What sort of custom bike can you get for $10,000 to $15,000? I get a lot of emails asking that question. They’re usually from people who want the reliability of a low-mileage bike, but with a different look. This custom Sportster from Shaw Speed & Custom in the UK is one answer: the total cost of this Sportster was just £8,500. (That’s just under US$13,500 at today’s exchange rate.)
Shaw Speed is an offshoot of a major UK Harley-Davidson dealer, so they plucked out a 2006 XL1200R from the fleet of trade-ins and set to work. The Sportster was lowered front and back, and a bespoke rear fender was fabricated. A sprung solo seat was also added, and the original tank was modified with a rib running along its centerline. New custom bars were fitted up front, the speedo was lowered, and the headlight was remounted.
The stock wheels were satin powdercoated and fitted with old-school Avon rubber at the back and a Metzeler Karoo dual sport tire up front. According to Shaw’s Steve Willis, the combo works well—they’ve used it on several bikes that are running around London.
The result is pretty distinctive; as Willis says, “You don’t need a millionaire’s budget to build a cool and individual bike.”