2012 Headbanger Custom Motorcycles ReviewUltimateMotorCycling.com‘s Tor Sagen was recently in Milan testing the 2012 collection of Headbanger Motorcycles – the Woodstock Boogie Ape and Bobber, the High Flyin’, the Summertime, the Foxy Lady Classic and Bobber, the Hollister and Hollister Long, and the Gypsy Soul Bobber.
Below are his first impressions on each Headbanger motorcycle.2012 Headbanger Woodstock Boogie Ape & BobberThe Woodstock Boogie Ape and Bobber with its S&S Panhead 93 c.i. (1,530cc) air-cooled and carburetted V-twin engine is bobbed to perfection and evokes something nearly primeval in a motorcyclists heart.The engine stutters to life accompanied by a deep growling soundtrack. The Woodstock Boogie Ape Bobber really is a true bobber with a small rear fender and no mudguard at all over the fat front wheel that sits on a stunning springer fork.The wide dragbar makes it easy to steer, regardless of how fat the front tire is. A big fat 4.76-gallon fuel tank completes the impressive front end of the bobber. The seat is proper old school on both models but remarkably comfortable.The Woodstock Boogie Ape Hanger obviously differs by having that tall handlebar and a skinny 21-inch front wheel. In front of the seat sits a small 2.38-gallon peanut fuel tank. Claimed dry weight is 516 lbs., but the bobber must be heavier than the ape by law of nature but we don’t have those figures yet.The Ape Hanger is a pure styling element to add as much attitude as possible and it’s not made for corners that’s for sure. The Woodstock Boogie Bobber is my definitive favorite of all the 2012 Headbanger Motorcycles, and I’ll tell you more in my full review. Prices start at $33,125 (€25,000) ex-factory for the models tested. Adding VAT and freight etc it will easily come to around $39,750 (€30.000).2012 Headbanger High FlyinHigh Flyin’ is Headbanger’s muscle bike with a crude, cruel and beefy S&S Shovelhead 113 c.i. (1,850cc) V-twin engine.This air-cooled monster vibrates and shakes like a banker at the pearl gates and the torque developed is unbelievable. You really do physically feel that you’re sitting on top of a very powerful engine that lacks any refinement but in a good way.You will not want to do long journeys on the High Flyin’ though as that will tire you out quickly due to the big forces affecting the Softail chassis and drag handlebar. At a standstill it’s easy to admire the High Flyin’ 21-inch big spoke front wheel and 18-inch rear with a 180 section tire. A crown filler cap sits on top of the small 2.38-gallon fuel tank. The High Flyin’ starts at ($29,150) €22,000 ex-factory.2012 Headbanger SummertimeSummertime is Headbangers fruity and fresh offering featuring a S&S Knucklehead air-cooled 93 c.i. (1,530cc) air-cooled V-twin. The Summertime may just be spectacular to look at but it’s my least favorite in the range for ride and comfort qualities or the lack of them rather for a 6-footer like me.In many ways the Summertime is the most nostalgic in both looks and ride of the range. As with the other Headbanger motorcycles there’s no electronics, just pure V-twin engine in a chassis to suit.The T-bar didn’t suit me much and I felt the Summertime was the oddest handling bike of them all. The Summertime features the same type of seat as on many other models but oddly enough I never felt as comfortable on the Summertime as on certain other models.It’s definitely an accessory and I suspect it’s a love/hate type of motorcycle. Narrow wheels are the name of the game for the Summertime. It looks good but doesn’t ride as well as it looks. Model tested starts at ($37,100) €28,000 ex-factory making it the most expensive of the range.2012 Headbanger Foxy Lady Classic and BobberFoxy Lady Classic and Foxy Lady Bobber are so different from each other that they really are two different models. The Classic is a styling hint to the old Indian Motorcycles and is the only touring bike in the Headbanger range.The Classic has got a gem of an engine in the RevTech 100 (1,640cc) V-twin. The carburetor is tuned to perfection and it was my favorite engine configuration in the range. Lots of torque on tap straight away and a gorgeous soundtrack.A two-up seat and footboards adds to the comfort of this motorcycle which you could nearly call conventional. Leather saddlebags are standard and with the pillion seat this is the one if you want to carry a pillion regularly.The Bobber on the other hand is a completely different animal but still on the comfortable side with a large padded seat. I tested the version with ape hangers and the Foxy Lady Bobber handles better than the Woodstock Boogie Ape Hanger version.The big 4.76-gallon fuel tank in rust & gold paint dominates the front. The Classic starts at $26,500 (€20,000) and the Bobber at $25,800 (€19,500) ex-factory.2012 Headbanger Hollister and Hollister LongThe Hollister and Hollister Long are proper old school bobbers but they handle really well. The standard Hollister is sort of Headbanger’s entry level model with the RevTech 88 (1,450cc) V-twin while the Hollister Long featured the RevTech 100 (1,640cc).The footpegs are placed forward and the Hollister standard version has a shorter handlebar and wheel base whilst the Long is stretched out in all directions. Old school with a clam riding position is much more comfortable than it may look in photos and the Hollister Long is my second choice of Headbanger Motorcycles after the Woodstock Boogie Bob.The stretched riding position gives a more awkward shifting up process than the standard Hollister but that’s the only backside really. As your left foot is very near the primary belt drive it’s important to make certain there are no loose shoe laces near to it as it’s an open solution to all the models. The Hollisters starts at $23,550 (€17,769) ex-factory.2012 Headbanger Gypsy Soul BobberThe Gypsy Soul bobber edition is another stunning Headbanger creation and the features include a springer fork and the S&S Shovelhead 93 (1,530cc) air-cooled V-twin.The 18-inch wheels and drag handlebar creates a fine handling cruiser and the springer fork with a tiny headlamp is a nice touch.The small 2.1-gallon fuel tank doesn’t give you a good range but it’s probably desirable to stop often to admire the fine details. The Gypsy Soul starts at $28,222 (€21,300) ex-works.Photography by Marco Campelli and Orazio Truglio
This week, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the all new Ducati Monster. Big changes have been made by Ducati–has the company ruined the considerable heritage of the iconic Monster–or are the changes worth it? In the second part of the show, we chat with Nick Ienatsch, Founder and Head Instructor at the Yamaha Champions Riding School. He says: “We aim to change your riding life by introducing you to Champions Habits: The techniques, approaches, skills, and the mindsets of the best riders in the world. These Champions Habits are the foundation of safety and consistency to whatever speed you ride, in any venue on any bike. Street riders, this is just as much for you as track riders. The best way to make safe riders is to make good riders.“ We hope you enjoy this episode!