Do Not Underestimate the Power of the ‘Dark Side’ Custom Harley
The Force is strong with this one.
While Harley-Davidson die-hards might dismiss The Motor Company’s Street 750 as “not a real Harley,” owing to the smaller displacement, liquid cooling and 60-degree V-angle of its engine, which all differ from the format they believe was carried down from Mount Sinai, “The Dark Side” should change some minds.
We already knew that Vietnam’s Daryl Villanueva could make a big impact with a small bike after seeing the custom he dubbed “Eden,” using a vintage Honda Super Sport 125, so it is no surprise that Bandit9 could do something as dramatic as The Dark Side when starting with a Harley Street 750.
To start with, Villanueva kicked out the steering head angle, providing a chopper-esque rake to Dark Side’s front end and substituting an inverted front fork assembly to help reinforce the rigidity. Raked forks originated in drag racing bikes, so naturally there’s a set of flat drag handlebars atop the fork here.
That’s an extended swingarm mounting the rear wheel, further stretching Dark Side’s wheelbase for a longer-lower-leaner look.
The fairing is Dark Side’s signature piece, however. The fluid lines of its stainless steel demonstrate Villanueva’s mastery of the metal, and it is topped by a tinted windshield and has a bright white LED headlight as its leading edge. The matching custom fenders are also stainless steel.
If the stock Street has one glaring aesthetic shortcoming, it is the incorporation of the liquid-cooled engine’s radiator and the lumpy plastic shroud on the radiator.
Rather than minimizing this part, Bandit9 actually enlarged it, making it an aerodynamic part in concert with the fairing that provides the visual effect of a minimal chin fairing.
Dark Side also wears a customized two-into-one exhaust system from the wizards at Vance & Hines, providing a suitable Kylo Ren-style voice modifier to give the Street a more menacing bark.
The tan leather seat cover is hand stitched, and those are slender LED lights used throughout.
Bandit9 is building just nine examples of The Dark Side, priced at $32,000. Don’t worry about their location in Vietnam, the price includes shipping worldwide.