Road Legal Custom Harleys From Europe

In the US, the last 5 tough economic years have  changed our collective psyche and the way we live, work and spend. The American custom motorcycle industry, now on a slow recovery, has changed its way to do business with many builders disappearing and the remaining forced to build from the ground up much more practical bikes or to apply their skills to the customization of road legal factory motorcycles.

In Europe, where the economy was much better, at least until 2012, and where legislation has always been much tougher than in the US regarding what builders cam modify, several large Harley-Davidson dealers have very prolific custom Departments, Divisions or sister companies, producing “Legal Custom Harleys.”  One of them is East Sussex, England based Shaw Harley-Davidson, an official Harley-Davidson dealer with 7 technicians working on 10 bays under the supervision of Steven Willis, always extremely busy at producing cool customs on all possible Harley platforms. To inspire you, I picked in their portfolio 10 of their most recent creations.

Zipper's

26 Responses to “Road Legal Custom Harleys From Europe”


  1. 1 Dar Nov 21st, 2012 at 10:20 am

    Great work.

  2. 2 Bronco Nov 21st, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Europe, new epicenter of the custom scene.

  3. 3 Jesus Nov 21st, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Starting customization of my 2011 Sportster. Several inspire me. Thank you Cyril.

  4. 4 GuitarSlinger Nov 21st, 2012 at 10:40 am

    Gotta be blunt here . Those Euro’s are kicking our collective custom tail right side and left . Could it possibly be due to their emphasis on ‘ Ridable ‘ customs . rather than the Static Sculpture customs so many of the US builders are focusing on ? Why ….. I do believe it just might be 😉

  5. 5 eBikerLeather Nov 21st, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Damn, nice bikes.

  6. 6 Sportster Mike Nov 21st, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Have seen several of these bikes in the flesh and they ARE rideable – and road legal as well
    Would love to have my 883R go through their works…

  7. 7 18bravo Nov 21st, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Lots of nice details here. I especially like the chopped cam cover on the last one.

  8. 8 burnout Nov 21st, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Dealers here are too afraid of liability to do this. Maybe rightfully so due to our country’s court history? Cool scoots above. peace

  9. 9 John E Adams Nov 21st, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    I am inspired, they are doing some fantastic work!!

  10. 10 Rodent Nov 21st, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    The motor company would never let USA dealers do that.

  11. 11 Roger Nov 21st, 2012 at 3:54 pm

    Rodent. You are wrong. Dealers just need to create a separate corporation to freely build what they want on Harley platforms (to avoid making Harley responsible for liability, warranties issues, etc)

  12. 12 Jester Nov 21st, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    Rodent. Roger is right. Rules for dealers are the same (for this purpose) in Europe and in the US. US dealers can do it under a different corporation.

  13. 13 MDSPHOTO Nov 21st, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    We have a Harley Dealer here in GA that used to build a few customs a year, not sure if they still do.

  14. 14 badams Nov 21st, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    Its now a global stage. USA scene is on pause. Euro and Asia have it right now.. It will cycle back to US over time.

  15. 15 gary Nov 21st, 2012 at 5:18 pm

    I bought my sportster from Shaws, great shop, great bikes, great guys.

  16. 16 TodT Nov 21st, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Really, really like what they are doing……..

  17. 17 Vandal Nov 21st, 2012 at 9:39 pm

    What I like with Cyril is that he has his eyes on both continents and brings us the best of both worlds. Well, I must say that I wish that this Harley dealer moves to my Arizona state. I know t’s not gonna to happen!

  18. 18 Iron Horse Nov 21st, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    Well said GuitarSlinger. Great looking bikes that are actually rideable. There are several bikes in the above pics that really do it for me.

  19. 19 Adam Croft Nov 21st, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Very nice bikes, but I do not believe our builders are second to anyone. Stop complaining about the creators and get busy creating…

  20. 20 Oldude Nov 22nd, 2012 at 8:27 am

    GuitarSlinger hit the nail on the head! I have stated for a long time that the Europeans are kicking our butts by building inovative, rideable customs from Harley platforms. Our dealers are missing the boat and they need to take back the business they have lost in the past !

  21. 21 John Nagel Nov 22nd, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Cyril is “international” Few people in the motorcycle industry have traveled around the world as much as him. He knows what’s going on. He’s right, like with other industries, America has lost its leadership. My opinion? Our fault. We are often self-centered, arrogant, unable to see what’s going on beyond our borders. A good wake up call coming from Europe.

  22. 22 david uhl Nov 23rd, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Great post cyril, really descriptive photos of the various assemblies.

  23. 23 Brauchi Nov 24th, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    the all black sporty’s from http://www.roughcrafts.com/

    little outside … old europe.

    cheers,

  24. 24 Grumpy Nov 26th, 2012 at 7:02 pm

    Unfortunately, as with so many of these articles, it ain’t quite right – most of these are not road legal in the UK, even if only for the lights, turn signals and other easily fixable items.
    Legislation in the UK, actually extremely free, we don’t have TUV etc like mainland Europe so there’s a huge range of high quality customs being built.
    But if you just want to bolt bits on out of a catalogue I suppose this is as good as you get, takes more than a paint job to make a well put together custom.

  25. 25 Blackmax Nov 26th, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Very, very nice….
    Way for a dealer to think out of the box
    I know there are dealers that do it here in the states,
    but they seem to want to keep it on the “downlow”
    Too Bad! I know lots of folks who would “pony up” the cash
    to have a “Dealer / Showroom/ Turnkey Custom, about the price of a CVO,
    but not able to see/know there are 1500 to 3000 of them, just like yours, around the country

  26. 26 Bshirk Nov 27th, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    I appreciate the fact that the bikes are more rideable than American customs. But I just don’t dig the Euro style,
    although I don’t dig the radical over-baked American bikes either…

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