Wonder Customs Rev-2

Custom v-rod
Jason Wonder will build you a bike only if you promise you’re really going to ride it. And owner Ricky Powell enjoys his Wonder Customs Rev-2 to the max. It’s a lithe concoction wrapped around a beefy V-Rod motor, and an excellent showcase for Wonder’s fabrication skills. There’s nothing that doesn’t contribute to going, turning or stopping. The fuel-injected 1130cc water-cooled V-Rod motor is fed by an external high-pressure pump and regulator mounted behind the hand-formed gas tank, with cooling handled by a custom radiator. Noise is kept to tolerable levels by a simple stack of diffuser discs at the end of each exhaust header; the engine can be tuned by adding or subtracting discs to complement the reprogrammed ECM. The motor internals were untouched—115 hp (86 kW) is enough for most folks—because Powell wants his machine to be rideable. Showa forks and hand controls (pirated from a Ducati superbike) work well with the Works Performance rear shocks. And keeping everything under control are Brembo brakes attached to HogPro Daytona wheels, shod with Metzler 240/18 and 120/19 ME rubber. It’s a far cry from a bloated showbike, with the sinuous exhaust hugging the side of the engine and its curves reflected in the lines of that lovely tank. To my eyes, this is a textbook example of how to build a Harley custom. [Thanks to Chris Ronan of RD2.]

Custom v-rod
Custom v-rod
Custom v-rod
Custom v-rod

  • David Enfield

    Has to be a nightmare , you never want to end . Howling mad and would you want to get off it ? Never !

  • Helge

    Wow. Easily the best V-Rod custom ever. Such a fun engine with a ton of potential, I only wish Harley would have done something like this instead!

  • el vencejo

    Lovely piece of work, personal taste: I’d go for regular sportsbike size wheels and tyres.
    Shame Mr Buell was never persuaded to work with a V-rod motor in his tube-frame bikes.

  • Mean Chuck

    I think Buell wanted to use this motor but HD purposely made it larger and heavier than what he was willing to use (that is the story i heard anyway).

    They need to put this into production but what would they call it……..how about Sportster!!

  • http://www.regin.com Staber

    At last, a VROD motor used for something other than a door stop. Nice work, has me drooling like a dog with a new chew toy

  • Franco

    Is it me, or does that swingarm look like it’s going to fold like a cheap deck of cards the first time you put it under load?

  • Brad

    It’s so … cute … like most useless prototypes.
    Would be more impressed if it worked as well if not better then an actual v-rod.
    The v-rod was tuned and re-tuned over a period of 2 years to get it working right.
    So .. she may look pretty but until we see some performance numbers it’s basically a full scale model.

  • Aaron Burke

    An amazing amount of work has gone into this bike. The look of the bike makes me think of the CP-One project with the body work and frame having a similar shape. The swingarm however, is something entirely different, and I like the out of the box thinking on it.

  • Dielectric

    Looks cool, and I’d ride it in a videogame but between the weirdly cantilevered swingarm and the total lack of steering neck triangulation, it’s probably a flexi-flyer in real life.

  • Benno

    Beautiful lines! but what Dielectric said…

    It would be interesting to hear what the owner says about handling.

  • Brij

    the steering neck is triangulated just fine, i have seen plenty of chopper frames with a similar set up, which are put under more severe loads as the rake on the chopper frames are more extreme! now as far as the swingarm goes… that is a totally different story, that seems really cheap and flimsy, almost like an amateur garage built piece! over all the design looks nice but functionally it seems to fall short

  • Josh

    Wow, a Harley that i dont want to melt into slag. Im impressed, through some proper wheels on here and it looks like it could make a fun bike to ride.

  • Ricky

    Here’s a link to a pic of Jason test riding the bike at Eagle Canyon Raceway

    http://www.wondercustoms.net/gallery/638787551khhsdm.html

    I’m not exactly “race trim” weight and the swingarm hasn’t folded yet. The front end is rock solid stable. Looking at the rear tire wear in the other pics you’ll see the width and compound are the primary limiting cornering factors as el vencejo and others have noted. Those bigger rims and tires were selected over a 17/17 combo for proportion to what is a pretty big lump of motor. Considering the bike was built as as a fun hot-rod toy, not a moto GP entry, it fulfills its purpose supremely and is a blast to ride.
    I appreciate the appreciation of Jason’s “art” as well as the perspectives offered… Rev 3 might just have to have proper track tires and a more track worthy swing arm, too….
    David E and Brad: Come on over to Dallas and take it for a spin!
    RP

  • Chris

    Gorgeous bike.

  • pechunges

    Somehow, I like this. So total-motor. Especially since it’s a H-D motor. But that exhaust pipe. Looks like a HVAC event in the attic of this CA dump I live in.

  • KIK

    It has an ugly coolness about it , something mad max would ride..

  • Joshua

    The swing arm and the goose neck look like handling would be interesting but it is a fantastic custom Harley.

