The latest wave of custom bikes are all about simplicity and minimalism. Most of them have tiny brake lights, small front mudguards and a seat not much thicker than a folded up blanket, so this steampunk-inspired Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight is quite refreshing, and certainly stands out.
The bike is the brainchild of Richie Finney, the man behind grooming product brand Captain Fawcett and Linzi Mumford a former bike builder turned furniture restorer. Both Linzi and Richie share a passion for steampunk design, and with the help of Newmarket Harley-Davidson were able to bring their idea to life.
The most eye-catching part of the design are the completely bespoke panniers, which feature a drop-down mechanism which opens up to reveal a host of Captain Fawcett products and a mirror, so helmet hair can always be dealt with.
“The idea for the bike developed over a couple of days of looking at 1930s racing cars and Victorian expedition equipment,” said Linzi Mumford when asked about her inspiration. “The bags are completely original and something that just popped into my head to combine saddlebags with a drop down display. I suppose that the old Wild West snake oil sellers’ carts were somewhere in my mind at the time.”
Linzi explained further about her design: “The brass eyelet details were gleaned from canvas tarpaulins – I work the music festival season each summer and the marquee structures often incorporate lacing through brass eyelets. I dismissed the lacing as too decorative, but decided that the eyelets give a good illusion of complexity. The other details on the bike were chosen to complement the eyelets and Gladstone bags; lots of brass.”
The unique paint was done by vintage Harley specialist Beans Paints and Parts in Cambridgeshire. After starting with a base coat of white paint, Beans applied an old-school swirling smoke effect that was common on motorcycle tanks in the '60s and '70s. A clear coat was then applied, before candy gold paint and translucent dye with a final clear coat provided the finish.
Richie said: “To be honest, it is more than I thought it would be – and I already had dreams of how good it would look. Linzi with Harley-Davidson’s experienced Custom King’s have done a tremendous feat in creating a rolling showcase of creative design worthy of wall space in the Captain’s emporium. However, it is a Harley-Davidson and it’s meant to be ridden, which of course it will be… everywhere. That’s how much this bike appeals to me.”
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