We don’t often feature modern Harley customs, but this cafe racer is worth closer inspection. It’s the latest machine from acclaimed Japanese builder Hide Motorcycles (aka HIDEMO) and it’s based on a 2003 XL1200S.
The standard Sportster, despite its low 28-inch seat height, always looked a little high off the ground, but the Hide SP-20 looks properly slammed. That’s due to a new tank, rear fender and spoked wheels; the front fender has been removed to improve aesthetics still further.
According to Hide, the objective was to evoke a 1960s vintage racer look, creating a compact bike ideal for city streets. The internals of the dual plug, pushrod OHV Evolution motor are unmodified: with around 72 ft. lbs. of torque, performance is ample for this kind of machine.
The motor will breathe a little easier though, thanks to a custom exhaust and a freeflowing Hide air intake assembly. The standard of finish is superlative, as you’d expect from the Kawasaki City company. And the low-key paint job shows that Harleys look better without metalflake and chrome.
This is one hog I’d love to have in my garage.
2003 Harley-Davidson XL1200S custom
One-off mufflers, rear fender and fuel tank
Gurimeca brake muster assembly
Magura clutch lever assembly
Rear tire: Avon 16”
Front tire: Super Eagle 19”
IG coil mount and meter mount assembly
Mini buttons for handlebar
Side number plate mount assembly
Air cleaner assembly