Moonlight serenade

Moonlight is a striking custom Harley that mixes old school chopper with dragstrip performance

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The Yokohama Hot Rod Custom show, also known as the Mooneyes show, is one of the highlights of the international custom calendar. This year Warr’s Harley Davidson took something very special to the show, after a client came to them with a once in a lifetime brief. Now that the dust has settled Charlie Stockwell, Head of Custom at Warrs, talks us through the process of building ‘Moonlight’.

“The design changed a few times from an all-out drag bike to 60’s/70’s chopper after we found out the 2017 show would demonstrate traditional choppers,” says Stockwell. “I didn’t want to leave the drag bike idea behind, so decided to blend the two together. A kind of performance chopper dragster. A mix of ‘old school chopper’ with high end performance products and a racing slick rear shoe.”

The base model for the machine was a 2017 Harley-Davidson Street Bob but the modifications are so extensive it’s barely recognisable, although the frame has remained relatively untouched. The 1802cc twin-cam engine forms the heart of the bike, with RSD engine covers that have been hand engraved to resemble tattoos, making them as unique as the chopper’s Candy Blue paint scheme. We love the detail work on the engine but there’s no doubting those massive pipes steal the show.

“The exhaust needed to have both a performance look, as well as an outrageous Japanese chopper look to it,” adds Stockwell. “I decided to go with Stainless 2-inch pipe with exposed welds and pie-cuts and also give a turn-up at the rear shocks that’s almost 90-degrees.”

The end cans were custom fabricated by exhaust specialists Vance & Hines, welded to 24 inches of stainless ripple tubing and topped off with turned brass caps. Safe to say the outrageous box has been ticked. The changes aren’t all just for looks though. The stock suspension was binned in favour of a custom Öhlins set-up on both the front and rear.

“I have a good relationship with Öhlins Sweden. They were happy to assist and make a custom pair of rear shocks and Retro Front Forks to suit the custom-made billet triple trees. The trees also have a tiny 2 degrees extra rake built in to throw the front wheel out a little more while keeping ‘trail’ good. Before you mock me for working on rake and trail while running with a square-ish slick rear tire, the rear tyre will be swapped out for something more road worthy.”

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James Archibald

By James Archibald

Former MCN Junior Web Producer