The Brawler GT is a handmade sport cruiser by Dar Holdsworth and the talented team over at Darwin Motorcycles, it was designed from the ground up as an all-American motorcycle that could be used as a daily rider, a canyon carver or a continent crosser – depending on the mood of the owner.
After having built a Brawler GT for Usher, Dar received a call from Tim Allen – a significant figure in the world of American motorcycling, the voice of Buzz Lightyear, the author of Don’t Stand Too Close to a Naked Man and of course – Tim “The Tool-Man” Taylor from the popular TV series Home Improvement. Allen minored in design whilst at college, and still takes an avid interest in the subject – especially when it comes to motorcycles, cars and anything else with an engine attached.
After discussing this Brawler GT with Dar and tossing ideas back and forth, the two men decided to collaborate on creating a new R-spec version of the GT – they decided to call it the Brawler GT-R, and work began immediately.
Dar had been developing another Brawler so the team had a slight head start. The basis of the Brawler GT series is a custom frame developed by Holdsworth with design influence taken from the iconic Harley-Davidson FXR. The engine chosen was the twin-cam, V-twin S&S T-124 EFI – a power unit with a capacity of 124 cubic inches (2031cc) and enough torque to rumple the Earth’s crust.
This engine is mated to a 6-speed Rivera Primo transmission, which feeds power to the rear wheel via a hefty chain drive. With the Brawler GT-R, Dar wanted to focus on using the best possible engineering practices to create a cruiser with many of the characteristics of a superbike – so he used lightweight BST carbon wheels, Avon Storm tires, ISR callipers and EBC floating rotors.
Suspension is provided by Öhlins both front and back, with adjustable USD forks and a pair of piggy back shocks on the rear. In order to further reduce unsprung weight, the swing-arm was custom made from aluminium by Trac Dynamics Aluminum, the front fender was moulded from carbon fibre, and the side covers were made bespoke from carbon with a slightly concave outer face.
All of the metal work on the Brawler GT-R was hand-formed by the Cooper Smithing Co, and that distinctive fuel tank cap was made by Crafty B. As with any bike intended for long periods of time in the saddle, the materials used for the seat were carefully chosen. A modern foam compound was selected to allow the seat to be relatively thin without sacrificing comfort, it was then upholstered in thick American bison leather by the talented Kyle Hix of Hix Design.
The completed bike is a great example of 21st century American bike building, it references classic bobber design cues but blends them with a function-first design ethos to make sure the bike can both cruise for hours on end, or spend an afternoon at Laguna Seca.
If you’d like to see more from Darwin Motorcycles you can click here to visit their official website.
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