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Harley-Davidson Fat Boy on 52-Spoke Wheels Is a Sight to Behold

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by Daniel Patrascu from

You don’t have to be the owner of a motorcycle shop to be able to make your own incredible designs. All you have to do is have some ideas, pitch them to the right crew, and then get ready to pony up the bill. And someone seems to have nailed all these requirements with the 2011 Harley-Davidson Fat Boy we have here.

The bike you’re looking at is a 2011 model year, but it doesn’t look like one thanks to over $9,000 spent on modifying it. In charge of that was a Corinth, Texas-based shop called American Eagle, and it seems like they more than lived up to their end of the deal.

In our view, the change that stands out the most has to do with the wheels. The original ones were replaced by DNA Mammoth pieces with so many spokes it makes one dizzy to look at. There are 52 of them on each of the 18-inch wheels, all of them black and beautifully offset by the white rims.

But these are not the only changes made to the two-wheeler. At the back the bike received a custom lowering kit, and a solo spring-saddle in leather. At the front, we get a slim fender, black upper and lower fork slider covers, and 12-inch, ape-style handlebars with white grips.

As for what powers the bike, the shop did not change that for something else, but improved on it. The stock 96ci powerplant was gifted with Screamin’ Eagle gray exhaust wrap, a Stage 1 air cleaner kit, and a Smokey Chrome air cleaner cover.

The bike is presently for sale on Hemmings with about 6,600 miles (10,600 km) of use on it. Despite the upgrades that went into it, and the way it looks, it doesn’t seem to impress people all that much, as for now just $7,100 have been pledged for it, with eight or so days left in the auction.

Harley-Davidson Vegas Is an Ode to Drilled Aluminum

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by Daniel Patrascu from

Much more so than when it comes to cars, wheels play a very important role in the motorcycle world. And we’re not saying that from a functional standpoint alone, but from an aesthetics one as well.

Whereas custom cars can be made to look good with a variety of such parts, custom motorcycle makers have to be a bit more careful in choosing their hardware, because a poor choice could easily ruin whatever message they are trying to send across. Of course, the selection process is much easier when shops have the means to build wheels in-house.

So is the case with German shop Thunderbike. In business for close to three decades now, these guys are advanced enough to have their own production lines for custom parts, including the hardware that allows the bikes to transfer the engine’s power to the ground.

Not once Thunderbike has created motorcycles with the sole purpose of advertising the wheels it makes in its own shop. We’ve seen recently that was the case with the Spoke Bob 21, or the Big Spoke. The one here, called Vegas Drilled, is part of the same category.

Unlike the two other bikes mentioned, which used a multi-spoked design for the rims, this one goes for a much simpler approach. CNC-machined from aluminum, just like most of the wheels Thunderbike makes, the piece comes with only 5-spokes, and with sizes ranging from 18 to 23 inches. Unlike them though, they have a bicolor cut and polished rim edge.

As usual, the wheels are not the only extra fitted on the Street Bob used as a base. A total of around 30 parts went into the project, ranging from the grips and ending with the air ride suspension, and increased the base bike’s value by at least 8,000 euros ($9,700 at today’s exchange rates, give or take).

Harley-Davidson Spoke Bob 21

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by Daniel Patrascu from

When they are not going for a full-blown shocker build like say the one Orange County Choppers used to make, custom motorcycle garages have very few options at their disposal to make their projects stand out. Finding the right wheels is one of the easiest ways to ensure a custom bike sends the right message across.

Having remade literally hundreds of Harley-Davidson bikes over the past 25 or so years, the Germans at Thunderbike know this all too well. Sure, they do make their own custom frames, and when they do wheels are not that important anymore, but when going for a Harley conversion they are essential.

So essential, in fact, that at times these guys even name their builds after the type of wheel used. We’ve already seen the Street Bob-based Big Spoke, and here’s another, the Spoke Bob 21.

Also based on the Street Bob, the motorcycle rides – as its name says – on multi-spoked 21-inch wheels that are sure to catch the eye as they roll down the street. But they are not the only changes made to the two-wheeler.

