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2001 H-D Sportster “ZZ” by DP Customs


Posted on July 14, 2015 by Scott in Bobber. 42 comments

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Written by Marlon Slack.

The two brothers who own and run DP Customs think themselves lucky to have forgone the politics and paperwork of larger workshops. Instead of having to follow someone else’s vision for a bike, Justin and Jarrod Del Prado spend their days building what they simply describe as ‘great bikes for great people’. And in between refining their pit-master BBQ skills, beer drinking sessions in the hot Arizona sun and trips to go storm chasing they’ve produced this simple, clean 2001 Harley Davidson Sportster bobber dubbed the ‘ZZ’.

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The brothers had planned to DP the bike after being approached by a fan. “We built this bike for a customer that had seen some of our previous hardtail bikes with clip-ons,” they say. “He loved the lean and clean style of our bikes and wanted something similar.” Unlike some of their previous builds, which feature Öhlins suspension and carefully-worked steering geometry, this customer had a riding style closer to what Harley Davidson originally intended. “He lives in an area with a dry climate with lots of super smooth roads,” they say. “And this bike will be perfect for his weekend blasts.”

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The first thing the brothers Del Prado did was some engine work. The big 1200cc V-twin was rebuilt and the CV carburettor given a freshen up with some new jets while a Joker Machine air intake allowed the bike to inhale more easily. A new exhaust was also fitted, light weight and loud with the pipes being ceramic coated black to match the powder coated rocker boxes, cam cover and primary cover. Spark was intensified with a Dynatek single fire ignition and coil, running into a loom that was assembled from scratch.

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But the engine doesn’t really take centre stage on this build, with the frame work really being the central point. The original twin shock frame was stretched 4 inches and features a 4” drop hard tail rear end. The wheels were swapped out too, with an Iron 883 19” front and a 17” rear wheel mounted with the excellent Pirelli Night Dragon tyres. Stopping power is provided by Brembo, the patron saint of motorcycle braking, while the standard 1 inch handlebars and mid-set controls being replaced by clip-ons and aluminium foot pegs, both courtesy of Chainsikle.

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What I like most about DP’s bikes is their paint schemes, often drawn from famous race cars from the 70’s and 80’s, with their John Player Special Lotus build being a personal favourite of mine. This time around the brothers had the tank and fender (complete with rear spoiler) sent to Walkers Way Custom Paint in Mesa where it was finished in battleship grey with black and red accents. Painted in a matte clear finish, the bike was haze grey and underway.

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I have to admit that I was a Harleysceptic™ for many years, being a typical Japanese bike rider who turned up my nose at the marque without having ridden one. And I mean a proper one – I’d ridden a choked-up 883 Sportster and it’d left me completely cold and had gone on to dismiss all their bikes out of hand. But one late afternoon I was the only one sober enough to move a hard tailed 1200cc Sportster from a friend’s front yard to the back of his house. An hour later I found myself laughing manically, still on the bike fifty postcodes away. In one afternoon I ‘got it’.

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But I digress. Bikes like DP’s Sportster manage to take the best of the HD range, and strip it of weight, clean up its lines and get it set for long, low runs along the Arizona landscape. They’re going to have one very happy customer.

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  • John Wanninger

    I think it should have one more “Z” in the name. No amount of little red highlights popcorn farted on it could wake me up from the cookie cutter-ness of it.

    • revdub

      I have to disagree here. If you consider the frame, stance, highest quality of workmanship (fit and finish), and choice colors, you begin to realize how much attention must have went into making this beautiful machine as flawless as it appears. Don’t mistake perfection for “cookie cutter.” I like radical builds as much as anyone, but not every custom needs to appear radical. Just my unsolicited opinion, for whatever it’s worth (arguably not much).

      • DP Customs

        Thanks a ton Revdub for your kind words! We have a beer and a handshake waiting for you.
        Cheers from Justin & Jarrod!

        • revdub

          I’d love to take you up that!

      • Hardley T Whipsnade III

        Yeah I’m not sure what it is that has Mr Wanniger’s skivvies tied up in a knot about this bike myself . Honestly other than the spoiler bit this is pretty much balanced perfection from nose to tail . As I said earlier its not the most original custom on the block but it sure is a good one . And these days you just cant criticize quality regardless of personal taste . Which is what this bike is . Quality !

        • DP Customs

          Thank you Hardley, our hats off to you, we appreciate it!

        • duh

          He Dude….no spaces before punctuation!

          • arnold

            Hardley’s writing style has evolved very nicely over the years .

          • duh

            and his screen name…love the antagonistic flair…keeps it interesting…..I guess. More pings=more advertising $.

      • I admire your persistence revdub. I follow you on disqus and often only check the blogs when I see your comments.
        Your positive comments are always backed up with the specific reasons why you like a bike or particular feature. Even if you see a bike you don’t particularly like, you still find something positive to stay. Good onya

        • revdub

          Thanks for the kind words, Rex. Much respect for you.

    • DP Customs

      An extra”Z,” clever girl.

  • Hardley T Whipsnade III

    Well its not exactly original and the spoiler thingy on its tail is a bit silly and pretentious but overall this is one Bad Boy Sportster . Removing the spoiler thingy would make it even better . And badder !

