Flying Diamond. A Period-Incorrect Antique Born From A 2017 Harley Twin-Cam Model .

I know very well the 2 camps. Those who can only stand period correct antique bikes maintained with the purest restoration skills. And those for who designs and parts from the past are only a starting point for their interpretation of what should be a cool motorcycle. For a classic ride on a “Distinguished Gentlemen” type bike,  can both sides agree on a Harley of this type? A factory 2017 Softail Slim Twin Cam model combining 1930’s art-deco bodywork with the latest in Harley’s performance technology. Even if you are not a Harley-Davidson connoisseur, and for example are not able to identify the old bikes by their tank designs, it is fascinating to observe that the latest and most modern Harley-Davidson models can be “backdated” 80 years into the past by just changing a few parts and adding a period correct paint job…

Discounting a few minor details, this “antique styled” cruiser by bike official dealer Harley-Heaven Of Switzerland (Baeschli Customs) has been retro-styled with the use of only two or three major parts: front and rear fenders and solo leather saddlebag! What may have looked to you at first glance as a oldie is in fact Harley’s current 110 Cubic-Inch Slim model in a retro dress, the perfect roller for a Sunday gentleman ride.  This project is the fifth “one-off” in a series of seven “50th Anniversary Baechli” customs, and an outstanding example of what is possible with a modest number of custom parts bolted or adapted to a stock Harley.

“We wanted at least one classic or antique looking bike in the 50th Anniversary line-up of 2017-built custom bikes, because that’s what my father was famous for when he started the business in 1967. The rich history of Harley-Davidson has created some extraordinary and almost timeless designs on which you can create great custom bikes” states Rainer Baechli who is running today’s Harley-Heaven operation, a 4-floor dealership and customizing factory that is the biggest and most successful in Switzerland. “The inspiration for the project came from a picture of one of my fathers’ bikes, taken probably in 1980”, says Rainer. “The picture of a better-than-new restored 1947/48 UL Flathead was taken in front of the garages that acted as the first shop location in 1967.

“The customizing time on this project was surprisingly short, resulting in a very competitive price for a quite stylish still Harley-titled custom” adds Rainer Baechli. “But there was one part of the process that did need some extra effort. Both fenders were sourced at W&W Cycle. OEM exchange parts for “the real thing” means period correct Harley parts. The rear fender, foldable, is like the genuine part, but required some adaptation to the rear 16-Inch spoke wheel. But the front fender created quite a few headaches, first because of the modern front Springer fork, then because of the electronic regulator which was much smaller on pre-war Classic Harleys. The 2017 one was hitting the curved tip of the front fender:, requiring to re-calibrate the fender position and to re-shape it. To complete the oldie look, very bright, but almost invisible when not in use, Kellerman turn signals complement a very retro but road legal taillight.

Regarding the paint job, Rainier got inspired by the numerous color options and art-deco lettering gas tank decals offered by Harley in 1933. On this modern “Distinguished Gentleman” antique, the surprising residual message is that the vast majority of the stock Harley Slim parts have been retained, that almost all old oem parts are easy bolt-on and that very little fabrication has been necessary. Trust me, you can do one like that in your garage. Do it. This one was completed in 4 weeks and now it’s for sale. Harley Heaven,  Harley Baechli (Photos @ H. Roesler, Marco Haage, Baechli Harley) Heaven,Harley Baechli.

Name:: “Flying Diamond” FLSS “Sli
Owner: For sale
Location. Baechli Harley-Heaven
Year built 2017.
Built time: 1 month.1 month
Model. H-D FLSS; “Slim”
#5 of Seven “Special Edition” 50th Anniversary Baechli Custombikes
Motor. H-D/
Block/Lower end/. H-D
Baechli 50th Anniversary Motor Covers
Cylinders. Screamin’ Eagle Kit. 1.801 cc – 110 Cubic Inch
Carburator. EFI – stock
Air cleaner/. Stock Harley-Davidson
Ignition. Stock Harley-Davidson/ Screamin’ Eagle
Transmission. Stock H-D.
Primary. Stock, Baechli 50th Anniversary Primary Cover
Bars/: Stock H-D
Mirros. H-D.
Grips: H-D
HD “Slim” classic “Half Moon” floorboards
Gas tank: Slim H-D.
Solo seat. After-market.
Fenders: W&W Cycles adapted by Baechli Harley-Heaven
Leather bag. Special bracket for leather bag, quick detachable,
Headlight. Stock HD
Turn Signals. Kellerman Micro Indicators
Tank gas graphic. Baechli Harley-Heaven, 1934/34 Art Deco “Flying Diamond” design
Harley Heaven
SwitzerlandTel. ++41 (0) 44 – 744 30 44

41 Responses to “Flying Diamond. A Period-Incorrect Antique Born From A 2017 Harley Twin-Cam Model .”

  1. 1 Seymour Nov 20th, 2017 at 8:59 am

    I think that works pretty well. Would it be better with a springer? I don’t know, but kudos to the creator and kudos to HD for having the design in the first place. It has stood the test of time.

  2. 2 Mazz Nov 20th, 2017 at 9:01 am

    I I I I I like it!!!!

  3. 3 SIGFREED Nov 20th, 2017 at 9:09 am

    I I I I I like it also!!!!

  4. 4 Bruce Nov 20th, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Best and cheapest conversion in a long time. Tempted to do mine. Thanks Cyril for the great idea,

  5. 5 P. Hamilton Nov 20th, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Only 2 fenders and a solo seat. Genius!

  6. 6 Greeco Nov 20th, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Wow! How come nobody did this before and made a business of creating “antiques” with the new H-D models?

  7. 7 USAYGO Nov 20th, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Something old, something borrowed, something blue. I like it !!