Thunderbike went in full custom mode for this one, providing their usual complement of modifications in four key areas: fender, saddle, tank, wheels. Aside from these, a forward control kit was fitted, but also a pulley brake kit to go with the build.

In all, around 16 elements went into the making of the Spoke Bob, all of them of Thunderbike design, with the exception of the front and rear signals, supplied by Kellermann.

We are not given any info on how much the motorcycle cost to put together in this form, but a quick math exercise (Thunderbike lists the parts used, and most of them are available in their shop) gives a price in the range of over 7,000 euros – about $8,400 at today’s rates. Of those, about $3,000 was spent on the wheels alone.

Harley-Davidson Big Spoke Is All About Wheel Play

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by Daniel Patrascu from

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).

M8 Carbon Fibre Conversion

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I’m struggling. Because it is difficult to portray in words how the rider, who’s fitted carbon fibre wheels, can instantly feel changes in unsprung and especially rotational weight. How can I describe how much better the brakes suddenly work? Or how much dramatically lighter the bike feels around corners? How the suspension suddenly feels smoother over small bumps, while feeling more controlled and responsive over larger ones?

I’m also struggling to keep the crazy shit-eating grin off my dial every time I roll out of my driveway. You see every curve and corner is a delightful experience, as I swoop through them with a flickability and stability never previously experienced on a 353 kg (778 lbs) bagger. Or any Harley for that matter. Like wow! This modification is truly that good.

Click Here to read this Tech Article at Bikernet.

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Ducati Streetfighter V4 Gets New Exhaust and Wheels for More Power and Thrills

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by Daniel Patrascu from

In the motorcycle world, Italian company Ducati was among the most active so far during this troubled year. We’ve heard plenty of news coming from Borgo Panigale related to both the bike maker’s road machines, and its racing exploits. And it would appear the fall will continue to be filled with Ducati novelties as well.

The Italians kicked off the new season with the announcement of a series of performance accessories for the Streetfighter V4. Taking inspiration from Ducati’s track experience, the list of available parts is spearheaded by a complete titanium exhaust group, new carbon wings, and magnesium wheels.

The exhaust system, weighing just 5.5 kg (12 pounds), has been designed to improve the power-to-weight ratio of the bike. As per Ducati, mid-range and maximum power and torque are up by 6 percent, giving the Streetfighter an even more aggressive road behavior.

Helping it channel the increased power are new 9-spoke magnesium wheels. Weighing 3 kg (6 pounds) less than the ones used on the standard version of the V4, they also help with the bike’s inertia. Figures show that this drops by 40 percent compared to the standard two-wheeler and by 12 percent compared to the S variant.

Last but not least, Ducati throws in 4 structural carbon fiber wings, a dry clutch, and a number of elements meant to made the motorcycle look more badass: billet aluminum tank cap, new handgrips, footpegs in aluminum, and carbon detailing on the heel guard and tank cover.

No modifications are made to the engine. The Streetfighter continues to be powered by the 1,103cc Desmosedici Stradale that develops 208 hp.

“The Ducati Performance catalog contains numerous accessories, designed and manufactured in collaboration with the best companies in the sector, capable of further enhancing the sporting character and racing soul of the Streetfighter V4, especially in terms of performance when used on the track,” the bike maker says in a statement.

Each of the new parts (which you can examine in more detail in the press release section below) is available on the bike maker’s website, or at select dealers.

Carbon fibre wheel sets for BMW S 1000 RR

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BMW Motorrad now presents exclusive high-tech carbon fibre components for the road and the racetrack.

The M Performance carbon fibre wheels for the BMW S 1000 RR are an ideal area of application for the material, which is processed in a complex process using high-pressure furnaces, the so-called autoclaves.

The benefits are obvious. Less weight means lower rotational masses leading not only to improved acceleration and braking behaviour but also makes the bike easier to handle. In short: The motorcycles become even more agile and dynamic. In addition, the carbon fibre surface, which is coated with high-gloss clear lacquer.

