Custom Warr’s Harley-Davidson
Charlie Stockwell has operated out of the King’s Road workshops of Warr’s Harley-Davidson since 1996. Having spent 15 years working, living and breathing everything Harley-Davidson you would expect someone a little older but this guy is at the tender age of 31.
He doesn’t quite look how you might expect either. When I first met Charlie in the King’s Road showroom I was struck with his youthful good looks, 6ft athletic build and then his confidence and charm.
Not at all arrogant but someone filled with passion for what he does and like’s to push the boundaries when it comes to design. Whether it be the ultra modern and daring mix of styles seen on his Unorthodox Softail or his neo-vintage designs so familiar on the famous Warr’s Bobbers and beautiful "24" Boardtrack Softail.
Charlie Stockwells says: "I am always asked the question about where my inspirations comes from current lifestyle & fashion trends, from high end fashion to the highstreet. From furniture designs to the world of motorsport.
"Of course the history of Harley-Davidson too. I travelled a lot growing up. Mainly South East Asia and USA. I have stayed in some crazy places and seen a lot of unusual things. Mainly in places like Bangkok and other cities in the Far East. One of the things that always stayed in my head was how they styled their bikes. They were not always Harleys but they definitely had a Harley influence behind them.
"A mix of raw materials, brass, copper, aluminum and beautiful leathers and fabrics stretched over seat pans or made into small saddlebags. Using whatever they could lay their hands on then creating a totally unique work of art. The west coast of America is in a way very much the same. There was a certain style about the bikes in places like San Francisco, San Jose and down into Mexico. Incredible and colorful metal flake paintjobs and pin striping. Again using original and unique ideas for components such as the handlebar grips and footrests".
When Charlie was asked by his customer, John Hardcastle, to transform his H-D Crossbones into something unique, Charlie offered him to start a project that crossed styles both from the Far East and 1970’s California.
A mix of raw materials, traditional practices and hand crafted bodywork. Glowing metal flake paintwork. As with all of Charlie and Warr’s custom Harleys he insists on using the original chassis, engine, transmission and electrics. Keeping these components on every bike make each one as reliable and ridable as the original Harley.
After stripping the bike down, the engine cases and every nut and bolt were sent away to be nickel plated (something regularly seen on Warr’s vintage and custom bikes). The transmission covers covered in glossy black powder coat. He junked the original Crossbones bodywork and opted for a 2010 Sportster tank and internal fuel pump. It needed a little modification before it would fit the Softail chassis and due to the decrease in fuel capacity he sourced a Moon Eyes 1lt fuel flask to strap to the swingarm.
The fenders were hand rolled by friends of his in Japan. It may seem like a long way to go to have the fenders made but Charlie wanted to not only use some of the influence from his days of traveling around Asia but have the guys he met make something for the bike too.
As with many of his bikes, Wild Hog in Italy hand made and stitched all of the leather work. Saddle, side bag and fuel flask retaining straps. Charlie re-laced the original rear wheel hub onto a 16×3.5 rim and used the original Crossbones front wheel then wrapped them in Coker Rubber. Black front tire and twin whitewall for the rear.
All of the brass components, except the gas cap, were machined at the Warr’s workshops. Grips, pegs, spacers and mounts. The handlebars are a pair of Sportster Iron bars with the paint striped back and polished.
The headlamp was mounted low down on the left hand side of forks to keep the front end clean and springs exposed. A small side mount license plate holder was fabricated to also hold the rear light.
The incredible paintwork and pin striping is courtesy of Keith Baker of Classic Cycle Works. Charlie has had Keith paint everyone of his custom Harleys to date and says he wouldn’t use anyone else: "To keep with the theme of the bike we wanted to use a deep ‘Root Beer’ and orange candy over a mix of gold and silver flake."
Quite an iconic colour form the 70’s California scene. Then the details would be in the pin striping and the use of white gold and gold leaf. The end result is quite amazing. The depth of colour and dance like movement in the metalflake is awesome!
The bike was named the Frisco Bobber and rightly so. Branded in gold leaf across the oil tank.
For more of Charlie’s work at Warr’s Harley-Davidson please go to warrs.com.
Frisco Bobber 2010 Harley-Davidson Crossbones Specs:
Builder: Charlie Stockwell of Warr’s Harley-Davidson
Time: 6 weeks
- Harley-Davidson Twin Cam B
- H-D Delphi Fuel Injection
- Air Cleaner:, Warr’s Cali’ Chrome & Copper
- Exhaust: Modified originals
- Trans: H-D 6 Speed
Rolling Chassis & Accessories
- Frame: H-D Softail
- Rake: Stock
- Fork: H-D Springer
- Headlight: Warr’s Springer Side Mount 4"
- Handlebars: 883 Iron
- Risers: Brass
- Hand controls: Warr’s
- Foot Controls: H-D Softail Forward Controls
- Front Wheel: 3.5 x 16
- Rear Wheel: 3.5 x 16"
- Front Tire: Coker
- Rear Tire: Coker
- Brakes: H-D
- Fuel Tank: Modified Sportster & Moon Eyes Emergency tank
- Oil Tank: H-D Softail
- Seat: Wild Hog for Warr’s
- Saddlebag: Wild Hog for Warr’s
- Rear Fender: Yoshi for Warr’s
- Front Fender: Yoshi for Warr’s
Paint & Pinstripe: Keith Baker – Classic Cycle Works
Copper & Nickel plating: London Chroming Co.
Design & Build: Charlie Stockwell