Challenge 2



customized Thunderbike Harley-Davidson Softail

Only two weeks to set up - Just "Quick"

The Quicksilver did not get its name because it’s incredibly fast, but because it was created in just two weeks. I had already seen the 260/21 “tire in Sturgis at the Metzeler bike show and was thrilled. After a conversation with the Metzeler people at the Intermot it was clear that we could get a tire at short notice. 21 “We have already prepared wheel stars and rim bowls for this purpose. After another two weeks the tire came and we already had a lot of work anyway. Since there were 5 new bikes in the works for Custombike, I did not want to expect the project my boys too.

Finally, we had to invent a suitable swingarm, make a matching tail section, calculate the translation, find suitable pulleys and find out the length of the belt. Too much work! However, after putting on the tire and temporarily putting the rim in the bike, everyone was thrilled. The thing had to be finished but necessarily until the fair! After Herbert and Micha had measured everything, Herbert started to design the swingarm and milled a first copy. With the swingarm, the wheel could be fixed for the first time and Micha could adjust the fender. The transition frame / fender and the embellishments have done it again very well. After the seat shell was adapted to tank and fender, the frame went to our master painter Ingo Kruse after only four days. Old Skool was the topic for Ingo. Since the Platinum model had a silver engine, I had the originally polished engine cover powdered in the same color and the whole Ingo given as a pattern for the paint.

He made the impossible possible within a week and gave the thing a perfect finish. After the bike was back from the Ingo, there were still 2 days left to assemble. Actually no problem: But as already mentioned, there was a lot more to do. Three more bikes were still in the works and the booth had to be set up. Michael made in the time when the frame was at the Ingo, the handlebar and shortened a Springer fork. All add-on parts were matt gray powder coated during the painting week and the seat was purchased from the saddler. The exhaust was also a problem when assembling. We tried everything from our assortment – but nothing really suited the style. Finally, we decided on a few VA elbows, simply extended and sandblasted them.

Tough on the thermometer?

Text by Dirk Magartz - Custombike

“Quicksilver” is the name of Thunderbike’s latest creation. As the first bike on German roads this Harley-Davidson Softail is allowed to carry the new 21 inch high 260 Metzeler tyre. Similar to sporty cars, the tyre diameters in the custom bike sector are also getting bigger and bigger. With immediate effect Metzeler also offers a giant rubber with the dimension 260-35VR21, which easily exceeds the usual formats by two hand widths.

Harley dealer and custom workshop Thunderbike got the first 21 inch and quickly built a Twin Cam Harley around the maxi tyre. Why the bike is called Quicksilver, we ask: “Well, the Quicksilver didn’t get its name because it rides incredibly fast or because it was made in high heat. Rather, we set up the bike pretty quickly in just two weeks,” explains Thunderbike boss Andreas Bergerforth. Let’s listen to how it all began: “I had already seen the 160/21″ in Sturgis at the Metzeler bike show and was thrilled. After a conversation with the Metzeler people at the Intermot in Cologne, it was clear that we would get a tyre as soon as possible”.

With this information, the crew from Hamminkeln initially began to develop and manufacture large wheel spiders and rim disks without the tyre, 21″ and the rim. When the tyre finally arrived at the end of November last year, the oversized rim could simply be pulled off the shelf. Actually, it was too late to get the bike ready for the Custombike 2006 fair in Bad Salzuflen at the beginning of December. “Finally we had to invent a matching swingarm, make a rear section, calculate the gear ratio, new pulleys, belt length and so on.”

It’s a little quick and silvery already. Above all, however, the “Quicksilver” came into being in an extremely short time. But after the guys had put on the tire and the bike was temporarily in the bike, all were completely enthusiastic. The thing would have to be finished somehow until the fair…

After the construction of the swingarm a first specimen was milled. A fender was adapted. After only four days the Rolling Chassis could be brought to the painter Ingo Kruse, who should cross the Old Skool theme with the colour Platinum-Silver. “Hard to believe, but within a week Ingo had given the thing a perfect finish”, Andreas is pleased. In the meantime the handlebars had been made, the saddle upholstered and the Springer fork shortened. As expected, the story has a happy ending. After all, there were still two days left until the trade fair. Just in time for the appearance at the exhibition stand, it was ready: silvery, classic and with a gigantic wheel diameter. The latter a trend that is guaranteed to come soon. Betting?


We still have to get used to the sight: However, the proportions of the entire bike shift pleasantly. More of it…

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Nico Schnepel

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0049 2852 - 6777-30
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0049 2852 - 6777-41
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