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Harley-Davidson In The City Motorcycle Festival

2018 was one of the most successful years for the Harley-Davidson In The City (HDITC) motorcycle festival in Brechin. The event drew in over 18,000 visitors and more than 750 motorcycles of all types. The growing popularity of the event has triggered the event management team to look at public safety for future years also taking into consideration site capacity, traffic management and general disruption to residents and retailers in the town.

Taking into consideration feedback from local traders, the public and businesses, the town centre had reached capacity with no options to expand the festival site. Now, after 7 years in the town centre location a change of venue has been decided after consultation with Police Scotland, Angus Council and other relevant parties.

From 2019 the entire festival will be located in the River Street area in order to accommodate the growing numbers visiting the festival and providing all the necessary services in close proximity including parking, camping and caravan facilities, and access for the disabled.

The relocation will also enhance awareness of the scenic area of the town, accommodate future growth with more motorcycles, traders and visitors attending Brechin.

The weekend long event has continued to grow in popularity, with the 40+ mile ‘Thunder Run’ one of the main attractions on the Saturday. Starting from Brechin Castle with the support of Lord Dalhousie the Thunder Run rides through the town and touring Angus and returning to Brechin. There are no plans to change this element of the festival.

Having successfully avoided clashing with other major events in Angus for the past few years the festival was advised it would clash with the Glamis Extravaganza in the years ahead if the proposed dates were left unchanged. Therefore, following discussions with Police Scotland, Angus Council, and Event Scotland, HDITC will now be held on the weekend incorporating the first Sunday in July going forward. In 2019 the event will be held on the 6th and 7th July, in 2020 on the 4th and 5th July, and in 2021 3rd and 4th July.

For further information go to the HDITC Facebook page or their website.

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It’s launch time in Croatia

Is a custom bike still a custom bike if it comes direct from the factory as a custom bike? Ponder that one for a while as you feast your eyes upon the four latest offerings from the design team in Milwaukee, which were launched with the spectacular Croatian coastline as a backdrop.

Based on the super-popular Sportster 1200, the Iron 1200 and the Forty-Eight Special, both mark an acknowledgement from the Harley factory of both people’s desire for a custom style bike and also of the Seventies, the decade the world forgot.

Although the architecture is clear, the design team have added from cool retro touches to both bikes to allow them to reach out to a new segment of rider. Those that grew up in the roller skates, tight tee-shirts and afro hair era.

Not to be outdone, Harley has also given its venerable Street and Road Glide models some new colours and a few minor tweaks to keep them on the money.

Both the Sportsters have tank decals that really hark back to that time of disco and the bright colours that flowed from the scene into everyday life. Where Vellore interiors and funky side graphics seemed perfectly fine on your family car, so the bike industry followed.

Both bikes get Mini Ape handlebars and a 1200 Revolution engine, thankfully fairly chrome free. But then they head in different directions, with the Iron 1200 sporting a headlamp cowl, nine-spoke rims and a café racer style seat. The Forty-Eight Special keeps the single round headlight open to the elements (along with you) and a less ‘lipped up’ seat.

But it’s the tanks that really strike that 70s note on these two new models. The cool graphics can be had in a range of colours, including black, white and the amusingly named ‘Twisted Cherry’. The two Glides have to make do with some stunning paint jobs.

On the road there’s nothing new to report, as the 1200 Sportster underpinnings remain unchanged. The engine is large enough to get you up to some very un-Harley-like speeds, especially with the lower weight of the Sportsters.

The Road Glide and Street Glide are virtually unchanged, so still give you that solid, torque-laden ride that the big cruisers are known for. These are easily the two coolest cruisers in Harley’s range, so they fit perfectly with a bit of a retro touch.

If the Sportster range is more your thing, it’s worth remembering that these bikes also have the most ground clearance of the Harley-Davidson range, so given a decent road, you can actually hustle these bikes along a fairly rapid pace. Many a weekend sportsbike rider has been known to underestimate a good rider on a Sportster.

