“Here is our latest Brawler GT. We finished it this week,” said Dar Holdsworth the boss of Brass Balls Cycles. FXRs are coming back under the signage of the only two custom bike manufacturers left standing in the United States, Brass Balls Cycles and Big Bear Choppers.
What an interesting run since the heyday of 2007, then the financial downfall of 2008. Yet, through it all two motorcycle configurations stood tall, the Bobber and the FXR. The bobber survived because it’s the essence of the chopper world without the frills. It’s the very forerunner of the custom motorcycle.
After World War II the guys came home and stripped stock motorcycles to give them class, then to start racing, hence the bobber. Here are some shots of the most recent Brass Balls Cycles bobber, built to respect the Navy for the Rolling Thunder Event at the capitol in support of veterans everywhere.
The other survivor is considered the best handling motorcycle Harley ever built. Eric Buell designed it initially.
One company consistently improves on the H-D platform, and that’s S&S. “This Brawler GT has an S&S EFI, T-series (they can't say twin cam for copyright legal reasons) 111-inch motor,” said Dar. This is the first FXR to boast a Twin Cam powertrain.
The engine is mated to a 6 Rivera Primo FL style tranny with oil pan underneath. “It sports a Delkron inner primary and Barnett’s Scorpion billet outer primary,” said Dar. “D&D tuned the exhaust with a 2-into-1 system and carbon fiber canister exhaust. Oh, and one of the new S&S Air-1 air cleaners makes the air flow.
Dar is a builder who builds because he loves to ride, he loves any creative exercise, and he loves quality. This Brawler GT represents his notion of the best handling motorcycle product on the market.
Some more featured components incorporated into the Brawler GT include:
“Ohlin's front and rear suspension with our own custom designed & machined fork clamps,” said Dar, “with the top clamp housing our Chrono-classic analog tach/digital speedo.”
Dual Brembo radial calipers with EBC floating rotors.
BST carbon fiber wheels with Avon 3D-XM Storm tires.
Carbon fiber front fender.
“It has our Brass Balls Performance LED headlight up front and rear LED signal lights incorporated into the chassis,” said Dar. “Custom fabricated in house: fuel tank, rear cowling and side panels.”
ISR adjustable hand controls with Brass Balls new Performance leather wrapped billet grips. Motion pro cables.
“Oh, and we have a new relationship with Driven Oils (formerly Joe Gibbs Racing oils),” said Dar. “We will be loading this bike with Driven's amazing performance oils.”
This one is going to our dealer in Shanghai,” said Dar. “Yes, we are exporting American Motorcycles to China.”
Dar has refined his Brawler GT model for three years. “It's the most incredible riders’ bike we've ever created,” said Dar, “and the first person I've given photos to is Bikernet.”
“By the way, I know there is no chain guard on it. We fabricated one from aluminum,” Dar said, “then took it off to use it for making a mold to manufacture units from carbon fiber.”
The Brawler start at $39,995, and this one was outfitted to $51,500.
Bikernet.com Extreme Brawler Tech Chart
Owner: Darwin Motorcycles Shanghai
Bike Name: Brawler GT
Builder: Darwin Motorcycles / Brass Balls Cycles
City/state: Oklahoma City, OK. USA
Address: 401 S. Blackwelder Ave. OKC OK 73108
Fabrication: Darwin / Brass Balls
Manufacturing: Darwin / Brass Balls
Welding: Darwin / Brass Balls
Machining: Darwin / Brass Balls
Model: 111-inch T-Series EFI
Builder or Rebuilder:
Case finish: Black
Barrel finish: black with machined fins
Lower end: S&S
Head finish: Polished
Valves and springs: S&S
Cams: S&S / Crane
Carburetion: S&S Throttle body EFI
Air cleaner: S&S Air 1
Exhaust: D&D / Brass Balls Custom
Mufflers: D&D Bobcat with carbon fiber
Gear configuration: 6-speed
Primary: Delkron Inner / Barnett Outer
Final drive: Chain
Kicker: not on this bike
Builder: Darwin Motorcycles
Style or Model: Brawler GT
Rake: 28 degrees
Modifications: Inspired by FXR
Make: Brass Balls Performance
Model: using Ohlin’s Road & Track legs
Mods: Custom machined Brass Balls Performance fork clamps that house a chrono-classic gauge.
Tanks: Brawler GT tank
Fenders: Brawler GT tail cowling
Panels: Brawler GT side panels
Oil tank: FL style pan under tranny
Sheet metal: Manny’s Ink & Air, Oklahoma City.
Frame: Custom Powder Coat
Front: BST Carbon Fiber
Make: Black Stone Tech
Size: 17 x 3.5-inch
Brake calipers: Brembo Radial mount
Brake rotor(s): EBC floating
Tire: Avon 3D-XM Storm 120mm
Rear: BST Carbon Fiber
Size: 17x 5.5-inch
Brake calipers: Hawg Halter
Brake rotor: Galpher
Pulley: Vortex sprocket
Tire: 3D-XM Storm 180mm
Foot controls: Brawler GT
Master cylinder: Wilwood
Brake lines: Goodridge
Handlebar controls: ISR adjustable
Finish: Black Ano
Clutch Cable: Motion Pro
Brake Lines: Goodridge
Shifting: Smooth as silk
Kickstand: Brass Balls Performance, billet aluminum
Ignition switch: DM
Regulator: Cycle Electric
Charging: Cycle Electric
Starter: All Balls
Wiring: Wire Plus
Headlight: Brass Balls Performance LED
Taillight: Brass Balls Performance LED in chassis
Battery: Antigravity Lithium Ion
Mirror(s): Bar end
Gas caps: racing
Grips: Brass Balls Performance leather wrapped billet aluminum
Oil filter: K&N
Oil cooler: non
Oil lines: GoodYear
Fuel Lines: S&S
Throttle: Joker Machine
Throttle cables: Motion Pro
Fasteners: Gardner Wescott
The Brawler GT is an uncompromising American Sport Cruiser. It is a very comfortable cruiser with a neutral riding position, but is also a very sport performance orientated bike to take advantage of any track or twisty road.