In my opinion, Sportsters don’t need too much tweaked to make them just right. It’s about the details. But sometimes that can take a lot of work and some unique ideas.
Deus Ex Machina of Camperdown in Sydney have come out with a new build named after the tough but refined James J. Corbett, aka “Gentleman Jim”. A 2008 Harley Davidson 1200cc, fuel injected, rubber mounted Sportster seemed appropriate as a base for the build.
Constructed by master builder and workshop boss Jeremy Tagand, he started by grafting a Kawasaki W650 sub-frame to the Sporty’s rear end. This creates a beautiful horizontal form from the tank to the seat, something hard to achieve with a stock HD sub-frame. It also means that any seat designed for a W650 or W800 can be easily used with the bike.
‘Swan neck’ clip-on bars (from Rod Tingate in Melbourne) and adjustable rear sets allow a forward riding position without the chest-on-tank feel. The stock top clamp has been filled in with alloy and smoothed over. A classic 19″ front and 18″ rear wheel combination using stainless spokes was chosen. The fork internals were tuned and Ikon alloy-bodied rear shocks help the bike glide along. Cleanly crafted custom front and rear fenders, and a Lucas style tail light complete the look.
A blacked out RSD 2-in-1 exhaust is used with other details like the mirrors, head light, brake lines, and speedo all custom units. The paint harks back to AMF Harley days but in a clean use of satin and gloss black.
The end result, from a French builder in an Australian custom shop, has a touch of British class in an otherwise American brawler.