The M Performance carbon fibre wheels for the S 1000 RR are 1.7 kg lighter in total than the standard aluminium wheels, which were already reduced in weight by 1.6 kg when the two models were relaunched last year. All parts such as the five mm thick brake discs (standard: 4.5 mm), sensor rings, wheel bearings and tyre pressure control valves are included in the complete wheel set.

Harley-Davidson Radical Over 26 Is All About the Massive 26-Inch Front Wheel

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by Daniel Patrascu from

As some of you might have noticed over the past few days, as part of our Custom Builds Months we started covering more the side of the motorcycle industry that has to do with custom frames, because this is how you get truly unique builds.

Generally, motorcycle garages come up with a frame design and stick with it, if it works, for the limited number of bikes made based on it. But there is one such organization in Germany that has not one, but 15 custom frames, and made not a few, but literally dozens of bikes using them.

The shop is called Thunderbike, and one of those dozen bikes they made over the years is the one in the gallery above. It’s called Radical Over 26, hinting to both the type of frame used, and the size of one of the wheels that support it.

First, the frame. Thunderbike has about six Radical frames in their portfolio, ranging from lowriders to the extremely curved one that formed the basis of this machine. This one allows for the integration of Twin Cam B engines, and is made of large-diameter cold rolled ST52 steel tubing.

To power it along the shop chose a Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle 103 good for 100 ps and gifted it with a Mikuni HSR 42 carburetor and a custom exhaust system.

As for the element that makes the bike stand out perhaps the most, the wheels are seriously imbalanced in terms of size, and that, coupled with the very low seating position and the raised handlebar really make the motorcycle worthy of the Radical name.

Up front, the shop went for a 26-inch wheel inspired by the one used on another of its custom builds, the Open Mind, and offset it with a significantly smaller 21-inch wheel at the rear. Alternatively, the bike can be equipped with 23-inch front and 21-inch rear wheels.

We are not being told how much it cost to make the motorcycle, but the frame alone is priced at over 11,000 euros (about $12,500).

All Black Harley-Davidson Dark Dozer Sure Makes Those Wheels Stand Out

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by Daniel Patrascu from

Harley-Davidson introduced the Fat Boy line in 1990 as a V-twin Softail cruiser you could either use as stock, or modify to your convenience. And modified it was, as Harleys generally beg to be altered one way or another.

There is no shortage of custom Fat Boys out there, but some tend to stand out in a crowd more than others. Especially if we’re talking about a build that was made not in the U.S., where the majority of custom motorcycle garages are, but elsewhere.

The Fat Boy in the gallery above originated in Germany. There, a shop by the name of Thunderbike has been in the business of modifying stock Harleys for the past 20 years or so, and it has completed quite the number of projects during this time.

Most of the German garage’s builds are of course unique, and created with the sole purpose of advertising the custom parts available in Thunderbike’s inventory. But that’s ok, as thanks to this approach we get to see the unique European way of customizing Harleys.

In the case of this machine, the Fat Boy got the usual complement of custom parts, ranging from the front and rear fenders to the grips and seat plate, all wrapped in a paint so black it seems to be swallowing light.

We’ve seen Black Harleys before, but this one seems to look particularly appealing because of the way the non-color on the body, engine and exhaust combines with the shiny chrome of the re-milled wheels. In fact, says Thunderbike, the Dark Dozer was the first time “we’ve combined our re-milled wheels with a matt black finish.”

As usual on Thunderbike-remade motorcycles, the Fat Boy packs the stock engine, and the only modifications made mechanically speaking are the addition of a Jekill & Hyde exhaust and a new pulley brake system.

Funky Panhead Part 5

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New front wheel and disc brake

With the help of Paughco and Black Bike Wheels

Okay, so the classic 19-inch spoked wheel rolled in from Black Bike Wheels, in Van Nuys. They have grown to build spoked wheels for every make and model in virtually every size. Too cool. If you need a spoked wheel give them a call and speak to Elliot or Eric. Tell them Bikernet sent you.