Made In America. Reborn In Belgium.

One of the things I love about my business is meeting and talking to so many different people from different countries and cultures, all sharing the same passion for The Motorcycle, whatever brand and look it can be. Yesterday, the owner of Capital Europe Harley-Davidson based in Brussels, Belgium, called my shop to place a parts order. And of course, like each time I talk to a “foreigner” the conversation goes beyond the usual and expected “ship it a.s.a.p”. I wanted to know what was going on in Belgium, and told him the same about the US. Which bikes sell, why, type of customs people ride, legislation, etc. It’s the way I found out that Mario Van Den Broeck decided to open his Harley Dealership because he loves to customize bikes.And we all know that the motivation for becoming an official Harley Dealership is not very often the desire to redesign the factory motorcycles to the taste of your clients.
So, I asked Mario to email me a custom Harley typical of what he builds and that people want to ride in Belgium.  And I say ride because the European Community has a very stringent legislation about what you can title and ride without incurring the risk of immediate confiscation. And 5 minutes later I loved at 1st glance what I saw in my email. To me, it looks exactly the way the Factory should sell Low Riders. So genuine, pure and classy 60’s Harley-Davidson looking, with nothing extremely radical. Just nice design touches here and there and absolutely no risk to look outdated in 18 months or even 30 years. This 98 Softail Heritage sports 120-spoke wheels (21” in front), Beach Bars, and why not on a retro looking bike, the latest technical devices: ocean blue 200 LED’s gauges, a high end Blaupunkt GPS with text messages alert in case of theft and for entertainment a MP3 player. Tough California CARB and EPA would love that we all ride a bike like that. On this Harley Dealer website, check also the custom sidecar and the work on some “Dark Custom” projects.  Capital Europe Harley-Davidson.

8 Responses to “Made In America. Reborn In Belgium.”

  1. 1 Bart Jannis Jun 18th, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    It’s only a pitty that you will never be able to drive it on European roads.

  2. 2 Mario Jun 19th, 2008 at 3:42 am

    Bart, I drove the bike for about 1000 miles on 4 days in St. Tropez, south of France, and it was trully my best vacation I even had. Bike drives fantastic, even in the mountains and little European roads! It’s true, I drive bikes from my 8 year, so I don’t really have a problem adapting. Cheers.

  3. 3 gustian Jun 19th, 2008 at 4:36 am

    Hi Bart I’m with Mario,

    I know that roads in Belgium don’t have good reputation ( I’m a Belgian too), but that’s not the fact in all European countries.
    I don’t know where you’re from, but as Mario sais, if you ever drove the roads in France,
    than you know better. They’re smooth as a pool-table.

    But never the less, even here in Flanders, I would be more than glad to drove this bike on our little country-roads.

    Greetings from Roeselare – West-Flanders – Belgium.

  4. 4 Brandon Jun 19th, 2008 at 8:28 am

    Pretty good for a customized Harley.

  5. 5 Kephas Jun 19th, 2008 at 9:16 am

    My hat is off to Mario and his crew. Nice piece of custom iron. Classic with a bunch of taste. This is what the riding public in America is looking for. Harley should make a copy and contact you for rights to re-produce. The Heritage would the never be the same. NICE JOB!!

    A spring solo seat would look really cool. I love this bike! I gotta quit lookin’ at it.

  6. 6 Mario Jun 19th, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Thanks Kephas!

    I really appreciate. And yes, I would be more then happy to help the design team over there.


  7. 7 J Jun 20th, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Sweet look- really like the newstalgia stuff!

  8. 8 Rikki Battistini Jun 23rd, 2008 at 11:24 am

    I met Mario many years ago and even back then he built great bikes that were timeless. Keep doing Mario its what people want to see form the Harley dealers and its what sets the dealers apart from just the regular bike selling shops we normally see.

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Cyril Huze