Harley-Davidson has always been a brand that encouraged customization. Harleys have always come off the showroom floor as a blank slate, handed over to customers, and usually transformed into something truly unique.That drive and passion to build something with your heart in it is at the core of American motorcycling – and Harley-Davidson is keenly aware of it.
Continuing that long-standing tradition, Harley-Davidson has launched the Custom Kings Customization Contest. Dealers from across the US have churned out a one of a kind Sportster, letting their inhibitions loose as they shaped the Sportster into a work of art. On March 1, 2016, the top 64 entries were revealed to the public to help choose the “king” in a bracket-style competition at www.H-D.com/CustomKings.The dealers and builders had to score high marks from the Harley-Davidson styling team to make it this far. Some of the categories they had to succeed in include: Quality of customization and build, fit and finish, use of paint, design, technique and lastly, how teams utilized off the shelf Harley- Harley-Davidson Genuine Parts & Accessories.The platform for the contest was based on the Sportster, a line of Harley bikes that dates back to the late 50s and has remained popular since then. Since that time, it has been a hallmark Harley, unrivaled in its ability to be molded into something far beyond what designers originally intended and done so at an affordable price – an every man’s bike, keeping the American dream alive.“Customization is one of the biggest ways riders showcase and celebrate their individuality,” said Dino Bernacchi, director of U.S. marketing at Harley-Davidson. “Custom Kings brings that forward by redefining performance through the expertise and ingenuity of Harley-Davidson dealers throughout the country. All of the competitors have put in months of planning, building and straight-up creative thinking into each of the bikes featured in the contest.”It’s pretty simple: The entries with the most votes in each match-up round will move onto the next bout. Fans can select the final winner after six rounds of bike-to-bike match ups.Fans can view all of the bike builds by following #HDCustomKings or visiting www.H-D.com/CustomKings for plenty of information and eye candy, not to mention casting their votes.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.