Harley design guru Willie G. Davidson is behind some of the company’s most beautiful bikes.

Like Willie G. Davidson, Taiwanese custom bike designer and Rough Crafts founder Winston Yeh considers himself an artist when it comes to motorcycles. Crafts’ Shadow Rocket is built from a 2002 Harley Softail Fat Boy, using the stock Twin Cam 88 engine.

Harley-Davidson’s chief styling officer emeritus looks more than a bit like Willie Nelson. Fittingly, the name of the grandson of company cofounder William A. Davidson is Willie Davidson. Willie G. Davidson, actually, though it seems most people call him Willie G. The 82-year-old not only guided design at the motorcycling icon for nearly half a century, but also helped bail the company out when it nearly closed, ultimately becoming its best-known and best-loved face.

His additional title reads “brand ambassador.” It’s critical that a company like Harley have a stable hand on the wheel to guide its styling, because though the company trades on its heritage, it needs to avoid becoming captive to it. The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. was founded in 1903, and for decades built motorcycles that evolved with their times. Mechanical and styling changes kept pace with advancing technology and fashion.

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