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Harley-Davidson Street Bob Turned Into the Black Denim

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

Generally speaking, Harley-Davidson motorcycles are not prohibitively expensive. Pair that with the iconic status of the brand, and you get the most important reason why there are so many Harleys on our roads.

A good chunk of them are of course stock. Of the modified ones, most have minor enhancements, both in scope and price, derived from the owners’ need to stand out in a crowd. But there’s a sizeable number of Harleys whose modifications amount to at least half the price of the standard bike.

Take the Street Bob we have here. Today, the starting price for the model as it exists the factory doors is $14,599, but this particular one is worth a lot more than that.

It’s officially called Black Denim, and was made by German shop Thunderbike at the request of one of its customers. The idea was to go with subtle changes, but the project ended up costing at least $7,000 on top of the stock two-wheeler.

Visually, the bike is no longer your average Street Bob. The rear end was made a tad fatter with the addition of a swingarm kit, new fender, and custom wheel. Up front we get a new wheel as well, a new handler bar for a more chopper-style look, and new signals.

Mechanically, the bike has changed with the addition of a new pulley brake kit, and an exhaust system from Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde. Other enhancements come in the form of air filters, covers for the clutch / ignition, and toppers.

Usually, Thunderbike does not say how much their builds cost to make, but at the same time they do list most of the parts used, and simple use of elementary math gives us a pretty good idea. In this case, we’re talking about roughly 6,000 euros, or the equivalent of $7,000 at today’s exchange rates – and that’s not including the man hours and the exhaust system.

Harley-Davidson Wrinkled Bob Looks All Military and Mean

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

If you’re a bike owner, it’s very hard to decide on what customization path to go down on, especially when there’s nothing to inspire the build you want.

One way would be to leave the design and the build to the custom shop of choice, and trust that what comes out the garage’s doors at the end was worth the while and money spent.

The owner of the Harley-Davidson Fat Bob we have here seems to have done just that. He trusted German garage Thunderbike with the creation of a unique machine, and what resulted is the aptly called Wrinkle Bob.

The bike takes its name after the colors used all over the bodywork. Featuring powder-coated military green and Wrinkle-style paint, it looks extremely solid and matt, while at the same time presenting us with a very soldiery feel.

Unlike most of Thunderbike’s projects, the Wrinkled Bob was not subjected to an extreme makeover as far as mechanical modifications go, but there are changes to talk about, especially considering how expensive they are.

The biggest upgrades compared to the stock motorcycle are the fitting of a custom aluminum fuel tank, an air ride suspension system, and a new forward control kit. The two-wheeler also sports new fenders and a custom exhaust system the Germans call Dragonfly.

The Wrinkled Bob is one of Thunderbike’s older projects. As usual, we’re not told how much the project cost to make, but given the parts listed as being used by the garage, we estimate the worth of the changes at around 7,500 euros (roughly $8,700 at today’s exchange rates). That’s not including the paint job and of course the base motorcycle – the price makes the Wrinkled Bob one of the more expensive projects the Germans have made over the years.

Harley-Davidson Vader’s Fist Custom Build

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

There are Star Wars fans, and there are Harley-Davidson fans. Somehow, these two categories don’t seem to mix very well, and this is why we don’t get all that many custom builds inspired by the George Lucas’ imaginary universe.

That’s also why our minds light up whenever a Harley-Davidson custom build dedicated to Star Wars pops up. And one just did, courtesy of our favorite German specialized garage, Thunderbike.

One of the garage’s customers, owner of a Street Bob, asked for this special build to be made. Called Vader’s Fist, the finished project is both a nod to Star Wars, and a testimony of what the German shop can do given the liberty.

Riding on 21-inch and 18-inch wheels wearing Shinko whitewall tires, the bike is a visual candy. Wrapped in a matt hues, it blends white and silver, but also black, to create a very solid appearance.

The main element of the build is however the fuel tank. The 15-liter piece of stretched aluminum features up top the split helmet of a Stormtrooper, making the Street Bob distinctively unique in the world of Harley-Davidsons.

