Harley-Davidson Iron 1200 Custom: Comete Lumberjack Sportster

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As the era of the air-cooled Harley-Davidson Sportster draws to a close, it’s worth remembering that iconic Evolution-powered motorcycles are fantastic canvases for customization. Although neither, the ephemeral Comete Motocycles of France was dedicated to the Sportster platform as a source of inspiration and commerce. Created by Guillaume Drapier, trained internationally, Comete Motocycles has offered more than 100 Sportster parts to customizers around the world, all made in France. The Lille-based company has also built its own striking creations, including the Bûcheron.

Comete Motorcycle Lumberjack Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 1200

Comete used the 1970s-inspired Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 1200 as the basis for this escape beast. The eye is immediately drawn to the Metzeler MC5 Motocross front tire on a 19-inch wheel. Yes, a rear tire for a motocross bike leads the way. If society collapses and you have to leave town, the road you are forced to choose may not be paved.

The Avon Safety Mileage C MkII rear tire contrasts with the knotty front. While not an all-terrain tire, it does have a five-inch-wide footprint on the ground. Yes, those are struts replacing the shocks on the Iron 1200 – it’s a hardtail with a short-travel fork.

Comet Lumberjack Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 1200 Custom Motorcycle

The next eye-catcher is the fuel tank. Painted by Bruno Allard from Regarfix in Biarritz. To showcase the tank, it is raised three inches from the original position. Likewise, the lighthouse is raised and its eyebrow dropped.

The Bûcheron Comete Motocycles has an ergonomics which favors profiling. The tuck-and-roll leather-upholstered seat is slim and low, while the footrests are mid-mount. The wide handlebars mounted on the riser have a downward curvature that just comes back, with the throttle side cables routed around the right fork tube. The width of the handlebars gives the rider the leverage needed to build the meaty Metzeler. Consider your choice of boots and pants wisely, as there is no cover on the belt drive drive pulley.

Comete Lumberjack Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 1200: Evolution Engine

The Lumberjack’s intake and exhausts are worthy of attention. The header pipes are wrapped with no visible significant suffocation. Presumably, when you escape the urban chaos, there will be no one to write excessive noise notes. The admission is wide open, so be careful when opening the throttle when pigeons are present.

There are a few notable moves. The front turn signals are placed on the frame, mounted just below the crankshaft axis. Knowing that your specific speed will be the least of your worries, the speedometer is mounted on the ignition coil, next to the left side of the front cylinder.

Comète Lumberjack Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 1200: Built in France

A Comete Motocycles brand timer cover adorns the right side of the cases. The left side derby cover is also from Comete, but relies on texture and design for appeal, rather than lettering or graphics.

The air-cooled Evolution engine will likely disappear from Harley-Davidson dealership showrooms soon. Fortunately, there is an almost unlimited number of examples in use, so there will be no shortage of platforms for Customs, Tame and Wild. The lumberjack of Comete Motocycles shows that creativity and Sportster go hand in hand, and often quite unexpectedly.

Photograph by Cédric Duhez

Comet Lumberjack Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron 1200 Photo Gallery


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