Custom Shovelhead. More Beautiful When Naked.

virus1virus2virus3On June 28th, as soon as I published postcards from the Magic Bike Rudesheim Bike Show, I received an unusual number of emails requesting a feature on “The Virus”, the custom bike winner of both the highly competitive Radical Class and absolute Best Of Show of the competition. Immediately I contacted Bike Show organizer, friend of the industry and photographer Horst Roesler who gifted me, and you, with this set of studio pictures.

virus4
virus5virus6virus7if well designed, I like all types of custom motorcycles. But without consideration of the bike purpose – from short city stints to long distance touring, my taste leans more on the naked than on the fully clothed style. In addition, mixing old or classic parts with modern technology has been proven by many builders as producing exquisite custom motorcycles that 3 generations of bikers from Millenials to Generation X to Baby Boomers are embracing together.

virus8virus9virus10On the same philosophy of creating customs showing the most visceral expression of mechanized 2-wheel transportation, Michael Naumann created in 2012 an acclaimed bike called “Stick 52”.
Two years later, “The Virus” is a step forward in his search of modern motorcycle art purity with old school DNA. And to pursue his quest for simplicity -basically all what you need to be in motion is a frame, a gas tank, an engine, a transmission and a pair of wheels – Naumann has fabricated the minimum of what is necessary, but gave to each of them the status of art pieces. And when he would not fabricate a few, it’s because they were already created by high quality part vendors like Kustom Tech, Performance Machine, Evil Design engineering and Rick’s Wheels.

virus11virus12Among other details, look attentively at the swingarm with its one-off suspension system, at the awesome front end, at the gas tank, etc. All these parts created for a 1958 modified FL Harley frame. A successful mix of past classic lines with modern one-off sculpted and machined components. The tech list of The Virus is listed below the last picture. It looks very simple and it is. You just need to add enormous talent. Naumann & Co (website in construction). Photography @ H. Roesler courtesy to Cyril Huze.

virus13virus14Post Scriptum. And if you wonder what it is you see front of the bike in the picture below the parts listing, there are magnums of Asbach,  In addition of the Best Of Show trophy and bragging rights, Naumann received something to celebrate, the famous German brandy (as a long drink, mix it with Coca Cola) produced locally since 1892 in Rudesheim on Rhein, the city welcoming the bike show.

Name. The Virus
Owner: Oliver Schulze
Original Year. FL 1958/2014
Building Time. 4 months
Completed. 02/2014
Value. 75.000 euros ($101,000)
Motor. H-D Shovelhead
Motor Size. 74”
Carburetor. S&S Shorty
Air Cleaner. Custom Naumann & Co.
Exhaust. Custom Naumann & Co.
Transmission. RevTech 6-speed
Primary. Evil Design modified Naumann & Co.
Shifter. Custom Naumann & Co.
Swingarm. H_D modified Naumann & Co.
Shocks. Custom Naumann & Co, OldstyleAir Slim.
Front wheel. Ricks 3.5 x 26”
Rear wheel. Ricks 3.5 x 26”
Front tire. 120/50-26 Vee Rubber Monster
Rear tire. 120/50-26 Vee Rubber Monster
Front brake. PM
Rear Brake. Kustom Tech on sprocket
Risers. None.
Bars. Naumann & Co.
Grips. Kustom Tech
Pegs. Kustom Tech modified Naumann & Co.
Gas tank. One-off Naumann & Co.
Oil tank. One-off Naumann & Co
Fender. One-off Naumann & Co
Seat. Naumann&Co / Warmsbach
Painter. Ingo Kruse Design

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26 Responses to “Custom Shovelhead. More Beautiful When Naked.”


  1. 1 takehikes Jul 14th, 2014 at 8:16 am

    great fab skills, nice idea and imagine how great it could look with the right sized wheels…..instead its a hot mess.

  2. 2 grmp54 Jul 14th, 2014 at 8:38 am

    Looks like something Tim Burton dreamed up for one of his characters…Nightmare Before Junkmess.

  3. 3 thomas Jul 14th, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Beautiful ,,, wow

  4. 4 mike x Jul 14th, 2014 at 9:03 am

    Do the speed limit on the cross bronx expressway , keep us posted .

  5. 5 Ronnie Jul 14th, 2014 at 9:23 am

    Great job

  6. 6 mike Jul 14th, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Gorgeous motorcycle. Very well done.

  7. 7 BobS Jul 14th, 2014 at 9:50 am

    I don’t see intentionally making a motorcycle as ill handling and uncomfortable as possible much of an achievement. Cool fab skill yes. Now use cool fab skills to create a custom bike that would also be a good ride then we’re talking impressive.

