During a Harley-Davidson media ride in Antequera, Spain, recently to which paultan.org was invited, on the riding menu were a dozen custom Sportsters built by Sykes Harley-Davidson in the UK. The 12 Sportsters were actual customer bikes, road registered and built to specification.

Styling for the Sykes custom Sportsters covered a range of styles, from the, compared to the other bikes, somewhat “normal” bobber to dragster style, ape hanger and flat-tracker. Each Sykes Sportster was unique, some having intricate paint jobs, others finished in bare metal.

Others sported a variety of handlebars styles, from the aforementioned “ape hanger” to flat bars and everything else in between. Engines were similarly dissimilar, with the V-twin configuration adorned with cut-off exhausts, shorties, open pipes and the like.

What was common amongst all the Sportsters that were ridden by the assembled media to dinner was all exuded that Harley sound. After two days of riding stock standard Harley-Davidson Softtails and another totally silent machine in the mountains around Antequera, was something of a welcome change.

With the admonition that the bikes we were riding belonged to someone else and would have to be returned in the condition in which we received them, the ride progressed through the old part of the town of Antequera. Replete with cobblestones, steep inclines, pedestrian traffic and slippery manhole covers, the gaggle of journalists had a whale of a time cruising the streets.

In Malaysia, the Harley-Davidson Sportster XL1200 comes in Custom, Roadster, Forty-Eight and Iron flavours. Pricing starts from RM75,400 for the base model Forty-Eight and goes up to RM85,800 for the 1200 Roadster in Two-tone paint.