BMW Motorrad Spezial

Lucien Frelin Sportster custom

Harley-Davidson Sportster 883R custom motorcycle by Lucien Frelin
Lucien Frelin is a talented young bike builder, graphic designer and photographer from Norfolk, Virginia. Not only did he build this amazing looking 2003 Sportster 883R in his garage, but he also took this beautiful moody looking photograph of his pride and joy.

Although he has used many stock parts from the original bike like the headlight, hand controls and brake lines, it’s the custom bits that make it special—as always. The frame is a drop-seat gooseneck from the guys at Detroit Bros, and the bike is running a 21”x3” front and 18”x180 rear wheel/tire combo. Frelin has converted the bike to chain drive, and the front end is from a 2001 Buell Cyclone with a dual caliper set-up. One of my favorite features is the gas tank, which is from a 1972 AMF-Harley Rapido 125cc dirt bike. That’s not something you see every day on a Sportster.

I’m sure it won’t be to everyone’s taste, but I think he’s created something truly unique that has a great combination of modern and classic style. Lucien’s other hobby is building 1920s-style motorized cruiser bicycles which you can check out at Ghent Cruisers. To view more pics of his one of a kind Sportster custom, visit Lucien’s Flickr page. [Also check out Dylan Robb’s show-winning carbon fiber Harley Davidson Sportster.]

By guest writer Scott of Pipeburn.

  • Carson

    I appreciate the amazing creativity and engineering skill that went into this bike, on the other hand…

    Cruiser pegs and dropped bars = Really uncomfortable and terrible riding form.

  • jayel

    it amazes me that someone can take a prefectly good motorcycle and turn it into a piece of crap like that

  • Woody

    Yeah sorry man, this looks terrible. The lines are all ruined, the stretched hardtail is just stupid, and the “moody” picture just makes it too hard to see any detail. And unless you’re a pretty tall dude, that bike will be uncomfortable as hell to ride.

  • Thanks for the article! Reads great! I love my bike and it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a young man’s bike and definitely not for short people.

  • Jesse

    Love the bike. Very creative.

  • levi

    I don’t get it, I love Detroit Bros bikes but for some reason this one just doesn’t have the right lines and looks kinda stock and bland. There are way better examples on the bros forum page of garage builds using their parts and frames. Sorry dude.

  • perk

    Great job! You see it takes an engineer outside of HD to make one of their bikes even remotely appealing. This is a great looking bike and I think it really shows some great engineering. The drop frame is a sweet new spin on the chopper world. Too bad HD fans, we all know that if HD had this frame as an option you sheeple would have this on a t-shirt in a second. It is a real shame that the HD fans out there can only see a well-built HD if they can buy the parts off a shelf and brag about how hard the package was to open. HD riders for the most part are all the same group of d-bags that we have grown to expect. When you morons talk it comes out like white noise. Oh and by the way, good job HD for running off the young market with your completely pathetic attempt to be hip with the kids. Here is the secret; we all know about you stupid secret black book, and it is a complete joke like your company. P.S. Do you still work with AMF? At least then you had some balls. Losers.

  • xraytoken

    Hey Luc, bike came out excellent! I kinda feel a connection to the bike, I’m the guy who bought all your spare parts! LOL!

  • xraytoken — thanks man.. yeh your purchase was greatly appreciated!

  • blkcat3113

    lucien, great build!!! looks good. some people don’t get it! the creative process and the engineering involved in the frame up type build.some don’t want to work that hard. for them it’s easier to write a check for their bragging rights. and for all you hard core harley fans, there are a dozen or so foriegn parts on your american made ride, natl sales down 84%, selling off buell and HD possibly on the table for sale to a foriegn company. they’re not parting with their boutique line,they sell more clothes than bikes!!!

  • kyle

    who ever built that bike must have arms down to his feet to reach the handlebars. that and short litlle legs. the purpose of bike building should be to make a better riding bike not an unrideable monstrosity. harley and harley riders actually do ride their bikes. this bike should be put on a shelf as a lesson on what not to build

  • Kyle, I’m 6’4″ and it’s a gooseneck frame. Not sure what you mean by short legs? It has forward controls. Link to a pic with me on it: I’d like to see a bike that you built, then I can talk shit about all your hard work. I think the purpose of bike building is the builders prerogative. This bike was actually a ton of fun to ride, I didn’t build it for a cross country tour. It’s not everyones cup of tea. If you don’t like it.. I’m sure Harley has a nice bike in their showroom you can go make payments on.. I’m sure you can even get a matching leather jacket, maybe even a blue tooth helmet.


    That’s one of the worst looking bikes I’ve ever seen.

  • doc m

    perk, Not sure if I should dignify your comments with a response, but the design of the featured bike is a bit radical. To each his own. Your criticism of HD was a bit harsh, however. There is a simple reason HD keeps producing similar variations of a theme: people like, and pay for these rides. I don’t know of one metric rider who wouldn’t trade anything they ride for a Harley. Most of these guys do everthing they can to get their bikes to look and sound like Harleys. In the end, the choice is yours. If you don’t like them, don’t buy or ride them. Those of us who are lucky enough to own them, and those who aspire to own them, would prefer not to here your bitter opinions on these great bikes.

  • doc m

    Sorry about the typos.

  • blkcat3113

    I’m kinda torn on the whole harley thing. doc’s right I would kick the jap to the curb for HD. the thing is that I feel is wrong is that harley riders love the fact that it’s made in america, rightly so! It’s assembled in the USA using more japanese parts on thier models nowadays than ever before. therefore, technically not really american made! not 100% USA, which HD wants you to believe. I built a custom just like luciens build, I think that we started at the same time, you can check out my build on detroit brothers forums under members builds, blkcat 3113 build called urban warfare. it’s not a bad ride and i’m not a tall guy. I don’t have a problem with the dropseat at all. as far as HD is concerned, I would still buy one minus the bullshit harley atttitudes.

  • tom

    that bike is awful, be better when its finished…

  • GAryc42660

    Lucien, nice bike, great lines…everyone all has a “style” per say they like wieither it is bobbers,choppers,cafe,bratstyle, etc,etc…..the D-bros frame is a quilty aftermarket frame for the at home builder…what “HARLEY” riders dont understand is that the new generation of builders use anything and everything for thier custom, ranging from car parts to parts from bmx bikes..the typical “harley” rider has this smug attitude that if is not black with flames with a sheild so on and so forth ..than it must be a peice of garbage…I also have a dropseat, not fro the detroit bros, which I plan on building next…but my build is using the ethly frame from leroy thompson..stil a dropseat with drags..lot of people dont get it still…people hated J-jame bike when they 1st came out…I bet they also didnt like B-lanes bikes either…for those who havent bulit a bike or even lifted a wrench to “fix” thier bike before than your comments really have no substance to it anyways…cheers everyone, now go ride