Battle of the Kings: HD 1200 Cup

Can a digital rendering win a hand built motorcycle competition?

H-D Capital Rendering
HD 1200 Cup from Harley-Davidson Capital, MadridH-D Capital

"Over 200 custom-built Harley motorcycles were hand-crafted to win your vote. But there can be only one King..."

These are the words Harley-Davidson is using to introduce their Custom Kings dealership competition. But what's wrong with them? Not all of the bikes were hand built. In fact, one of the bikes seems it was never built at all, and it somehow still managed to become a finalist. How is it that hundreds of builders can spend blood sweat and tears building their bikes, only to get shown up by a guy on a computer? Well that comes down to the question: "is this a motorcycle BUILDING competition, or a motorcycle DESIGNING competition?" Because this bike only has a place in one of them. But speaking from a solely design perspective, the HD 1200 Cup is one of the best looking bikes in the lineup.

HD 1200 Cup
HD 1200 Cup from Harley-Davidson Capital, MadridH-D Capital

Someone without an extensive knowledge of motorcycles, specifically Sportsters, could never have made the renderings we see. I will acknowledge that whoever made them probably has incredible potential as a builder.

Based on the Roadster platform, a carbon fiber looking gas tank and tail section were added to the digital creation. The chin spoiler and front fender also rock that same carbon finish. The shape of the gas tank works with the tail section to create a sort of tracker/ race bike feel that looks both lightweight and aggressive. The Roadster's already upgraded suspension naturally fits the more sporty feel of the HD 1200 Cup.

H-D 1200 Cup
Handlebar detail on the HD 1200 Cup from Harley-Davidson Capital, MadridH-D Capital

Looking at this awesome and totally different bike, I can't help but thinking of all the shops that were constricted by budgets and build time that still showed up with a real motorcycle. H-D defined the contest as: "our Custom Kings were given the task to craft a custom-built Iron 883 ... or a Forty-Eight or Roadster." Not just design one but actually craft one.

Imagine showing up to a competition with a bike that you just spent weeks slaving over, and losing to some guys with some pics on a USB drive?

HD 1200 Cup
HD 1200 Cup from Harley-Davidson Capital, MadridHarley-Davidson Capital

The worst part about the whole thing-- I think if they would have actually built the bike, they could have won the competition.

The bike is new but still holds H-D lines. It looks classic, but fast and modern. It builds off of the original platform, enhancing the spirit without muddying it. It's just not real.

With such little information about all of these bikes, and a language barrier, we haven't been able to talk directly with H-D Capital. Hopefully, they have plans to actually make this build a reality.

Voting for the H-D Battle of the Kings is now closed, but you can see the rest of the bikes and finalists HERE, and be sure to check out the other bikes we've features HERE