Roar by Thunderbike Harley-Davidson Niederrhein–Germany

Global Semi-Finalist

The folks in the Lower Rhine Valley chose to transform the sporty and aggressive FXDR 114 into an even sportier – and show-stopping – drag racer. The bike pays homage to Thunderbike founder Andreas Bergerforth, who spent the majority of his younger years on the drag strips of Europe, racing the bikes he and his crew built — albeit Suzukis and other Japanese bikes. It was also inspired by his daughter Kim, an avid racing enthusiast. The Roar is what you get when the father-daughter duo enters the ring, and they’ve taken the sportiness of the FXDR to a whole new level.

They kept the original wheels, tank, front end, swingarm and cockpit and used bolt-on products for the fenders and bug spoiler, negating the need to take out the welding torch. To infuse the bike with true drag-racing DNA, a Stage 3 Screamin’ Eagle kit was installed, giving it 40 percent more power. The color scheme of orange, silver and black keeps with Harley tradition. The handlebar was lowered even further to obtain a mean and aggressive look. 

“After people saw the bike in person, some very good replicas have been made so far, either by others in the dealer network or in our own workshop,” wrote Thunderbike’s Ben Ott. (If you are a close reader of Thunder Press, you’ll remember Ott’s fantastic work photographing the Rømø Motor Festival in Denmark earlier this year.) 

According to Ott, to maintain the racing style throughout the entire bike, the paint and decals were refined to even the most minute details. “This project makes the FXDR a real custom dragster bike that doesn’t just feel good on the quarter mile,” wrote Ott. “Thunderbike has lowered the chassis by a whopping 50mm and refined the look with the new 260mm tire.”  

Roar exceeded our expectations and turned that slightly ugly, unwanted youngest child of the Softail family into a true work of racing art. 

Germany’s Thunderbike launched in 1985 as an official dealer of Suzuki motorcycles, but switched to Harley-Davidson in 2006 amid weakening Japanese sales across Germany. 

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