If you haven’t been paying attention to legendary British builder Charlie Stockwell, you might as well give up motorcycling and take up an exciting new hobby… like roller skating. Stockwell is a two-time Battle of The Kings champion and has become one of the world’s most desired and visionary builders.
But it wasn’t always that way. The first job he ever had was at Warr’s Harley-Davidson in London, pushing around a broom to clean the floors and a kettle to serve tea. As a young bike washer he got to familiarize himself with motorcycle aesthetics, one spent polishing cloth at a time. While he has at times tried to push the envelope, The Crook harkens back to his days as a glorified chimney sweep.
“This build was vaguely inspired by a bike I spent my early days at Harley polishing. It was a chopper, a 1995 Softail model. All blacked out, retro fender, ape hangers, and I fell in love with that bike,” Stockwell said. “So I wanted to recreate that, but modern. And I also wanted to bring back chrome because everybody is all blacked out these days.”
Using a 2019 Street Bob, Stockwell’s build is simple and elegant, denoting an unpretentious symbol of class. It is by no means austere with its chrome S&S teardrop filter cover and 2-into-2 upswept exhaust; the fat 16-inch front and rear tires; and the now-iconic Stockwell cuts in the tank. The lights have been tidied up and we find that the rich leather saddlebag/messenger bag complements the bike nicely.
“Because this was a very simple build, the most challenging part was to keep it simple,” Stockwell said. “It is too easy to go over the top and there is nothing about this bike that you could dislike.”
Additionally, Stockwell wanted to show how easy it is to customize a bike to promote the craft and inspire more people to build and find their own freedom of expression.
“Battle of The Kings is an awesome platform, and it shows that every dealership can handle a customer’s needs. And it is great to encourage every dealership to up their game and bring in a younger audience.”
Warr’s Harley-Davidson was founded on Kings Road in London in 1924 by Captain Frederick James Warr.