7 min read
18 Jul

Challenging the Harley on American soil is no ordinary matter. The Hog is one of just two homegrown motorcycle manufacturers to live through the Great Depression of 1929 – 1939 and just about every economic downturn you can think of since 1903. The other manufacturer is Indian Motorcycles, ever since locked in a near-bitter rivalry with the Harley for the hearts, loyalty, and wallets of motorcycle enthusiasts stateside and beyond. 

So, what happens when an upstart like Audette shows up with products so rugged and powerful that both Harley and Indian riders raise eyebrows? A monolithic, bullish company like Harley Davidson won’t quake in its shoes every time a new kid rolls up the block. Harley’s been there before – more than once – most recently in 2017 when Polaris turned its newest acquisition, Indian, into a leading brand with a 17% growth in the second quarter, while the Hog’s market performance dropped 7 percent. 

Even then, Polaris could not dislodge Harley Davidson’s market dominance, as the latter maintained roughly 50% market share for big bikes. Audette has no interest in market dominance. It’s a custom motorbike brand by a talented enthusiast for passionate enthusiasts who want nothing but the best of the best. The Audette Velos is so special that even Harley and Indian owners eyeball it with covetousness. And for that, the two iconic American giants may raise more than just eyebrows.  

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Who Is This New Kid Causing Trouble In The Muscle Bike Block?

Audette Velos Motorcycles.

Founded in 2019, Audette Motorcycles is a new kid on the block, but Tony Audette is no newcomer to the world of custom motorcycles.  

With a passion for motorcycles and a talent for crafting unique and high-performance machines, Audette has established himself as a respected builder and designer. What do we even know about the guy behind such marvelous machines? 

It turns out Tony was a US Marine before turning his muzzle on mechanical engineering, and then zeroing in on custom bike building. 

It also turned out, as Tony has demonstrated, the recipe for hitting homerun in the American muscle motorcycle industry is blending head-turning design with bleeding-edge automotive technology. 

This time, you don’t have to choose one and sacrifice the other; everything comes à la carte. To get to know this kid, you just only need to meet the product the kid brings to the block. 

Tony Audette’s work and creations speak volumes about his expertise and dedication to the craft. Audette Motorcycles makes hand-built, one-of-a-kind motorcycles that combine classic aesthetics with modern engineering. 

Tony Audette’s Racing Background

Tony Audette racing motorcycles.

In addition to his custom builds, Tony Audette has also been involved in motorcycle racing. He has competed in various racing events, showcasing not only his design skills but also his ability to create motorcycles that excel on the track. 

This racing experience influences the performance-oriented approach seen in his custom builds. The success of Audette Motorcycles has garnered recognition and accolades within the custom motorcycle community. 

Audette's bikes have gotten featured in prominent motorcycle magazines and won awards at prestigious custom bike shows. 

The demand for his creations continues to grow, with enthusiasts and collectors seeking out his unique motorcycles.

Tony Audette’s skill and passion for motorcycles are evident in the exceptional motorcycles he produces. Audette Motorcycles is a testament to his dedication and talent, and his work continues to inspire and captivate motorcycle enthusiasts in America and elsewhere. 

What Makes Audette Muscle Bikes So Special?

What makes Audette Motorcycles special.

One of Audette Motorcycles' defining characteristics is its attention to detail and exquisite craftsmanship. Each bike is meticulously designed and built using top-quality components and materials. 

Tony Audette pays neck-breaking attention to every aspect of the motorcycle, from the frame and suspension to the engine and bodywork, ensuring that each bike delivers outstanding performance and visual appeal. 

Tony's motorcycles often feature custom frames and handcrafted bodywork, resulting in motorcycles that stand out from the crowd. Whether it's a sleek café racer, a muscular bobber, or a vintage-inspired chopper, Audette's creations exude a sense of style and individuality. 

The Velos is Audette’s very first offering designed in Audette’s workshop in Connecticut with input from renowned England-based motorbike designer Kar Lee. 

The Audette Velos Engine And Performance

Audette Velos engine and performance.

The Velos motorcycle is specifically designed around the Indian Thunder Stroke 111 engine, with Audette intentionally selecting the 2016 version. 

This engine, equipped with Bosch fuel injection, offers both power and reliability without the complex electronics found in later models. 

However, the Velos goes beyond using the stock motor by implementing modifications such as Carrillo connecting rods and Wiseco Forged Pistons. This increases the engine's displacement to 131 cubic inches, equivalent to approximately 2,150cc, and raises the compression ratio to 11:1. 

