Injustice Customs XL1200CX Roadster
WORDS Iron & Air Staff IMAGES Mihail Jershov
Anton Knutsson fell in love with motorcycles when he was two years old and got his first bike for Christmas: a brand-new, white and pink Yamaha PW50. Anton's father raced motocross during the '70s and '80s, so Anton spent most of his youth traveling Europe in camper vans, racing 85cc and 125cc motocross bikes. During qualifying for the Swedish championship, Anton tried to jump and clear a double, shorted it by about seven feet, and wound up with a broken hip and two broken arms. His motocross career ended there, but Anton didn't give up on motorcycling.
He learned a lot fixing his motocross bikes and applied that mechanical knowledge to street bikes, modifying and flipping bikes for five years. In 2016, he started Injustice Customs. When Anton got an invitation to this year's Bike Shed Show, he accepted the challenge and bought a stolen 2016 Harley-Davidson Roadster from by an insurance company. He'd never put his hands on a Harley-Davidson or built a flat track-style bike, so he called the project "Born Without Rules."
Anton drew inspiration from factory road racing and motocross bikes of the 80s and 90s, when everything was handmade and one-off; the burnt brass coating on the brake calipers is meant to look l magnesium, and the rainbow titanium nitride coating on the front fork stanchions is spot on.
Anton says, "One of the coolest parts on a MotoGP bike is the exhaust system. The way it turns and twists around the engine to get the perfect length is just wicked. I love the colorful titanium welds." Italian exhaust manufacturer SC-Project gave Anton two carbon-fiber mufflers straight out of their racing department. Anton started building the header and 56 joints later had come up with a beautiful, lightweight pie-cut titanium exhaust. Anton worried about the integrity of his welds. All Sportsters made after 2003 have rubber-mounted engines, so piping a longer exhaust between a shaking engine and stiff frame could lead to a crack. "On the first test ride, my eyes were more on those headers than on the road," says Anton, who thankfully had nothing to worry about.
Anton decided to give his bike two different sides: a mostly black side that nods to American flat trackers, and a black, white, and neon yellow side that represents European racing. As with all of Anton's bikes, the Roadster is adorned with a big lightning bolt on the fuel tank. He laughs, "I like the shape of lightning and since the beginning, I've always put a lightning flash somewhere on my bikes."
He debuted his build at The Bike Shed Show then brought it to Wheels & Waves in France and rode it home to London. "My girlfriend and I were the odd couple when we met big groups of BMW adventure bikes," says Anton. "We had one flat tracker and her little single-cylinder Yamaha SR400 scrambler, riding around in Vans and a small backpack."
When asked how he feels about the end result, Anton answers, "I’m super proud with how the whole bike turned out. I think the lines are great, it looks like a flat tracker but it’s also aggressive and fast. I use it as my daily ride. A fun thing about this bike is that wherever I park it, people come up and ask questions and take photos. When I tell them it’s a Harley-Davidson, people get very fascinated. I even had a bunch of Ducati race bikers loving the bike until they realized it was a Harley."
Anton says this project taught him to rely on his ability and stay true to his personal style. "There are so many great builders around the world. Logging on to Instagram can make you feel unsure about your style and ideas sometimes. I think too many builders out there look at the big guys and don't dare to fully follow their own ideas. With all the great feedback I got on this project, I’m confident in my style and will continue to build bikes with big lightning flashes on them!"
Owner: Injustice Customs Year/Make/Model: 2016 Harley-Davidson XL Roadster 1200XL Fabrication: Injustice Customs Build time: Four months Engine: 1200cc 45' Evolution, Modified Fuel Injection Exhaust: Custom Built Headers, SC Project Custom Mufflers Air Cleaner: RSD Transmission: OEM Frame: modified OEM Forks: Harley OEM, Stiffer Springs Shocks: Öhlins STX38P Front/Rear Tire: custom 19” wheels both front and rear, 3,5” rear and 3,0” front with Maxis DT-R1 tires Fuel Tank: OEM Sportster big model Handlebars: 1" flat track style Handgrips: RSD Headlight: Small and really bad for night riding. Taillight: Rizoma integrated tail light and indicators, custom mounts Seat Pan: Biltwell Speedway Painter: Håkan Lindberg