DP Customs: XL1200 ‘Sports’ Sportster

How To Convert A Sportster Into A Sports Bike – By DP Customs!

Updated August 9, 2018

While it’s not unusual to see a Harley Davidson XL1200 Sportster ‘sports bike’ conversion, this one is one of the rare few that hits the nail directly on the head. It’s simple, it’s clean and it’s been souped up and hot-rodded like a beast. If you’ve ever wondered what a year 2000 model XL1200 could look like, then you’ve come to the right place.

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This particular offering comes straight from the heart of Arizona, by New River custom garage DP Customs. Over the last few years, Jarrod and Justin Del Prado (brothers and best friends) have built some incredibly cool machines but this one is by far my favorite. It’s called ‘Mack’ and it’s pretty damn awesome.

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The goal for this bike was to build a motorcycle that could perform equally as well, either on the track or on the street, and they’ve done it. No expense was spared in the making of it, and if the opportunity ever presents itself, we’d love to test ride it.

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Arizona Based DP Customs Re-Invent The Sportster!

Engine wise, this machine has had the works. It’s been completely upgraded with a whole host of Revolution Performance bits and pieces, including new heads, cylinders and pistons and to top it off, it’s been treated with Screamin’ Eagle high lift cams. The capacity has been opened up to 1250cc for a little extra ‘oompf’. If that wasn’t enough, DP Customs have also fitted the XL1200 with a Dynatek single fire ignition and coil to give the engine some extra spark. On top of that, they’ve updated the carb to a 42mm Mikuni unit and hand fabricated a short, two into one exhaust system.

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The frame needed a bit of chopping and tinkering with before the XL1200 could look a bit sportier, and the entire rear sub frame was handmade to accommodate the new seat and tailpiece (which, by the way, hides a Ballistic battery underneath). The swing arm is also a custom job, made from lightweight aluminum by Trac Dynamics, drag racing specialists.

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A re-imagined frame, rebuilt engine and custom swing arm aren’t enough to make a racer though. The real challenge for DP Customs was re-working the bike’s suspension and overall geometry. Firstly, the front forks and rear shocks were replaced with Ohlins gear but it was the rake and trail of the bike that really needed adjusting. The triple clamps have been handmade by Chainsikle, as well as a unit to support the Scotts steering damper.

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To keep the overall weight down, DP Customs swapped out the stock wheels for a set of carbon fiber BST wheels, wearing Pirelli Diablo Supercorsa tires. With that much force driving the wheels forwards, it only made sense to give ‘Mack’ a top class braking system, which comes courtesy of Brembo and is supported with an ISR master cylinder. ISR also provided the hand control units.

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The paintwork was done by Walkers Way Custom Paint from Mesa, Arizona and they gave the Sportster a ‘carbon effect’ black to contrast nicely with the Porsche Voodoo Blue, more commonly associated with the 918 Spyder.

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Overall, it looks the part; it’s definitely a sports café racer, for sure. Does it perform as well as it looks? Well, it’s a powerful V-twin engine with sports bike accoutrements – how can it not?


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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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