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Dar Holdsworth’s Second Navy Bike for Rolling Thunder by Darwin and Brass Balls Cycles

A Tribute to Pros for Vets and Rolling Thunder

by Bandit with photos from the Brass Balls Crew

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If there was an award for the most Amazing bike builder on the planet Dar would be a major contender. He wouldn’t win it for building some spindly, art object, board track racer and winning the AMD World Championship, although he has already won several AMD awards. Don’t get me wrong, art objects are cool, but Dar builds riders. 

He would win it for being one of the most prolific, resilient builders to ever walk the earth. He would take home the prize for surviving the 2008 economic downturn with style, while 95 percent of the custom manufacturers tanked and 75 percent of all the shops closed.  He would win because he would not stop getting involved in charity builds, when he knew in his heart he should be saving money. 

He would also win because during the toughest of times he became involved in an organization called Pros for Vets. He helped Vets straddle bikes and hit the road again, once they returned from active duty. He refurbished donated bikes and auctioned them off to support Pros for Vets. He’s even rebuilt bikes completely and gave them away, without receiving a dime. “If we knocked-off all the philanthropy efforts we could pay our bills,” said his wife.

He would win this award because when the industry tanked he still built cool bobbers, redesigned his version of an FXR, started a line of products, and delivered his bikes to his customers himself when he was one of two employees in the shop.

This Navy Bike is just another example of Dar’s commitment to this industry. Dar was told about a promotion to support Rolling Thunder by Jay Allen. He built a one-off Navy bike, which was scheduled to tour to support Rolling Thunder Washington DC, Inc. then be displayed and used to support the organization. 

It didn’t work out exactly like it was presented and some of the bikes ended up with Jay and not the organization. So Dar built another Navy Bike specifically for the Rolling Thunder Organization, this one. Click to see more about Rolling Thunder Washington DC, Inc. 
Click for website
Click for website

Founded on August 1987

To make certain that we, as a nation, never forget our prisoners of war nor forget our missing in action. We ride for those who can't.

Rolling Thunder was first organized by Vietnam Veterans in 1987 in response to the service men and women who were unaccounted for at the conclusion of the Vietnam War. Exercising the First Amendment Right to Assemble, a motorcycle rally took place in the streets of Washington, DC to bring awareness to the plight of POW/MIA's.

Rolling Thunder began as a demonstration following the era of the Vietnam War, which was a difficult time in our history. Many of America's military were killed or missing in action (MIA) and their remains were not being returned home or respectfully buried. 

There were also reports of live prisoners of war (POW) who were left behind when the war ended. In 1987, Vietnam veteran Ray Manzo, bothered by these accounts, came to DC with his idea and enlisted the help of fellow veterans Holland, Sides, and Sampley, to organize a motorcycle demonstration to bring attention to the POW/MIA situation. 

Choosing Memorial Day weekend for the event, they envisioned the arrival of the motorcycles coming across the Memorial Bridge, and thought it would sound like “Rolling Thunder”. The first Run in 1988, had roughly 2500 motorcycles and riders demanding that the U.S. government account for all POW/MIA's; it continues to grow every year, becoming the world’s largest single-day motorcycle event. Now with over a million riders and spectators combined, Rolling Thunder has evolved into an emotional display of patriotism and respect for all who defend our country.

Our Vision:
Is to achieve full accountability for all POW/MIA's (Prisoner's Of War/Missing In Action), to facilitate the return of all service members, alive or dead, and to prevent the reoccurrence of a POW/MIA situation such as that of the Vietnam War.

Who and What we serve:
Veterans and POW/MIA's from all wars, past and present.

Click for website
Click for website

In addition to being a solid supporter of Rolling Thunder Run. Dar constantly supports Pros 4 Vets with builds for Veterans and builds to be auctioned off to support the Pros 4 Vets organization and promote their efforts. Here’s how Pros 4 Vets works followed by a list of some of the 13 bikes the Darwin crew built to support Pros 4 Vets: 

Pros 4 Vets is a few volunteers who love and appreciate our nation's veterans in any way we can.

From shining a light on the difficult issues our veterans face like PTSD, substance abuse and addiction, to helping provide much needed free legal assistance to our soldiers and their families, we strive to make a real difference for those who put their lives on the line to protect our freedom.

Pros 4 Vets has partnered with the Oklahoma Bar Association and its Oklahoma Lawyers for America's Heroes program to ensure that, just as no one is left behind on the battlefield, no one who has honorably served this country should be left behind in the legal system or denied access to justice.  

