Harley-Davidson – the choice of record-breaking champions

Oxford (November 5, 2014) - We all love our Harley-Davidson® motorcycles and we all like to see a good customised model. And we all like a winner. Put all of the aforementioned together and what do you get? Four times British Superbike Championship winner Shane ‘Shakey’ Byrne recently took delivery of his new Harley-Davidson® Softail® Breakout®, which had been customised by Shaw Speed & Custom, the custom wing of Shaw Harley-Davidson in Sussex.

Shakey recently celebrated a record-setting fourth British Superbike Championship at Brands Hatch, a racing class with world recognition for its high calibre of racing. But off the track, Shakey loves to ride motorcycles on the open roads at a much more sedate and safer pace – and usually on one of his growing collection of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. Many of which are customised, including a Sportster Forty-Eight® entitled ‘Shakey’s 48’ and ‘Project 67’, a Softail Slim®. Incidentally, these two bikes and his latest addition will appear alongside other equally creative customised Harleys on the Harley-Davidson UK & Ireland exhibition stand in Hall 3 (stand 3D35) at Motorcycle Live 2014 (22-30 November). ‘The Shakeout’ is Shakey's newest Harley and based on a Breakout. With its muscular tones, awesome 1690cc power unit and Hard Candy Custom™ Quicksilver Flake paint, it definitely appealed to Shakey on first sight. Having a cool custom vibe, great lines and the ability to carry pillion were the final qualifications needed for Shakey to open his wallet and buy the bike. But then Shakey wanted – as with nearly all Harley® owners – his own personal touches putting on the bike to make it stand out even more.

Steven Willis, Team Principal of Shaw Speed & Custom and Dealer Principal of Shaw Harley-Davidson already knew that Shakey was not one for ‘standard’ looks because he’d previously customised a bike for the London-based racer. That bike was the Softail Slim ‘Project 67’ treated to a complete strip and rebuild, with painted and personalised frame, open primary and a paint finish that was absolutely undeniably his by incorporating #67 – Shakey’s racing number.

‘The Shakeout’ project also required the bike to be touched and treated but retains the beauty of the factory look that had captured Shakey’s attention. Steven Willis already knew that Shakey’s eye for detail is second to none and if the work or styling to complete The Shakeout was not to his liking he wouldn’t be too shy to make that clear to Steve and the rest of the Shaw Speed & Custom team.

Part of the customising process included ‘blacking out’ certain components in the same style as Harley-Davidson’s Dark Custom™ range of accessories. Engine covers were removed and power coated with a textured wrinkle finish; rocker covers were replaced with a new aftermarket style and again finished in the same wrinkle finish. A new exhaust system was manufactured in stainless steel by the men at Shaw with carbon fibre heat shields. To complete the mild engine breathing exercise a freer-breathing air filter and intake housing along with a Screamin’ Eagle Race tuner were fitted.

The handlebars are standard Breakout but powder coated and attached to new risers to maintain the darker finish. Meanwhile, the speedo was relocated to a centre console originally from a Blackline. The simple modification of digital speedo gives the bike a stunning clean, low look that is underlined with new brake and clutch levers and accessory headlight.

Shakey likes to take his wife Petra out on a bike so the original seat was kept in place for comfort. Brass footpegs complement the additional gold touches from the new grips and push rod tubes that required specialist treatment to net the required colour. Being a four-time champion also means the chance of new fork internals to make the forks adjustable for Shakey’s riding ‘style’ wasn’t overlooked. Other areas of detail change include a new licence plate holder, black anodised specialist aftermarket wheels and sprocket.

The bike was handed over at Brands Hatch race circuit with the British Superbike star quick to jump on and take it for a spin on the circuit’s closed roads. The smile on his face, according to Steven Willis, said everything was right about his new motorcycle and the way he felt. Congratulations to Shakey on his recent championship win… and his latest Harley-Davidson purchase. We love happy endings.