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Custom Harley-Davidson® - How to Make Your Bike Stand Out

When you love something, you want to bring out the very best in it. Creating a custom Harley-Davidson® allows you to add performance capabilities, beauty and value to your bike. 

Some riders know exactly what they want to end up with when they start their motorcycle customization journey. Others say one change leads to the next and the project feels like it goes through a natural, organic evolution. Neither way is better, it's a deeply personal experience for each individual that many say makes them feel even more connected to their bike.

The choices can be agonizing, because there are so many of them to be made. Here at Dallas Harley-Davidson®, we're known for our history of creating some of the best custom builds near Dallas. So let's talk about what we've observed.

What Makes a Harley-Davidson® a Custom Motorcycle?

Any time someone takes a stock motorcycle and alters it, the result could be called a custom motorcycle. People work to make their bikes faster, their engine louder, their frame lighter, fuel delivery more efficient, the aesthetics more pleasing or all of the above. A custom Harley-Davidson® is one that's completely unique.

Harley® has always excelled at providing a nearly endless range of options for personalizing, upgrading and adding your unique spin. Often appearance-related parts come in collections, so you can find components that visually work together. 

There are, in our opinion, things that just shouldn't be done. Like covering your bike in leather accessories to make it look like a giant lobster. Or covering your entire bike in chrome and riding in a silver jumpsuit so you look like the Silver Surfer's lame cousin. But hey, if that's your style, we'll try not to judge (not out loud anyway.)

So what are the best options if you're not sure exactly what you want, but you want to make your Harley® stand out? Here are some of the most popular ways people modify their bikes to create a custom motorcycle.

Change the Seat

Upgrade your comfort level and your seat height while giving your bike a looks upgrade. Recover a factory seat with leather or upholstery that matches your style. Get closer to the ground with a reach seat or invest in a Harley® seat for tall riders. 

Swap Wheels and Tires

Change out your factory set for custom wheels and tires for an extremely not subtle upgrade. Whether you're looking for smooth and sophisticated or over-the-top, we can help you select new rims that match the overall look of your bike.

Custom Paint

Did you see the new CVO™ Road Glide Limited in Dante's Red Fade? It's freaking incredible. The whole bike is amazing, CVOs always are, but what strikes you first, and what will stick in your brain forever is the paint. The red flames in the front fade to black in the back so gradually you keep having to run your eyes back and forth. But if you don't want to swap your bike out for a 2022 CVO, you can still make jaws drop with a new paint job.

Some factory customs already come with unique paint. For example, the limited edition Icons Collection features bikes with tri-tone paint and period-specific badging. 

Add Custom Lighting

Swap out your factory headlights, tail lights and turn signals for new ones to create a custom Harley-Davidson® that's uniquely you. If you don't already have LED headlights and you ride at night, you'll be amazed at how much brighter they make the road ahead.

Adding license plate lights is a simple, inexpensive change. We also sell motorcycle LED accent light kits in every color. Add them to your wheels, your windshield or along the body. The effect can be subtle or you can make sure they see as well as hear you coming from a mile away.

Make Performance Upgrades

Invest in a Stage 1, Stage 2 or Stage 3 performance upgrade to make your custom Harley-Davidson® have more horsepower, more torque and a deeper, throatier sound. Performance upgrades improve air intake for optimized power and speed. Many also involve an air cleaner upgrade.

Change Handlebars

Switch out factory handlebars to get a one-of-a-kind look, and also possibly to make the riding experience better for you. We can help you evaluate options like the following:

  • Ape Hangers
  • Mini Ape Hangers or Baby Ape Hangers
  • Drag Bars
  • Buckhorn Handlebars
  • Beach Bars
  • T-Bars
  • Z-Bars
  • Other Custom Harley® Handlebars

Add Custom Accessories and Trim

Come by the dealership and we can walk you through pages and pages of accessories just for your bike that will help you get the look you want. We can hook you up with derby covers, alternator covers, fuel caps, front and rear axel nut covers, radio trim bezels, brake caliper inserts, timer covers, horn covers and pretty much anything else you can think of for every make and model ever made. If you're just beginning to dip your toe in motorcycle customization or you're trying to put the finishing touches on a project, we can help you out. 

Saddlebags and Luggage Racks

If you do much riding at all, sooner or later you're going to need the ability to take stuff with you. Sometimes a backpack doesn't cut it. So why not add functionality on your journey to build a custom Harley-Davidson® motorcycle? Order soft saddlebags, tail bags, detachable tank bags, leather saddlebags and more.

Start Your Custom Harley-Davidson® Wish List 

If your head is spinning and you want it all, we get it. Find a place to keep and organize your ideas and get advice from our pros when you click here to start your custom motorcycle wish list.