America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. However, we continue to be free because of the brave men and women who fight for us. But who is fighting for them? Our nation’s heroes are returning from war only to face an all-new battle at home. Without help, the physical and mental wounds of war can take a devastating toll. That’s why these soldiers and their families need all of our support. Become a "Pro" and join us as we fight for those who fought for us!

"Fighting for you because you fought for us."

Progressive Insurance / Toby Keith Bike / Pros 4 Vets
We partnered with Progressive Insurance to build this amazing Lane Splitter. The bike will be prominently featured in the Progressive Insurance booth at the 2013/14 International Motorcycle Shows. Active duty military members and veterans can sign up to win it for free at the shows. The bike will be awarded at the final show of the series.
CMT / Buffalo Chip / Sturgis Bike Build - Off Winner
We competed in a “bike build off” for CMT (television) at the legendary Buffalo Chip in Sturgis. This bike, which was built in one day by our team, won the build-off and was awarded to a very special Vietnam Vet... Dar’s dad. He was presented the gas tank to the bike a couple days before the build by Toby Keith and Dar on stage at Toby’s concert at the Chip.
Tornado Bike : Twisted
This bike was born out of the devastation that saw an F5 tornado demolish the town of Moore, Oklahoma. Gerald Mobley was building this bike in his garage and all that was left of it was a tattered frame and motor. Many great suppliers stepped up to help us build for him the bike of his dreams. We presented it to him at the Toby Keith Twister Relief concert in front of 60,000 fans at the University of Oklahoma football stadium in Norman, Oklahoma.
Rune for OK Kids Korral
This bike was donated to us so that it could be used to raise money for OK Kids Korral, a charity that supports children being treated for cancer in Oklahoma City. Once finished with the bike, it was auctioned at the Toby Keith benefit and raised $38,000 to support this amazing charity.
Navy Bike for Rolling Thunder Washington D.C.
In 2012 we were honored to be one of only 4 bike companies to be invited to build a bike paying tribute to a branch of the service. We were selected to build the Navy bike. The bike is one of our World Championship model Rocketeer F3’s. We took several styling cues from Naval influence and history. The seat has the Navy Jack tooled into it. The word Navy on the tank is similar to how it is on the ships. The foot pegs are made from the actual Arresting Cable from the USS Enterprise. The pipes are brass plated. The Rolling Thunder coin is flush mounted in the top triple tree. The bike along with the other tribute bikes tour the Country to pay tribute to the men and women of our armed forces.
BSA Lightning / Sturgis Free Military Raffle
This 1967 BSA Lightning was donated to us by a friend in the motorcycle industry, Jay Allen. We restored and repainted the bike, and took it to Sturgis to give away. Anyone who was in attendance who was an active duty US military member or a veteran was able to enter for free to win the bike. On Wednesday evening of Sturgis Bike Week (the same day we repeated as Production Manufacturer World Champion) we pulled a name out of a hat, and along with Jay, we called out the name of a Vietnam Vet, who became the new owner of the Lightning.
Toby Keith Bike / OK Kids Korral / Pros 4 Vets
This bike was funded by a generous customer of ours who supports both our troops and children in need. We built it to pay tribute to Toby Keith and to be auctioned in support of OK Kids Korral. The bike has Toby influences incorporated into it’s design to include his logo. It also has the Pros 4 Vets logo and is signed by Toby. The bike was raffled with all the funds going directly to the building of OK Kids Korral, which is a home away from home for families who have children being treated with life threatening illnesses.
KZ 1000 / Pros 4 Vets / Trash and Restore
We were contacted by the father in-law of a soldier. He told us his son in-law had an old bike that he had tried repeatedly to get running before he was deployed to war. The father in-law asked us to try to get it running. When we saw the bike, we told him that a set of new tires was worth more than that old bike. So we asked if we could start over. We took it to the salvage yard and swapped out. Along with the support of Pros 4 Vets, we were able to restore and customize this 1979 Kawasaki KZ 1000. We presented it to Sargent Stump upon his arrival home from deployment. As you can image, he was thrilled.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing & Pros 4 Vets
In 2011, we built the RLX an American Muscle bike honoring living legend, champion race car driver and race team owner Bobby Rahal's storied racing career. The RLX went on to win the 2011 World Championships of Custom/production Bike Building. We raffled the bike with all proceeds going to support our troops through Pros For Vets.

“Attached are pics of the '74 Honda CB750 which we have restored (all original) and will be raffling with 100% of the proceeds going to,” said Dar.

“We are finalizing the details and hope to launch the raffle in the coming couple of weeks. 

