Harley-Davidson Street Runner Looks Like It Doesn't Care About Traffic Lights

Harley-Davidson Street Runner 11 photos
Photo: Thunderbike
Harley-Davidson Street RunnerHarley-Davidson Street RunnerHarley-Davidson Street RunnerHarley-Davidson Street RunnerHarley-Davidson Street RunnerHarley-Davidson Street RunnerHarley-Davidson Street RunnerHarley-Davidson Street RunnerHarley-Davidson Street RunnerHarley-Davidson Street Runner
Cruiser bikes presently enjoy what may very well be considered their golden years. With plenty of makes and models to choose from, countless engines at their disposal, and more colors than in all of the universe's rainbows, people all over the world go nuts for this kind of two-wheeler.
Although presently there is no large bike maker that doesn't offer a cruiser in its portfolio, all of the bikes playing the game in this segment are more or less descendants of the rides just two companies, Harley-Davidson and Indian, made from back in the 1930s up until the 1960s.

There is no wonder, then, that pretty much all of today's cruisers boast classic styling the likes of which was not uncommon back in the day. The bodywork generally wraps around a lightweight frame that forms the skeleton of a machine that's easy to control, even at the hands of less experienced riders.

Because they are uncomplicated machines, cruisers are also quite affordable, at least when compared to their larger siblings, making them ideal for large crowds of customers.

Although all of the above sounds quite exciting and convinces a lot of people to go the cruiser way, the magic doesn't last too long. The cruiser segment is also a very dynamic one, with something better and a tad more exciting on the horizon all the time. What's to do, then, for someone who purchased a stock cruiser and is no longer happy with it?

The answer is pretty simple: either go for a new one, or customize the bike already owned. And it's a bike owner that went for the latter choice who brings us here today, courtesy of something called the Street Runner.

Harley\-Davidson Street Runner
Photo: Thunderbike
The bike is by birth a Harley-Davidson Street Bob. That's one of no less than eight different motorcycles the American bike maker has on the table for cruiser lovers, and perhaps one of the easiest ones to customize at the hands of the many talented shops out there.

One such shop is called Thunderbike and it's based in Germany. In some 30 years, this crew has grown into one of the most impressive Harley customizers in the world, and the work performed on the Street Bob we have here is yet another confirmation of that.

Compared to some other Thunderbike projects we've seen over the years, at least the ones that started from a Street Bob, the Street Runner is a tad more toned down, but still distinctive enough to make a lasting impression.

Thunderbike performed its usual magic tricks on the bike, starting with replacing the original wheels. In its new form, the Street Bob is propped on custom wheels sized 21 inches at the front (replacing the original, 19-inch piece), and a visibly smaller (exact size is not disclosed) one at the rear.

The focus of the Street Runner build was that rear section, where the wheel, wider than stock at 200 mm, is backed by a clean swingarm and a pulley brake conversion. A steel fender sits over it, shielding it from the elements and the rider from dirt, but without making use of mudguard struts. The license plate holder, naturally, got moved to one side, allowing a perfectly unobstructed view of the wheel.

The opposite end was gifted with a lot more than a simple custom wheel. There is now a pair of chromed fork tubes holding it in place, and a fiberglass fender on top of it. The headlight cover is aftermarket as well, as is the handlebar, propped on top of a 1.25-inch riser and supporting stripped turn signals. All these changes, Thunderbike says, give the bike's front end a "technoid charm."

Harley\-Davidson Street Runner
Photo: Thunderbike
Both ends of the bike have been fitted with lowering kits, giving it a much more aggressive, traffic-light-is-not-an-issue look. Contributing to that are a number of custom covers been placed over the EFI, upper fork, axle covers, and parts of the swingarm.

The riding position on the modified Street Bob is different than on the stock version as well, courtesy of the forward control kit that brought the footrests forward by 70 mm.

Mechanically speaking not much has changed. As usual, Thunderbike does not mess with the Harley powertrain, so there's still the 114ci in the frame. We don't know the exact model year of the donor bike, but in the 2024 Street Bob the most important performance number of that powerplant is 94 horsepower.

The engine does breathe a little differently courtesy of the Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system that has been installed instead of the original one.

I said earlier the Street Runner is not exactly the most impressive Street Bobs Thunderbike ever worked on, and that's noticeable when it comes to the cost of the parts used. Not including the exhaust system, they amount to just 8,000 euros ($8,670). Almost a third of that sum was spent on the front wheel and rear fender.

If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories