The first factory custom Harley Davidson was the 1971 Harley-Davidson Super Glide, designed by Willie G. Davidson. Although there had been other custom motorcycles before, this was the one that spawned generations of creative Harley lovers to take their bikes and turn them into highly personal works of art. Nowadays, there are entire companies dedicated to crafting these super unique Harleys and plenty of individual builders who enjoy putting together unusual bespoke models. Here are the top ten custom Harley Davidson motorcycles that will blow your mind. We're not 100% sure on all these photos but we did the best we could.
10. King Kong
If you've never been to the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, then you are missing out on a treasure trove of incredible bikes. Not all of them are custom, but quite a few are. Among those is King Kong. This surprising monster movie-inspired motorcycle was created by Felix Predko, who dedicated much of his life to making custom motorcycles. Sadly, Felix passed away in 2004 at the age of 88, according to Mason Hartwig of AltDrivers, but his art lives on in this and many other mind-blowing Harley Davidson motorcycles.
9. Swarovski Studded
From the super scary to the ultra-feminine, the Swarovsky crystal-studded luxury bike of your dreams is this incredible Harley. The ten thousand gems accent a pink-painted motorcycle that was featured as the Women's Rider Month pick. A work of art like this proves that you don't have to accent a Harley with hard edges and bold firey colors.
8. Harley Trunk Bike (No Photo)
Easily one of the strangest Harley-Davidsons ever made is the Harley Trunk Bike. This brilliant purple motorcycle has art deco-inspired accents in chrome. On its own, this motorcycle is a show-stopping beauty. However, it was made to fit in the trunk of a matching custom car. When it comes to elevating your transportation game to the next level, the designer of this combo clearly understood the assignment.
7. Shark Harley
There have been several Harleys that were painted to look like sharks. That's no real surprise, considering how scenic the ride up the Pacific Coast Highway is. All that ocean expanse was bound to inspire a fair few riders. However, this shark Harley has gills and a painted side that looks like someone took a bite out of it. You can see the ribs and musculature, making this a gruesome but very cool motorcycle.
6. Moto Adonis Live Wire
The first electric Harley to make our list is the Moto Adonis custom. This eco-friendly ride looks more like a futuristic armored pill-bug or alien battle armor in black than a traditional motorcycle. If Mad Max was more gothic and on a bike, this would be what he rode. According to BikeExif, "The LiveWire was commissioned by a client, with a brief that'd tempt any builder. "We got the great opportunity to design and build whatever we think is cool," Arthur tells us. "As long as it is futuristic and black."
5. Hard Rockin' GOC (No Photo)
When steampunk meets rock and roll, you get the Game Over Cycles (GOC) custom Harley-Davidson Sportster 883. Of course, not a lot of the original bike remains, but it was worth the work. Handmade parts convert every aspect of this motorcycle into a fully functional, music-inspired work of art. The leather seat has engraved notes from the chorus of "Highway to Hell." You can see it on display at the Hard Rock Cafe in Krakow.
4. El Jefe from Thunderbike
El Jefe means The Boss, and this boss Harley lives up to its name. The incredible paintwork comes from Ingo Kruse from Kamen. Wide, low-set handlebars give this extreme machine a very low profile. As lowriders go, few match the stunning appeal of this incredible bespoke bike. Among the many attractive features, custom 5-piece spoke wheels are produced in-house by Thunderbike Customs like many of the parts. Best of all, anyone can order this custom bike because anything with that much beauty is worth making more than once.
3. Smoked Garage Future-Harley (No Photo)
When you give Smoked Garage a Harley-Davidson Softail and tell them to make it look like the future, what you get is truly special. Smoked Garage created this custom for the Suryanation Motorland event in Jakarta. Although the entire bike is sleek and looks like something out of a Tron daydream, the LED-lit wheels are especially stunning. Most of the motorcycle is adapted with custom parts, and both the grips and foot controls were custom made by Smoked.
2. Medusa (No Photo)
When you hear the name Medusa, you probably think of a woman who has snakes for hair and turns men to stone. However, there's another interpretation. In the original myth, Medusa was one of the most beautiful women ever to live, and as a result, the god Poseidon broke into a temple to kiss her, which angered the goddess Athena. The Medusa Softtail is all about the jealousy invoking glorious and gorgeous appearance of the custom paintwork. Done up in gold, crimson, and chrome, this masterpiece is touched with baroque florals that perfectly suit the elegant and regal demeanor of the well-named bike.
1. The Xenomorph
All of the bikes on this list are mind-bending modifications. Some are strange and horrific, others elegant, and some are all about the tech. However, there's just one Harley Davidson motorcycle mod that is simultaneously all those things and more. The undisputed ruler and pinnacle of custom motorcycles has to be The Xenomorph. Modeled after Ridley Scott's Alien, this bike is a wonder in chrome and futuristic alien anatomy. It is both creepy and lovely. There was never any doubt that The Xenomorph would top this list.
From the mind-blowingly weird to the breathtakingly beautiful, custom Harleys are a world unto themselves. Skilled crafters worldwide take these incredible bikes and turn them into fever dreams and fantasies that most of us will never ride. However, the lucky few who take to the roads on these machines are guaranteed to garner attention. There are hundreds of custom Harley Davidsons that will blow your mind, but these ten are genuinely extraordinary.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith