Ken’s Factory Rough Neck Softail

1biskens-factory_022kens-factory_103kens-factory_104kens-factory_11As soon as you will read that this machine is born as a 1997 Harley Springer Heritage you will agree with me that this transformation is “uber radikal.” To keep the precious Harley title, only the factory frame and engine were saved. But as you already guessed, heavily modified. Japanese Ken Nagai is one of the very few custom builders equally known and respected on 3 continents, Asia, America and Europe. He works from his Japanese shop in Nagai, where both his custom bikes are built and his parts are CNC machined, distributing them in North America via his California Signal Hill Ken’s Factory shop and in Europe via the major distributor catalogs. All his machines are a fine example of retro meets high tech, each featuring prototype parts that Ken will produce and release in a record time to all fans of his awesome bolt-on accessories.

5kens-factory_036kens-factory_03Typical of the fusion style he loves so much is the gorgeous fully redesigned and CNC machined WWII Girder style front end. One-off aluminum body work, while apparently simple, involves a very precise job of welding contour rods defining the bike own architecture and adding a nice touch of sophistication. “Rough Neck” rolls on a pair of in-house designed and cut from massive blocks of aluminum 23” wheels.

7kens-factory_018kens-factory_01The dual-tube swingarm extend the bike line and makes the rear section look lighter. Ken’s Factory proprietary custom parts are used all over. The most noticeable being the Shotgun exhaust with the “Rough Neck” shields and tips, the “Dimpled” grips and pegs, the Neo-Fusion” rocker boxes, tranny cover, headlight and gas cap, the “Vanquish” cam cover, the “Ribbed” intake, etc. Details create style… Tuck n’ Roll seat by “Back Drop”.  Paint job by “Center Roots” Ken’s Factory. (photography courtesy of Ken Nagai for Cyril Huze)

Zipper's

24 Responses to “Ken’s Factory Rough Neck Softail”


  1. 1 Sharkey Jun 29th, 2015 at 8:06 am

    A very refreshing design…looks ride-able, too

  2. 2 highrpm Jun 29th, 2015 at 8:12 am

    arlen nessi.

  3. 3 Rodent Jun 29th, 2015 at 8:17 am

    The title of a Harley remains as long as the frame has a original frame neck with the original serial number. The motor can be a S&S, Honda, Yamaha, Victory or Chevy and the title will still say Harley Davidson and be registered as such.

  4. 4 TJ Martin Jun 29th, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Arlen Ness ? Well yeah … it is a bit derivative of an Arlen design or two now isn’t it ?

    But then again … its a pretty well done and just barely derivative of an Arlen design … so I’d give it a solid 7.5 out of 10 for the concept/design and a full 10 points for the craftsmanship !

    And err … once again .. some foreign entity/builder or another Out American’s .. us .. again !

    Dang but we got some serious catching up to do … not to mention pulling our heads out of the whole Cafe/Scrambler/ Donk M/C’s / 22″ bagger / Retro Metro / Hipster Bobber trends .

  5. 5 Emmett Jun 29th, 2015 at 8:26 am

    I’m still trying to figure out my posture and/or riding position on this scooter with the forward controls and low bars. “Flying C-Clamp” comes to mind and my back hurts thinking about it. But it is a way cool looking ride, just not for my old arse.

  6. 6 calif phil Jun 29th, 2015 at 9:07 am

    That is one of the best looking bikes on here in a long time. I love the the stance, wheels, exhaust, seat and so on. Great design and it’s so nice to see something besides those hideous big wheel baggers.

  7. 7 domino Jun 29th, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Looks fast standing still … Arlen should be flattered.

    Domino Dave

  8. 8 Russell Mitchell Jun 29th, 2015 at 2:16 pm

    What forward controls Emmett?

  9. 9 Anthony Jun 29th, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    Can’t wait to try this bike out … cheers!

  10. 10 Woody's Jun 29th, 2015 at 6:28 pm

    Nice, great look!

  11. 11 Iron Horse Jun 29th, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    I really like the lines of the bike and the girder front end and wheels are pretty much off the hook.

    The one part that doesn’t look good in my eyes is the way the rear fender envelopes the back of the seat, but that’s just my opinion and I’m sure that the builder would think otherwise.

    Great scoot all together though and congrats to Mr. Nagai.

  12. 12 Dave Blevins Jun 29th, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Good looking cycle.

  13. 13 BArsre Jun 29th, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    That is one of the best looking bikes on here in a long time.

  14. 14 Ken Nagai Jun 29th, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    We will be at Sturgis City Park Ken’s Factory booth with Rough Neck.
    Come and see bikes and our products, then have some Beer there !

  15. 15 Sharkey Jun 29th, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    You could say “Arlen” in the sense that it is reminiscent of his old digger style bikes, but Arlen’s style is kinda pimped out; no where near this clean…

  16. 16 Sheridan Jun 29th, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    I think the rear fender does that Iron Horse as it’s bolted to the swing arm and I assume comes up over the back of the seat as the swing arm travels upwards?

  17. 17 Badams Jun 30th, 2015 at 1:17 am

    I have concluded that Ken’s Factory is operating in 5th Dimension Conscience.

  18. 18 SIGFREED Jun 30th, 2015 at 7:52 am

    Klassic Ken.

    If you have the wherewithal you will get a custom (or is that ‘kustom’) that few will be able to crit. at any level and/or pigeon-hole (other than ‘Klassic Ken’ naturally).

    The build represents the true ethos of ‘custom building’ – I bow in recognition…

    My personal favorite (softail) is Bella Rosso Due – if I had ~40k laying around (at the moment) it would be in my garage in an instant.

  19. 19 rebel Jun 30th, 2015 at 10:53 am

    lotsa nice time consuming parts on this one, great job.

  20. 20 martin twofeather Jun 30th, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    A excellent display of art in Iron,perfect

  21. 21 Mike Jun 30th, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    Great looking bike! That 23″ front wheel would have looked huge a few years ago, but now, no one even notices. Love all the custom work, and that cnc girder, and the billet covers and mid controls are beautifully done.

  22. 22 Blackmax Jul 1st, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Now this is a real piece of rolling art
    Yes, a nod to Arlen, but show me any bike of this kind
    that doesn’t give a tip o’ the hat to the “King” !!!
    Well Done !!!

  23. 23 Bigalyts Jul 15th, 2015 at 9:09 am

    I don’t know how it rides or how it handles or how fast it is or how good it stops. But Man this Bike has it all going on. Every inch has the detail of a Quality and it is a true QUALITY BUILD and the Builder has the reputation of Crafting Motorcycles like this always. Great Job and a great eye, Cyril.

  24. 24 Gordon Jan 12th, 2016 at 5:19 am

    In matters of such depth and misunderstanding, sometimes the proof is within the very foundation of the article to be
    proved.

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