Harley-Davidson Midnight Joe Appears Underwhelmingly Basic at First Glance, Until You Take a Closer

No matter how hard you look, the Midnight Joe we have here seems to lack distinctive features. It's all black, a look we've seen countless times before. It has some gold accents, but that's common in many custom builds. It doesn't have the markings and adornments typical of many custom rides on the road today.

So why are we talking about it? Simple: a closer look reveals that its very indistinctness is what makes it stand out.

The bike began as a brand new 2023 Harley-Davidson Street Bob, a model Harley itself describes as a "stripped-down bobber cloaked in black." German custom garage Thunderbike took this concept further, aiming for a 1960s-style ride that is simple, unassuming, and effective.

The Street Bob was chosen as the base bike because it closely aligned with their vision even in its stock form. This is evident in the lack of many custom enhancements typically seen. For instance, the Midnight Joe doesn't have an air suspension system; instead, it features a lowering kit to achieve the desired effect. The original fork and fuel tank remain intact.

The custom bike's rigid frame look required some modifications to the original Street Bob. The most noticeable change is the new set of wheels, with a significant size difference between the two ends: the front wheel is 21 inches in diameter, while the rear is 17 inches. Aftermarket fenders hover over both wheels.

Thunderbike also installed a new footrest system and handlebars for rider comfort, a new swingarm at the rear, and an in-house made swinging saddle, priced at 499 euros ($542), one of the most expensive components used in the project.

As for the cost, Thunderbike typically doesn't disclose the total price of their builds. However, they do share the cost of each individual piece of hardware, giving us a rough idea of the expense. The Harley-Davidson Midnight Joe, named after the 1964 song "Midnight Joey" by Lorna Dune and Joey Powers, features about 5,300 euros ($5,800) worth of extras. Adding this to the starting price of a Street Bob at $16,599 results in a uniquely styled bike that is relatively affordable.