As a thank you to military servicemen:

Onnit has teamed up with world champion motorcycle builder Dar Holdsworth to create this amazing custom Harley-Davidson Motorcycle. This 2000 Road King was donated to Darwin Motorcycles as part of their Recycle For The Troops program. 

The catalyst for this program was Rebel Rock Racing owner Jim Jonsin, who got the bike donated. From there, Dar instilled the help of King's Customs to transform what began as a worn-out bike. The H-D power train is solid. The bike received new paint, new bars, new stretched bags, Frenched rear lighting, polished wheels and brakes. It has a new LePera leather seat, dual fishtail exhaust and much more. It's a timeless classic. And this beast can be yours if you're a currently active or or veteran serviceman in any branch of the United States Armed Forces.

AND that's not all! In addition to giving away this badass bike, Onnit is also going to donate $.50 for every like this page gets, and $.50 for every share this page gets on Facebook up to $10,000 to Pros4Vets. So even if you're not eligible to win the bike, you can still help spread a great message and help contribute to an amazing cause.

Darwin Motorcycles Navy Bike II, Extreme Tech Chart

Regular Stuff

Owner: Rolling Thunder Washington D.C.
Bike Name: Navy Tribute Bike II

Builder: Brass Balls Cycles

City/state: Oklahoma City, OK

Company Info:
Address: 401 S. Blackwelder Ave. Oklahoma City, OK 73108
Phone: 405-270-0995


Fabrication: There was some

Manufacturing: Yep, done right here

Welding: Plenty of that, TIG only shop using Miller equipment

Machining: in house using Summit Machine Mill and Lathe
Engine Supplied to us by customer

Year: 2013, as far as we could tell

Make: Ultima


Carburetion: S&S super G

Air cleaner: S&S

Exhaust: Brass Balls D&D 2 into 1 Ceramic coated

Mufflers: reverse megaphone


Year: 2014

Make: Rivera

Gear configuration: 6

Primary: Rivera

Clutch: Rivera

Final drive: Chain

Kicker: no


Year: 2014

Builder: Innovative Frameworks

Style or Model: Brass Balls Rocketeer

Stretch: 1-inch

Rake: 40 degrees

Front End

Make: Three Two Choppers

Model: Wishbone Springer

Year: 2014

Length: Standard

Mods: Black & Chrome 


Sheet Metal

Tanks: Sporty style bobber tank

Fenders: Hand spun Bare Knuckle Choppers

Oil tank: Brass Balls made in house



Sheet metal: Manny’s Ink & Air

Molding: some

Base coat: Candy blue over heavy silver flake

Graphics: Tattoo Navy Theme : Manny

Frame: Powder coated Battleship gray


Front: Sportster mag anodized gold

Make: Harley

Size: 19-inch x 110mm

Brake calipers: Wilwood / Brass Balls

Brake rotor(s): Wilwood

Tire: Avon Venom


Make: Sportster mag anodized gold

Size: 16-inch x 140mm

Brake calipers: Wilwood / Brass Balls

Brake rotor: Wilwood

Pulley: sprocket

Tire: Avon Venom


Foot controls: Brass Balls

Finish: Chrome/Brass

Master cylinder: Warfare Pegs

Brake lines:Goodridge

Handlebar controls: Brass Balls fab

Clutch Cable: Motion Pro

Brake Lines Goodridge

Shifting: Brass Balls

Kickstand: Drag


Ignition: Crane Hi4

Ignition switch: key

Coils: Drag

Regulator: Cycle Electric

Charging: Cycle Electric

Starter: All Balls


Harness: Made at Brass Balls

Headlight: PIAA

Taillight: Brass Balls

Battery: Antigravity Lithium

What’s Left

Seat: Brass Balls Skull Racer by Hix Design

Seat springs: Chopper Shox

Gas caps: Brass Balls Performance

Handlebars: Brass Balls Performance

Grips: Old School Rubber Avon

Pegs: Brass Balls Trench warfare pegs

Oil filter: K&N

Oil lines: Good Year

Fuel filter: Drag

Fuel Lines: Good Year

Throttle: Joker Machine

Throttle cables: Motion Pro

Dar's bike for Tim Allen.
Dar's bike for Tim Allen.


This bike was built for the charity Rolling Thunder Washington, D.C. 

We are honored to help in any way that brings attention to our military service men & women... active duty, reservist and veterans.

We don’t do it for the money (because there is none). We don’t do it for any fame. We do it because we are grateful to those who volunteer to put their lives on the line to protect and serve our Country and preserve our freedoms.--Dar

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