Custom motorcycle

History of Harley-Davidson motorcycles

The history of Harley-Davidson dates back to the early years of the twentieth century, when friends William Harley and the Davidsons brothers built a small engine and then a prototype of a motorcycle.

Then the first factory was launched, followed by the production growth, military orders for troops during the two World Wars. Then numerous models, new markets and activities were opened and developed.

Today Harley-Davidson is, perhaps, the most famous motorcycle manufacturer in the world. Harley-Davidson series includes custom motorcycles, hand assembled, in limited edition and individually designed.

Customizing motorcycles

Motorcycle customizing is a culture of decorating, customizing and improving machines according to motorcyclists' individual desires. A relatively simple kind of customization is stylistic decorative changes designed to transform the standard form of a serial device. A more sophisticated modification involves replacing motorcycle units. Custom motorcycles exist in a unique copy or are created in limited quantities.

Unofficially it is considered that customizing began in 1933, when the owners of Harley Davidson could order an image of an eagle on the tank of their motorcycle. At the end of the 1950s, the first motorcycles appeared officially recognized as custom motorcycles. The founders of the modified motorcycles’ new styles, for example choppers, were designers and inventors Arlen Ness and Ben Hardy. The 1990s and 2000s were the golden age of customization, when such motorcycles became fashionable symbols of status.

Custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle in steampunk style

Dmitriy Tikhonenko's workshop opens a new field of activity - custom motorcycles. The first bike was notably Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200, released in 2007.

This motorcycle was modified in steampunk style, some details have been replaced. It received a rigid frame, chain transmission, a spring seat, a Springer front fork and a minimum of electronics. A carburetor was installed instead of the injector. Decorative fixtures were hand-crafted from copper, brass and leather to make the machine more of a kind. The original "bottle" color of the shields and the tank (the color scheme of the first English racing cars) is made by an aerographics specialist.

Customizing process
Customizing process

Customizing process

Customizing result

Customizing result

Styles of custom motorcycles

Sometimes people confuse the terms "custom motorcycle" and "chopper". Chopper is really a custom motorcycle, but not every custom motorcycle is a chopper. So, the basic conventional types of modified motorcycles are the following:

Bobber. The first attempts to construct other - lighter machines - were undertaken by the soldiers who came back home after World War II. In those days, these motorcycles began to be called bobbers, and this term was thus established. Motorcycles with removed, replaced or lightened parts are still very popular.

Bobber

Bobber

Cafe racer. The café racer appeared about the same time in England. This term was applied to motorcycles designed for small-distance trips, which were controlled by "coffee racers" - bikers who gathered in the evenings at cafes and pubs.

Cafe racer

Cafe racer

Chopper. In the 1960s, when "do it yourself" principle became popular in the United States, the concept of budget motorcycles, which made it possible to travel across the whole country, appeared. They were long, low machines, allowing you to go quietly and effortlessly all day. The classic film "Easy Rider" became the landmark of the new era of custom machines. These minimalistic, chrome-plated, motorcycles with an extended frame and fork are the most recognizable and shocking motorcycles today.

Chopper

Chopper

Cruiser. These motorcycles combine the beauty of a chopper and the speed of a sports bike. They are distinguished from the chopper by high power, slope and length of the fork of the front wheel, a smaller amount of chrome, a more modest steering wheel and a low split seat.

Cruiser

Cruiser

Rat bike and Survival bike. Rat bikes are assembled from several old, collapsed machines, little money is spent on the maintenance. Survival bikes look like the latter, but deliberately made shabby and ragged. They have appeared on the wave of love to the culture of post-apocalypse, in particular, to films "Mad Max".

Rat bike

Rat bike

Flat Tracker. The name derived from the competitions for which it was used: flat track racing is a race on the mud dump. Sports bikes are improved to add power and ease handling when sliding.

Flat Tracker

Flat Tracker

Scrambler. Machines for bad and impassable roads, especially designed to endure strikes and jumps.

Scrambler

Scrambler

Streetfighter. Sports bikes, which are stylized to look more combat and brutal. Such motorcycles are often used for stuntriding.

Streetfighter

Streetfighter

Brat style. The name comes from a custom workshop in Japan. It combines the features of a chopper, tracker and café racer. It features a shortened suspension and a rear wing, a narrow rudder and a tank, a flat or low seat.

Brat custom

Brat custom