The portion of South Florida going from Jupiter Island to Palm Beach to South Beach Miami has the east coast highest concentration of Bling. It includes mansions and vehicles of all styles, from the sublime to the tacky, from the outrageous to the ridiculous. Being low key is not the norm and too many motorcycles don’t escape the consequence of an obsession with being noticed and remembered…for your appearance. I know, I live and work in the middle of it (Boca Raton)
When 2 years ago German custom builder Eric Vault from House Of Thunder moved his shop to Miami to race power boats during the weekend and build bikes during the week, it didn’t take him a long time to figure out the South Florida custom scene. No way he would duplicate what he saw there. Instead, he went the other route, offering some relatively cheap Harley and Royal Enfield conversions with (an over the top) utilitarian approach. A way to establish himself as a very different local builder, and for his clients…to be noticed at a much lower cost.
The 2 Trailbreakers (1 word) featured here may remind some of you the infamous late 1950’s Rokon Trail-breaker motorcycles created by a California inventor named Charles Fehn set out to build the ultimate off-road vehicle. It had to go anywhere and be a rugged workhorse. With this in mind a two-wheel drive vehicle with hollow wheels was designed. It was produced in limited quantity for the 1st time in 1966. Some called it a motorcycle but the name Mototractor more closely identified it. The Rokon became legendary with the military, much less in the civilian, but you can still order accessories and parts factory direct and through a worldwide network of dealers and distributors.
Except the use of a pair of 6 x 16 military Jeep-size tires and a Mad Max attitude in a survival dress up, these 2 House Of Thunder USA Trailbreakers are not as weird as it may seem at first glance. There are quick and not expensive Harley conversions, respectively a 1996 Harley Heritage and of a 1999 Fat Boy. And guess what? Both bikes are spectacular in Ultra-Bling country. How do they ride? Of course, don’t expect quick and precise turns. Be prepared for some unusual rolling noise. But surprisingly they still spin fine and relatively fast on interstate 95 and will impress most tourists and celebrities when cruising South Beach Ocean Drive or Palm Beach Worth Avenue. Orders already received show real interest from both hipsters and rich urban bikers.
And if a military type motorcycle is attractive to you, what about this bobbed Royal Enfield already ordered twice with one already shipped to Europe. In South Florida, will camouflage may become the new Bling? House Of Thunder USA. (photography @ H.Roesler for Cyril Huze)