I bought the bike off craigslist 5 years ago with the intention of building a chopper. I wanted to do a lot of the work myself so I spent the first three years building my knowledge base, learning how to work on the bike, and gradually making modifications to it as a swingarm.
I love how cool the bikes were in Halfway to Berdoo – everything in that book is just so cool. I wanted build a Sportster that had a classic 60’s chop aesthetic with no bullshit. Two years ago I got a deal on a Paughco frame at a swap, so with some help from my awesome friends Anthony and Wes we tore the bike down and started the rebuild. I couldn’t have built this bike without Anthony and Wes – thank you guys so much.
We built the roller and dropped the motor in. We started mocking up the bike and made all the mounting tabs at my shop. I wanted all the hardware to be easily accessible so we used threaded bungs to mount the rear fender. I used a Paughco chrome half horseshoe oil tank since it fit the frame perfect and I could use a full size battery - I ride a lot and it’s just practical. Next we mounted the sissy bar, tank, and seat. I really wanted a nice Bates style seat and I was lucky enough to win a River Seat Company giveaway from Adam on Instagram. Once the mock up was complete we tore it down for some finishing welding courtesy of my homie Tomy aka Acid Daddy.
I decided on the pale yellow since my dad used to ride an old 60’s Sportster he had painted “Panama Yellow” which is very reminiscent of Coors yellow – easy choice. My buddy Jon refused to let me rattle can the tins and did me a solid and painted them at his shop. I had some vintage white “Wavy Gravy” flames pinstriped on the tank to top it off. Other than needing the extra muscle to drop the motor in, I did the final assembly and wiring by myself. I kept the wiring super simple with a marine ignition to start/stop the motor.
Since I took the time to plan and design it first, the whole build was pretty straightforward and took about 7 months. I am super proud of the way it turned out. It’s classic, clean, simple and tuff – I love my motorcycle. I was invited to show it at The Keystone Collective Show in 2019. It was really awesome to get to show off my build among so many amazing motorcycles. Big thanks to my buddy Mikey Revolt for and Lowbrow Customs for the feature!
Words by: Hillary Eickhoff
Photos by: Mikey Revolt
Owner: Hillary Eickhoff
Year/Make/Model: 1990 Harley-Davidson XL1200 Sportster
Fabrication: Myself with help from my awesome friends Anthony and Wes at Scummerset Garage
Build Time: 7 months
Year/Type/Size: 1990 XL12000
Carburetor: Mikuni HSR42
Exhaust: basic chrome drag pipes, flat cut
Air Cleaner: Lowbrow Customs Louvered Air Cleaner modified slightly to fit the Mikuni carb
Year/Type: Paughco S120EA
Rake/Stretch: 35 degrees, no stretch
Type / Brand: 39mm Harley-Davidson, shaved lowers
Paint by: My friend Jon painted the tins, Devin pinstriped the flames
Powdercoating: Model Finishing Co.
Front Fender: no way Jose
Rear Fender: Lowbrow Customs Manta Ray 6”
Gas Tank: Lowbrow Customs P-Nut Mid-Tunnel 1.8 gallon
Oil Tank: Paughco chrome sportster oil tank
Handlebars: Vee Mfg 8” pre unit style stainless
Grips: Coke bottle, white
Mirrors: A Frankenstein mirror I cobbled together from other mirrors
Hand Controls: Slim line master cylinder and clutch, chrome
Foot Controls: stock mids
Headlight: Cycle Standard 5-3/4” Chrome Bottom Mount Halogen
Taillight: Prism Supply Box Chopper tail light
Turn Signals: my arms
License Mount: Prism Supply
Seat: River Seat Co bates style and p-pad
Custom & Special Details or Accessories:
Points cover: custom “Herley Derbitson” shield