A Custom Harley Softail Named Singapore Sun

1sun2sun3sun9sun15sun16sun8sunToday, in most countries around the world, making street legal a custom bike built from the ground is quite a challenging task. So, many builders have taken the path of only customizing factory models, in most cases keeping at least the original – although modified – original frame and motor, preserving the oem title, with the huge benefit for clients to enjoy a custom ride without risking repetitive police harassment. A benefit overcoming the extra cost and labor it takes to make a custom factory bike as radical as a full blown one built only from custom parts. At the challenge of free styling a factory model while improving the original spec sheet, few custom builders succeed. One of them is very well known German Julian von Oheimb from One Way Machine (OWM), whose creations built for clients who want to ride, regularly beat his best competitors presenting one-off machines.

14sun17sun12sun13sunSingapore Sun, of course built for a Singapore client, is a great example of an-easy-to ride custom Harley with beautiful lines and high-end finish. Before being shipped to its owner, it went on the 2016 European show tour where in the toughest competitions it always won gold or bragging rights fort either Best of Show, 1st place Harley modified, 1st place V-Twin, 1st place Old School, etc. The story of this bike starts in southeast Asia, in the island city state of Singapore, where a certain Mr. Ang is very unhappy with his 2003 Softail bought brand new from his local Harley dealer. Not enough power, so-so aesthetics. So, he had it somewhat customized, swapping the stock rear wheel for a bigger one, raking the front end, adding some decorative custom bolt-on parts, and ending up riding a much worse looking and riding bike than stock…

4sunEventually Mr Ang came to the decision to give it one more try, but nobody in Singapore seemed to be up to the task he described. Accepting the idea that his bike would have to be shipped abroad to a foreign custom builder, he started an intensive online search, comparing the works of many builders of many countries, interviewing them by emails.

Eventually getting convinced by the One Way Machine workmanship as he saw it demonstrated on the shop previous full custom Harley jobs. It has also to be mentioned that Asians have a special admiration for German engineering, and the fact that Julian is a certified mechanical engineer in his country was a big bonus for reassurance regarding the choice made by this client.

18sun19sun6sun7sunSo Mr Ang traveled to Germany, got a sense of the relation he would have with his builder, re-checked the past creations , eventually gave his briefing and as soon he was back in Singapore shipped his Softail to Germany. The 3-month total makeover got started with Julian demonstrating his metal skills. changing or fabricating new sheet metal. After stripping down the bike to bare frame, tubing was cleaned of all unnecessary tabs and brackets will all the factory welds smoothed out and polished. For a retro look the factory gas tank was swapped for an old Triumph piece modified and installed with brackets welded to the frame backbone. The old car hood ornament found a natural place on top of it.

10sun20sunFactory swingarm was also mofdified to accept a minimal after-market rear fender attached by 2 rods to the swingarm tubes, and positioned very close to the tire, the swingarm and fender moving together with a suspension travel stop. New OWM proprietary bars were installed on hill climb forks sourced at European parts distributor W&W. Front 21” wheel was kept Harley stock. Controls and small instrumentation are from Beringer, as are the inboard brake calipers pinching on OWM own perimeter discs. For reason of regulations, motor and tranny received only aesthetics improvements, the most visible being the Ness rocker boxes. Exhaust is a one-off bent at the shop. Black with a touch of silver and brass accents from accessories is always a winner combination. One Way Machine, Staufenberg, Germany.

18 Responses to “A Custom Harley Softail Named Singapore Sun”

  1. 1 JohnnySpeed Oct 31st, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Neat bike. The brakes are awesome looking and probably work amazingly well, but i think I’d have to try them myself before I trusted them!lol Usually, I don’t understand why people put seat springs on a bike that has suspension. But this was built to meet strict regulations and they couldn’t hardtail it. Also considering how low this bike sits, I assume there’s not a lot of suspension travel and the springs are probably a welcome and practical addition.lol Sitting that low looks cool, but on the roads where i live, i need better ground clearance!

  2. 2 Paul Reynard Oct 31st, 2016 at 9:04 am

    Great custom Harley. As good as it would be if built from the ground up.

  3. 3 Greeko Oct 31st, 2016 at 9:06 am

    Very nice “Harley”

  4. 4 Carl Bradshaw Oct 31st, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Good retro mods.

  5. 5 Charlie Oct 31st, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Except the tires, it’s a great looking ride.

  6. 6 highrpm Oct 31st, 2016 at 9:13 am

    nice lines. like the white focal point of the tank. and how the pipes parallel the line of the top tube of the frame. the knobbies are for looks only? can imagine the road noise they’ll generate.

  7. 7 Charles Erickson Oct 31st, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Nice. Probably not a good road bike with the knobby tires, but great for some off-road riding.

  8. 8 pixelfetisch Oct 31st, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Pics by pixelfetisch.de

  9. 9 nicker Oct 31st, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Finally, a motorcycle with a chain…..
    Good job.


  10. 10 bigalyts Oct 31st, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Wow, how much talent there is Everywhere.

  11. 11 Denis Manson Oct 31st, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Very nice custom work. Could own and ride this one.

  12. 12 Woody's Oct 31st, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Interesting build, I like the pipes’ angles like highrpm said.

  13. 13 Adam Oct 31st, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    I really love how the colors work together on the right side of the bike. Nothing over the top yet looks absolutely gorgeous.

  14. 14 Jeremiah McKenna Oct 31st, 2016 at 3:06 pm

    This is a great bike. Not only is it a one off custom job, but a purpose built one at that. This is where form follows function.

    I rad a few comments concerning some of the features. Let’s look at the seat having springs on a soft tail frame. Singapore has horrible roads and we all know that bumps transfer up into the seat. So the more cushion we have, the better we are.

    As for the tires on this bike being knobby tires, again look at the condition of the roads in Singapore. The regular street tires get torn up from all of the pot holes, gravel roads and dirt trails. That is more than likely why they put this style of tire on the bike. I would hate to put all that time and money into this bike and lay it down on loose gravel. These tires take a beating and provide better traction in adverse conditions.

  15. 15 Dan Eschler Oct 31st, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    I am in love with this bike.

  16. 16 calif phil Nov 1st, 2016 at 7:54 am

    I like the whole bike, but the gas cap is my favorite piece. Great Job!

  17. 17 Dale Nov 1st, 2016 at 1:46 pm

    Nice tight bike. I’m a big fan of the rear perimetric brakes. I also like the front wheel hub and brake combo. Very nice job.

  18. 18 B.D. Nov 1st, 2016 at 3:51 pm

    Give me a brake. Again with the friggin’ knobbies, as if this bike will ever be ridden off road (or anywhere else).

    Bikes are for riding. Anything else is just something to look at.

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Cyril Huze