With the Harley-Davidson Rock Riders Season VI coming up on the 30th and 31st of October in Mumbai, there is a lot to watch out for, if one is a motorcycle enthusiast.
Apart from the roaring twin-cylinders and thundering exhausts kicking up dirt, custom bikes will be a huge attraction.
So, at this year's Harley-Davidson Rock Riders (Season VI), there will be many modded Harleys. Here is a look at some of the custom Harley-Davidson bike builders who are competing for this year's title—the custom champions contest. The winner gets an all-expense paid trip to the Harley-Davidson museum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.
1. EIMOR Customs:
Based out of Hyderabad, East India Motorcycle Revolution (EIMOR) Customs specializes in building the Harley-Davidson Street 750s. Running the show are MJ and Saikat, who started off their careers painting helmets and buckets to understand the process of painting before applying it on motorcycles! The duo strongly believes that a custom built motorcycle should ride good first.
But their journey wasn't smooth. They faced a problem that many other custom bike builders face-availability of spares, mainly electrical and cables. As they recall, when they once built a Street 750, they needed coolant, but the Harley dealership refused to sell it to them. The dealership wanted the owner of the motorcycle to confirm it, and only then supplied a bottle to them. This incident has happened a few times to EIMOR Customs.
The duo also laughed about the fact that when police see custom build jobs such as theirs, they love to take selfies before letting go of the motorcycle.
EIMOR Customs main customer inflow is through Facebook and email, while email queries are easier to attend, since they have a dedicated person for these enquiries.
A few awards won by EIMOR are:
– Best Custom Harley at over 6 Indian H.O.G. Rallies in the past 3 years
– Winners of India Bike Week 2013
2. Godspeed Customs:
Godspeed Customs is based out of Kochi, Kerala. The master minds behind it are Nikesh & Neel, whose career started in 2014 during India Bike Week (IBW). A Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty Eight built to look like a Bobber was Nikesh's first motorcycle, which won the best customized Sportster of the year at the event.
During this event, Nikesh met Neel, and realized they shared something very interesting in common and Godspeed Customs was born the same year.
They too believe that bikes should be ridden, even after being customised, and the duo from God's own Country are known to build real world motorcycles that are hand fabricated.
Awards won by Godspeed Customs:
– Winner of custom bike of the year 2015 in IBW
3. TJ Moto:
Tushar started with a Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 883 a couple of years ago. This bike's customization grabbed the attention of Harley fanatics, and was even featured on Pipeburn, a website that features radical custom built motorcycles from around the world.
At the age of 24, he was also featured in the list of top 4 bike builders in the country. Getting there though was not an easy task. In an exclusive interview with DriveSpark, he recalls an incident where he had to wait for a month to get tyres, which had to be sent over from Pennsylvania, US.
An automobile designer by profession, Tushar never repeats designs for customers, and the main mode of promotion for his work and getting customers is through word of mouth.
The Sportster line is Tushar's favorite, and TJ Moto is based out of New Delhi.
4. TNT Motorcycles:
TNT Motorcycles is another custom builder from Delhi. Run by Naveen and Nitin, most of the motorcycle parts are fabricated in-house, but other essential parts like wheels have to be ordered and imported from the US, which takes about 15 days.
Naveen, from his experience has seen that customers usually approach him for mods after the motorcycle warrant expires. He would make notes of what the customer wants and would give a few of his own inputs as well. Once that is done, he will render the final design which would also tell him the availability of parts and how strong they will be in real world usage.
The duo got into building bikes after they had a sour experience with another builder. This led them to build a motorcycle for the 2014 IBW. Their first build, ‘Shunya' received overwhelming response from people, which made them quit their corporate jobs and start TNT Motorcycles.
Their build theme is to create the unknown, while still keeping the motorcycle rider friendly and ridable. Naveen and Nitin's main medium to expose their talents is through Facebook and by attending shows.
5. Moto Miu:
Based out of Mumbai, Saurabh Shirke and Arjun Bafna have been in the business for a short while, but enough to bag awards. They design motorcycles based on a philosophy that it should be reliable and fun to ride.
Moto Miu is well equipped with German machinery that help them fabricate parts and a top notch infrastructure. They build motorcycles as per customer requirements and try replacing most of the metal on the Harleys with aluminium since it is light.
They specialise in customising the Harley-Davidson Softail series. Moto Miu too, faces trouble like other builders due to lack of spares. They recall instances where the original electricals for a bike they were building took about a month and a half to reach.
Moto Miu tries to keep mods minimalistic as possible, so customers won't get into trouble with authorities for bespoke and outrageous designs.
Awards won by Moto Miu:
– Winner: Best Dealer Custom at the 2014 Indian H.O.G. Rally and IBW.