If I had a message to deliver to Millennials, it would be that indoor is overrated. In participating in the Harley-Davidson “Battle Of The Kings” custom Sportster competition, all official dealers work for the future of the brand and at of course for themselves, promoting their shops to youngsters susceptible to access to the sport of motorcycling. In its 3rd edition, the custom competition is growing very fast, for example in the EMEA region (21 countries in Europe, Middle East, Asia) attracting a total of 220 participating dealers! In Germany, this featured entry from Rick’s Motorcycles is one of the 60 custom Sportsters competing for the country crown leading to a grand finale in November at the 2017 edition of Italian Motorcycle Fair, known as EICMA.
This year, Harley’s dealer custom competition has new rules. To create more custom diversity, dealers could choose between 3 Sportster platforms: either an Iron 883, a Roadster or a Forty-Eight. And to place everybody on the same level, a “Millennial” budget of only 6000 euros or about US$6400 for parts and paint. Rick’s Motorcycles dealership owner Patrick “Rick” Knoerzer picked a brand new 2017 Forty-Eight, decided right away to not touch the stock 1202 cc motor and 5-speed tranny, and being one of the few dealers/builders with its own full line of custom parts had to spend a couple of weeks wondering what should be his priority among all the proprietary parts he created.
After Rick decided that the Forty-Eight should have muscle and a fat ass, the project got started from his own designed “Extended Swingarm” featuring stabilizing struts and accepting up to a 240 mm rear tire. An approved TUV part that has enormous success in German land where “drag racing” power and look continue to seduce bikers. As everybody knows in the industry, Rick’s Motorcycles offers some of the most sophisticated and fancy custom wheels in the business, but none of his own sets were compatible with the competition budget. So, for the rear Rick went for what was his first wheel design a couple of decades ago, a simple 16 x 7.5” single disc design with Metzeler 240/50-16 tire/ For the front he kept the 16 x 3.5” stock Forty-Eight wheel but now wrapped with a matching Metzeler 130/90-16 tire. For perfect alignment of the driveline, Rick used his own 29-tooth offset pulley and for strength he used an exclusive Rick/Gates kevlar belt. Again for economy and because they do the job, Harley discs and calipers were preserved.
Front end is just a stock makeover with fork covers and installation of retro looking rubber boots. For bodywork, sheet metal is from Rick’s bolt-on parts catalog: a steel “Bobber” front fender, a steel “240” rear fender and a “revised” peanut gas tank.
The very cool exhaust system is a prototype created for this project that will go in production in a couple of months. For accessories, Rick added his small windscreen, his Good Guys” air cleaner for deep engine breathing, his retro “Dirt Track” bars and a set of his propriatery adjustable control levers. Headlight is genuine Harley. Front turn signals are from P&W, rear turn signals from Italian Rizoma.
Unexplained to me, this Forty-Eight is called Cancun, from the Mexican resort city on the Caribbean sea… Paint job, base coat, airbrush and lettering is by renown artist Marcel Sinnwell from Sinnwell-Design. And if you like this Sportster you can vote for it by going HERE. Rick’s Motorcycles Baden Baden (photography @ Peter Schulz for Cyril Huze)