Beautiful Machines Monster | The Eye of the Beholder
The act of naming is critical; it must embody intangible qualities, while simultaneously speaking to what stands before us. Through that ceremony, man wishes to think that he imbues an object with purpose, as if it existed, patiently waiting to be named. Those who constructed Monster—no relation to Ducati, and built by Beautiful Machines of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia—may not have had a choice in the matter.
At first glance, Monster isn’t merely fitting—it is intrinsic to its being. It sits, looming, with a macabre elegance to it—black, brushed aluminum, and white, a simple color palate that tugs at our collective yarn, pulling us into the shadows.
Perhaps this particular 1991 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic knew its path all along. From the moment it rolled out of the Milwaukee factory, it’s hard to see Monster as anything else. Foreboding, animalistic, cruel—these are the descriptions that spring to mind when gazing upon it. We motorcyclists revel in that—the challenge to build or tame two-wheeled demons.
All signs of its past life were stripped, baring the steel, Softail frame. Fabricators donned their protective eyewear as if they were surgical gloves, and began slashing away at Monster, stretching it in order to acquire a low-slung stance.
The stock forks were cast aside. In their place, a new, short legged, springer front-end was installed. Two brass caps jut out, as if it were Shelley’s Monster in the flesh.
The builders then turned their attention to the rear of the machine, adding the stock swingarm to the growing pile of scrap metal. To accept a 240 rear tire, a new swingarm was fabricated.
Basic controls sit in the cockpit with swept bars that encourage a posture of speed. The point is driven home by the drag-bike style foot controls that are boldly mounted to the rear swingarm, attached to the transmission via a complex linkage scheme.
Lathed brass grips add the final impeccable touches within the pilot’s seat. An over-under headlight that reflects design trends of the early 20th century gives Monster a face wearing a cold, calculated expression. There was no stone left unturned, as it were, even when preparing the base structure of Monster.
At its heart sits an 82ci V-twin Evolution powerplant that has gone under the knife, in more ways than one. With its mild-mannered disposition shed, the naturally aspirated V-twin now features an Aisin AMR500 supercharger. The maniacal desire for power didn’t stop there.
Beautiful Machines’ craftsmen needed to dive further into the Evolution motor in order for it to thrive with a supercharger. It was bored out, endowed with forged pistons, given high-compression heads, and converted to a chain final-drive that endures the vicious snap of a clutch dropped on the dragstrip.
A painstakingly constructed, scalloped exhaust system writhes through the chassis. All of Monster’s anger is spewed out of exhausts embellished by handcrafted shrouds.
With its primary cover disregarded in the process, a hand-welded representation of the Malaysian flag now sits quietly in its place, somehow failing to clash with Monster’s brilliant aesthetics.
Even in that state, before designers took to completing Beautiful Machines Monster, the build would have been show worthy. The finishing elements of this machine are, without a doubt, something truly unique.
The large, dustbin fairing is reminiscent of warhorses dating back to Mesopotamia, seemingly granting Monster the ability to barrel forward at an unstoppable pace towards whatever may come. Its angular, brutal front fairing, juts up to the luxurious over-under headlight.
Fine detailing is plentiful, from the brass washers under the decidedly industrial bolt patterns to the unexpected brushed aluminum twin-bar front bumper.
Those who turned the wrenches then worked back, hand hammering a fuel tank that blends in seamlessly. From there, your eyes will be pulled into the floating, leather solo seat.
Inspiration, at least when it comes to aesthetic choices, seems to have come from some unorthodox, but fitting places. Designers claimed that a Leica M3 camera body, the stature of a bison, and 1950s-era aviation inspired Monster. Eclectic as it may seem, the end result is nothing short of perfection.
At every glance, there is something new to appreciate. The cross-contamination of eras—early 20th century, modern power and speed, and design elements dating back to early man—makes the Monster the perfect representation of its name.
Beautiful Machines Monster is challenging to the eye, and rebukes what we know a custom motorcycle to be. In the end, those uneasy circumstances are where fear, and the proverbial monster reside, slithering silently in the darkness. Fear is a tool, often misunderstood, but a tool nonetheless. The builders at Beautiful Machines did not succumb to the challenge; instead, it was seized upon, and ripped out of the void into the light.
Photography by Julian Oh / Redd Bullets
Beautiful Machines Monster Specs
- Engine: Modified 1991 Harley-Davidson Evo
- Supercharger: Aisin AMR500
- Carburetor: S&S
- Exhaust: Beautiful Machines
- Frame: Modified 1991 Harley-Davidson Softail w/ custom swingarm
- Rake: 34 degrees
- Front suspension: Hand built springer
- Brakes: Performance Machine
- Fairing, tank, bodywork + seat: Beautiful machines
- Handlebars, footpegs + controls: Beautiful Machines
Beautiful Machines Monster Gallery