Burning Skull

Hollywood Joe

customized Harley-Davidson Softail Street Bob

Customizer Journeyman Exam

Hollywood Joe, that sounds fun, and that’s the key word. Once again we show you a swinging fender.

It’s sort of the journeyman’s test for a customizer. If you haven’t built a swinging fender, you don’t belong in our guild. It’s our day job, of course, but it’s still a demanding custom job that separates the real screwdriver from the wrench. That’s why you can’t buy a swinging fender from our catalog.

Softail Gets Even Softer

When Harley-Davidson introduced the Softail frame in 1984, it was a huge hit, leading to a separate model line that is still being built today: A triangular rear section cushioned by hidden struts continued the line of the frame and suggested the look of a classic rigid frame.

But the fender clamped between the struts disturbed the clean look. The factory rear fender remained bulbous, but there was no other way to keep the Harley social. The customizers quickly got the idea. They no longer attached the fender to the struts, which in turn were attached to the upper frame rails. Instead, they bolted the fender directly to the swingarm.


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Flying Fender

This allows it to be positioned close to the tire like a rigid frame, and it stays that way no matter how much the swingarm compresses. The fender swings with the bike. We call this a “flying fender”. A swinging fender is no longer suitable for passenger use because the riding position on it is unsprung. This is one of the reasons why a custom bike is also called a custom bike, because it is made according to the needs of an individual customer.

The rear fender sits tight. The Kellermann Atto turn signals look like a continuation of the perforated brace

Not a real swinging saddle. The saddle springs are stiff so as not to interfere with the feedback between the rider and the rear suspension

The challenge of customization

The challenge starts with customization. The final attachment of a Flying Fender remains an individual millimeter job. This is due to factory manufacturing tolerances and the different wheels and tires that roll on a custom bike. So we need the complete rear end to make sure all the components fit exactly, and you have the opportunity to see that in our workshop. The result is impressive.

You have to search a long time to find the hidden pulley

We don’t just stop at the fender

Our customer also wanted this Hollywood Joe with new tires, which now have completely different dimensions. He chose our FLH wheels, which look especially sexy in bicolor, a combination of black and shiny metal.

Instead of the standard 16-inch Street Bob wheels, we now have an 18-inch wheel with 200 tires at the rear. Its generous dimensions are especially noticeable because we moved the disc to the side of the pulley, hiding it well. Hidden also because we took the pulley and brake disk from our transparent “Spoke” line and because our side license plate holder frees up the full view of the rear.

The titanium saddle provides support in a pronounced hollow. So you don’t slip on the unsprung rear fender

Ensemble Rear

The seat above the ensemble is called “Titanium”. It has the look of a swinging saddle with a hollow that provides the necessary support for a swinging mudguard. After all, the rider is not supposed to slide onto the rear, which has a life of its own without suspension.

We’ll let you in on a secret: the swingarm doesn’t really swing. The springs it rests on are rigid. Otherwise we would have double suspension, that of the swingarm and that of the saddle. This could disturb the feedback between man and machine.

Frontend in sauberstem Schwarz

There is also an FLH wheel up front, of course with 21″ wheels instead of the standard 19″. Lowering the fork neutralizes the change in caster. So there is no loss in handling. Since black should remain the dominant color, the chrome on the fork is now gone. We could have hidden it under the standard Street Bob fork boots and covers. Instead, our customer chose a new coating for the fork. It is called DLC, or Diamond Like Carbon. Granted, it is expensive, especially since it requires the complete removal of the fork. But it is the highest quality finish that can be applied to a previously chrome-plated surface.

Hollywood Handlebar

The Hollywood handlebar also houses our well-hidden Stripe indicators at its ends

The “Hollywood” handlebars with their perforated struts echo the perforated struts on the rear fender. Stylistically, it could be done differently, as we also have the Hollywood as “Hollywood Light” without perforated plates. In order to show off the handlebars to their best advantage, we have made the indicators disappear quite well, as they are once again our “stripes”, which lie flat and as close as a swinging rear fender under the handlebar fittings. The handlebar grips and the front footrests are from our “Satin” range.


Best for the new century

Jekill and Hyde’s Shorty Slashcut Mufflers give you that old-school sound suggested by the rigid-frame look of the rear end at the push of a button. We are not living in 1984 anymore, and we are not living in the age of bone-hard rigid frames. But we took the best of both and brought it into the new millennium with our Hollywood Joe. Made to measure!

Parts & Details

  • Thunderbike FLH wheel
  • Thunderbike Brake Disc Spoke Floated 300mm
  • Thunderbike Brake Disc Spoke Floated 292mm
  • Thunderbike Pulley Spoke polished
  • Thunderbike Rear Fender Steel 200 mm / 18''
  • Thunderbike Frame Cover-Set black
  • Thunderbike Lowering Kit Shock Stage 2 (30mm)
  • Thunderbike Solo Saddle Titanium II black
  • Thunderbike Seat Mounting Kit Titanium/Titanium II
  • Thunderbike License Plate Frame Inside Plate
  • Thunderbike License Plate Lighting
  • Thunderbike Reflector Inside Plate
  • Kellermann Bullet Atto DF Turn Signal Set 3in1 black/clear
  • Thunderbike Tele Fork Lowering Kit
  • Thunderbike Front Fender 21'' Fiberglass
  • Thunderbike Speedo Riser Kit black
  • Thunderbike Handlebar Hollywood
  • Thunderbike Turn Signals Stripe LED with Housing
  • Thunderbike Grips Base Satin black cut
  • Thunderbike Rear Axle Cover Set
  • Thunderbike Front Axle Cover-Set
  • Thunderbike Axle Cover Swingarm left
  • Thunderbike Forward Control Kit black
  • Thunderbike Shiftpeg & Brakepeg Satin
  • Thunderbike Footpeg Set Base Satin Design
  • Thunderbike Toppers Base
  • Thunderbike Timer Cover New Custom
  • Thunderbike Powerfilter-Kit Grand Classic
  • Thunderbike EFI Cover black wrinkle
  • Thunderbike Derby Cover New Custom
  • Motogadget mo.view Classic Mirror black

Author / Editor

Michael Ahlsdorf

Your contact


Nico Schnepel

Customparts, Dealer Support

0049 2852 - 6777-30
Send an email


Roman Reiners

Customparts, Dealer Support

0049 2852 - 6777-30
Send an email


Julian Segler

Sales, Financing, Rental, Custombikes

0049 2852 - 6777-41
Send an email


Thomas Emky

Custombikes Service Workshop

0049 2852 - 6777-56
Send an email

More Street Bob Customs

You can find Thunderbike Parts and original Harley-Davidson Parts  in our online shop.


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