The Harley-Davidson Rocker model has been controversial since day one. Many custom builders who have customized it will tell you that the bike, more than many other Harley factory models, needs some heavy “redo” in its geometry to turn it in a very cool ride. At the same time, they acknowledge that the Rocker has a lot of hidden potential – I agree – and that the final result can be spectacular without affecting original mechanical and handling integrity.
This Blackbird is the order of UK based Oxford Harley-Davidson to a local young independent shop called Rocket Bobs Cycle Works. Because the budget was right, a huge opportunity for Pete Pearson and crew to demonstrate their skills at turning a Rocker from ugly to pretty (their words.) First major modification was to cut off the rear part of the frame, then to rebuild it with a lower seat rail and much cleaner lines. Swingarm is a one-off made at the shop with their own stock, built with a geometry giving a lower stance to the bike. Suspension stop was set to give the bike a full 1″ of travel. The Deuce gas tank with its center console has never looked right on the Rocker. So it was replaced by a Street Bob tank whose tunnel was modified to slam it tight to the motor.
Front end got a Mid Gide tree conversion, full damper rods and progressive wound springs. Forks are 4″lower with stanchions honed, cut DLC coated and then TIG welded back together. The result creates 1″ of front travel ! The brakes are billet Rocket Bob race callpers matched to a front 13″ rotor and a tiny 190 mm rear stainless disc. Wheels were provided by Andrei at HD Wheels. Pipes are one-off thin walled 316 stainless (now in production) Bars are proprietary and called the Zombi 4″ Race. Motor was kept stock apart from a 103″ kit and Reaper Cams. Like a blackbird, bike is almost all black with a yellow eye-ring coming from the headlight. Rocket Bobs Cycle Works.