  8. 8 USAYGO Nov 20th, 2017 at 9:20 am

    Something old, something borrowed, something blue. I like it!

  9. 9 Greybeard1 Nov 20th, 2017 at 9:30 am


  10. 10 Emmett Nov 20th, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I REALLY like this bike!!!
    Old look with modern running gear.
    Ridable, servicable and insurable.
    Great idea. I want one.

  11. 11 Boomer Nov 20th, 2017 at 9:42 am

    I like this a lot. I hope we see more of this kind of thing. Old looking but with new running gears suspension.
    The Antique car industry has been doing this for a long time with great results. People want a sharp old hot rot but they also want the reliable Corvette engine and trans along with up to date suspension, power steering, heat, AC, sound system, etc. for reliability and ability to run at 80 mph all day long comfortably.

  12. 12 Boomer Nov 20th, 2017 at 9:43 am

    Hot Rod not Hot rot.

  13. 13 Xenu Nov 20th, 2017 at 10:43 am

    It looks like a Harley should look. No deluxe fluff.

  14. 14 Boots Nov 20th, 2017 at 10:48 am

    That is one sharp bike! Vintage look with modern technology! Great Job!
    Harley needs to pay attention!!!!!!

  15. 15 G. Elmer Nov 20th, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Great idea, great simple job, great Harley.

  16. 16 Xenu Nov 20th, 2017 at 10:58 am

    The hinged rear fender is so practcal!

  17. 17 mkv Nov 20th, 2017 at 11:24 am

    The Europeans know how to customize bikes.

  18. 18 chicagojohn Nov 20th, 2017 at 11:31 am


  19. 19 hacksaw Nov 20th, 2017 at 11:33 am

    needs a 2 into 1.

  20. 20 Opera & Iron Nov 20th, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    With it’s modern running gear and classic, unmistakably Harley styling, this is what the 2018 Heritage Softail should have been.

  21. 21 nicker Nov 20th, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Give it a Fishtail muffler and its PERFECT….. !!!!


  22. 22 richards Nov 20th, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Being an old guy who really likes the “classic” look…..this is absolutely perfect!

  23. 23 Seymour Nov 20th, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    I’m guessing that the rear fender goes up and down with the rear swingarm, that’s how they get the fender so low to the tire. Looks great, and looks more like a true rigid, but that means you can’t put a person or a luggage rack on the rear fender. That’s how the old Kawasaki Drifter (and Rocker for that matter) were designed, and they both ended up with the levitating rear passenger seat.

  24. 24 Mike Nov 20th, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    Darn. That’s nice

  25. 25 Pat h Nov 20th, 2017 at 9:44 pm

    Nice bike, I built something real similar in the 90s on a swingarm paugcho frame out of take off parts from the junk bin, the only problem with the new stuff is when you park it next to a original bike they dwarf the old bikes, shit just got to big, the springer fender on a hydro style front is stretching the theme bike frontier

  26. 26 RUB Nov 21st, 2017 at 4:15 am

    Can’t believe the motor company actually did this , really like it ………………….

  27. 27 Matt W. Nov 21st, 2017 at 8:15 am

    RUB: This was done by Harley-Heaven in Switzerland.

  28. 28 Texas Mike Nov 21st, 2017 at 8:39 am

    Great find Cyril. This “retro” job is going to be copied over and over.

  29. 29 Tom Nov 21st, 2017 at 9:16 am

    I like it.
    But I also like that bike they used in the last Indiana Jones movie if I ever get rid of my touring bike I’m going to hunt for something close and build it myself I’m getting to a point my life where the touring bike is a little heavy for my arthritis. And I don’t travel as far as a used to

  30. 30 Wayne Nov 21st, 2017 at 9:36 am

    I like it!!! Judging from the comments on this pages AND if anyone from Harley reviews it, they should offer this as a factory option. Defeats the one off aspect I guess but man it sure looks good. Thinking about doing this to my 2007 Softail Custom now. Not that suede blue is the hot color to own but I don’t like messing up factory paint. New tins and box up the stock ones.

  31. 31 Martin Twofeather Nov 21st, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Excellent work I would like to see more….

  32. 32 Tom Genner Nov 21st, 2017 at 10:04 am

    I know that Harley execs read Cyril. …

  33. 33 Dale Nov 21st, 2017 at 10:27 am

    Very nice job. It’s a keeper.

  34. 34 Greybeard1 Nov 21st, 2017 at 11:46 am

    What size are the wheels?

  35. 35 Michael Fagan Nov 21st, 2017 at 4:09 pm


  36. 36 Kelly Nov 21st, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Nice but! In order to pass inspection you would need some small black bullet lights for turn signals, that air cleaner needs to go and a two into one exhaust would help. Hinged rear fenders were great when you had a flat!

  37. 37 J Nov 21st, 2017 at 8:23 pm

    Love it. Take my money, please- don’t care what it costs.

  38. 38 BOSS HAWG Nov 22nd, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Love it.

    Absolutely gorgeous and well thought out.

    Great article Cyril! I for one would love to see more like. Happy Thanksgiving to you Cyril, all your loved ones! And of course Happy Thanksgiving to the keyboard commandas/commandos that populate this block and keep it very interesting.


  39. 39 Big Slim Dec 1st, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Where can I get those fenders?

  40. 40 Pat h Dec 1st, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    Big slim there just repop pre 58 and pre 49 fenders you would need to modify to work, they do look good

  41. 41 barneyfife Dec 16th, 2017 at 6:22 pm

    Just shows you how tone deaf the MoCo is. Triumph can’t build their Bobbers fast enough. Had the MoCo offered this with a few similar paint variations they’d be selling like hotcakes.

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