Founded on the legendary Kings Road in Chelsea, London way back in 1924 by Captain Frederick James Warr, Warr's Harley-Davidson has never been a 'normal' Harley dealership. That statement can also hold true of a slightly mysterious customer who ordered the incredible 110,000 Euro 'Unorthodox' custom built machine...
A picture tells a thousand words and as you can see the image above takes some describing...
We've all seen custom cruisers with chromed wheels, high bars, studded seats and the like but rarely do you see one that has been customised with a set of Öhlins FGR900 forks!
The machine started life as a 2010 Harley-Davidson Fatboy and this very open-minded customer wanted his bike to be the ultimate in individuality.
Charlie Stockwell, Head of Design & Custom at Warr's, explains, "So this customer, lets call him Mr X, has been with us for many years and has a fantastic collection of beautiful bikes and cars. One day he said to me, 'OK build me the most outrageous bike you've ever built, no budget ceiling, I totally trust you but it's got to be completely different to anything you've ever done before!'
I must admit to be given a free rein like that was incredible, I thought right let's do something totally unique. As I personally love both custom cruisers and big powered MotoGP exotica I thought why not combine the two?!"
Stockwell, who designed and handbuilt every square cm of the machine, explains the process;
"The base machine was stripped down leaving just the engine and chassis. The oil tank was removed from beneath the seat and the chassis re-shaped to drop the solid, one-of-a-kind, carbon fibre solo saddle- giving an extreme slammed ride height and position.
A new oil tank was fabricated to fit inside the original teardrop shaped Fatboy fuel tank. We crafted the high-low dual exhaust system which houses the rear lights in the carbon mufflers. To enhance the bikes fierce stance only a pair of the highest spec Öhlins FGR900 front forks paired with Öhlins Softail rear suspension would do. Gareth from Reactive Suspension and our own in-house race mechanics fitted heavier springs and tuned it to the increased mass and its strange geometry.
We custom made CNC triple trees to mount the forks to the frame. Brembo monobloc calipers were fitted to deal with the brute force of the new tuned 113ci Screamin' Eagle H-D Engine which we covered with glossy black powder coating and the cooling fins were diamond cut for a show sparkle. Carbon fibre, race style clip-on handlebars were fitted with Performance Machine controls to match the huge wheels wrapped in Metzeler rubber, 3" open primary drive and foot controls.
The engine itself we took from 96 cubic inches (1596cc) to 113ci (1890cc) meaning that the crankcases were bored, new cylinders and bores fitted, new CNC created heads polished and ported plus a set of high compression pistons utilised."
With four other projects now boasting Öhlins, we ask what is the fascination with the brand for a builder of American custom cruisers?
"I guess I love the in-your-face attitude of the forks, the level of quality of the componentry and quite simply you know that they are the best in the World, if all the teams buy them you know they are the 'nuts' !
As Europe's oldest Harley dealership Warr's have a successful racing history of their own; supporting the legendary Cal Rayborn in his 'Transatlantic' campaign days and more recently taking Jeremy McWilliams to Daytona 200 success on a Buell- using Öhlins, which is now OE on Erik Buell Racing Motorcycles. The company also won the Harley-Davidson XR1200 series (again with McWilliams) run alongside the BSB series using Öhlins equipment.
You can learn more about Warr's at www.warrs.com , on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.
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Unorthodox Softail - 2010 Fatboy
Design & Build: Charlie Stockwell (Head of Design & Custom) Warr's Harley-Davidson
Chassis: H-D Softail (modified)
Swingarm: H-D Softail (modified)
Suspension Front: Öhlins FGR900
Suspension Rear: Öhlins for H-D Softail
Triple Trees: Warr's Racing by Promach Engineering
Engine: H-D Twin-Cam B 113ci – Screamin' Eagle- tuned by Warrs Racing
Trans: H-D 6-Speed
Primary Drive: 3" Open Primary by Performance Machine
Exhaust: Warr's Customs
Brake Calipers: Brembo Monoblocs
Wheels: Riviera by Performance Machine
Brake Discs & Pulley: Riviera by Performance Machine
Tires: Metzeler ME880
Forward Foot Controls: Performance Machine
Carbon Solo Saddle: Warr's Customs & Triple Six Racing
Carbon Clip-On Handlebars: Warr's Customs & Triple Six Racing
Carbon Belly Pan & Hugger: Warr's Customs & Triple Six Racing
Lever Protectors: Rizoma
Headlights: Warr's Customs
Rear Lights: Warr's Customs (integrated into Mufflers)
Gas Tank: Warr's Customs (modified Fatboy original)
Photography by MLoFoto www.mlofoto.wordpress.com