Oxford (07 March 2012) - From its ape-style handlebars to its narrow whitewall tyre-shod wheels, the new Seventy-Two™ is a respectful nod to an era of custom culture that dominated the 60s. It was a scene built on self-expression and freedom – a scene that never died but faded.
And now custom culture is enjoying a revival, especially along Whittier Boulevard, the legendary street in East Los Angeles also known as Route 72. This is an area where a new generation of custom builder is tapping into the past to make a fresh statement, not just in California but in workshops, garages and lock-ups around the world. And Harley-Davidson is adding impetus to this revival with the Seventy-Two.
“In creating the Seventy-Two, we were also inspired by the vibe of the early chopper era,” says Frank Savage, Harley-Davidson Manager of Industrial Design. “Those bikes were colourful and chromed, but also narrow and stripped down to the essentials. You look at period examples and they are almost as simple as a bicycle. It’s a custom style that emanated from California, across America and then around the world.”
One of the biggest aspects of the original custom scene was metal flake. It appeared in everything from dune buggy gel coat to vinyl diner upholstery, and on custom motorcycles. Harley-Davidson brings this stand-out sparkle back to motorcycling with the new Seventy-Two and the covering of Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint.
This new paint finish is created through a complex process, which ensures that the hexagon-shaped flakes are more than seven times the diameter of today’s production metal flake. Key to this process is a multi-layered finish that incorporates a dark base then silver base before the application of the large metal flake and a covering of clear coat. A candy-colour coat is then applied but still lets the brilliance of the flakes show through. Another clear-coat goes on before being hand-rubbed to a deep, faultless shine before decals are carefully applied.
“The final touch to the Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint is a logo on the tank’s top edge and pinstripe details on both fenders,” says Savage. “These details were originally created by hand, but we recreated that art in a decal, so they still have the appearance of hand-applied graphics. The graphics are then covered with a final clear coat application.”
The new Hard Candy Flake on the Seventy-Two is known as Big Red Flake and is an optional order line. This is not to say your bike can’t have a similar fantastic finish. Enthusiasts can first choose from one of seven different looks, before customising the finished product by layering on one of the accent colours or sinister denim clear coat finishes. There are almost 1,000 possible design and colour combinations, to make your bike truly your own. All Core Series Colour Sets are covered by a two-year warranty (see your local dealer for more info).
A solo seat exposes the Seventy-Two’s chopped rear fender and more of the paintwork on the Seventy-Two. The engine is finished in Grey powdercoat with chromed covers and a new round air cleaner with a dished cover. A classic Sportster 7.9 litre capacity ‘peanut’ fuel tank adds the final old-school touch to the Seventy-Two. Specialised paint on a special Harley-Davidson does indeed make the Seventy-Two art on two-wheels.