As usual, the visual appearance is not the only aspect of the motorcycle that has changed. There are mechanical upgrades as well, designed to fit in with the theme of the project.

There’s a whole new front end with modified fork, triple tree, and speedo, an air ride suspension kit, and Streetfighter mufflers from Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde for the black exhaust system with short manifolds, among others.

As usual, Thunderbike does not say how much the build cost to make, but we did the math on the parts they used and came up with at least 15,000 euros. That’s around $17,500, more than the price of the base bike, and not including the man hours, special graphics, and probably some other hardware we were not told about.


Harley-Davidson White Sox Is What a $5,000 Makeover Does to a Street Bob

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

The name White Sox has been linked to the Chicago-based baseball team for more than a century. So tied is this name to the club that you almost never get to see it used on anything or for anything else. At least in America.

In Germany, on the other hand, the term White Sox is not such a resounding one. There, as in most of Europe for that matter, baseball is almost non-existent, so when speaking of White Sox people there usually mean just that: white stockings. Or, in the case of custom motorcycle garage Thunderbike, the term means whitewall tires for one of their latest products.

Having started off as a Street Bob, the build was christened White Sox not because of an imaginary connection with the baseball club from across the ocean, but because its wheels are wrapped in whitewall tires, designed this way as a tribute to the “bobber look of the ‘50s.”

The overall design of the bike follows the usual language of the German shop. The blackness of the build is offset by the said white on the tires, but also on the fuel tank, where the Harley-Davidson lettering was specced in this color. The Street Bob now has an entirely new stance compared to stock. That is partially due to the remade rear end, the new seat, new fenders, and a lowering kit that brings the height of the bike down by 30 mm.

As usual, Thunderbike does not say what exact changes it made to the Milwaukee-Eight that powers the two-wheeler. The only thing we are informed about is that the powerplant now breathes through a Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system.

As for the cost of the build, no official figure was announced. The parts listed as used on the motorcycle amount to a total of around 4,400 euros ($5,200), but that does not include the exhaust system, labor, and of course the base bike itself.

Harley-Davidson “Firecracker“ Needs to Be Seen

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

Back in 1985, a group of motorcycle enthusiasts from Germany set up shop in Hamminkeln, Germany. They started off as a repair garage for mainly Japanese bikes. The group slowly grew from being what they themselves describe as a “motorcycle shed” into one of the major names in the custom motorcycle industry.

And by custom, we mean Harley-Davidson. During its early years, Thunderbike repaired bikes, but also started toying with the idea of customizing them. Long ago they spat out both Suzuki and Yamaha two-wheelers, with a custom twist.

Later on, over a decade after being set up, Thunderbike decided Harley-Davidson is the way forward, and completely switched focus on the American-made motorcycles. Slowly the moniker became known worldwide first by selling these bikes, and later by modifying the hell out of them, and even launching a full line of frames to house Harley hardware.

Over the past year, we’ve covered Thunderbike’s work extensively. The Germans have literally hundreds of modified Harleys in their portfolio (we’re yet to find a more lucrative shop anywhere else), and they keep on coming, either as client-required modifications, or as special builds for competitions like the King of Kings.

In 2020 the garage is celebrating its 35th birthday. It was only natural for the Germans to come up with a worthy build, made for the occasion. And this is it.

There’s no official name for the motorcycle. Thunderbike only calls it 35th Anniversary Bike, because from time to time they use all of their inspiration for products, and are left with none for names. There is however one word on the bike’s page that would fit it just nicely: Firecracker. So we chose to call it that.

Usually, we would tell you a thing or two about the build. Things like it uses mostly Thunderbike parts, a touch of Harley hardware – including the Panhead engine – or that a lot of CNC machinery was involved.

But we’ll give you none of that this time. What we give you is a video (below) documenting the project (you’ll need about 30 minutes of your life to see it all), because the Firecracker is a bike that needs to be seen, not written about.


