Harley’s Battle of The Kings: Inspiring the Next Generation of Builders

Harley Unites with Trade Schools for 'Battle of the Kings' custom bike competition

Harley-Davidson Battle of The Kings

Entering its fifth year, Harley-Davidson’s Battle of The Kings is the ultimate showcase for ingenuity in custom motorcycle building. The contest, which pits authorized H-D dealerships against each other as they look to build the coolest custom motorcycle, has grown every year.

And the best part? The public was involved for the first round of voting through a simple online voting system; in 2019, 42,000 Harley enthusiasts voted.

Harley Unites with Trade Schools for 'Battle of the Kings' custom bike competitionSince the contest debuted in 2015, over 500 customs were built. Last year, 250 dealerships from more than 20 countries participated, and it’s expected to grow once again in 2019.

What makes this year’s battle unique is that the show is not only directed towards dealers; Harley has also included local trade schools into the mix. The goal is very Harley-centric – to help educate and inspire the future generation of builders.

“Harley-Davidson’s goal is to build the next generation of riders, and those new riders will need service technicians and customization experts to help them along the way,” said Heather Malenshek, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Brand. “Introducing trade school students to the unlimited possibilities of custom bike building will unlock their creativity and inspire them to think outside the box as they embark on their careers.”

Why did Harley Launch the Battle of The Kings?

Back in 1903, three innovators and craftsmen – William S. Harley and brothers Arthur and Walter Davidson – launched the Harley-Davidson Motor Company in Milwaukee, Wisc. Six years later it produced its first 45-degree V-twin – a 49.5cc engine that produced a mere seven horsepower – not much today when engines like the Milwaukee-Eight produce over 90 horsepower and 119 ft/lbs of asphalt-tearing torque. This 45-degree configuration became Harley’s signature engine and has been the core element of thousands of custom motorcycles around the world.

The Battle of The Kings was designed to build upon this story – one that ultimately helps builders and riders unlock their independent spirit. With the inclusion of trade schools in 2019, Harley is carrying this great tradition forward by inspiring and fostering the next generation to master their craft and realize their full potential.

Harley-Davidson offers a huge line of official parts and accessories, and is the leader in customization. The Battle of The Kings honors this legacy, and is bigger than ever for 2019, especially the U.S.

What’s New for 2019?

For this year’s championship, all customizers must use a new or used 2018 or 2019 Harley-Davidson motorcycle (excluding CVO and Trike models). The event will feature three distinct categories:

  • Dirt: Tracker, Scrambler & Desert Sled
  • Chop: Bobber, Traditional & Hardtail
  • Race: Street, Sport & Track

sportster finalist Battle of the Kings 2019In regard to the trade school entries, dealers will partner with local trade schools and provide students with access to H-D technicians’ creativity, customization prowess and technical precision, while allowing them to participate along the way.

The Battle of the Kings is a celebration of individuality. This year’s contest is about more than the finished project. The journey of the team and the build will be a key component in the judgment of the competition.

See the builds from dealerships around the world and sign up to get your free Battle of the Kings sticker by visiting H-D.com/BattleOfTheKings. Follow the competition on social media with #BattleOfTheKings.