I’ve always thought that only two US custom brands have managed to extend their appeal beyond the local chopper scene: Zero Engineering and Brass Balls. Brass Balls has made its name with stylish, big-value bobbers, but the latest bike from parent company Darwin Motorcycles is a premium model. The Brawler is pitched as a muscle bike and there are three models, with upgraded components to match increased prices as you go through the range.
All Brawlers will run Baker drivetrains and S&S motors, but the capacities will change. You get 96ci on the $22,995 base model, 111ci on the $30,995 Brawler GT, and a mighty 124ci (2033cc) on the $38,995 Brawler GTR. Neat touches abound—including a custom primary drive and a sleek Martini headlight. The GT and GTR will also come with quality pipes from D&D and shocks from Suspension Technologies, with the GTR also sporting a huge 56mm inverted Mean Streak front end. The pricing is in Harley-Davidson 110ci CVO territory; owner Dar Holdsworth tells us that the Brawler is “inspired by the Harley-Davidson FXR, in that the frame geometry is similar and it is a rubber mounted powertrain. That’s where the similarities stop: we’re creating a true American super sport cruiser.”