The Custom Kings: The Harley Street 700 Goes Off-Road
This Off-Road Harley Davidson Looks Menacing
This is what happens when you turn a street orientated Harley Davidson into a serious off-road behemoth. It’s weird, wonderful, tough, and reliable…and, of course…it’s German. This is the Harley Davidson off road edition, and it looks incredible.
The Harley Davidson Street was introduced as a purely ‘street’ orientated motorcycle; as the name suggests, it was made for the quick start and stop, tight corners and steady flow of the urban city streets. For this reason, it was blessed with a slim and narrow frame, a low saddle to accommodate a wide range of riders, smooth and easy handling and whole host of other features often associated with a comfortable street bike. Most HD Street customs celebrate the model’s urban roots and road dominance…this one, however, is a little different.
This off-road Harley comes straight from the town of Baden-Baden, in Baden-Wurttemburg in the Southwest of Germany, as an entry into a competition currently organized by Harley Davidson in Europe. HD have gathered all of their official dealers and given them each a Street to play with and customize. This one comes from Rick’s Harley Davidson of Baden-Baden and promises to be a strong contender for the hotly contested ‘Custom King’ championship, with the winner being announced at the Wheels and Waves festival in Biarritz, France in mid-June this year.
The rules are: there are no rules and where many regional builders have opted to put the proverbial ‘street’ back into the Street, this finalist has taken it in the other direction. Rick’s Harley turned their backs on the traditional Street concept and have decided to showcase what else this HD can do. Rather than simply bolt this and that on to the frame, Rick’s have made some radical changes, converting this Street bike into an off-road capable scrambler.
The Off-Road Harley by Rick’s Harley Davidson
The build’s major changes went into the chain conversion; the team hand fabricated a whole host of new bits and pieces, including all new CNC machined sprockets and a few safety covers too. The swing arm was adjusted, strengthened and updated to accommodate three height configurations from a pair of new Ohlins shocks. The significantly higher riding position has improved the overall lean angle for the street and has made room for the Y-spoked wheels to wear a set of dirt-profile, dual purpose, Heidenau tires for a decent amount of off-road fun too.
The other major body work additions include a lot of in-house sheet metal work, including a modified tank, front and rear guards and a prototype cooler cover. A new set of bars on the front, Kellermann indicators, Spiegler grips and a new seat complete the overall look of the machine. Rick’s opted to keep the Harley’s stock controls and headlight though.
Engine wise, the bike saw a few changes aside from a lighter appearance and now breathes through a Rick’s custom air filter. The exhaust has been hand fabricated and has been finished with Supertrapp mufflers. It’s a pretty mean machine.
Despite all of the major changes, it’s still not enough to make me want to have one (that radiator is pretty ugly, admit it). If you’re looking for a beefy off-roader, better and cheaper things are available – but that’s not the point of the task at hand! Rather than customize this Harley in the usual fashion, Rick’s have done something pretty special. I might not want one but I’m pretty sure that there are hundreds out there that would. Who wouldn’t want a Harley Davidson Off-Road machine?!