New-school meets old-school in this Street 500 budget bobber…
In 2014, Harley-Davidson introduced their first all-new lightweight models since the 1970s, the liquid-cooled Street series. Both models, the Street 750 (XG750) and Street 500 (XG500), are powered by the company’s Revolution X engine, a 60° SOHC water-cooled V-twin that makes 34-50 horsepower and similar torque figures, depending on displacement. The XG series carried corporate hopes to attract a whole new generation of young, new, female, and urban riders:
“From its appearance to its performance, from its sound to its price, the Street is brazenly unlike any Harley ever made. This is not your father’s Harley-Davidson — and the Motor Company is betting that an entire generation of motorcyclists won’t give a flip.” —Rider
While the XG models have been praised as smooth, affordable, and easy-to-handle machines, they just don’t have the throaty old-school character that attracts many riders to the brand in the first place.
Enter Nick Acosta of Toronto’s Augment Motorworks, builder of the “YamaDuci” XV920 we featured earlier this year. Now Nick is back with this 2015 Harley XG500, and a clear idea of what he wanted to achieve:
“I wanted to show that you don’t need to spend a crazy amount of money to make it look really nice, unique, and have those classic Harley lines.”
Nick removed and tidied up the rear section, adding lower shocks and a new seat upholstered in blue suede with yellow diamond-stitching. A Bates-style headlight and taillight took the XG back in time a bit, as did the paint from Amanda of Black Widow Custom Paint — one of the best flame jobs we’ve seen, laid down over a gunmetal-gray base with flake.
The stock instrumentation was relocated, the bars set on custom risers with fish-scale grips, and the Revolution engine allowed to breathe a bit better with a Velociraptor intake and Vance & Hines muffler. Says Nick:
“Bike builds don’t always need to be extravagant, but with the right modifications, even the XG500 can have old-school looks with new-school reliability.”
Street 500 Bobber: In the Builder’s Words
Here is a 2015 Harley XG500 Bobber I finished up earlier in the year just before everything went crazy. When I first got the bike, it really was a bit lackluster from the factory, but I wanted to show that you don’t need to spend a crazy amount of money to make it look really nice, unique, and have those classic Harley lines. The rear section was all removed and tidied up with a new custom fender and some classic mini bullet style turn signals, lower shocks, and a side license plate with Bates-style brake light.
On the exhaust and intake side, as the motorcycle was pretty much brand new, I decided to simply bump up the power and breathing a bit with a new factory Vance & Hines muffler to really bring out the rumble from the V-twin engine, along with a velociraptor air filter to replace the big and clunky original intake for the throttle body.
The front section was cleaned up with a new Bates-style headlight, speedometer relocated to the left side of the engine, new handlebar risers with custom grips, and finally some awesome fish-scale grips from Lowbrow customs that match the seat.
Seat-wise, a brand new custom seat was installed, upholstered with a blue suede diamond stitched with yellow thread to match the flame lines on the wonderful paint job.
For paint, as always my super talented friend Amanda of Black Widow Custom Paint completely knocked it out of the park with a killer gunmetal grey with flake, and adding some flames that don’t actually look cheesy!
The seat and paint are a nod to old-school choppers and bobbers I would see in original Easyriders magazines that would have some funky seating materials and designs along with old-school flames and candy paint, and since I wanted the bike to have that look, I decided to follow that route on this modern machine.
Bike builds don’t always need to be extravagant, but with the right modifications, even the XG500 can have old-school looks with new-school reliability.
Follow the Builder
- Website: www.augmentmotorworks.com
- Instagram: @augmentmotorworks
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/augmentmotorworks