  • shibloip

    No rear suspension? One ride and you’r coming back home with a broken spine…

    • revdub

      Is this the first time you’ve seen a motorcycle? Hardtails have only been around since the beginning of the motorcycle, when they still had pedals.

    • guvnor67

      Nothin wrong with rigids/hardtails sir. I had s GS850 hardtail chopper that carried me the length n breadth of the UK, on some bloody ordinary roads and I’m now 48 n still intact. Used to drop a couple of PSI from the rear tire though. Not a big fan of Harleys but this is a really tidy bike, kudos to DP. Nice stance, nice minimal build.

      • DP Customs

        Thank you Guvnor67, a cup of Earl Grey all around!
        Cheers!

        • guvnor67

          No worries …in fact u guys may be responsible for me lookin at a Sportster build!

          • DP Customs

            Aha, now that’s good news! Cheers 67!

    • Davidabl2

      Many thousands of people have ridden many thousands of miles on hardtails without breaking their spines. Kidney belts and low pressure in the rear tire DO help. I’m speaking from recent experience. About 10,000 miles experience..

      • Davidabl2

        That said, DP’s site shows some drop-seat rigid-mount-seated bikes
        which might well BATTER the rider’s spine while not actually breaking it…

  • OK DP Customs, stop it…just stop it. You’ve already made enough fantastic Sporty customs to fill a warehouse and burn my retinas with their perfected simplicity. Make something ugly for a change and give me a break! Just kidding…this is another example of good taste meeting great design meeting superb craftmanship. A couple of details that some may overlook but caught my eye right off the bat was the design and execution of the oil bag – cool cut-out for the chain – and the beautifuly crafted fender struts – just look at those welds!

    • DP Customs

      Hahaaa, thanks Manx, and thank you for appreciating the little things that a lot of people might miss. Ride safe man!

    • Tyler Stone

      That’s one thing I will say about the simple/extreme builds; the extreme builds might spend lots of time and get lots of attention for fabricating elaborate body work and curvy exhausts, but let other stuff slide. 50 comments down you might see one truly observant guy saying, “hey – it looks pretty, but has anyone noticed that they haven’t hooked up the front brake cable? And look at the slag on those welds!”
      The simple builds like this one, you can’t hide your flaws. Everyone’s like, “tank, seat, yeah – they’re on there. But holy-s*** THOSE WELDS LOOK FACTORY!”

      • DP Customs

        Thanks Tyler, thanks a lot.
        Best wishes!!

  • Bada”ZZ” !!

    • DP Customs

      Thank you Sir!

  • Z Wimmer

    Am I the only one that loves the little spoiler on the fender? Seems to be a lot of dislike for it.

    • DP Customs

      You’re not alone Mr. Wimmer, we like it too, haha.
      Cheers man!

    • It’s a DP signature. What’s not to love!

  • Spyker May

    I am not sure if the Bors Del Prado is expecting a visit from their mother, but it is a while since I have seen such a neat workshop, just as well they habitually roll out neat little bikes. Upstanding fellas or what.

    A wise man once said, if it ain’t broken, why fix it? He was probably not a Wall Street “broker”. However he would certainly have nodded in approval of the two WI-“ZZ” kids’ signature hard-tail hard-mount Sporty formula.

    With Ironheads fast being relegated to further episodes of ‘Jurassic whatever is next’, the pre-’03 Sportster is the fertile hunting ground. They make for a great working-man’s (and woman’s – just to stay PC <;-) custom and will run from here to the retirement village.

    Before you drop your annual bonus on wobbly bizarre looking T-Rex monstrosity, rather drop everything and swot up on your 70s and 80s racing history, pick a favorite and head down to the Republic of Texas.

    • DP Customs

      Thank you Spyker, we appreciate it!!

  • am a bit concerned that the down force from the rear spoiler will cause too much G Force, which will result in catastrophic lifting of the front wheel and cardiac arrest of the rider due to anaphylactic shock, apart from that i like it

  • Tricolore

    Another clean, well thought out machine from the DP Bros. Their bikes are not only enjoyable to study but entice the riders mind to throw a leg and get lost for a while. Well done… Again!

    • DP Customs

      How kind of you to say Tricolore! A sincere ‘thank you’ from us here!

  • Skody McNad

    Love how simple it is, great build! Would LOVE to see what DPCustoms would do with a big twin. Anyone??

    • DP Customs

      Thank you Skody! Now that sounds like a fun project, maybe soon!
      Have a good one!

  • Darrick B

    I love all of the DP bikes, these guys can do no wrong in my eyes.

    • DP Customs

      Wow, thanks a lot man!! Cheers!

  • JohnK

    Very well done. I’m not a HD rider, but have been admiring customs for several years. Yours is the first I’ve run across that I would not want to change…except ownership. The lines, stance, color selection/scheme, and parts selection just seem to “fit” well together. Perfect…IMO.
    Thanks, Pipeburn for featuring this one. I’ll keep it as inspiration for if/when I get a chance to build my own…or save enough to put in an order with DP!

    • DP Customs

      That’s awesome John, super glad you like it! Thanks for your kind words!

  • HarleyDylanson68

    If that’s a 2001 Sportster, I’ll be VERY SURPRISED. My 2001 XL-H 1200 (which I’ve put 80,000 + miles on) bears no resemblance to this impressive motorcycle. The details that they’ve amended have me astounded. GREAT Bike but I still can’t BELIEVE it’s an ’01.