Rolling Thunder US Navy Tribute Custom Motorcycle

This U.S .Navy theme bike built by Dar Holdsworth of Darwin Motorcycles is one of 4 custom motorcycles unveiled at Rolling Thunder’s 25th anniversary on May 26, 2012 in Washington, D.C. Jay Allen managed the tribute build project with each bike built to honor a branch of the military. Dar being a U.S. Air Force Desert Storm veteran, son of an Army Vietnam Vet and grandson of a WW2 Navy Vet, had a lot of visual references to customize such a project.

While Navy Defense Media filmed this U.S. Navy tribute bike fabrication process to air later on the Armed Forces Network, Dar declared  “We have been involved in some very important builds.  But none more than this.  What Rolling Thunder symbolizes to me is remembrance and honoring those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.” “We, as a country, can never leave anyone behind and never forget. Our servicemen gave their all.  And we are giving our all on this Navy bike to pay tribute. It is simply the very best bike we have ever built.  We are honored to be part of this historic event.”

This US Navy commemorative bike is based on Brass Balls Bobbers Rocketeer F3 model using a Racing Innovations rigid frame, a 93″ S&S Knucklehead engine coupled to a Baker 6-speed transmission and a 2″ narrow belt system from BDL . Both gas tank & fender are made out of solid blocks of aluminum, a one-off fabrication job involving about 300 hours of combined machining time and hand work. Rear fender is mounted via internal struts and like the gas tank features beautiful ridge patterns. Oil tank side fins are also one-off CNC machine work, not a large cast production. Foot pegs were made from arresting cable used to stop planes when landing on the deck of the USS Enterprise before it was decommissioned.

All parts used are USA made and were provided for free or at a discount by the vendors listed in the following tech sheet. This US Navy bike and the 3 others honoring the Army other branches will now tour with the “Wall that Heals,” at various military installations and events, Veteran Affairs locations, major motorcycle rallies, and potentially taken overseas to the troops. Darwin Motorcycles.


S&S 93″ Knuckle, Baker 6 speed tranny, BDL 2″ primary, Wilwood front brake, 3 Guyz sprotor, MeanStreet Slammer Mid glide front end, Autometer gauge, Avon Tyres, Ridewright 50 fat spoke stainless brushed with aluminum hubs & rims, Kyle Hix seat, Excell controls, Sherwin Williams paint (match Navy Haze gray) on frame, Todd’s Cycle: Mini Martini tail lights, Alloy Art: Pan head light, Balistic lithium battery, Biltwell bars, grips, risers & pipe kit, Racing Innovations: Darwin Rocketeer frame, Motion Pro cables, Cycle Electric stator and regulator, Mid-USA, Tucker Rocky, Garage Leathers: Solo bag, Spectro Oils, Wizards polishes.

31 Responses to “Rolling Thunder US Navy Tribute Custom Motorcycle”

  1. 1 Doc Robinson Jun 4th, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Way to go Dar!

  2. 2 Oldude Jun 4th, 2012 at 8:26 am

    That my friends is a custom motorcycle.. Adios farther and son monstrocity motorcycles and jessie arrogance ‘s same old stuff.

  3. 3 ValueTeck Enterprises Jun 4th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Nice work! Two Thumbs Up!!

  4. 4 Dog Williams Jun 4th, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Oldude beat me to the punch, I hope Swiss Family Idiot are paying attention, a ‘theme bike’ can still resemble a motorcycle. While personally not a fan of the species Mr Holdsworth has concocted one very handsome, beautifully concieved, brilliantly executed scoot . . . dig the family heritage on his side as well.

  5. 5 18Bravo Jun 4th, 2012 at 9:48 am

    I had the pleasure of meeting Dar last December in Dallas. In addition to building beautiful bikes, he’s a hell of a nice guy.
    I love the use of the arresting cable – a functioning piece rather than festooning the bike with trinkets, military coins. and belted machine gun ammo. It takes true vision to bring about something like that.

  6. 6 John E Adams Jun 4th, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Awesome work Dar, with my favorite color on the Frame!! Haze Grey and Underway for 20 years over here -;0)

  7. 7 John E Adams Jun 4th, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Awesome work Dar, with my favorite color on the Frame!! Haze Grey and Underway for 20 years over here -;0)

  8. 8 The Supreme Team Jun 4th, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Beautiful job Dar….’nuff said

  9. 9 ray c wheeler Jun 4th, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Very nice Dar….

    Thanks from a viet nam vet………….

  10. 10 Jeff Nicklus Jun 4th, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    Good job on both the bike and the video Dar!

    Over & Out,


  11. 11 Andy Lindstrom Jun 4th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    Dar – Awesome job! I have seen your bikes mature and get better and better. Darwin Motorcycles is head by an American Vertern (Dar) who is a great bike builder who (as stated above) makes em look and ride like motorcycles! Dar is also a family man and a freakin’ great human being!!! I am a customer from way back in 2007 and my Darwin is still turning heads – both young an old – because Dar did an awesome job. Thank you for your service to our country and your bikes. We love ya Dar!

