Dazzling custom Harleys on display in Battle of the Kings

Get inspiration for your next custom bike build and help choose the next Harley custom king.

If you appreciate custom motorcycles, you can’t say you were born in the wrong era. The scene is strong, it’s growing, and it shows no signs of putting the brakes on.

Harley-Davidson has been synonymous with customisation for eons and certainly does not want to get lost in the crowd.

A Dark Custom Harley-Davidson Roadster
A Dark Custom Harley-Davidson Roadster: the bike that dealers had to customise.

To promote the extensive range of accessories and extras available for its motorcycles, especially the Dark Custom range, and to demonstrate the customising talents of its dealers, Harley created The Battle of the Kings. The competition, now in its third year, works like this:

Each participating H-D dealership starts off with one of the Dark Custom Roadster models as a blank canvas. It is then customised using Harley-Davidson parts and accessories from the Dark Custom range, but without spending more than €6 000 (about R85 000) on components. The bike has to be road legal when the build is complete.

A total of 223 H-D dealerships across 21 countries, including South Africa, will compete for the Battle of the Kings III crown.

You get to vote for your favourite, and the best part is that they can be seen in the metal this weekend (27-29 January) at the Cape Town Motor Show at GrandWest.

The seven South African entries will be on display, and on-site voting will take place. Online voting closes on 15 February. To vote or get more information visit www.h-d.com/battleofthekings and choose South Africa and Roadster from the drop-down menu (if not already selected). The winner will be announced at the end of February.

Custom Harley by Nicol Basson.
The entry bike of Harley-Davidson Tyger Valley, Cape Town, built by Nicol Basson.

Each region will have a winner crowned to go into the grand European final. Final judging to determine the King then takes place.

And so, the quest begins. Who shall reign forthwith? No beheadings required, but still: There can be only one!