars and motorcycles. Sure, together with the type of rubber they are shoed in wheels play a crucial part in the car’s performance or fuel consumption, but they are extremely important in determining a successful or less so build, visually speaking.

Because of the way in which they are made, motorcycles rely heavily on wheels to send the right message across. After all, the two elements are very in-your-face on bikes, and the wrong choice can break a project.

Thunderbike, a German custom garage that has been in the market of customizing Harley-Davidson motorcycles for close to three decades, knows this. We’ve featured them countless times, and in most cases the Germans nailed the wheel choice.

In the case of this build here, wheels were the defining element. They are, in fact, so important that the entire finished build, based on a Street Bob, was christened Big Spoke.

Big Spoke is the name of a massive wheel Thunderbike makes in house. It comes in two sizes, 17- and 21-inches, and three width measurements, from 2.15 inches to 3.5 inches. Its defining trait: the large number of spokes that make up the design, and play a big part in the price of the part: 1,723 euros ($2,061 at today’s rates) is how much the shop is asking for one.

The wheels were not, of course, the only changes made to the Street Bob. Its stance is different not only because of them, but also thanks to the use of an air ride suspension system and a forward control kit. There are visual enhancements as well, such as the new mirrors, handlebar, point cover and front fender, or the seat.

According to our calculations (Thunderbike usually does not say how much its builds cost) the changes on the Big Spoke cost over 5,000 euros (close to $6,000 at today’s exchange rates).

Harley-Davidson Street Bob Silver Shadow

By | General Posts

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

Say the words Silver Shadow, and the mind immediately links that with Rolls-Royce. The moniker has been around in the Brits’’ portfolio in various guises for about 15 years starting with 1965, but it is still talked about and admired to this day.

But how about a Harley-Davidson wearing the name Silver Shadow? Why not slap the moniker on something perhaps even more exciting in terms of thills, such as a custom motorcycle build, made in Germany of all places?

That’s what our favorite European motorcycle garage, Thunderbike, did with this former Harley-Davidson Street Bob FXDB. Not only did the shop modify it, but the bike was christened Silver Shadow in honor of, well, not the Rolls-Royce machine, but all that silver that adorns its body.

The modifications come in the usual Thunderbike packages, meaning the usual elements have been changed or tampered with in some manner. There’s a new and massive fender at the rear, the saddle is a single-seater designed to give the build a more bobber-like look, and there are custom wheels holding the frame and engine (the powerplant is unmodified, as far as we can tell) upright and off the ground.

The silver that gives the bike part of its name is abundantly used all over the motorcycle, from the rims of the wheels, to the front fork and even on the handlebars, and of course of the fuel tank.

Just like it normally does, Thunderbike makes no mention of how much it cost to put this two-wheeler together. The shop does list some of the parts used for the project, as they are being sold to Harley owners across Europe from their website, and a simple math exercise gives us a value of close to 3,000 euros (about $3,500), but that doesn’t include many of the hardware used, like the fender, tank, and brake discs.

Harley-Davidson Spoke Bob 23 Is How Germans Like Their Street

By | General Posts

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

The Harley-Davidson Street Bob is one of the favorite base motorcycles for Thunderbike builds. In the market of customizing Milwauke-made machines for close to three decades now, the German shop has made a name for itself with its conversions of the “gritty, stripped-down bobber cloaked in black,” as Harley describes the iconic two-wheeler.

Over the past year or so, we’ve covered Thunderbike quite extensively, mostly because we find their products worth talking about. Love them or hate them, the garage’s projects are unique on the European scene (possibly even beyond the continent’s borders), and so numerous they’ll keep us busy for a while longer.

Because winter is upon us and in most parts of the world bikes are going into storage, we thought to give you something to dream about in anticipation of next summer: here’s the Spoke Bob 23.

Built a few years back starting from the Street Bob, the custom bike sports fewer modifications than we’re used to, but effective nonetheless.

The build’s name is a combination between that of the stock bike and the spoked wheels used for it (sized 21 and 23 inches) – if you’ve been watching our Thunderbike stories, you know by now these guys do lack imagination when it comes to naming stuff.

Other major changes are the use of a custom forward control kit, a new air cleaner, and a Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system. Minor modifications include the deployment of a new handlebar and turn signals.

As usual, we are not being told how much the conversion of the Street Bob cost. Knowing most of the parts that went into it though we can estimate that to be of around 2,500 euros (roughly $3,000 at today’s exchange rates), but not including the base bike (obviously), the exhaust system, and the man-hours that went into it.

Harley-Davidson Knucklehead Project Brings Back the Cool of Pre-1950s Bikes

By | General Posts

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

Very few bike makers out there (and by extension car makers) are innovative enough to give birth to new families of engines that inspire generations. Harley-Davidson is one of those that are, as its powerplants were at times as famous as the bike models assembled in Milwaukee.

Say the word Knucklehead, and the mind immediately links that to Harley. And it has done so since 1936, when the engine came into the world.

Named so after the shape of valve covers, Knucklehead has come to stand for the type of motorcycles that were made in Milwaukee from 1936 to 1947, when the Panhead engine replace it. The name is still very much alive because bikes powered by this type of hardware are still a craze in the custom bike industry.

And you know that to be true when guys like Andreas Bergerforth, the main man of Thunderbike, a German custom shop specializing in Harleys, has one built for himself.

Put together close to a decade ago, the Knucklehead Project, as the garage calls this build, has all the traits of a bike of its age. Not only does it stay true to a wartime-era two-wheeler when it comes to shape and tech, but it also brings with it enough patina and beat-down stance to speak volumes about its lineage.

We’re told that for this bike to be brought back in shape, the original had to be dismantled “up to the last screw” and only then, after some love and care, put back together – there’s no mention on whether some of the hardware had to be replaced with new one.

Because this bike was built for in-house use, Thunderbike makes no mention of cost, but the Germans do say similar builds snatched back in 2012, when this one was put together, some 30,000 euros ($35,500 at today’s exchange rates), so that should give you an idea.

Harley-Davidson Doesn’t Give Bikes Girl Names, Here’s Stella Nonetheless

By | General Posts

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

Historically speaking, the name Harley-Davidson has generally been associated with males. That’s because, for one, it is mostly males that ride them, and second, because we can’t really remember a Harley bike wearing a girl name.

But the naming policy that led to bikes being christened Iron, Street Bob (or the same Bob, only Fat), or Road King does not apply to the custom industry. It is there and only there where you can find, for instance, a Breakout called Stella.

The build by this name is the work of German custom shop Thunderbike, a regular on this scene for the past 20 years. Although the bikes the Germans make are at times incredible, the way in which they name the finished projects is sketchy to say the least. Probably knowing that, their latest customer asked for the customized Breakout he ordered to be called Stella, after his daughter.

Inspired by an older build of the garage called Mitch, Stella has been customized in the usual Thunderbike way, with a big focus on six main elements: fender, saddle, tank, wheels, fork and air ride.

Sporting an air ride suspension kit that allows for up to 10 cm height adjustment, Stella rides on custom wheels, sized 21 and 23 inches, and wrapped in Avon tires.

It looks different from stock Breakouts not only because of the above modifications, but also thanks to a host of others. The aluminum tank and rear fender were welded by hand, there’s a special and short Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system on one side, and a leather saddle made to match the looks of the build.

You can have a look at all the parts used on this latest build from Thunderbike at this link. Don’t expect to get an idea of how much the project is worth, as the Germans are not in the habit of revealing that. We punched in some numbers though, as they appear in the garage’s inventory, and the around 30 different items used to complete this motorcycle amount to some 15,000 euros. That’s the equivalent of roughly $17,700 at today’s exchange rates, or dangerously close to the starting price of the bike in factory form.

Harley-Davidson Thunderbolt Is True Racing Street Custom Night Rod

By | General Posts

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

Back in 2001, Harley-Davidson decided to gamble a bit and risk it in the street motorcycle segment. It went for a new engine, with double overhead camshaft and liquid cooling, stuck it inside a frame, and called the bike VRSC. That’s more or less short for V-Twin Racing Street Custom.

There were several types of VRSC bikes made, from the simple V-Rod to the mighty Destroyer. All were exciting to look at, insane to ride, and have inspired an army of new Harley followers. But VRSCs are Harleys too, and what is a Harley if not a canvas for others to play around with?

We found such an example of a customized Racing Street Custom in Thunderbike’s portfolio. The German shop, used to changing the looks and performance of stock bikes from Milwaukee, transformed one variant of the VRSC, the Night Rod, into the Thunderbolt 280.

The name takes after the exhaust system used. It’s called Thunderbolt and comes from specialist Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde as a purpose-built hardware for the Night Rod.

But the addition of a new exhaust system is not the only change made. The bike gained an air suspension, a forward control kit, a new fuel tank, and a range of other minor hardware (things like turn signals and mirrors) that clearly make it stand out in a crowd. There is also the widened 18-inch wheel at the back, making the Thunderbolt look seem as aggressive as the Destroyer.

In its over 20 years of existence on the Harley-Davidson scene, Thunderbike never had the habit of announcing how much its projects cost. The garage does allow you to guess, though, as it lists most (but not all) of the parts used.

In the case of this here Thunderbolt, we’re talking about around 5,000 euros (about $6,000 at the current exchange rates), not including the price of the exhaust system, the base bike, paint job, and possibly some other hardware.

