William Harley’s and Arthur Davidson’s first creation wasn’t even a decent motorcycle. Designed in 1901 and finally produced in 1903, their bike couldn’t even climb a hill. But that didn’t stop them from creating one of the most historic and iconic motorcycle brands in the whole world.
Today, it’s hard to find anyone who’s not familiar with their bikes. As they are always on the road, ready to take on the world, and our hearts. Harley Davidson motorcycles rarely disappoint, and that’s a fact. But, custom Harleys are on a whole other level. They are a form of self-expression, almost like artworks, combined with some of the greatest engineering. They move everyone’s souls just as quickly as they move the riders’ bodies. Here you can find the coolest custom Harleys that we’d spend all our money on.
10 “Thunderstruck” Harley-Davidson XR1200 by Officine D.C
Not many Harley fans are going to like this custom XR1200, but that’s fine, we love a little bit of controversy. The “Thunderstruck” was built by Leonardo de Canio from Officine D.C, taking inspiration from the iconic song from AC/DC with the same name. After a long time of trying to match the tune of the song with the looks of the motorcycle, he finally created something as iconic as the Thunderstruck.
And they are plenty of things to appreciate this custom Harley for. Starting from the carbon fiber bodywork which gives the Harley a more lightweight and sport-oriented performance. However, what we love the most about this motorcycle is the front fairing, which looks absolutely stunning.
9 The ’00 Harley Fat Boy by GS Mashin
Have you ever seen a cooler Fat Boy custom? We doubt it. This ’00 Fat Boy was built by Tom Mosimann, a Swiss custom builder working under GS Mashin. He took the inspiration from early drag strip and salt races, instead of building yet another cafe racer. And considering how unique this Fat Boy is, we’re quite impressed.
The ’00 Fat Boy’s life started in 2000, as the name suggests, and today it is considered a modern classic. That’s not a surprise considering the bike’s outstanding aerodynamics due to the front fairing, or the unusual tank. Not to mention the overall new clothes, and hand-built exhaust system that will wake up all your neighbors. What’s not to love?
8 “El Cochino” by Altes Eisen
Whether you’re going to like this bike or not, depends all on your opinion of what a customized bike should look like. But no matter your expectations, this one has got to surprise you. The “El Cochino” built by Germany’s Altes Eisen studio isn’t either a cafe racer or a scrambler. We think it belongs in a Steampunk version of Germany.
The name “El Cochino” translates to Old Iron, and is the perfect proof that these German motorcycle enthusiasts prefer everything old school, and reject modernity. There are no fuel injections or any anti-brake systems, and although it looks like a prop bike for some weird, dark movie, it is completely functional. We’re intimidated by it, but we also love it.
7 The Gentleman Jim By Deus Ex Machina
Hopefully, you all know Deux Ex Machina. If you don’t, let us tell you that they’ve built some of the coolest Harley Davidson custom motorcycles you can ever see. And the Sportser is one of them. In fact, if you’re familiar with them, you know that Deux bikes always stick to a set of rules, whether they are aesthetic or mechanical. They don’t go out of their comfort zone much, but it suits them quite well.
And that’s why we love this Gentleman Jim so much, it’s completely understated and under the radar, gentle on the outside but a true beast on the inside. Underneath the calm look, there’s a 45-degree v-twin engine from the Harley Sporster. We haven’t seen any bike that complements such performance by an extremely elegant look, just like its namesake.
6 The Pata Negra by Speed Merchants
This 2005 Harley Davidson Sportser got the full treatment by Michigan based customizing studio Speed Merchants. In fact, in recent years, Speed Merchants have gotten quite famous in the contemporary custom scene due to their barrier-breaking designs. They aren’t scared to experiment, and this Pata Negra shows it.
The bike got a whole new rear sub-frame, and a bunch of accessories such as Magura handlebars, Accossato controls, and some cool front plates. But in the end, all that was left was the mighty engine, which was bred to 1200cc and the black amazing paint that we cannot take our eyes off.
5 The Ivory Comet by JSK Customs
Once you look at this custom Harley Sportser, there’s something that will really strike a chord with you. Whether it is the red aesthetic, of the impressive metalwork, or the modern cafe racer look, the Ivory Comet won’t get out of your mind for some time. This custom bike was designed by Samuel Kao of JSK customs, who never fails to impress us.
However, although this custom bike as a Harley Davidson Sportster engine, it is also a Ducati 916 on the terms of the bodywork. And that’s not an accident. The designer specifically went for the old-fashioned, vintage look, and maybe that’s why we love it so much. Nothing sells better than nostalgia, huh?
4 “Hooligan Tactics” by Rough Crafts
We cannot seem to decide whether the bike or the name is more badass. But for the sake of this article, let’s say the bike. On the other hand, how can we not? This is our favorite custom Harley that rolled out of Rough Crafts. If you haven’t heard of them, and still claim to be into custom bikes, then you’re missing out a lot.
But we happen to love this one more. The bike called “Hooligan Tactics” has an aggressive and fierce shape, drawing inspiration from street fighter aesthetics. However, its real beauty is in the detail: the rocker covers, clutch cover or the exhaust system, and of course the digital Camo style paintwork. Absolutely unique.
3 The XG750 Turbo Street Fighter by Cherry’s Company
Kaichiro Kurosu of the Cherry Company was specifically selected by Harley Davidson to build a custom Harley. And he knew exactly what steps to take. And it’s wasn’t something common or famous. To really stand out, he knew, he has to break the rules, and play it dangerously. Kurosu decided to take the XG750 and turn it into an ultimate street fighter.
The race-inspired bike was built by using trellis frames, girder forks, and swing arms. And of course, the most important part, the bodywork shaped by sheet aluminum. And let’s not forget there’s a turbocharger in there, with an intercooler and air surge turke. Making it one of the best Harley customs, performance and looks-wise.
2 Rusty Sun Softail by Harley-Davidson Onorio Moto
We cannot help it, but love and appreciate when custom builders decide to honor Harley’s past and that’s the case with this stunning bike you see above, and below, the Rusty Sun Softail. The Softail was specifically built to remind customers of the past in a time when Harley is shifting towards electric motorcycles.
The bike perfectly blends old-school exterior with a modern gasoline engine. Everything in it, starting from the tires, to the rough-looking paint, fenders, and tank has an old feeling to it. It’s combined perfectly with the pristine black finish, and we know it’s a bike, we’d spend all our money on without thinking twice.
1 The “Alpaca” Turbo Ironhead Sportster by DP Customs
Storming the streets with this “Alpaca” has to be one of the coolest things ever. Imagine someone not staring at you. Impossible. This traditional HD custom bike was built using the 1979 Iron Sporster and it’s turbocharged. However, unlike the other bikes from DP Customs who were built specifically to show off, this one is close to their hearts and personal.
The main idea was to build a low long hot rod mixed with some bobber style to make things spicier. And let’s not forget they threw a turbo in the mix, for which they had to rebuild the whole motor with new valves and new springs. And to admit it, it’s not the most practical bike out there, but why be practical when you can be wild?
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