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Saturday, March 5, 2016

This Harley Davidson “Witch” is Dirty and Distressed, But So Beautiful


Copyright © 2016 Bold Ride LLC.

Why is it that we love rough, ragged, and forlorn-looking things? Is it just some intrinsic nature of the human mind, or is it the story that these threadbare items tell—the tales of decades spent in a barn or a lifetime beneath a tarp. 
Perhaps it’s a bit of both, and this Harley Davidson “Witch” custom motorcycle emphasizes it well. Built by Swiss photographer Lorenz Richard, this Harley looks as if it has been hiding out in the woods for decades. It hasn’t. Instead it’s based on a 1997 Harley Davidson 883cc Sportster that was plucked from Germany just four short years ago. You wouldn’t know that by the looks of it now, however.


According to HiConsumption, the vintage build began after some electric gremlins surfaced within the bike. The guys from the Young Guns Speedshop helped work out the issues and then came the modifications. First, a new set of progressive shocks, followed by a Dynajet-tuned carburetor kit, along with new footwear—a Coker tire in the back and a new Dunlop in the front.
Slowly the rest of the build came together, piece by piece. The gorgeous leather seat was sourced from eBay, the stubby rear fender from a flea market, and other non-original bits gradually found their way onto the Sportster. In the end, Lorenz did an incredible job on the Harley—from the faded and weather-beaten paint, to the taped exhaust, the rag around the front fork, and even the Corona Extra bottle cap on the steering stem nut. It’s all about the details, and this bike has them in spades.


The cycle’s overall look is said to have been inspired by a pair of old military bags found in his father’s garage; the “Witch” nickname on the other hand was Lorenz’s own doing, and the result of some sketchy early-build reliability. Post-nickname however it’s said to run just brilliantly.