Harley-Davidson Ice-Cool Brother Is a Mean Green FXDR

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

Few motorcycle builders out there have enough products in their portfolio as to feel comfortable to reference older builds as soon as new ones pop up. Thunderbike is one of them, with the Germans having released into the wild over the past 25 years literally hundreds of custom bikes, all of them based on or heavily related to Harley-Davidson two-wheelers.

Back in 2019, Thunderbike built a special machine for Harley’s Battle of the Kings competition. It was called Roar, and came as a heavily modified FXDR sporting tons of custom parts, a Stage 3 tuning kit to increase the Screamin’ Eagle engine’s displacement to 117ci and give it more power, and a devilish, dragster-like appearance enhanced by the orange-black-silver paint scheme used on it.

Thunderbike’s most recent project is dubbed Ice-Cool Brother. Not exactly a cool name for a Harley custom bike, but it does send across the message Thunderbike wants sent: this could be the brother of the Roar, and because its painted grey-green, it’s Ice-Cool.

Childish reasoning, we know, but the machine itself is far from that. Commissioned by one of the garage’s customers, it comes with a lower stance owed to fork modifications, breathes easier thanks to a new air filter kit, and packs a bigger punch thanks to the fitting of a Stage II torque kit.

Thanks to the changes made, Thunderbike says there’s a 5 percent increase in torque right from the start, and at 4,500 rpm it even squeezes 14 percent more than before.

You can find the entire list of modifications made to the bike at this link. What you’ll not find is the final build price for the Ice-Cool Brother, but after some digging (Thunderbike lists most of the parts used in the project) we came up with around 5,000 euros ($5,800), not including, of course, the bike itself and the labor.

Harley-Davidson Fat Wolf Howls Back the Airbrush Craze of Decades Ago

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

From scenes from the Terminator to a replicated photo of a loved one, there was almost nothing people didn’t airbrush on the hoods (and other parts) of their cars. Not long ago, car customizers (and to a lesser extent those in the business of remaking motorcycles) went through what may very well be perceived as an airbrush age.

That age ended a number of years back, as people moved on to better things, and has been replaced by other gimmicks. Carbon fiber, for instance, is now used extensively, and often times even extremely creatively.

But airbrushed parts still have an appeal to them. Just take a look at the wolf painted on the fuel tank of the Harley-Davidson Fat Boy we have in the gallery above.

The bike is a custom work of German garage Thunderbike, and because of the fuel tank it got the name Fat Wolf. We are not being told who the artist behind the design is, but we can clearly see the results of the work: a two-sided story, with a white wolf looking away from the tank on one side, and howling at the Moon as wolves usually do on the other.

Because this is a Thunderbike build, the airbrush on the tank is not the single element that sets this Fat Boy apart from the rest of the pack. A long list of custom parts were added (from the handlebar to the footpegs), and most of the two-wheeler’s components were either wrapped in chrome or made from polished aluminum.

The most important addition to the motorcycle, mechanically speaking, is the linking of a special Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system to the Milwaukee-Eight 114. This modification should make the Wolf’s voice stand out even more.

Not including the exhaust and the paint job on the tank, the other modifications cost around 4,000 euros, which is about $4,700 at today’s exchange rates.

Harley-Davidson La Montana Is a Chromed Deluxe on the Soft Side of Custom Builds

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

We’re used to having our Harleys (be them stock rebuilds or ground-up creations) served in extreme forms. After all, there’s an entire industry dedicated to making Harleys unique, and what better way to do that than to go above and beyond?

At times however a more discrete job is preferable. An almost invisible lowering of the bike, the addition of chrome in strategic locations, and a medium-sized list of mechanical and visual upgrades are all it takes to make a bike stand out.

Over the past few months, we’ve talked at length about the projects, new and old, of a German garage by the name of Thunderbike. Just like the rest of world, the Germans too got hit by the health crisis, and for the better part of the year, Thunderbike has been up to much fewer stunts than we’re used to.

The Deluxe in the gallery above is one of the projects that finally made it to light in 2020. Commissioned last year by a Swedish customer, the bike was ready in no time, but had to spend about nine months away from its owner, given how borders closed and all.