Add to that disco fever and maybe it’s time to grow a big fro’ to squeeze into your helmet and get your 70s groove on.


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Battle of the King’s Winner Revealed

15 UK & Ireland 2018 Battle of the Kings entrants. 12,000 online public votes. Five finalists, but only one winner… Alley Rat by Sycamore Harley-Davidson has seen the Peterborough-based dealership being crowned as this year’s national Custom King for the first time since the custom competition began four years ago.

Sycamore Harley-Davidson has taken up the challenge to do battle every year and, in 2017, made the top five finalists shortlist for the first time. It spurred on resident bike builder, Todd Meynell, and the team to go for the top spot this year with an urban brawler style Sportster Forty-Eight.

The raw, stripped back machine was on display alongside its fellow finalists from Guildford Harley-Davidson, Maidstone Harley-Davidson, Shaw Harley-Davidson and West Coast Harley-Davidson this weekend at the MCN London Motorcycle Show for the final judging. 

Enlisted, built by West Coast Harley-Davidson came in 3rd.

A panel of judges, made up of MCN’s Deputy Editor, Richard Newland, Built magazines Editor, Gary Pinchin, Bike Social’s Publishing Editor, Steve Rose, American V magazine’s Editor, Andy Hornsby and motorcycle racer and Harley-Davidson enthusiast, Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne, awarded the top honours to Alley Rat.

Custom Softail Street Bob, Ottaway, by Maidstone Harley-Davidson scooped second place, while West Coast Harley-Davidson’s Enlisted completed the top three.

2018’s Battle of the Kings competition took the form of official Harley-Davidson dealerships creating a road legal Dark Custom machine within a strict budget of £5,500 (€6,000) and from a select list of Harley-Davidson motorcycles.

The list of base models for dealers to choose from to compete in this year’s BOTK was Sportster® Dark Custom® models Iron 883™, Forty-Eight® and Roadster™; plus the Street® 750 and Street Rod®; and also from the exciting line up of nine all-new Softail® motorcycles for 2018, the latest Street Bob® and Fat Bob®. The Street Bob was clearly the popular choice with the public, with four of the five finalists choosing this machine as their Dark Custom canvas.


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BOTK 2018 finalists revealed

Harley-Davidson UK & Ireland’s national round of ‘Battle of the Kings’ UK now enters its last stages with the reveal of the five finalists selected to go forward to the final round of judging, to be held at the Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show 2018 this weekend (16-18th February 2018).

The five, selected by online public voting are: from Glasgow, West Coast Harley-Davidson’s “Enlisted” (above); Guildford H-D’s “The Petrali Racer”; Maidstone H-D’s “Ottawa”; Shaw H-D’s “The Edge”; and Sycamore H-D’s “Alley Rat”.

The shortlist of five entries from the UK & Ireland round of BOTK 2018 was served up by the result of public voting via a unique Battle of the Kings website that showcases all BOTK 2018 entries from the Harley-Davidson dealer network across 21 countries. A total of 12,000 votes by motorcycle and customisation fans were logged for the 15 UK & Ireland entries.

BOTK 2018 is the fourth consecutive year of this largest dealer-led customisation contest. With the main theme for BOTK 2018 being the 115th Anniversary of Harley-Davidson, the depth of 115 years’ worth of custom and iconic bikes for inspiration ensured the UK & Ireland entries were truly outstanding in design and build quality.

The five finalists will now be judged by an exclusive panel of guest judges at the Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show 2018 at ExCel London, in order to select the overall winner. The lucky finalist will then go head-to-head against other national finalists at a Grand Final to take place at Milan’s EICMA exhibition in November 2018.