  • http://knsweb.net Kumo

    It’s cool and weird in equal amounts.

    mmm… And speedo/tacometer will be appreciated

  • RobL

    Now _that_ is visual balance. The motor is no more than 1.5″ off-center between the wheels… and the wheel scale is perfect.

    I’d like to know the exact wheelbase, I think this bike may be bigger than it looks because of the engine and wheel scale. Nothing wrong with that at all, in fact quite a relief to taller riders – the whole bike is in scale for us!

  • Thiago

    Cool looking but must say it turned me off knowing it has a harley engine in it!

  • Ricky

    RobL, you called it… It’s a pretty big bike. If you follow the link I posted earlier you’ll see Jason on the bike at the track and for perspective he’s 6’5″. I’m 6.0′ and comfy on the thing, which is a nice respite for me from the bikes that were made for the skinny racer-sized crowd.

    Pechunges’ description as “total-motor” was exactly the goal. Everything else was designed to connect the motor to the rider and the ground in a functional and aesthetically pleasing proportion.
    There are a couple of abandoned prior attempts in the corner of Jason’s shop to create a cafe racer for big guys. Boyce, FXR, Dyna, other frames have been mocked up and built up but none achieved the total-motor and balanced- proportion goal that the VRod motor fulfilled, and a modern interpretation really needed a modern power plant anyway. Thiago, you just have to think of it as a Porsche. They really did a bang-up job for HD with this motor and it is too bad for Buell as Mean Chuck mentioned that the earlier more compact version never materialized.

  • RobL

    Ricky, glad to hear that – makes me like it all the more. Too many little bikes out there for the “jockeys”. When the tall boys ride ‘em, it looks like a monkey ****in’ a football.

    Now I really do want some seat time on that bike!

  • Bald Shaun

    I can definitely see why the builder chose those wheels. The scale is perfect and it gives it a little bit of a flat track look. Still, I’d prefer 17″ front and rear. It would still look good; the engine would look even bigger. But more importantly, it would likely improve handling and offer up a much better selection of sticky tires. It would also give more wheel options, from sexy carbon fiber, to budget friendly used sportbike wheels on ebay. Oh well, it’s too easy to criticize someone else’s build. Gorgeous beast of bike regardless. I’d love to take her for a spin.

  • Harry Farquhar

    Why do manufacturers waste millions of R&D dollars on computer modeling and working prototypes and so forth when there are people who can simply look at a design and determine how it will function in the real world?

  • Gene

    dig it! This is what they call a ‘divorce machine’…the wife wouldn’t see me for three weeks, when I needed to retread the rear end.

  • RobL

    Harry Farquhar: the obvious answer? Because what you and I, or this guy and that guy, like to look at is not necessarily what the X00,000 buyers needed to support a manufacturing company would buy. The hardcore enthusiast market is truly a fringe market, even among what would be considered enthusiast machines like motorcycles. There’s a reason you can find plenty of used bikes for sale that are the same as the day they rolled off the dealership lot. To use an automotive analogy, there’s a reason they sell more automatic Corvettes than Z06s.

    Here’s even another way of looking at the sad truth of it… how many regular readers of BikeEXIF own a real custom bike? Not including bolt-ons or special wheels, but honest-to-doG “built” bikes? That might even be an interesting poll for Chris to post.

    These bikes we’re lucky to see here may be very practical, ride well, and be just as durable as the store-bought equivalent… but little things like a lack of financing, or concern about warranty coverage, or even the lack of bolt-on bags will deter many buyers from taking the plunge. There’s nothing like a one-off bike built just for you, and even moreso one built _by_ you.

  • Danny B

    Bike looks fantastic,
    I tried a VRod, but just didn’t fit.
    From the photos it appears to have good ergonomics for my size and for the street.
    I think this guy is an artist. This is what “coachbuilding” is now, in my opinion.

  • JSweet

    Nice work Jason. Looks like endless smiles. You should have brought her up for the IMS this weekend. They didnt have anything on you…

    I hope Ricky lets me take her for a spin..

  • Mike C

    Is it just me, or isn’t this just another useless styling exercise. The builder wants his bikes to be ridden, really?! You’re joking right?! Let’s see; no fenders, no signals,no silencers to speak of,no cain guard,no mirrors…etc,etc. Hell, I wouldn’t make it to the end of my street on that thing before being yanked on any number of violations and the bike summarily impounded pending certification compliance inspection by the DMV and registration denial by the same organisation. While I applaud folks pushing the envelope, why not come up with bikes we can all legally ride? Don’t even get me started on what I imagine this creation would handle like !
    Not a fan I suppose.

  • Mike

    Love it!
    Sooo, according to the Wonder Customs blog, the REV 2 is for sale? What would something like that go for?

  • darlajmp

    Beautiful bike! I’m glad Ricky got exactly what he wanted! Ricky, saw your offers for others to take it for a spin, when’s my turn?

    Great work Jason! You are an artist!

  • RobL

    I came back to this page to look at the bike again with some time passed and the perfection of the geometry strikes me afresh.

    The only things I would possibly change on a copy built for me would be my own personal number and accent color. That’s all. Do want.