Choo Choo

Model:1200 CUSTOM
Dealership:Sykes Harley-Davidson
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The owner of Sykes Harley-Davidson, John Sykes, was looking through some old pictures of vintage Harleys when he saw one particular bike which he really loved – loved enough to think about recreating it. When the King of Kings competition was announced it seemed a good enough reason to go ahead and do the “vintage build.”


The front wheel is from a Softail Slim placed into a Paughco springer front end. Adding to the vintage style is a converted friction damper based on a WLR Flathead design. Handlebars are an RSD Tracker handlebar cut into sections and welded to the top fork clamp. Grips are handmade from leather string, wound on and waxed in place with an internal Kustom Tech throttle assembly. The paintwork is a Wurth rattle can special (aerosol paint) with logo and pinstripes by my sister, Miss Peaches Designs. She did a lovely job. Then I poured brake fluid over it!


If there has to be one area of the bike that makes me smile it has to be the turbocharger unit – we put it on because we could. Doing such a thing is a different branch for us to go out on; Sykes Harley’s custom arm is Speed & Custom, where we do plenty of custom but not so much speed. So a turbo it was. But then we had to make sure such a modern component fitted in with the vintage theme. It wasn’t easy but the result is… pretty good.

The Custom King
Tom Winchester (29) – Technician
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Like so many of us, riding dirt bikes as a kid got me hooked on motorcycles. I had a 125cc KTM and loved it. When I left school I became an apprentice car mechanic working on old American cars. That bygone era always interested me and then, as I got older, I got bored with cars and moved into bikes especially the older ones. It’s the noise, smell and general character of old bikes that fuels me. I’ve owned new bikes but the older two-wheel era is where it is at. Rebuilding classic Harley-Davidson engines is a joy partly because they are so mechanical, but mainly because they are historical with a lot of history behind them.


Harley-Davidson is one of the brands where everybody, regardless of whether they are into bikes or not, has heard of them or really knows about them. There is such heritage behind Harley-Davidson that it manifests as a passion in so many people especially Harley owners. They are a different breed to most motorcyclists to the point it is a lifestyle.


My whole family is so artistic and capable of making beautiful things, and I’m the same. I like fabricating parts and rebuilding things. So when I build an engine or complete a custom build, I stand back and think “Blimey, I built that…” And that is a real buzz!


Modified Holeshot HX25 Turbocharger

Handlebar grips

Coker Classic double-white wall tyres


Coker Classic tyres, Kustom Tech front master cylinder and clutch lever, Paughco springer front brake caliper, H-D Street Bob floating front disc, Easy Riders short cowl seat unit and rear fender, reproduction WLR Flathead split fuel tanks and recut to suit engine height, Sykes tank mounts. Milwaukee-Eight Street Bob rear wheel. Brass highlight parts fabricated in house.Lucas tractor rear light, P&A Passing light converted for H/L beam. Main wiring loom removed and replaced with handmade basic loom wrapped in classic cotton braiding. Chain & Sprocket final drive conversion. Holeshot HX25 Turbocharger – designed for Iveco truck – and heavily modified; welded onto Sportster inlet manifold and runs with a S&S Super E Shorty carburettor and bellmouth conversion. Sykes fabricated 1½in stainless steel exhaust manifold with a modified GasBox Big Twin fishtail exhaust muffler. Tial 36mm external wastegate with handmade screamer fishtail pipe. Brass manual boost controller with boost gauge inset into fuel tank. Rocker, cam, front sprocket and primary covers by EMD. Oil pipes fabricated to suit and cotton braid wrapped, Rear frame rails removed, all unnecessary lugs cut off, holes filled and new lugs fabricated for additional or revised components. Swingarm extended by 1½in. Oil tank fabricated in house. Progressive Suspension rear shocks.

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