2018’s Battle of the Kings competition took the form of official Harley-Davidson dealerships creating a road legal Dark Custom machine within a strict budget of £5,500 (€6,000) and from a select list of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The list of base models for dealers to choose from to compete in this year’s BOTK was Sportster® Dark Custom® models Iron 883™, Forty-Eight® and Roadster™; plus the Street® 750 and Street Rod®; and also from the exciting line up of nine all-new Softail® motorcycles for 2018, the latest Street Bob® and Fat Bob®.

Looking at the five finalists our favourite for the win has to be Enlisted from West Coast. The overall theme and design stand out beyond its four competitors, three of which seem remarkably similar and fall into what has become almost a default ‘go-to’ design in custom builds.

Let’s see what happens at the show this week. Whatever the decision is, Enlisted is the winner in our book.


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The Battle of the Kings is back in 2018 as Harley-Davidson dealers across the globe battle to build a winning custom bike. West Coast Harley-Davidson are in it to win it with their entry named Enlisted.

Enlisted started as a 2018 Softail Street Bob and at the hands of Fraser Hine and Patryk Motyka took on a whole new persona. Custom Specialist for Scotland’s West Coast Harley-Davidson, Fraser Hine is no stranger to Battle of the Kings.

This year, Fraser has gone deep within Harley’s 115 years of heritage to produce “Enlisted” – a superb modern-day replica of the wartime FL model that served the U.S.A’s wartime armed forces, in this case, the U.S. Navy. Look closely to search out the choice details; one such example is the dummy hinge on the rear fender. The original hardtail model had a fixed fender but a hinge allowed the fender to pivot in order to remove the rear wheel.

The custom paint came from Muddy Beach Customs with the battleship grey really setting the tone for the bike and overall design. Other design points and custom parts include:

  • Softail Heritage front end, wheel and fender
  • Softail Deluxe rear fender and tombstone tail light & indicator bar
  • H-D Hollywood bars
  • H-D Get A Grip handgrips
  • H-D Dome mirror kit
  • H-D Defiance collection headlamp trim (custom painted)
  • Softail Heritage Softail LED headlamp
  • H-D gloss black axle nut covers
  • Leather solo seat with in-house seat fitting fabrication by technician, Pat Doherty
  • Black plastic bolt covers
  • Suicide shift by Muddy Beach Customs
  • Fender fabrication by Muddy Beach Customs

Enlisted has taken the best of period styling and married it with modern touches in a way that really embodies the Harley-Davidson culture and in their 115th year. Now it’s time for Enlisted to fight the good fight and bring the spoils of war back to the West Coast showroom in Glasgow.

The top 5 UK and Ireland bikes will be heading to MCN London Show, 16-18th February for the final UK judging. Whether you’re a Harley-Davidson fan or not let’s have a show of support and appreciation for the great work that went into building Enlisted.

Get your vote in here: and share it with your friends.


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New for 2018 the Sport Glide

New for 2018 the Sport Glide is the factory custom that can do it all – cruise, commute or tour. And while it draws classic styling cues from the Harley-Davidson Touring range the Sport Glide outlines a compact and contemporary form all of its own.

  • Latest addition to the new Harley-Davidson Softail® range
  • New 43mm inverted forks, plus remote hydraulic rear shock spring preload adjustment
  • Powered by the Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-Twin engine
  • Both fairing and panniers can be quickly and easily removed
  • Full LED lighting and electronic cruise control

The new Harley-Davidson® Sport Glide is a quick-change artist, an aggressive factory-custom cruiser outfitted with a detachable fairing and panniers ideally suited for touring, cruising or commuting. The versatile Sport Glide slips stylishly through city streets and is equally ready for short or long-distance weekend runs.

The ninth model based on the all-new Harley-Davidson Softail® platform and the latest in a line of 100 high-impact motorcycles the company plans to introduce by 2027, the Sport Glide presents an engaging combination of technology and style.

Designed to be lightweight and stiff, the new Softail chassis underpinning the Sport Glide delivers agility and handling performance, while the rigid-mounted Milwaukee-Eight 107 V-Twin powertrain pumps out a mountain of torque for outstanding acceleration and passing power.