  12. 12 courtney Jun 4th, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Very, very nice. Wow

  13. 13 Dar Holdsworth Jun 4th, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    A big thanks to everyone for the positive comments. As stated, we were honored to be part of this project that Jay Allen organized. I forgot to mention one very important contribution to the project and would be remiss if I didn’t thank them in public. Here is the inside scoop on the story of the tins. When I decided to embark on building a bike that had a tank and fender machined from solid billet, I thought to myself, “Who has 5 axis CNC capabilities and also knows bikes?” So I called my friend Rick Petco, at OCC. For those of you who don’t know, Rick pointed me in the direction of Mark Barnett (Barnett’s Magazine) after admiring a bike I built for my dad some 6 or 7 years ago. Essentially Rick (and Sam Wills) are the catalyst for me being in the bike business today… I asked Rick if they’d be interested in helping me with this billet tank & fender project. Rick put me in touch with Jim Quinn, who, with Sr’s blessing, helped me on this project. I have to say, for the record, they have been great to work with. Jim has been accommodating and professional. The work they did is amazing. I know they take a bad wrap for building the crazy bikes that their customers want. But from my vantage point, they are technologically advanced and really know how bikes go together. I probably would not have been able to get this project off the ground without them. FYI, we have 3 more of these bikes in production at the moment. Two with Shovels and one with a Pan… S&S of course. Lastly, we have a program called the Insiders Club. It helps us support our efforts to support our troops. We are giving away 4 bikes this year (that we are restoring) to deserving soldiers or vets. For more info check it out here
    Again, Thanks to all.

  14. 14 Luis Jun 4th, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Nice bike. Good to see a bike for veterans made by a veteran as opposed to tweedle dee/dum or a drunken killer.

  15. 15 Greeko Jun 4th, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Like it much.

  16. 16 Wizards Products Jun 4th, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    Amazing work Dar! We’re proud to have been able to provide our products for the build for such a great project.

    Wizards Products

  17. 17 Will Jun 4th, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    As someone who has served in the US Navy all I can say is Bravo Zulu.

  18. 18 Bigtime Jun 4th, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Dar, Beautiful workmanship as usual!

    Luis, you are an asshole! Drunken killer….really? Get off your moral majority high horse and give Billy Lane a break, the man is doing his time that he was sentenced to… Billy also built an awesome scoot in prison of all places….we all have made poor choices at some point in our lives and the lessons we learn from our choices, we pay the price for them good or bad! So in short… give it a rest and take up reading about Jesus and Judas!

  19. 19 J. H. Jun 4th, 2012 at 8:19 pm

    The poor choice of most bikers is to vote for the very ass holes that have put us in the situation. we are in right now, but then again we are trying to sell a life stiyle to people who know nothing about the shit we have taken to get where we are now, I am glad to see we are getting them to pay to play with us, they won”t last long, and that will be that…fuck’um while we can, before the fuck you!!

  20. 20 nicker Jun 4th, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Nicely done.
    Certainly a cool scoot.


  21. 21 Luis Jun 4th, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    “bigtime” You call me on a high horse when you bring some holier than thou comment you can keep your bible thumping to yourself. Highly amusing.

  22. 22 luSca custom design Jun 5th, 2012 at 1:58 am

    very interesting solutions!

  23. 23 Dog Williams Jun 5th, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Dar, sometimes it’s great to have preconceptions turned on their head, cheers and respect for taking the time to rid me and others of at least some of our prejudices, although, I never felt that Rick et al were kooks, just the design ethic was so . . . non motorcycle . . . may you continue to do excel and good karma follow you, thanks.

  24. 24 Dale Jun 5th, 2012 at 6:36 am

    Great bike

  25. 25 Marilyn Stemp Jun 5th, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Dar’s attention to detail and craftsmanship are more apparent close up. If these bikes tour anywhere near you, I recommend making a point of seeing them “in the flesh” to truly appreciate the workmanship. It’s obvious that Dar put his heart into this bike.

  26. 26 Rogue Jun 5th, 2012 at 7:11 am

    I new you would come up with a great bike when we talked at Bike Week and you showed me the tanks and some of the other parts.
    I want to personally Thank You for Supporting Veterans and all you do for them and motorcyclist.

  27. 27 Martin Twofeather Jun 5th, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    Excellent work Dar!

  28. 28 Blackmax Jun 6th, 2012 at 5:50 pm

    Way 2 go, and nice of you to give credit where credit is due

  29. 29 Mike Tomas Kiwi Indian MC Co Jun 7th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    Dar’s bike rocks and so does Dar. It was a true pleasure to be with you at such a grand event. Thanks for all the great memories mate including spending time at your shop and with your top notch guys. Great bike.

  30. 30 Oldernowiser Jun 7th, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Great bike! Anyone have any info on the adjustable air bag seat mount? Been searching in vain.

  31. 31 Cyril Huze Jun 7th, 2012 at 9:43 am

    There are several brands/systems available. One of them is the Rigid Air from Paul Cox. The system usually includes: a steel air spring frame bracket, two air springs, top plate, seat adapter, mounting hardware, solenoid air valve, air lines and fittings, air compressor and bracket

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Cyril Huze