Want to turn a Harley into a café racer? Yeah, that will elicit laughs. It doesn’t mean you should give up on your custom motorcycle dreams of producing an art deco Harley, though. As it turns out, it’s perfectly possible to do it right. And that’s exactly what Illinois-based Bull Cycles has done with Zephyr.
Using a donor 1995 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200, the motorcycle pairs art deco styling with the beastly power of a proper Harley, turning out a ride that they’re appropriately dubbing “beauty and the beast.” To achieve that, however, the donor bike has been shaved down a serious amount — frame has been stripped to remove as much weight as possible, then modified to take the new two-inch taller engine — so it bears seriously little resemblance to the source.
The Bull Cycles Zephyr houses an S&S Sidewinder big bore stoker kit, with internals that are heavily upgraded to wring as much juice off the 1450cc power plant as possible (101 pounds of torque at 3200 rpm), and an ultra-light anti-gravity battery housed inside a custom box. It comes with a custom-made 2-into-1 stainless megaphone exhaust, a stiffened and braced swing arm, customized Wide Glide forks, 17-inch alloy wheels with a 3-stage powder job, and Avon Venom tires balanced with Dyna beads for a much smoother ride. Finish is achieved by sandblasting, followed by a two-stage satin bronze powder coat. It weighs a considerably lighter 470 pounds.