We all know that custom motorcycles are somewhat akin to wine: the older they get, the more appealing they seem to become. We’re not talking only about the bikes made in the shops of the most famous American garages, but also about some put together elsewhere by equally talented hands.
There’s no denying the fact that Americans rule the world when it comes to making custom bikes. Just take a look at what going on these days in Sturgis, and you’ll get the idea. But there are perhaps equally talented shops elsewhere, doing the same kind of work, at times with the same stunning results.
Take a look at this so called Matt Low. It’s old enough (and appealing) to fit the aging wine description, but it does not come from the U.S., but Europe.
Matt Low is one of the hundreds of builds that came out the doors of German custom shop Thunderbike. Its name may not that imaginative (it comes in matte paint, and rides low thanks to an air suspension), but seeing it does strike the right cords.
The bike was completed in about four months way back in 2008 and uses a custom frame married to an 88ci Harley-Davidson engine and 5-speed gearbox. Aside from the heart and the means to control it, everything else, from the fenders to the exhaust system is custom, made with parts that are still available in the Germans’ shop.
Visually (and due mostly to the Dragster frame used on it, which was deployed on other builds we already talked about) the Matt Low is if you like a signature Thunderbike product: sleek, low, with a massive wheel out back, and a custom paint job (courtesy of Kruse design) that makes all the difference.
In more recent times, Thunderbike seems to have found a new passion, and that is converting the most recent Softails into more extreme machines. We can’t remember the last time we’ve seen a fresh custom bike coming from Germany.
The Black Panther
Thunderbike customs isn’t pretending to be a Marvel character with this one however, it does have all the corresponding traits that, that Panthera-family feline has.
The bike you see in the gallery below is the work of a German custom shop called Thunderbike. Made at the request of one of its customers, the Breakout has been modified to both look and move like the real-life animal it is named after.
First, looks. Look as hard as you like, you’ll have problems finding any piece of this machine that isn’t painted in some shade of black. The parts that already came in this non-color were left as such, and the ones that didn’t were powder coated or exchanged for black parts.
The range of visual modifications is quite long – close to 30 custom parts are listed on the bike’s presentation page – and includes things like fenders, fuel tank, wheels, and exhaust system.
One of the most important pieces of new hardware is the addition of an air ride suspension kit that should make the Breakout behave just like the feline predator, raising and lowering itself depending on the circumstance. According to the specs, depending on the swingarm used, the suspension should provide up and down movement of up to 10 cm (4 inches).
Again we don’t know exactly how much the conversion of the Breakout to this cost, but the parts listed amount to over 12,000 euros (roughly $14,000), and that does not include either some other minor parts or big hardware such as the Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system.
That’s not exactly a cheap conversion, considering how the 2020 Breakout is stock form is priced from $20,000. Then again, you can never put a price on great custom work.
~And as always…
~Live Free Ride Hard~
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