• There’s Already a Harley Nightster Custom Build

Mere weeks after its launch, Japanese Builder Hide Motorcycles Unveils Its Take on the Sportster Replacement

The Harley Davidson Nightster might only be a few weeks old, but already custom builders are showing their take on the Sportster replacement.

Hide Motorcycles Harley Nightster Custom

There's Already a Harley Nightster Custom Build
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Custom Harley Nightster
Coming mere weeks after Harley launched the Nightster, this is the first of five customs Harley commissioned from builders in the US, England and Japan

Any Harley Davidson is always going to be the focus of attention for custom builders the world over and a new model offers a new canvas for them to showcase their talents. However, no-one expected the first custom versions of the new Nightster to appear mere weeks after the official launch.

The reason for this is that, six months ago, Harley shipped pre-production versions to five custom builders in the US, England and Japan, with the instruction that they had to be ready in time for the factory model’s release.

There's Already a Harley Nightster Custom Build
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Street Tracker
The street tracker style is hugely popular in Japan and this might just be the perfect vision

Now, thanks to www.bikeexif.com the first of these has been revealed in all its glory.

Built by Hideya Togashi of Japan’s Hide Motorcycles, this re-imagining of the Nightster takes harley Flat track machines as its inspiration, to stunning effect.

There's Already a Harley Nightster Custom Build
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Difficult Packaging
Hideya Togashi of Hide Motorcycles could not change the engine or frame and had to abandon all their expertise of Sportster customs

H-D contacted Togashi and invited him to take part in the exercise. He did not need much persuading: “The Nightster name was not mentioned, because it hadn’t been launched yet,” he said. “It was a great honor to receive the request. I was nervous, not knowing details of the bike, but I didn’t need long to accept!” It was only after the paperwork had been completed that he was told what the donor bike would be.

Togashi has built more than 100 Sportster-based customs but soon realised that the new Nightster shared nothing with its famous forebear and that he could use none of his hard-earned expertise: “I took it apart and looked at its skeleton, and realised that the plan I had initially envisioned would not work,” he says. “I have built over 100 customs based on the Sportster so far, but I could not use that experience. The Nightster was a completely new Harley.

There's Already a Harley Nightster Custom Build
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Neat and Light
Take on Harley Nightster and add lightness

“When I saw the new front frame and electrical wiring details, I realized that everything about the Nightster was different from the previous Sportster. The ‘old’ Sportster has a wide range of customization possibilities because of its transmission-integrated OHV engine, and the simplicity of the frame structure that holds it.”

The street tracker style was adopted because of its history in Japanese custom circles: “It’s a style and term that emerged from the Japanese custom scene in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This style has had a strong influence on custom bike culture, and it’s the cornerstone of Harley custom culture in Japan.”

There's Already a Harley Nightster Custom Build
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Seat/tank unit looks stunning but might not offer all-day comfort...

The engine and frame remain as they emerged from the Harley factory and the gas tank, which actually houses the airbox and electronics was another limiting factor to the final design. That Togashi and his team have managed to create something visually stunning is testament to their skill.

For the full story, click here

Images courtesy of www.bikeexif.com and, once again, thank you to them for bringing such machines to our attention.

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
Motorcycling Contributor
Born and raised in England, he has lived in South Africa with his family since 2002. Harry has owned examples of Triumph, Norton, BSA, MV Agusta, Honda, BMW, Ducati, Harley Davidson, Kawasaki and Moto Morini motorcycles. He regrets selling all of them.  Read full bio
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