By Anthony van Someren - 27 Apr 14
We don't post many Harleys on here. They're what us Brit's call 'Marmite' bikes. People love or loathe them in equal measure, but the more we see - and like - the more we have to tip our proverbial hats off to a marque that really understands its riders. There's no denying the pleasing lines of the big 45 degree V-twin and one thing HD mastered early on was the art of turning petrol into sound. That 'potato potato' throb is unmistakable. The Harleys that tick our boxes are the most basic and stripped-back, like this simple build from Santiago Ares of 32toOne, which he put together for his wife. Santiago was born in Buenos Aires and moved to the U.S. in the mid 80's, so he grew up and went to school in California while playing with muscle cars and riding dirt bikes. After working for 15 years in advertising Santiago realized that "life was too short to be selling Smoke and mirrors", so he decided to switch careers and moved into the world of custom motorcycle building. "I have an attraction to well-built objects especially if they have an engine, two wheels and they look like old dirt bikes." Santiago now has a garage/shop in Vero Beach, Florida, where he builds and restores bikes for himself, his friends, and clients around the globe. Harley's are not one of Santiago's favourite bikes, but he does have a great deal of respect for Milwaukee's finest, their shared characteristisc with American muscle cars - torque, heavy, simple - and the fact that they are built in his adoptive country, the US of A. "How did got into this project? I'm at a point where I don't look for bikes any more... I feel that bikes find me, and that was the case with this Sportster. I went to have lunch and came back with a 1995 883 with 500 miles on it. ... At the same time, my wife was asking me for a bike, and I thought it was perfect, but I can't have a plain looking Harley sitting in my garage, so another project was born. An 883 bobber-tracker." "I removed both fenders and other extra heavy parts, chopped the tail of the frame, added a solo seat, powder coated the engine covers, custom pipe, Avon tires, custom paint job with a stringer that resembles a surfboard since surfing is an important component in our family, aftermarket levers and air cleaner assembly". Knowing that his beloved wife would be piloting the bike, Santiago didn't want to leave anything to chance, so the forks, rotors and calipers were donated by a Buell for superior stopping power. Gauges and indicators were removed, "...like a dirt bike. Less is more." "I'm very happy how the bike turned out which is now a keeper. I get a lot of comments about the bike, even from hardcore Harley riders." Although Santiago's wife seems less convinced with her noisy, not too comfortable bike with no neutral light and no speedo. "I guess have to look for another one for her and keep this for me." See more for Santiago's collection at 32toOne.