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Abnormal Cycles – Sportster 1200 Nightster

Posted on September 28, 2011 by Scott in Café Racer. 21 comments

Back in black. And green

Vespas. Pizza. Mafia. Alfa Romeo. Ferrari. Spaghetti. Gelato. Armani. These are all Italian things you will commonly find on the streets of America. But would you find as many American things on the paved lane ways of Italy? You might find the odd McDonalds restaurant in the major towns. You’ll also find loads of people wearing Chuck Taylors and Levi’s jeans, but you wouldn’t think you would find a lot of Milwalkee Iron. Or would you? “You actually do see lots of Harley’s being ridden around the streets of Milan” says Samuele Reali, one of the owners of Abnormal Cycles, which is based in a town called Bernareggio, not far from Milano. Abnormal Cycles are quite famous in Europe but recently received worldwide exposure when their ‘Union’ H-D Sidecar took out the 2011 AMD World Championships Modified Harley-Davidson Class. Well, this Harley cafe racer was built before the ‘Union’ and has also picked up its fair share of trophies in Europe. But as I soon found out, there’s not a lot of infomation about the bike anywhere – so I attempted to create find some.

Now that’s a nice tank & seat combo

Sometimes, when trying to uncover more information on projects from overseas builders, it helps to speak the language – google translate only takes you so far. So recently when I was chatting to Samuele Reali I really wish I had of paid more attention to my Italian teacher at school. Here’s a little more “dettaglio” or details about the build. “The bike ‘Ton-up’ was born from my idea for a friend here around the shop” says Samuele. “We like cafe-racer and I find some particular parts in the old market place of bike. I like the slim line and I build this motorcycle in this way.” So the build started by Samuele sourcing many ‘old parts’ for the sporty. “Many parts of this bike we change with old parts… gas tank, seat, rear fender, oil tank, motor guard, exhaust, the controls and the rear light.” Apart from modifying a lot of reissue and old parts, Samuele added some brand names. Like S&S Super D Carburetor, Daytona Twin Tec ignition and of course a set of Tommaselli Clip-ons. Lastly, the stunning paint job was done by fellow Italians Zucchelli Paint.


To be honest, this bike could have been a complete disaster. We have all seen it, the combination of a Harley-Davidson and a ‘Ton-Up’ rocker styled cafe racer that usually gets drowned in studs and checkerboard paint. Thankfully this one didn’t. It’s slimline tank and seat combo sits abnormally well over that large v-twin lump. Don’t you just love a good solid serving of Italian?

An Italian build isn’t complete without a beautiful women on it.

  • Lurg – norway

    It's beautiful!
    I would trade my kidney for a ride on that!

  • Emaychee

    Just the one kidney?! I think my newborn's new name is Mario! This is excellent, and it's actually intriguing to see it done let's have a video or two!

  • D.

    Probably the best looking Harley ever made.
    The tank is too small, though.

  • Fantastico!


  • JustinLonghorn

    Yep, I can dig it.

  • JC

    The tank is too small and centered which makes the seat look too large. I think this makes that bike look just ok vs frakken awesome. I think they should have went with a longer thank that would have filled the gap in the front and back. The lower frame gaurd also makes the bike look cluttered. I cringe to make this b1tch but that girl/bike combo picture is horrible.. she just looks retarded.

    I do like the bike and they obviously can create something my hands fail to do and that color is awesome. It must be a personal taste/style diff I guess.

  • It was very cool to see how many Buells were in Italy. We traveled the northern part of Italy from Cortina to Tuscany. Hearing a Firebolt on a narrow street between old buildings in Florence makes a good memory.

    This bike is great (give it proper tires, though).

  • PHeller

    Finally, a proper modern Harley racer! It's got a little bit of the bratstyle goin on, while looking very purposeful. Something I might actually spend money on, if I had money that is.

  • G @street tuff customs

    I think that's a sweet lookin hog!
    Probably one of the best HD cafe racers I've seen.

  • Wood Gas

    Perfect, if you live in a place with climate, alas where I live just has LOTS of weather. Changes needed for unavoidable wet, more fender, maybe a longer seat fairing/tailbox and a racing screen would detract from that perfection but sadly, nessesary.

  • Wood Gas

    Also, the gap between the tank and the seat looks like the perfect place to park the package.

  • Ash in Bali

    Who says a sow's ear cannot be made into a silk purse? HD if you build it the masses will buy it. But yeah, longer tank, and take those studs off the seat, or it will start looking like a typical Sunday rider's Harley again.

  • redkiwi86

    two words. Fuck. Yes!

  • HAZ

    Well executed. I like it. It's a custom, so it's very personal. Would I recreate every element on my own ride, no; but, it ain't my ride. However I'd be staring at this bike a long time to dissect all fantastic work…I'd look a lot longer than at any stock bike, American, Italian, Brit, don't matter. The best bikes are always, build to order, season to taste, made for that one rider.

    Sweet Ride! Like redkiwi said…two words…

  • Anton

    That is perfect. Seems like some commentors have never ridden a fast cafe because you package will never reach that gap since you'll be pulled into that seat the whole time. That's what those seats are made for.
    But that is such a gorgeous bike! Amazing. Best HD cafe I have seen by far.

  • Tom

    I would trade your kidney for a ride on that.

  • Alex

    Looks uncomfortable for a long ride.

  • Not typically a huge Harley cafe fan but digging this one!

  • Toodgs

    Laughed at the coment Emaychee made he knows how the sportys guzzle fuel, babe looks nice in the seat I would hate to tru and steer the thing with those bars though, even stripped it prolly still weighs a ton , damn nice custom though

  • Geoff

    Do you like your right knee medium rare or well done?

  • Great bike…love it!