When a custom motorcycle makes you feel like a kid at christmas, laughing inside your helmet as you ride around town, you know it’s something special. That’s exactly how James Middleton feels about his Gasoline crafted custom Harley-Davidson cafe racer named after his lucky number - 26.
Hong Kong based James approached Gasoline Motor Co. to build his dream cafe racer project with a clear idea of what he wanted; a sleek and powerful Harley-Davidson cafe racer that will stay Sydney-side so that he can always ride with his mates when he touches down in his hometown. Gasoline was more than happy to take James' idea and run with it, transforming an 883 Iron Sportster into a low slung cafe racer that will always perform Australian roads.
James is an experienced rider in his own right and is the proud the owner of a couple of high end Ducati sport bikes, but for this project he wanted something more retro inspired and street level that was purely made for fun. The build centres around a strong cafe racer vibe on a Harley frame with a streamlined tail section and a refined stance, complete with a custom seat and cowl. Customers roaming around at Gasoline Motor Co. got to see the process first-hand as head technician Sean Taylor chopped and detabbed the frame at the Workshop Masters event in March 2017. A completely custom seat pan made from fibreglass was then created to fit with the RSD Sportster tail section, while the seat itself was upholstered with a specialist Deerskin leather specifically picked to match James’ Tan Tour Master riding gloves. Even the protective armour on the knuckles of the gloves was re-created in the seat’s construction to complete the connection.
Creating that classic cafe racer look meant utilising a stack of RSD parts including clip-on bars, grips, levers and rear sets, whilst lowering the rear end with a set of high end progressive shocks, to make for a comfortable and low down riding position. Other RSD components were used to relocate the headlight and simplify the speedo, keeping the top yolk clean and simple. A RSD Slant carbon tipped exhaust as well as a RSD slant performance air breather to add to the long list of parts that were incorporated to boost the performance and look of this custom Harley-Davidson.
The Firestone tyres, a specific requirement from James, are set on some standard 883 rims, while an ingenious, custom numberplate bracket was fabricated in-house, complete with integrated LED tail and brake lights that tie in with the motogadget LED indicators cleverly placed over the gas progressive shock can.
Gasoline took this build from the initial spark of an idea to a cafe racing reality, and has created something that James always looks forward to jumping on every time he’s in Sydney.
If you have an idea for your very own custom motorcycle Gasoline Motor Co. can help you make it a reality.