Gringo Gangsta



The Gringo-Gangsta...

The brief for this job was to get the bike into a usable state so the client can then begin their own cosmetic customisation.

Cost was a prevailing factor in this build, as we were on a tight budget with big dreams to achieve.

This bike started off life as a pretty decent 2003 Harley-Davidson 1200XL sportster. With a bulletproof engine and gearbox it was the perfect foundation for this Mexican Gangster inspired Springer.

The client was very focused on how he wanted the bike to look and in truth, when he was explaining it to us, we were less than convinced, however we rolled with it and oh are we glad we did!

There wasn’t much wrong with the Harley as she sat... it was like every other 1200 sporty out there... perhaps that was the only thing wrong with it!!

First on the wish-list was a springer front end, and whereas this may seem like a simple request, the reality of making it happen is anything but simple. Cost was also a massive factor in this project, the customer simply did not have the money to splash out on a springer kit, so we had to take our time and be smart about how we would achieve the final result.

Just when we were about to shelve the ‘springer’ notion, Parts Europe came to the rescue with an unbelievably priced springer front end. 6” over length to give us that extra front lift... it was ideal.


When the front end arrived, the customer landed with a rear wheel and announced he wanted it fitted to the front. Again not as simple as it may sound, but our machine shop was put to work and it wasn’t long before the suitable spacers had been machined to allow the rear wheel to be bolted to the front.

You wouldn’t have much change out of £800 for new front callipers and a calliper mount to work with the springer setup, besides we had a perfectly good sportster calliper we removed from the bike so we set about fabricating a new mount to take the old calliper.

A quick nip on the flow-jet and we were left with a two piece 8mm stainless mount. A little bit of fettling and the calliper was secured and fitted.

The frame was then notched and braced before the springer front end could be finally fitted.


The client had a nice pair of adjustable Koni shocks which were about an inch longer than the standard sporty shocks, so we pressed the old bushes out, and made up a few new ones to fit the Harley mounting bolts. They fitted like a glove and gave us a bit more height at the rear without adversely affecting the drive belt tension.

A neat little mustang tank was secured in place and she was beginning to take shape. 


The client had previously bought the massive ape’s and had his heart set on fitting them, only thing was, they were made for a standard Harley bar mount and the springer mounts are a little wider than standard. 

They were beautiful bars and would work a treat so we cut them in half, slugged and extended them before welding the whole lot back together. We wrapped the centrepiece with a nice piece of sheet brass to match the brass risers.

An oversize headlight with a stunning brass surround was fitted, then the clocks were mounted low to the left to keep the front of the bike as clean as possible.

The client now has a running road legal bike and he will continue to do his own cosmetic modifications and really add his personal stamp to this pretty solid sporty.



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