Drawing inspiration from art deco, old land speed racing bikes, and antique automobiles, Guillaume managed to create a true showstopper. His canvas came in the form of an XLH1200 from the model-year 1998, which took approximately 1,400 man-hours to morph into the dazzling one-off pictured above. The project was completed in 2022, four years after its author made the initial sketches.
As always, these first drawings were followed by 2D renders, and all the Sportster’s factory bodywork was eliminated, except its side covers. The same fate awaited items like the wheels, swingarm, and standard exhaust system, among others. To then kick off the customization process in earnest, Guillaume got in touch with metalwork guru Cedric Trenquier of Cevennes Retromotors.
He tasked him with fabricating a new aluminum attire from scratch, providing cardboard mock-ups and all the aforementioned renderings for reference. Cedric dug straight in, and the coolest parts he came up with are, of course, the sizeable fenders oozing art deco vibes. Concealing the top half of each wheel entirely, they’re embellished with rivets for a distinctively retro appearance somewhat reminiscent of vintage trains.
For his closing act, Cedric fashioned an imposing nose fairing for the motorcycle’s front end. It encases a premium LED headlamp and an additional projector light beneath, so as to keep the way ahead nice and lit. With the bespoke outfit completed, things were handed over to Eight Cycles’ frontman Cristophe Decombard. He fashioned a replacement swingarm out of tubular steel, as well as new fender struts and a tailor-made top clamp.
Moreover, the low-profile handlebars found in the cockpit were also crafted by Cristophe, and they seamlessly attach to a pair of upper fork covers. Sir Decombard left his fingerprints all over the XLH1200’s powertrain and electronics, too, having them refurbished for the sake of reliability. While he was at it, he fitted a lithium-ion battery and treated the bike’s V-twin engine to some fresh exhaust pipework.
The plumbing was pieced together using two-into-one SuperTrapp headers and a repurposed Harley Breakout silencer. It’s complemented by some tasty aftermarket equipment at the intake side of things, namely a modern air cleaner from Kuryakyn’s catalog. Down in the unsprung sector, we find a mesmerizing set of solid lenticular hoops measuring 19 inches in diameter at both ends.
Going back to the motorcycle’s cockpit, you will find a digital Motogadget dial neatly recessed into the top clamp. The handlebars are adorned with compact switches, plain aftermarket grips, and underslung bar-end mirrors. Originating from Highsider’s inventory, the latter feature small yet bright LED turn signals integrated into their stems.
Down low on the creature’s flanks, Guillaume installed new foot pegs to round out the ergonomic package, but he also moved the ignition out of the rider’s view. It now lives right below the fuel tank on the left-hand side, further enhancing the minimalistic vibe that defines the cockpit area. Last but not least, the modded Harley was taken to the guys at L’Aero for the paint job.
Its bodywork received a black base along with multiple layers of clear coat to really bring out the shine, while the fuel tank gained Harley-Davidson graphics done in a simple font. To break the black color scheme up a little, several parts were left unpainted and thoroughly polished. These items include the engine covers, solid wheels, and rear sprocket.