  8. 8 TJ Martin Jul 14th, 2014 at 10:26 am

    I want to like this . I really do . The concept is great . The execution well done . The craftsmanship [ at least from the photos ] seems impeccable . But then there are those over sized M/C gone Donk wheels . And my appreciation of the machine falls right into the abyss . Once again I guess .. proving the Devil really is in the details . With the wheel choice detail ruining everything else in a single stroke .

    BTW ; grmp54 … +1 … good analogy .. but I’d go for ” Edward ScissorHands goes Gangsta ” ;-)

  9. 9 Heavy Metal Jul 14th, 2014 at 10:34 am

    Must be me, I just can’t get past bikes that are built to be pushed in and out of a motorcycle show arena. Great workmanship and details but don’t see a need for a license plate. How far would you ride this bike other than to prove it does function?

  10. 10 SIGFREED Jul 14th, 2014 at 10:42 am

    Uhhhh.., another $100k mantlepiece.

    The paint scheme is worth noting, but the rest does NOT constitute a motorcycle – just as a push-lawn-mover does not constitute a car, just because it has an engine, four wheels and a rear storage compartment…

  11. 11 Mike Jul 14th, 2014 at 10:51 am

    It looks unique and all that, but what happens when you try to ride the thing and it kills you or others because it is so poorly engineered (but rather designed for looks only). So basically they built a pretty 500 pound paperweight.

  12. 12 Tom Ryan Jul 14th, 2014 at 10:57 am

    The bike is very nice but that rear wheel has to GO! A lot of people really don’t care for the 30 inch plus front wheel on a bagger. But to me, putting a large skinny ass wheel on the rear is even worse looking.

  13. 13 RUB Jul 14th, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    remember when the frames on “choppers” were not perfectually parallel witht he ground ? ever ? the motors were always a little sometimes alot higher in the front . I miss 1972 . Great workmanship on this bike , but I’ll pass .

  14. 14 Blackmax Jul 14th, 2014 at 3:19 pm

    Not for me !!! Don’t like the wheels or the paint job.
    But I would never denigrate anyone’s effort …
    If you like it then, you buy it !!!
    (Although I’d take the engine & drivetrain, LOL) !!!!

  15. 15 takehikes Jul 14th, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    Heavy Metal makes a great point….used to be you had to ride your bike in and out of a show or you couldn’t compete….that would separate the men from the wagon wheels!
    Everything we at AEE Choppers built got ridden, and on the streets, no matter what it was. If you couldn’t use it then why bother? Sure some were much easier to ride and more fun than others but they all were road worthy.

  16. 16 highrpm Jul 14th, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    i don’t get the comments on ill handling. the taller wheels have more angular momentum for greater stability. chops aren’t motocross or gp racers so why must they be able to turn on a dime? or are the skinny tires going to slide out from under the rider too easily?

  17. 17 Septic the Sceptic Jul 14th, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Beauty is in the eye of the beerholder. I don’t think I could get drunk enough for that to look good.

  18. 18 JC Jul 14th, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    I got naked but it wasn’t any more beautiful.
    I’ll have to retry later.

  19. 19 Sharrack Jul 14th, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    Reminds me of a Jesse Rooke bike.
    Basically…..a bicycle platform turned motorcycle.
    Cool as a one off but it looks very “light” as an actual longterm roadworthy bike.

  20. 20 nicker Jul 14th, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Wheel size aside,
    The “minimalist look” is cool.
    Personally, its more appealing in a real usable scooter.
    So, suspension by “frame-flex” is less than desirable.
    Workmanship appears well done.
    But IMHO use of struts looks too much like a “short cut to finish”… To bad.

    -nicker-

  21. 21 carprog Jul 15th, 2014 at 4:53 am

    The bike is very nice but that rear wheel has to GO! A lot of people really don’t care for the 30 inch plus front wheel on a bagger. But to me, putting a large skinny ass wheel on the rear is even worse looking. – See more at: carprog

  22. 22 calif phil Jul 15th, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Paint, motor and craftsmanship are top notch. I won’t comment on the wheels and design.

  23. 23 Drew Jul 15th, 2014 at 8:49 am

    “Value. 75.000 euros ($101,000)”
    Oh My!

  24. 24 Yank Jul 15th, 2014 at 11:40 am

    Doesn’t look like there are a lot of positive comments on this build. Might be that this is more of a European style than American. I myself like the Cali style bike but to each his own. Other than the drive train I agree with most of the posts.

  25. 25 paparay Jul 15th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    with them tires and rims I guess they don’t have pot holes in europe
    try riding that in New York City beautiful bike but not for me

  26. 26 dmj Jul 16th, 2014 at 6:02 am

    I would like to have the motor, gear box, gas and oil tank. The rest is scrap. Maybe the frame could… but then maybe not.

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