Motorcycles Apex Predator Takes Harley’s 2020 King Of Kings Crown
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We know thecustom bike competition wrapped more than five months ago in Milan, Italy, with Laidlaw’s being named thanks to its super-cool “FXGTS Coast Glide” bike.
But another H-D custom contest that wound down last month didn’t get quite the same attention. Pandemic panic on our part? Perhaps. The build-off, catchily called King of Kings, used the iconic Sportster as the platform, partly to showcase just how easy the model is to customize. With this year also marking the, having the Sportster as a running theme seemed appropriate for the King of Kings competition as well.
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The contest pitted 15 Harley-Davidson dealers from 12 different countries in the final battle. After the public votes from across the globe were counted and the smoke cleared, the winner of the coveted King of Kings title was the bike called “Apex Predator” from Harley-Davidson Querétaro, Mexico.
The 2020 champion bike is based on adonor bike, but recast with a retro-futuristic attitude adjustment as the team set out to build their vision of the ultimate pavement-crushing XR. The tough-looking Apex Predator packs on a wicked assortment of unique features, but probably the most distinctive are the handmade 4-inch twin silencers. The 2-into-1-into-2 underseat exhaust gets framed with a vented hand-built tail unit that accommodates the upswept design of the exhaust, creating a flowing line from the upside-down Showa Big Piston fork up front to the rear end.
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Fork covers and bespoke dual air intakes cement the muscular performance vibe, while wave-style brake rotors, a hand-stitched Alcantara and leather seat, and minimal, sleek hand controls add a hint of refinement to the stocky build which gets finished in a deep Sterling Green color with yellow highlights on the calipers and shock springs. The clean uncluttered front end uses the LED Daymaker headlamp from a, and at the center of it all is a high-tech full-color TFT Bluetooth instrument panel.
The team says the “Apex” name is meant to invoke a vision of aggression, intimidation, and performance, as in a predator at the top of the food chain or the baddest dog in the yard. The design focused on creating a fresh but forceful look, then pairing high-performance components with one of Harley-Davidson’s best production chassis and capping it with one-off custom bodywork. It’s a menacing yet somehow luxurious result.
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The Grand Final runner-up went in a whole other direction, with Harley-Davidson Athens, Greece, presenting their“Gryps” entry. Named after a powerful mythological creature that’s basically a combination of lion and eagle, the Gryps (or griffins) were symbols of power since the times of Alexander the Great, known for guarding treasures. H-D Athena’s Gryps bike, according to the build team, is a machine that’s “guarding the most valuable treasure of all: because it is built around its rider, and [is] aiming at his protection.”
On Gryps, the base Sportster’s basic proportions and tank were retained, but the back of the bike was raised and the front lowered to “achieve more menace.” The tank angle was also altered to accentuate the effect; the builders say the tank is meant to represent the body of a griffin with the swoopy front fairing acting as the head, and the side fairing mimicking wings. The café racer-like seat and tail conjure the hind legs of the griffin “creature.”
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For information on the King of the Kings contest visit:.
Harley-Davidson plans to save itself by selling fewer bikes, report says .
The company is planning on moving to a more exclusive, boutiquelike model in the same vein as Ferrari.Harley-Davidson was in trouble before all of the coronavirus shutdowns, and things haven't gotten a lot better in the interim. But now, as H-D's factories in the US start to get back to work, the company has a new plan to break itself out of its longtime funk.