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Custom Heritage Softail: the Speed & Custom ‘Flatliner’

Customized Heritage Softail by Speed & Custom
When I think of a custom Heritage Softail, I think of a bike that has lost its way. You know the type: big bars, pointy grips and flames on the tank. But Steve Willis sees what he calls “the beauty trapped within”.

Willis runs the spectacularly successful UK workshop Speed & Custom, and this is their latest build—called Flatliner. It started as a “rather tired” 2006 fuel-injected 1450cc Heritage Softail, a donor bike from a customer.

Customized Heritage Softail by Speed & Custom
According to Willis, “The influences were 1930s and 1940s with a modern twist, using different materials and some anodizing.” After stripping the entire Softail down, the engine was rebuilt with a 1550cc kit.

Roland Sands Design covers were used, anodized silver for a more retro look. The air breather uses an RSD back plate and a brass marine drain cover—fabricated to match the Italian grips and pegs from Chops 76.

Customized Heritage Softail by Speed & Custom
The rims are original Harley items, but from other bikes. Chosen for their clean profile, they were re-machined to take brass nipples, and respoked around a machined and painted hub.

The hub is detailed with the colors of the cycling World Championship rainbow jersey, to signify Speed & Customs’ past and present (and hopefully future) championship wins.

Customized Heritage Softail by Speed & Custom
Far too much work has gone into the Heritage Softail to be fully detailed here. But highlights are the rear fender, made in-house, and the leaf-sprung handcrafted single seat.

The tank is from a 2011-model Harley XL1200, customized to add to the pre-War vibe.

Customized Heritage Softail by Speed & Custom
S&C’s own bars are wrapped with Performance Machine controls. A handmade number board hides a digital speedo, and emphasizes the offset front headlight. At the back, the brake assembly was relocated to sit sprocket-side, and the whole wiring system was overhauled and lightened.

The result is a completely new take on the bloated Heritage Softail, and possibly another show-winner for Speed & Custom. If you like this machine, you’ll like their earlier work too: check out the XLST3 Sportster and the Nascafe Racer Softail.

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Customized Heritage Softail by Speed & Custom

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