Harley-Davidson Breakout Heads to Custom Shop for Small Adjustments, Emerges Transformed into This

In the American market, Harley-Davidson currently offers a total of eight cruiser motorcycles. Any one of them could easily make it onto any list of the best cruisers, regardless of who compiles it or why. However, for this story, we'll focus on just one: the Breakout.

The Breakout is a relatively new addition to Harley-Davidson's lineup, first introduced in 2013 as a "raked-out cruiser dripping in chrome," embodying the classic softail style. Its journey hasn't been smooth, with periods of production halts, including in the American market, based on the company's shifting priorities.

The most recent discontinuation for the U.S. market was in 2021. However, Harley-Davidson revived the Breakout two years later with a refreshed model featuring numerous upgrades and a "more muscular and bright new styling over its long-and-lean chopper profile."

While the current Breakout retains its familiar cruiser identity, it boasts one significant change: the Milwaukee-Eight 114ci engine has been replaced by a larger 117ci from the same family. This new iteration quickly captured the attention of customers in America and beyond, ensuring its continued presence in Harley-Davidson's lineup. Like its predecessors, the new Breakout has also become a popular canvas for customization in garages worldwide.

One of the most notable customizations comes from Thunderbike, a major Harley customizer based in Germany. They have produced several unique Breakout 117s over the past few years. The bike you're seeing now, however, is based on the previous incarnation of the Breakout, not the 117. Despite its age, many of these earlier models are still on the road, leading to ongoing custom projects.

This particular Breakout was transformed at the request of its owner, who approached Thunderbike for a new saddle. This initial modification quickly evolved into a comprehensive custom project. Thunderbike exceeded expectations, turning the chrome-laden cruiser into a more aggressive and distinctly German machine through a series of strategic component changes.

The most noticeable change is the stance, achieved by installing a fork lowering kit and an air ride suspension system that adjusts the motorcycle's height as needed. While the wheels remain stock, the rear one now sports a new 260 mm wide Metzeler tire. A new steel rear fender with integrated LED indicators and no struts, combined with a side-mounted license plate, gives the Breakout a clean rear end.

At the front, the chrome on the fork has been replaced with a diamond-like carbon coating. The bike also features a new headlight fairing, custom satin grips, strip turn lights, and a new set of handlebars. Although there were no mechanical changes to the powertrain, new engine covers give the illusion of modifications, and similar treatments were applied to the axles, derby, and timer.

A new Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust system was added, which doesn't alter the engine's power output, maintaining it at 95 hp. The customized Breakout was aptly named Dark Horse, a nod that might make one think of Harley's rival Indian's similarly named models.

While the total cost of the Dark Horse build isn't disclosed, Thunderbike has shared that the parts alone cost around €5,500, which is just under $6,000 at current exchange rates.