DesmoHarley – Motorcycle Build Underway

DesmoHarley bike buildRemember the DesmoHarley, the Harley engine with Ducati heads? Lost track of the engine a little while ago and I was wondering what happened to it and look what just turned up. The engine found its way across the pond and is currently in the early stages of being used in a custom bike build over in the U.K. Not much info yet but I thought you might want to see the photo. Interesting.

Link: Britchopper


  1. says

    I want to make the bike as simple as possible and keep the engine as the focal point. With the huge weight of a Harley engine and tranny; it’s never going to be a performer.

  2. ROHORN says

    An Evo FXR engine/primary/transmission assembly weighed the same as a CBX engine on my scale……

  3. Tim says

    is it the worlds tallest motorbike engine? taller even than the MT 01?

    I love stuff like this: looking forward to the updates.

    Rohorn: blimey! very interesting factoid about the CBX vs FXR engine weights!

  4. Colin says

    I’m really interested in how its going to sound and perform when its all said and done!

  5. todd says

    Is there any reason it would sound any different than any other 45 degree-V-twin Harley?


  6. says

    Chris Barber – good going…

    Regarding the weight topic and “performer” topic: have you seen Curt Winter’s “TC-Sport” ?

    See the Kneeslider post after this post or Curt’s own site at:

    That black bike is getting close to the weights of some street-going repli-racers and heavier twins.

    “Performer” ? – There seems to be an unwritten rule in the world of motorcycle street performance that states you must be able to do the ΒΌ mile in x seconds or must have a top speed of xyz. Why?

    Isn’t a better gauge of performance(or at least of equal importance) measured by how fast can you ride the bike where riding is most fun & demands the most skill? –> in the curves.

    Just about any schmuck can ride a motorcyle fast in a straight line.

    I don’t know, maybe a lot of people live too far from the roads I’m thinking about, so they have to fight their boredom with the impressive acceleration of the repli-racers on the flat roads.

  7. Clive Makinson-Sanders says

    I know i can hear my valves hissing at me through my airbox on my duc. So that might be different, but as far as exhaust noise i think it will only be different at high rpms.

  8. says


    I also am not trying to pretend the HD lump is the ultimate “high” performance street engine. Instead, I’m trying to convey that engine, with its torque and large capacity capability, has other uses besides 2 wheeled land barges, baggers, and whatever the latest trend is…

    The missing ‘trend’ is cafe or sportbike applications.

    Aside from the relatively few builders showcased on the Kneeslider and in my blog, there doesn’t seem to be any custom builders making use of the big twin’s capability in a more sporting chassis. Too bad, because it has potential.

    Reputable sources such as Kevin Cameron have stated that big twins of the 100 cubic inch and up size have the ability to give sportbike riders fits*.

    Chris – your engine would go well with BTR Moto’s chassis (and no, I don’t work for them). Not only is it more sport-focused but there is no middle backbone to the frame, so the engine height is still ok.

    *paraphrasing the comments made in the CW article about the S&S X-Wedge.

  9. Chris Barber says

    I guess budget comes into it also, the route I’m taking is cheap, I’ll have about $6k total in the bike…..I’m reluctant to spend more incase the thing runs like crap! at the end of the day I’m a motorcycle hobbyist.

    If it shows promise, I’d like to make an engine with four valve Ducati heads on Fatso cases with 100mm pistons and a short stroke crank

  10. beastinblack says

    That engine should go into a flat tracker or a cafe racer frame…or maybe even a buell style motorcycle. As simple as it gets!