"BATTLE OF THE KINGS

 

 

After weeks of building, sneak peeks and promises of what we have in store, every nut and bolt is in place and we’re ready to go into battle with our custom creations for the third instalment of the Battle of the Kings customisation challenge.


We revealed our bikes on Saturday 14 January and we now need your vote to help us win against the rest of the dealers in the UK. Click the links below to see our our bikes in all their glory and register your vote.

 

 

 

The Cookie Cutter Guildford Bike

Custom King: Michael Noble

Model: Iron 883™

 

Michael started Guildford Custom within Guildford H-D around seven years ago and has been part of the Lind H-D Family for just over eight. Having a passion for motorcycles, the culture around them and Harley-Davidson in particular for many years prior, it’s allowed him to turn that passion and flare for customisation into a 24/7 obsession. Owning a long list of Custom and Stock bikes over the years he currently rides a 1977 Shovelhead Chopper. This machine is ridden far and wide to shows and rallies around Europe and the UK. “For me it’s all about good times and experiences, the bike is the link to the experiences. Seems a little cliché but yeah, it is the great American freedom machine”.

 

We chose the Iron cause it’s small and skinny, just how we like our women. And you can ride it hard too. Taking inspiration from Japanese Custom Culture we wanted to build a super tight, lane splitter that you can ride and fast through the city. H-D Rail Collection cam cover and filter give the motor a stripped down look, mixed with a 2-into-1 Stainless Exhaust. If it wasn’t important we cut it off and the skinny H-Bars and smaller Peanut Tank mean you can attack all the small gaps in the traffic. Both Mike and lead tech on the project Neil, love how versatile the Sporty can be, lending itself to almost any “genre” or “Style”. Its cool, affordable and repeatable what more could you want.

 

 

Pig Iron Pig Iron Bike

Custom King: James Slessor

Model: Iron 883™

 

I’ve always had a deep routed passion for customisation, putting my stamp on something and really making it my own. From my push bikes as a kid, to some of the many cars and bikes I have owned over the years. Harley Davidsons lend themselves so well to this, as they are the most versatile and customisable bikes on the market, with such a vast array of parts, accessories and knowledge available, no two Harleys need look the same.

The bike we have selected this year is a 2017 MY XL883N, sportster iron. We have selected this bike with its timeless ‘Old School’ style in mind, and endless customisable features. This year we decided to go for a Rat Rod theme build, working on the basis of less is more.

 

Starting from the ground up, we went for some white wall tyres to keep with the old school look. As the Iron sports many blacked out features, we looked at details such as spindle covers to give the wheels and fork lowers a clean edge finish. Keeping with the blacked out theme we added a black crinkle finish clutch cover, and lower belt guard.

Moving up the bike we’ve gone for the classic HD Bobber solo saddle, paired with widened flat tracker bars and nostalgic grips, offering a nice riding stance, arms out wide and the seat down low.

On to the performance upgrades, a full stage 1 has been added, using a Screaming eagle stage 1 air filter kit and keeping the element exposed, together with an Arlen-Ness 2-1 exhaust system in satin black and a power vision remap, increasing the power by 10%.

 

The original HD colour, Red iron Denim was the perfect finish for the build. Taking inspiration from the Rat Rod scene, where less is more showing the bare bones of the machine. The Iron lends itself perfectly to this look, being such a classic style and versatile bike, with some modest modifications, you can transform this dark custom Sportster into a timeless Rat Rod style bobber with ease.

 

One area of the build were especially happy with is the Arlen-ness 2 into 1 exhaust system, this pipe stands out from the norm, delivering both power and an incredible engine note. Also the look of this system was perfectly in keeping with the overall old school theme of the build, finishing it really well.

 

 

Bootleg Norwich Bike

Custom King: Keith Foster

Model: Forty-Eight®

 

I have enjoyed the customisation aspect of Harley Davidson bikes since I joined the company in 2012. Ranging from a couple of bolt on accessories to full on customisation jobs with chopped / fabricated parts, custom paint jobs and engine upgrades the possibilities are endless. This means that almost all of the bikes that go through the dealership have an individuality which to a large degree remains exclusive to the Harley Davidson brand. All departments are actively involved in customisation of the bikes and this years’ Battle of the Kings bike is no exception.

 

The bike we chose was the 2017MY XL1200X 48 which is already a brilliant bike which is fun to ride, and even more importantly is a brilliant base for customisation because of its classic lines and compact dimensions.

 

We set out to do something which has a classy look whilst remaining a practical riding proposition. What we ended up with was ‘BOOTLEG’. The bikes styling is inspired by the 1940 Ford V8 Coupe which was the Vehicle of choice for Moonshiners’ and Rum runners in 40’s and 50’s America. With understated Black paintwork like its inspiration, the bike is also shod with whitewall tyres to complete the vintage vibe. The RSD Bob Job Boss seat moulds seamlessly into the side profile of the bike. The RSD Black Ops Tracker exhaust has a discreet yet purposeful look and is an audible delight not like any other sportster exhaust I’ve heard, this is complemented by a touch of modern with the compact and stylish Harley Davidson rail collection air filter, this is finished off with a stage 1 tune using a screaming eagle super tuner. Up front the ‘runner’ stance is completed by the fitment of Harley Davidson drag bars, these have been fitted with the subtle but extremely comfortable ‘get a grip’ grips from Harley Davidson. Finally those midnight runs a black daymaker headlamp has been fitted for brilliant visibility.

 

Highlight of the build apart from the end result was the RSD tracker Black Ops exhaust, as the black shield totally changes the look of the pipe, and the sound is like nothing else!

 

 

Bombshell Betty Reading Bike

Custom King: Richard Tegg

Model: Forty-Eight®

 

My passion for bikes comes from an early recollection of my dad picking me and my brothers up from school with a few of his friends on custom bikes and everyone saying to me is that your dad? My love of customising come from my uncle’s custom chopper in which he made in the 80’s. I fell in love with the bike and how my uncle was able to use a stock bike and customise and personalise something to fit his frame and stature. I now own and am currently restoring this bike. I can always recall the day that I saw my first Harley-Davidson and I turned to my parents and said that one day I would love to work for Harley. I didn’t have much experience in the way of customising apart from last year’s BOTK entry which was our first ever custom bike to come out of Reading Harley-Davidson and end up 4th in the competition.

 

The bike design was a collective decision by the whole team as we all have a passion for custom bikes at the Dealership, and we decided to go for an Exile influence using a ‘48 as a donor. We liked the idea of the short frame and fatter front end so we could show the world that no matter what size the rider may be, you can take a stock bike and customise it to fit, hence the 16 inch ape hanger bars. We also decided to go for a hugger rear fender that’s fixed to the rear swing arm so it gives you that stripped down, tail dragging and aggressive look.

 

The one piece of the bike that is special to us all of us here at Reading Harley-Davidson is the ‘RG6’ timer cover. It may be one of the smallest items on the bike but it make us all proud of the dealership and how far we have come in the last 2 years.