A British-American beauty from Walt Siegl Motorcycles…
Master. It’s a word that gets thrown about a lot these days — not always with the best aim. But in the motorcycling world, one of the artists/craftsmen/builders who’s truly deserving of the title is Walt Siegl of WSM (Walt Siegl Motorcycles).
Born in Austria, Walt left art school at the age of 18 to join a motorcycle endurance racing team. After an injury cut short his racing career, he worked as a toolmaker, welder, and trainman in various European countries before joining the Austrian Foreign Service. In the mid-1980s, he took a position promoting Austrian art and culture in New York City, where he would stay for more than two decades:
“During his twenty-two years in New York City, Walt spent most of his free time building bikes for himself and his friends out of a workshop in Long Island City. He also picked up club road racing again.”
In 2007, Walt found himself faced with a transfer back to Europe. Instead, he left the foreign service and moved to an old mill town in southern New Hampshire with his family to build motorcycles full-time. Since then, his builds have garnered awards and features in the most prestigious shows and publications around the world — too many to list.
Most recently, he won the German Design Council’s 2021 Automotive Brand Contest (ABC Awards) in the Motorcycle category for his custom e-bike RONTU, commissioned by the Haas Moto Museum.
Walt actually built the bike you see here ten years ago. It’s titled as a 1977 Harley-Davidson FXE, but Walt custom-built the frame from the ground up for a customer who’d grown up with Milwaukee V-twins but later discovered a love for the British twins of the 1960s:
“He enjoys the nimble characteristics of the British bikes, but misses the deep breath and long legs of the Big Twins when he travels. The guy is seriously infected by the motorcycle bug and rides a lot — and he rides hard. So this is where I come into the picture. He request was a bike built by me that had its footings in both worlds.”
Walt says he built the frame to combine both quick steering and the characteristic long trail of a Harley, mated to a 1960s Ceriani fork with Progressive springs and modern cartridges. He adapted the forks to run Brembo calipers and had the Works Performance rear shocks built to his specs.
Then here’s the engine — a 93 cubic-inch Shovelhead stroker built by none other than famed engine-builder Andrew Rosa of Rosa’s Cycle in Huntington, New York. A war hammer of a motor, matched with a Baker 6-speed transmission and Primo Rivera enclosed belt drive:
“The bike has power on tap anywhere throughout the rpm range, in any gear.”
Artist and sculptor Vincent Szarek handled the root beer metal flake paint, rounding out one of the most striking Shovelheads we’ve ever seen — a gorgeous mashup of American and British motorcycling heritage, executed with the grace of, yes, a master.
This bike will be rolling across the auction block at Mecum’s Las Vegas 2022 event. You can learn more and sign up to bid on Mecum.com.
- Completed in 2011 at a cost of $45,000, not including donor.
- Designed / executed by Walt Siegl.
- Harley FXE frame and engine cases as a base.
- Titled as a ’77 FXE.
- 93″ stroker Shovelhead built by Andrew Rosa of Rosa’s Cycle.
- Electronic ignition.
- Baker 6-Speed transmission.
- Primo Rivera enclosed belt drive.
- Ceriani polished racing forks.
- Works Performance shocks.
- Brembo brakes front and rear.
- Buchanan stainless steel wheels, 19 inch front / 18 inch rear.
- Electric start and kick start.
- Root Beer Metal Flake paint by Vincent Szarek.
- Just 2000 miles since it was built.