Brian Laine loved the idea of a low-vibration, long-distance Harley Sportster, so when the rubber-mount model appeared in 2004, he bought one. But Laine decided a few styling cues drawn from his collection of British bikes would set his XR1200R apart from the crowd. The result is a subtle custom the Arlington, Wash. native calls the GB1200R.
Mechanics are all stock, but Laine replaced the standard tank with a slightly larger piece from a mid-seventies Honda CB500T he found in a breaker’s yard. The seat came from a Wankel-powered Hercules. Laine wanted a color close to British Racing Green, but with more sparkle, and found a suitable color from Subaru. The frame still wears the original Harley black.
Front fender is a British stainless steel reproduction that rides on brackets Laine fabricated in the style of a Triumph Bonneville from the late sixties. He built the rear package rack as well. A vintage-style air cleaner Laine built allowed a lot of induction noise through, so he usually rides with the stock Harley unit.
The big chrome headlight is a generic Brit-style reproduction that rides in Kawasaki ears. Harley gaiters add to the vintage look. The two-into-one exhaust is a Paughco bend. It wasn’t designed for the rubber-mount Harley, but Laine built a custom mounting bracket to make it work. One of the original pair of mufflers, drilled out for better tone and breathing, completes the exhaust. The bike also looks good with the stock two-into-two pipes (photo two).
The bike won a third place trophy in the Mild Custom class at the May 18, 2008 Old Snohomish Motorcycle Show in Washington.
(Kneeslider’s note: This is a really nice, subtle modification of a stock Sportster. Great post, Walt!)
Link: Brian Laine’s website