Hide Night Sky Bobber shovelhead

Harley-Davidson shovelhead by Hide Motorcycles
For the past few days, the center of the custom universe has been in Japan, at the the Mooneyes Yokohama Hot Rod Custom Show. Guy Bolton of Greasy Kulture magazine was asked to present an award, and this is the bike he chose. It’s long and low and dark, and it’s called Night Sky Bobber.

The builder is Hide Motorcycles (Hidemo) of Kawasaki City, an outfit that we’ve featured before on Bike EXIF. Under the custom bodywork is a 1967 Harley-Davidson FLH—one of the first shovelheads—with a motor boosted to 86ci (1420cc), presumably with the help of a stroker kit.

Harley-Davidson shovelhead by Hide Motorcycles
The bike is also running a modified rigid frame and modified forks, with a 19” wheel at the front and a 15” at the back. The tank, rear fender, oil tank, bars and seat are all custom Hide items, and the finish is just the right side of slick.

Harley-Davidson shovelhead by Hide Motorcycles
I’ll hold judgment until I see more of the bikes that attracted attention at Mooneyes, but I’m wondering if we’re seeing a move away from the shiny side of Harley customizing in Japan. [Thanks to Wakako Togashi. Images © zaigraphy.]

Harley-Davidson shovelhead by Hide Motorcycles
Harley-Davidson shovelhead by Hide Motorcycles

  • KIK

    POW!!! Now that’s a bike..

  • ac

    unrideable…..
    ha ha ha

    what a cool bike…I want.

  • charlie

    love buell of hidemo.

    However, there is one question.

    In a lot of manufacturing products, it can be understood well that there is a difference of the culture, too and coloring and the design are different in each country.

    For instance, there are quite a lot of one of the outlook on the world of the fantasy in the foreign country while the one based on the watercolor that is called wabori is a tradition in Japan in tattoo.

    However, does such a custom have the borderline in each country?

  • David Enfield

    I want it , and I want it now . Is it loud ? Loud is good , can’t hear the moaners and groaners . Good work .

  • mingh

    mèh.
    you can call it oldschool and well detailed, i call it full of cliche and nowhere near creative. next please!

  • RobL

    @Charlie… you raise a very interesting point about the designs of different cultures.

    American builders often have defined styles that fall into just a few categories. What we notice is that the builders whose bikes stand out are the ones that deviate from these styles in some unique way.

    Japanese builders draw from the American influences sometimes, but also include a wide variety of native design aesthetics drawn from classical and pop culture and everything in between. Sometimes it is subtle, sometimes extreme.

    It is often the non-native influences in each builder group that make the final bike more interesting to the target audience. What is different is exotic, no matter where you come from.

    But to be clear, I am speaking very broadly. There are many builders from both countries that you would not know where they are from if the bike was presented anonymously.

  • el vencejo

    I like the motor :)

    The rest… Box-Stock bobber :(

  • micah

    Thank christ that damned chopper fad is over! No more billet, flames, skulls and $8,000 paint jobs. If I was a Harley guy, I would’ve hung my head in shame over that embarrassing trend of the last few years. To me, chopper = a bike you’d see a circus clown ride. I still don’t like Harleys, but this bike is pretty hot. Now I wonder if its gonna be a bunch of faux-finished poseur machines, or if people are going to keep it real?

  • TeeBee

    Muscular. A bit reminiscent of Exile Choppers, but ever much more so.

  • series3

    Are those tyres a bit too meaty? Looks kinda weird.

  • series3

    That cafe in the background of the last shot looks nice..how about some snaps of that.

  • Scott Brough

    I must admit, if I pulled this thing out of my garage I would be the baddest mutha-heffa in the neighborhood… but that isn’t saying much given where I live. I like the back tire a lot! I say the more nuts the bike looks the better. It raises the fear factor with the neighbors.

  • Sportster Cafe

    I like it, it’s not over done, very simple. In fact, I know a lot of readers hear could build something almost as nice! Those are the best bikes, simple clean.

  • http://knsweb.net Kumo

    Question: As a bobber, and technically speaking, has it to keep the stock frame or not?

  • Septic the Sceptic

    Correction Scott, a lot say they can build better, but never do.

