The would-be rebels of the motorcycle world actually follow strict rules. One of them says that Harley-Davidsons are cruisers. Custom builders can turn them into bobbers or choppers, but that's it.
"Real" Harleys like the Big Twins aren't allowed to be made into streamlined canyon-carvers. It is strictly against the rules. Sorry, I don't make the rules here.
So when James Roper-Caldbeck of JamesVille Motorcycles in Copenhagen got an order from a client asking for a cafe racer, the bobber and chopper specialist looked for an original solution. His answer was to break the rules and build a 1974 Harley-Davidson FX Shovelhead Big Twin into a cafe racer.
"To be honest I had no idea what I was doing when it came to building a cafe racer, but I knew I wanted it black, with a fairing and it to look F*CKING mean!" Roper-Caldbeck said.
The bike used for the build had an 80 cubic inch engine built from S&S components and a five-speed transmission, which provided a solid performance foundation. From that, Roper-Caldbeck added Progressive Suspension shocks for improved handling.
The gas tank is the bike's original factory FX tank, but it suits the bike's new cafe lines very well. And that sleek bikini fairing wrapped around the headlight? A cheap Chinese part from eBay, Roper-Caldbeck revealed.
The MotoGP-inspired solo saddle and Ducati-like high exhaust cement the old cruiser's conversion to race-ready status. Those, and of course, modern brakes in place of the "terrible" '70s-vintage Harley stoppers.
This rule-breaking FX Shovelhead cruiser-turned-cafe-racer is so successful that we hope it encourages more builds outside old, expected norms. Roper-Caldbeck is high on his creation. "I'm not sure how the cafe racer guys will like this but I can tell you its awesome to ride!" he said.