2008 Harley Davidson Crossbones
2015 Harley Davidson Outlaw - 2WheelsMiklos Custom
Today the fight is between two very bright and loud Harley's. Outlaw, the green machine, is a 1200cc sportster from 1988 which has been entirely rebuilt from the ground up, whereas the Crossbones is a near factory 2008 Springer - the last factory Springer from the giant that is Harley Davidson.
Kicking off with a ride on the ridiculously comfortable Crossbones, which has had its 96 cubic inch block switched out with a much more impressive 110 cubic engine with a "Heavy Breather". It's bright, with a custom yellow paint job and a beautifully worked silver skull on the tank and matt black short shot pipes. This thing has been built to turn heads.
It has the sharp and loud sound you would expect from such short pipes, but runs smoothly and with the saddle bags and luggage rack it's easy to see why this would be a good distance ride. On that note, Miklos is very proud to point out that this is the Only Crossbones ever to do the Iron Hog, a ride to all 28 UK mainland Harley dealerships over a weekend and covering about 1,800 miles.
Outlaw is a very different machine, it's got a smaller engine at 74 cubic inches (1200cc Sportster) but has had had a huge amount of weight removed and therefore pulls like a rocket (as far as Harley Davidson's are concerned).
It rides low, with your ass hovering a few inches above the aggressive Trailwing Adventure tyre, and feels amazing to twist the throttle and shift along to 70mph with ease. With the rabbit ear handle bars this is a very interesting ride overall.
This bike is a custom which has rolled out of the 2WheelsMiklos garage, Miklos explains that this is one of those jobs that you have to stop looking at the time that is spent on the build and just look forward to the time that will be spent on the bike when it's finally complete. There's a home built flat tank inspired by the Harley's of the 20's and 30's, with a tank rack made from three brass rods which complement the brass seen on the lights, velocity stack, horn/bell, grips and foot pegs... There is also a very interesting horseshoe oil tank, a design from the 40s, under the saddle which required some serious frame modifications. A further retro design aspect is the colour, fern green ( again from 20s & 30s Harley's), and the red/yellow/black pin striping and logo on the tank.
The bike has a lot of other custom parts as well, like the anodised copper oil lines, fenders, battery box, wiring harness, brass spacers, which makes it clear that a huge effort has gone into this build.
It's hard to pick between the two, but knowing the Outlaw is one of a kind puts it ahead of the Crossbones for me.