Custom motorcycles are a pure form of self-expression. Not only do customs embody the owner’s or fabricator’s vision, but much like the chrome that adorns them, they reflect the popular styles of the time in which they were built. The 1980s and 1990s were decades where motorcycles were kaleidoscopes of chrome and color. Every motorcycle worth its salt flaunted the shiniest chrome, flashiest paint schemes, and most intricate details. Yellows, pinks—the word garish didn’t exist and “too much,” was never enough.
Excavated from the Hot Bike archives, these motorcycles—many of which were seen at the 1993 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally—sport vibrant colors that will make impressions on your retinas. Loud, bright and fast, here are some of our favorite radical customs from the ’80s and ’90s.
The paint scheme on this bright pink Fat Boy screams ’80s album cover art.
Ed Kerr’s 1990 Softail Springer pops with Porsche Red, white blue flames, and pinstriping.
The color on Cory Ness’ 1994 Harley-Davidson FXR was inspired by his son Zack’s swimsuit.
Teal pearl overlaid with persimmon-to-goldenrod flames dress up this 1987 Harley-Davidson FXR SP.
Hello, blower. A claimed 200 ponies are produced by the 89ci EVO.
The long tank fabricated by Bob “Mun” Munroe stretches beautifully over the 80ci EVO.
Actor, musician, and bike builder Rusty Coones painted this mustard/silver 1987 Softail.
A 1984 FXR frame wraps around an engraved 1981 98ci Shovelhead.
This ’93 Softail was transformed into a yellow-on-white Horst-custom-painted beauty by Ron Simms.
After three months of building and two weeks for paint and assembly, this was ready for Sturgis ’93.