1958 Harley Davidson Sportster - Monkee Business

Recycled Chic From The Danish Anti-Bling Squad

These Copenhagen-based Wrenchmonkees aren't worried about a few scratches. They don't hide from reality. It's part of their aesthetic. In a world suffering from chronic bling-fatigue, this '58 Harley Sportster wearing a hammered '70 Husky gas tank is positively therapeutic. Meet Monkee #7, one of many unlikely customs on display at www.wrenchmonkees.com. Unlikely? Monkee #6 began life as an '82 Kawasaki Z750 and #9 started out as a '76 BMW R80. Then there's Monkee #11, a.k.a. Gorilla Punch. Powered by a SOHC Honda CB750 Four, it's currently on display at the Danish Museum of Art and Design.

Monkee Nicholas Bech took the Harley in trade and parked it in a corner of his shop. "When I finally had time to dig it out," he says, "I realized there was a pretty cool XLCH under all that horrifying brushed-on metallic-burgundy paint." Pretty much everything but the engine, frame, oil tank and brakes went into the dumpster. And after Googling around the web for inspiration-with more than a few hours spent at www.jockeyjournal.com-the serious Monkee business began.

Except for a 48mm S&S; Super E Shorty carb and Chopper Dave air filter, the 55-cubic-inch V-twin is essentially stock, right down to the original '58 magneto. The chassis, however, isn't: A replica of Harley's bolt-on dirt-track hardtail came from Craig at Front Street Cycle. That's a newer Sporty fork holding up the other end, shortened and converted to carry the original XLCH front hub. Akront rims carry Michelin trials tires. What rear suspension there is comes from a pair of 4-inch springs under the one-off solo saddle.

"I made it look rough and dirty, as if it had always been that way," Bech says. "It's only been ridden in Copenhagen and the suburbs, and not much. The Monkees don't have time to ride. We have to build bikes for our customers, and they need 'em now!"

Like it? It's for sale for 105,000 Danish Kroner ($19,661 to you). "All our own bikes are for sale," says Bech, "We can make you one like ours, or make one that is not a copy, but your own."