Now the two are reunited, and it’s the perfect opportunity for us to take a closer look at how just a smaller number of carefully chosen modifications can rebirth a Harley.

Mechanical changes include the lowering of the fork and the shortening of the rear shock. New, bigger wheels were added front and back and shod in Dunlop tires, making the bike look a tad more compact. Some modifications were made to the brakes as well, as the discs have been replaced. We’re not being told if the engine was modified in any way.

As for the looks, the motorcycle is a chilling apparition. That’s due to the use of cold chrome in generous quantities all over the bike, and its blending with the impersonal touch of black on the fuel tank, seats, or fenders.

We’re not being told how much the customization of the motorcycle cost, but the parts listed as used for the build amount to a little over 4,000 euros ($4,700).

Harley-Davidson FXDR Turns Into Silver Rocket in the Hands of Thunderbike

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

We’ve seen over the years custom motorcycle builds being compared to anything you could imagine, but rarely so with something like a spaceship. Yet this is exactly how German custom shop Thunderbike describes its latest Harley-Davidson FXDR project.

The Softail conversion, drawing a lot of inspiration from another build called Silverforce, is the latest product coming from one of the world’s most active Harley garages. It has been assembled in the shape displayed in the gallery above at the request of a customer, of course, and no corners were cut, neither visual nor performance-related.

As usual with any Thunderbike machine, this one too sports a host of changes compared to the stock incarnation. Thunderbike has a habit of detailing all the parts that go into their builds, and in this case the list is over 20-items long.

Changes include the addition of custom body parts – like fenders, seat shell, cover kits, footrest, grips and so on – but also mechanical alterations to make it meaner – lowered stance, fork conversion and above all, a Screamin ‘Eagle Stage II Torque Kit for the 144ci engine fitted on the two-wheeler.

All these custom parts and modifications were made to fit together just right, and sprayed over with shades of silver, white, black and red by the shop’s usual painting partner, Kruse Design. What resulted is a bike that “looks as if it has come straight from a rocket base,” if there are bikes on rocket bases, or one that has “an appearance like a spaceship- fast and clean, without frills and gimmicks.”

We are not being told how much the entire conversion cost to make, but a quick look at the parts listed as used on the bike puts the sum at over 5,000 euros ($6,000), not including of course the base motorcycle and the work of the tuners.


Thunderbike Kreuzfeuer Crosses German Shapes with Harley-Davidson Power

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

It’s very hard to find a recent custom motorcycle worth talking about. That’s probably because the custom bike industry is much slower at churning out new products, and the number of garages doing stuff to/with motorcycles is much smaller than those handling cars.

So, when in the mood for some stunning custom motorcycle, the way to go is back in time. It is there you’ll probably find what you’re looking for – and proof of that is the Kreuzfeuer we have in the gallery above, coming to us from all the way back in 2005.

Kreuzfeuer (which is German for Crossfire) was built by one of the most active custom motorcycle garages in Europe, Thunderbike. It was completed so long ago that we don’t really know where it is at the moment, or whether someone is still using it as a daily ride. But it remains stunning nonetheless.

Just like a great deal of other two-wheelers made by Thunderbike, this too blends the lines of a custom (albeit mass-produced) frame called Dragster with the power of a proven Harley-Davidson engine, Thunderbike styling, and a crazy Kruse Design paint job to come result in a truly unique build.

The frame, one of the about 15 available in the garage’s portfolio at the moment, is equipped from the get-go with fuel and oil tanks, CNC machined aluminum swingarm, rear fender, rear wheel axle, bracket for engine, bracket for battery, and seat plate.

Inside it rests a Harley-Davidson Twin-Cam engine, 1,550cc in displacement and good for 88 ps. It is equipped with a Harley 5-speed gearbox and a Mikuni carburetor.

The entire finished assembly rides on equally sized (diameter) custom wheels front and rear, and a red-orange-black paint job adorns most of the body of the machine.

We are not being told how much the Kreuzfeuer cost to build, but the present prices for the parts used for it point to it being worth well over 20,000 euros.