With a poison-green patina reminiscent of absinth, those financially discreet Swiss pulled no punches when creating an FXDR 114 that could smoothly cut diamonds…or at least cut through alpine passes to the tick of a finely crafted watch. We know you are thinking Kawasaki, but The Green Monster features none of that brand’s chintzy plastic, with the bike’s tank, fenders and anything green being hand-crafted sheet metal.
“Really, the main thing is that there is no plastic on the bike,” said Manuel Gubser of Harley-Davidson Graubünden.
With the knowledge that Harley-Davidson would be launching the Bronx, a streetfighter, Gubser wanted to beat Harley out of the gate with an aggressive naked streetfighter that represented the gentlemanly style of European road racing.
“The Europeans continue to love that clean look like BMWs,” said Gubser. “So, we stretched the tank, put on an aluminum swingarm, upside-down forks, double disc brakes and a huge tire in the back.”
If the Battle of The Kings was an anthropological study, The Green Monster would stand out as a fascinating case. But it would also show how a V-Twin can be manipulated in defiant ways. For example, Graubünden holds the title of producing the most expensive Harley on the planet, a $1.9 million, diamond-studded bike for a Swiss jewelry company.
According to Gubser, the rear light was the hardest part of the build because it involved reprogramming the bike to handle a light from a BMW S1000RR, further adding to the bike’s sportiness.
“To get the lights and brakes to work,” he said, “we had to figure out the control module ourselves.”
The build took a total of eight weeks with four full-time technicians. The result: a bike you will either love or hate. Regardless, Gubser sees it as an evolutionary steppingstone in the direction Harley-Davidson is taking to appeal to a broader spectrum of riders.
“Harley is on point with the people who ride street and those that cruise,” said Gubser. “In the future, Harley will unleash the demon and be one manufacturer for all.”
We also see a couple of hints of LiveWire in this Swiss build. Surely not a coincidence.
Harley-Davidson Graubünden is located southeast of Zurich near the Austrian border.