The Sport Glide will be available in three solid colors: Vivid Black, Twisted Cherry and Silver Fortune.

Dave Latz, Harley-Davidson Senior Product Planning Manager:

“The Sport Glide offers the thrilling dynamic capability of the new Softail platform with features that make it suited for both commuting and light touring. Its factory-custom design speaks to modern performance and contemporary style.”

Brad Richards, Harley-Davidson Vice President of Styling and Design:

“The Sport Glide presents the broad influence of Harley-Davidson design in a very contemporary way. In the new fairing, for example, you can see the influence of the iconic batwing fairing from Harley Touring models, but it’s been trimmed back to create a more compact, sporty shape. The Sport Glide project offered us a unique opportunity to utilize a directional wheel, the first of its style to come out of the Harley-Davidson factory on a non-CVO model. The spokes sweep from the hub to the rim to create a sense of motion even when the Sport Glide is parked. The look of motion is reinforced with the shape of the fairing and the panniers, and even the slash-cut exhaust tips.”

The Sport Glide’s fairing is shaped to deflect wind away from the rider’s chest while leaving his or her head in a clean stream of air. It’s secured to the fork tubes with quick-release clamps, making removal or installation fast and easy. Riders seeking even more wind protection can exchange the standard 1.5-inch-high windshield for a 5.5-inch Light Smoke Windshield available from Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Accessories.

The new rigid (and lockable) panniers feature a sleek clamshell design. They’re easy to load and unload and can be opened with one hand by a seated rider; a damping device allows the lids to open smoothly. Also the bags can be removed in seconds with an internal quick-release mechanism, leaving behind barely visible mounting points. Combined pannier capacity is 1.9 cubic feet (25.5L).

Additional luggage capacity can be added with an accessory sissy bar upright, luggage rack or Tour-Pak mounting rack, each with the all-new HoldFast™ detachable latch system designed specifically for the new Softail platform. Like the Sport Glide panniers and fairing, HoldFast accessories can be installed or removed in seconds to strip the bike back down to its essential cruiser form.

A broad, supportive seat and forward-mounted foot controls contribute to a rider triangle designed to fit a broad range of sizes; seat height is set at just 652.7mm. The Daymaker LED headlamp is surrounded by a ring of LED signature lighting and complements the bright LED taillight (and LED rear indicators). A USB charging port, keyless ignition and the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System are standard features.

New 43mm inverted forks stiffen the front end and feature a single-cartridge damping system to for precise handling, stability and confident braking performance – which is further enhanced by standard ABS. The Sport Glide rolls on new Mantis cast-aluminum wheels, 18-inch front and 16-inch rear, shod with Michelin Scorcher 31 performance tyres.

The Sport Glide also features the all-new Softail monoshock rear suspension with remote hydraulic spring preload adjustment, controlled via an exposed knob below the right side cover. It’s thus easy to accommodate the weight of luggage or passenger while maintaining optimal suspension performance and steering geometry.

The blacked-out Milwaukee-Eight 107 powertrain brings a new level of performance and sophistication to Harley-Davidson Big Twin cruisers, including the new Sport Glide. Dual counter-balancers are tuned to eliminate primary vibration at idle while permitting some engine character to reach the rider at speed. The engine is rigid-mounted in the frame, which stiffens the chassis and connects the rider more directly to the powertrain.

Precision oil cooling around the hottest areas of the cylinder heads further enhances rider and passenger comfort. The 2-1 exhaust, with sweeping rear header and black exhaust muffler contribute to the bike’s sporty style and enhance cornering clearance. Electronic throttle control enables standard electronic cruise control.

Riders craving even stronger road-legal Milwaukee-Eight performance for the Sport Glide can turn to Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Parts + Accessories for Screamin’ Eagle Performance Stage Upgrades, from a Stage I Street Cannon muffler and uprated intake options all the way to a Stage IV upgrade that takes displacement to 114 cubic inches, and power through the roof!