After many epic Battle of the Kings contests across the globe, Harley-Davidson saw 18 winners from previous rounds go head to head with an unlimited budget, Sportster build-off as the climax of this custom competition. This year saw 18 previous winners come together to battle for the crown of King of Kings.
Oscar Peralta and Harley-Davidson Querétaro, Mexico were the eventual victors with their stunning “Apex Predator”, followed by grand final runner-up Harley-Davidson Athens, Greece with their Roadster-based submission Gryps and third-placed Sykes Harley-Davidson from the UK with their Choo Choo entry. Special commendation was given to Harley-Davidson Thunderbike who were awarded the H-D Styling Team Pick by Brad Richards, VP of Styling and Design at Harley-Davidson Motor Company.
The team started the design of the Apex Predator with the mantra, “Born to attack without a challenge. Born to live without rival”, keeping the team focused on creating an aggressive, fresh look for their King of Kings entry. The bike clearly demonstrates the technical abilities within the Querétaro dealership, with a stunning hand crafted 2-1-2 under seat exhaust, combined with a vented hand-built tail unit that accommodates the one-off upswept exhaust. Creating a flowing line from the wave brake disc rotors and upside-down Showa big piston forks at the front.
The clean, uncluttered front end uses the LED Daymaker™ headlamp from a Harley-Davidson® Breakout®. The bikes lines and design are uninterrupted by the TFT flat panel dash, taking nothing away from the design. The bike also boasts a collection of custom hand and foot controls, paired with the hand finished Alcantara seat unit. Additional bespoke bodywork incorporates the twin air intakes complementing the stance of the bike. The exceptional Sterling Green paintwork supported by acres of powder coating, add a luxury feel to the final presentation.
It faced strong competition from Athens as well as one of the two UK entries from Sussex-based Sykes, who used a Sportster 1200 Custom as the donor bike for a vintage performance-inspired build. A Softail Slim front wheel was placed into a Paughco springer front end, with a converted friction damper based on a WLR Flathead design adding to the vintage style.
RSD Tracker handlebars were cut into sections and welded to the top fork clamp, while grips handmade from leather string were wound on and waxed in place with an internal Kustom Tech throttle assembly. The paintwork was courtesy of a Wurth rattle can aerosol paint with logo and pinstripes by builder Tom Winchester’s sister, Miss Peaches Designs, then distressed by pouring brake fluid over it!
And while a carefully styled turbocharger unit added speed; a lot of time and attention went in to ensuring such a modern component was painstakingly designed to fit with the vintage theme.
Speaking of the result, Sykes Harley-Davidson Dealer Principal, Steve Willis, said: “Obviously, our aim was to win, but top three in a global custom competition of this calibre is amazing and I’m really proud of what Tom and the team have achieved. In recent years, our custom design and builds have been bringing regular, new customers to us and this achievement gives them another reason to trust us in creating their dream machine. Congratulations to Querétaro and Athens – both were stunning builds.”
The iconic Sportster platform provided the donor bike for each custom build in the 2020 King of Kings grand final; its core strengths make it one of the easiest vehicles in the Harley-Davidson range to customise. Since 1957, the Harley-Davidson Sportster has been used to create more individual custom bikes than any other – with its classic lines, characterful Evolution™ V-Twin motor and a huge selection of Genuine Harley-Davidson Parts & Accessories, building the perfect bobber, café racer, tracker or chopper is within easy reach.
Jon Bekefy, GM of Global Brand Marketing at Harley-Davidson Motor Company congratulated the winner, saying: “2020’s King of Kings Battle of the Kings competition was a watermark moment for the Anniversary of this legendary platform and a celebration of the talents and culture that Harley-Davidson dealerships bring to customers every day. Querétaro Harley-Davidson’s entry Apex Predator is the ultimate representation of the flexibility and capability of the Sportster. It shows that from choppers, bobbers, café racers, and the race track, the Sportster has an unmatched pedigree of expression and community among motorcycles.”
For information on the King of Kings contest visit: www.h-d.com/customkings.