Consequently, the Velos delivers a maximum output of around 130 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque, facilitated by a Toce exhaust system. Audette revised the transmission to handle this increased power via a six-speed manual gearbox with an aftermarket Rekluse clutch. 

Audette Velos performance.

Additionally, the original belt drive got replaced with a more durable chain for enhanced durability. The Velos motorcycle’s frame is constructed from high-strength aircraft-grade aluminum to accommodate its massive engine. 

The meticulous design ensures a perfect fit, as the V-Twin engine was precisely measured using a 3D scanner, allowing the frame’s design to perfectly house the engine with maximum weight savings and compact dimensions in mind. 

The swing arm, crafted from a single piece of aluminum, possesses a sleek appearance reminiscent of a track-only superbike. 

Audette Velos is Harley Davidson rival.

In terms of suspension technology, the Audette Velos incorporates top-of-the-line components. The front end features Race Tech 43-millimeter inverted forks, renowned for their full range of adjustability, while the rear shock absorber offers the same level of customization. 

To enhance both performance and aesthetics, the Velos comes equipped with carbon wheels from the esteemed South African brand BST. 

Audette Velos brake.

When it's time to bring the bike to a halt, Galfer rotors and Beringer calipers provide exceptional stopping power. 

Impressively, even with a full 15-liter fuel tank, the Velos maintains a remarkably light weight of just 210 kilograms, potentially making it one of the lightest motorcycles in its displacement category. 

Naturally, such a bespoke masterpiece comes with a significant price tag. 

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The Audette Velos’ Design And Build Quality Versus Harley Davidson’s

Audette Velos build quality.

When comparing the Audette Velos motorcycles to Harley Davidson motorcycles, it's important to note that both brands have unique characteristics and appeal to different types of riders. 

While some riders may prefer the heritage and iconic status of Harley Davidson, others may gravitate towards the distinctive features and performance offerings of Audette Velos. Now, here’s how Audette pokes a finger in Harley’s eyes: 

1. Customization and Individuality

The Audette Velos motorcycles are renowned for their custom-built nature, offering a level of individuality often unmatched by mass-produced Harley Davidson models. 

Audette Motorcycles specializes in creating one-of-a-kind bikes with unique designs and handcrafted components. This customization allows riders to experience a truly personalized motorcycle that aligns with their specific tastes and preferences. 

2. Attention to Detail and Craftsmanship

The Audette Velos motorcycles are known for their meticulous attention to detail and exquisite craftsmanship. 

Tony Audette's dedication to creating high-quality machines is evident in every aspect of the motorcycles, from the frame and bodywork to the engine and components. 

While Harley Davidson motorcycles are also well-crafted, the custom-built nature of Audette Velos often results in a higher level of precision and fine-tuning. 

3. Performance and Handling

Audette Motorcycles vs Harley Davidson.

The Audette Velos motorcycles prioritize performance and handling, drawing inspiration from Tony Audette's racing background. 

These bikes typically feature custom frames, advanced suspension systems, and powerful engines, all tailored to deliver exceptional performance on the road or track. 

While Harley Davidson motorcycles excel in providing a comfortable cruising experience, Audette Velos may offer a more dynamic and engaging ride for those seeking a sportier performance. 

4. Exclusivity and Rarity

Due to their custom-built nature, Audette Velos are relatively rare and exclusive. Each bike is a unique creation, crafted with meticulous attention to detail. 

This exclusivity can appeal to riders who seek something out of the ordinary and enjoy owning a motorcycle that stands apart from the mainstream. 

In contrast, Harley Davidson motorcycles are more widely available and have a larger production volume. It's important to remember that the “better" choice between the Audette Velos and Harley Davidson motorcycles ultimately depends on the individual rider's preferences, priorities, and riding style. 

While Audette Velos may excel in customization, craftsmanship, performance, and exclusivity, Harley-Davidson has its strengths in terms of brand heritage, comfort, and a vast model lineup that caters to various riding styles and preferences. 

How Much Is The Audette Velos American Muscle Bike?

Audette Velos price.

The Audette Velos has an $89,000 starting price, but you can easily divest yourself of up to $125,000 when all is said and done, placing the bike in the same wavelength as Brough Superior motorcycles. 

Even so, you might need a generous helping of patience to eventually plant your behind on your bespoke Velos, as Audette intends to produce a limited quantity of only 20 bikes per year. 

The Velos is worth the wait, considering each motorcycle is meticulously handcrafted to meet the owner's specific preferences, with the owners themselves playing a significant role in the design and assembly process. 

According to Audette, each bike will take approximately three to four months to complete.

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