Harley Davidson Seventy Two Brings Back a Thin Look
The Harley Davidson Seventy Two bike is your metallic flake fantasy, a Sportster on the highway back in time when cool young adults rode a Sting Ray and the huge players left custom bikes one after the other across the street. Those bikes were longer and thin; stylish red-tone and sparkling stainless shimmering in fuzzy sunlight.
From the bike’s red flake color and monkey bars to the thin white wall tires, the Seventy Two is a respectful nod to that time and to the impact of the customized bike culture which even now set scenes to this day around Whittier Boulevard, the iconic riding street in East Los Angeles also referred to as route 72. A new era of custom builders are making use of that era and newer statement, not just in California but in garages throughout the United States, even all over the world.
The appearance of the Seventy Two was credited from the enthusiasm of the birth of custom made motor bikes. At that period of time, bikes were multi-colored and bright, but also slim and stripped down to the basics revealing their skeleletal support frames.
Taking a stroll down memory lane, you’ll be surprised how uncomplicated they are, like bicycles. It’s a customized model that is very particular in America along with the California trend where there wasn’t a single motorcycle superstore in the region where riders can acquire parts in one-stop. Pretty much everything was hand crafted to fulfill the custom biker’s specs.
Metal flake, a common style of the seventies, showed up in everything from dune buggy gel coating to plastic restaurant seat covers for customized motorbikes. Harley-Davidson carries the sparkle back on the Seventy Two with red flake paint. This finish is accomplished by using a black first layer blended with a polyeutherane system which includes hexagon-shaped flakes that are at least Seven times the size of metal flakes included in regular commercial paint. Each flake is covered with a thin aluminium coating and then colored red. Several layers of natural finish combined with manual sanding, produce a clean finish on the flakes.
The last detail for the red flake is an emblem on the fuel tank and pinstripe scallop designs on both fenders. Every single style is hand drawn, and they have symbolized the craft in decal for commercial production, to make sure they still have the look of manually placed layouts; each decal is placed by hand. The sharp graphics is then covered with a final clear coating. A solo seat and side-mounted license plate clump keep most of the chopped rear fender – and more of the paint – displayed around the Seventy Two. The power train is finished in gray powder coat with chrome covers plus a new round air filter with a dished cover. A classic Sportster 2.1 gallon peanut fuel tank adds a final vintage look to the motorcycle.
Undress a Harley Davidson Softail to its key components and you’ve got the Slim. From its reduced front fender to its small rear end, Slim is a non-sense, back-to-basics motorbike. Name it bare. Coin it old school. Call it slim and rude. All that’s kept is an elemental Softail profile and a prominent Harley-Davidson style that recalls classic personalized bobbers of the 50s.
To keep the rear of the motorbike basic and clean, the Slim includes a mixed stop-turn-tail lights and a side mounted license plate rack. The rear fender struts rest uncovered, featuring the sturdy steel and fasteners. A small leather strap masks the tank seam. The power train is finished with buffed covers instead of chrome with the black cylinders maintained to look not highlighted. The front fender is cut down to show more of the tire.
The Hollywood bar, recognized by its wide curve and cross brace, was in fact an accessory for Harley-Davidson bikes with springer forks. The word may have been termed because bike riders of that time who used the cross brace to place lights and packs had gone Hollywood with unnecessary add-ons attached with their motorcycles. For the Slim, the cross braced bar and louvered head lights nacelles are painted in gloss black. Other classic styling cues consist of a shiny black cat’s eye fuel tank unit with a old school speedometer, half-moon motorcycle footboards, a round air cleaner cover, and high gloss black wheel rims and hubs. The cover over the seat is sewn in a tuck-and-roll design and style.
A counter-balanced Twin Cam 103B motor is snugly fixed inside the chassis, building a strong link between driver and the machine. The Softail case imitates the clear lines of a classic hard tail body, but uses backside shock absorber control systems delivered by coil-over shocks fitted horizontally and hidden from the frame rails. With the combination of a 23.8-inch seat height and motorbike footboards, the Slim comfortably fits a a number of riders and gives an easy side-stand lift-off. A pull-back riser add-on is generally installed to shift the handlebar back 2 inches without adjusting control cables and lines. Combine this on the top of a classic motorcycle helmet and head to a motorcycle superstore to pick up your preferred all American fabricated accessories to complete your trip back in time.
Riding a classic custom motorcycle needs to be paired with classic accessories. A motorcycle helmet should match the vintage look of these Harley, so be sure to drop by at a motorcycle superstore to get one.
2012 Harley Davidson XL1200V Seventy-Two Pure 72 Glam Rock. Nineteen seventy-two was the year of Glam Rock Vietnam and Watergate and NASA still sent men to the Moon.
Last month I was lucky enough to test drive Harley Davidson’s new retro chopper the Seventy Two. I had an amazing time in Miami despite the embarrassment of having to ask them to move the handle bars back for me.
Harley Davidson unveiled two new mid-year models the 2012 XL1200V Seventy Two and FLS Softail Slim at Southern California biker hotspot Cook’s Corner. Learn more at Cycle World now.
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