  • Septic the Sceptic

    Kumo, a lot of bikes that are called “bobbers” these day’s are not. Basically if it isn’t similar in profile to Kevin Baas’ Knuckle it’s not a bobber.

    http://www.knucklehead-bobbers.com/1947_knucklehead/images-hd0214/1947_FL_Knucklehead_Bobber_468x319.jpg

    Sportster tanks and apes should immediately disqualify a bike from bobber status. They are short choppers.

  • RobL

    Septic, I agree that Kevon Baas’ bike is a textbook-perfect classic bobber. And I do agree that apehanger bars, anti-functional style items that they are, takes away from the proto-cafe aspect of a bobber as a stripped down, ass-end hacked sporting bike.

    But I’m asking, only in that I’m not following the reasoning, what a Sportster tank has to do with it one way or the other.

    “Short choppers” – now that’s funny!

  • charlie

    @RobL.. . the question of newcomer’s monkey . . . Thank you.

    However, it becomes study very much with the Internet.

    I do not go to school by the interior, learnt to the art by the site and self-study, and forgive the expression said so, please.

    It knows here however, a real answer is returned, and being possible to participate in here opens the door of the casket to me.

    With it . . . We wish to express our gratitude for this Web site and the translation site.

    The world is wonderful.

  • dobbs

    I fight the urge to post negative comments, so I’ll come out of lurk mode to say this is an amazing machine. The lines border on perfect: the bars to the upsweep of the rear seat is a continuous, graceful arc, the upholstery mirroring the lines in the fender and tire and cylinders, the choice of rubber giving the bike weight and balance without being symmetrical, etc.

    Also, thanks for your post Charlie, the world IS wonderful.

    —–dobbs

  • bryguy9

    @dobbs and @charlie:

    I’ll second that. With all the motorcycles I have seen on this site, the world is wonderful.

    I want them all, regardless of whether they have a seat or fenders!

    Once again, thanks Chris, don’t change a thing, you are doing it right.

  • Mark

    I love that bike. I ride sportbikes, supermotos, and have an old cafe too – but something like that could make me ride a Harley (something I never thought I would say…)

  • stu

    Cool. It looks tough like a tatoo. That must be how the Japanese culture perceives Harleys.

  • Kerry

    If you read Greasy Kulture then this choice is no surprise, but to me it is a boring, oft repeated Japanese shovel head. It’s nice, but not great in my view. But it is hard to say since I’ve not seen much from this year’s show.

  • llamaman

    Its a solid looking bike with good lines but this style creates bikes that are just too physically small to ride and look in proportion with the average western body. Im 6` 2 inches tall and that bike would look like a kiddies toy under me albeit a bit loud for a tonka
    A previous post said the last componant fitted to a custom bike is the rider, that has to fit the lines of the bike as well. Guess its ok if you`re 5 ft tall

  • TeeBee

    RE: Septic the Sceptic and “short chopper” – so it’s a “shopper”? Maybe it’s a long bobber – a “lobber”. Maybe a chopper/bobber – a “chobber”. Or a bobber/chopper – a “bopper”?

    I know – it’s a shopperlobberchobberbopper!

  • KIK

    ive seen this style a lot in New York, balloon tiires , kind of crappy on the turns but really nice on the pot holes when ridden at low air pressure..

  • iRivas

    series3,
    That bike in the background does look cool, I want to see more of it also.

  • http://www.bubblevisor.blogspot.com lenny bubble visor

    snice! Hidemo is king
    I like the rear fender and the paint job.
    the front view of the bike is amazing. you can see it on daikoube.
    nice collar scheme
    check all the 2010 mooneyes bikes here
    http://photo.sparetime.jp/

  • charlie

    @dobbs and @bryguy9 are nice to meet you.

    There is an architect named Tadao Ando in my home though this is a certain architect’s story.

    Life has the episode ..strong artist thought ..him.., very poor the half of the life…

    Because do?

    Because the social structure is closing, and the specialized course is not learnt more than the present age in the university school among capitalism and closed pundits, everything is not admitted.

    Even if it is possible, the expression called construction is existence in the talent of the business because it was poor that has been buried until stealing the limelight in the person in the world.

    Therefore, do?

    Such a person might have the current state of a lot of being buried all over the world also in the world of the custom motorcycle.

    However, returning the answer between pithecanthropes might open the door in the world like you.

    Thank you for @dobbs and @bryguy9.

    The world is wonderful.

  • http://www.zbrozracing.com Shocks Ellat

    Great bike looks so sick. I like how its loud and different yet a subtle look at the same time.