Harley-Davidson Street Bob Customized

By | General Posts

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

We may not dare call this Harley-Davidson Street Bob a Lady, but a custom shop by the name of Thunderbike, and the customer who commissioned the build, sure do. In fact, this is the stage name for this German conversion that was completed a while back, in 2014.

The motorcycle started life as a Street Bob, a machine Harley itself likes to describe as a “gritty, stripped-down bobber cloaked in black.” Now, the remade two-wheeler was christened Lady, but not before being gifted with tons of custom hardware and a unique paint job that kind of make the Harley description obsolete.

But first things first. As usual with most other Thunderbike projects, this too received a host of improvements. These include the fitting of custom wheels, sized 21 and 23 inches, protected by bespoke fenders front and rear. We also get a special exhaust system by Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde, a new swingwarm, and a forward control kit.

The paint job was the responsibility of a brand called Kruse Design, as usual in the projects signed by Thunderbike. In this particular case, the black of the wheels and engine was blended with a shade of crimson on the fuel tank, fenders and headlamp, offset here and there by touches of gold – and since we’re not given any other indication as to the origins of the build’s name, we’re left believing the paint job is the main reason behind it.

As for the price of the project, that’s anybody’s guess. We spent some time going through the parts used by Thunderbike, and came up with an estimate of around 5,000 euros ($5,800 at the current exchange rates). That does not include the paint job, man hours and probably some other parts we are not being told about, so that sum could be just the starting point.

Harley-Davidson Street Bob Got Pimped

By | General Posts

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

Custom motorcycles (and custom cars, too) are like wine: the older they are, the more valuable – that’s why it’s very hard to find a unique two-wheel project from decades ago that is not capable of still turning heads.

Take the Harley-Davidson Street Bob we have here. Well, it used to be a Street Bob, as now it’s called Pimp Bob thanks to some bold changes made to it by a very lucrative German garage called Thunderbike.

The bike is 13 years old. Thunderbike presented it for the first time at the 2007 Custombike festival in Germany. Why we’re talking about it today? Well, like we’ve already said, we do this because unlike Orange County Choppers, for instance, Thunderbike did not have a Discovery Channel-backed show to highlight its builds – and that’s a shame, because a lot of them deserve their time under the spotlight.

As usual with Thunderbike creations, what we have here is a bike that sports not only visual, but also mechanical and chassis modifications.

The bike was lowered, its fork got shortened, and of course new wheels (with whitewall tires) were installed. Go to with the new stance Thunderbike either created some custom parts, or sourced them from Harley itself. The front and rear fenders, for instance, are made by the Americans, but the seat, footpegs, rims (and the brake discs than stop them from spinning) are German-made. The paint job is the work of Thunderbike’s favorite partner in this segment, Kruse Design, and brings a certain vintage vibe to the whole thing.

The engine of this thing is still the stock 96ci unit. The difference is that it now uses an upgraded exhaust system, and breathes better through a new air cleaner.

We are not being told how much it cost to make the motorcycle. Also, because it is more than a decade old, we have no info on its whereabouts and exploits.

Harley-Davidson Flying Panhead

By | General Posts

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

Almost two decades ago, Discovery Channel started airing a show called “American Chopper.” It was the story of Orange County Choppers, and how the two Teutuls managed to get incredible two-wheelers done while going at each other’s throats. It was fun, it was exciting, and it was sad. And then it ended.

The show was made possible thanks to the existence of a large number of custom motorcycle garages in the States, and the incredible builds they make. Other regions are less appealing for networks in this respect, because there’s not much going on there, and that’s why we don’t have, for instance, a British Chopper show.

But there could be a German one. For the past 20-something years, a group called Thunderbike has been breaking norms and turning heads there. The garage has created literally hundreds of projects either based on stock Harley-Davidson motorcycles, or on custom frames made in-house, powered by and fitted with Harley hardware.

Thunderbike’s portfolio is so vast we’ve been talking about it all year, and we are not even close to the finish line. That means that we’re not only covering the shop’s most recent builds, but also much older ones. Why? Because there’s no Discovery Channel show about them, and this is the only way to bring them into the spotlight they deserve.

Today’s menu is all about a 1951 Panhead. Dubbed Flying Pan by its makers, it was completed in 2010 as the last in the Thunderbike portfolio to have “once sailed across the pond,” and is part of the shop’s vintage family of motorcycles.

Sporting the ‘51 engine, the Flying Pan comes with tons of purpose built parts: the handlebar, grips, footrests, fuel tank, oil tank, rear fender (there’s none up front), all and more have been made specifically for this project. The motorcycle rides on equally-sized wheels (18-inch) wrapped in Firestone rubber.

As for the mechanical bits, the Panhead is aided in its mission by S&S hardware (carburetor and intake), and a custom Thunderbike exhaust.

Sadly, we have no info on how much this build cost to make, nor do we have any idea what happened to it after being completed a decade ago.