Article By: Otto von Blotto
Photos By: Lisa Ballard – www.dbcustomleather.com
Everyone knows Sportsters are hot right now, some might say they’ve always been hot. Certain bike clubs used ‘em for years as their preferred mode of transportation because they were light, tough and most importantly, cheap! Kim Boyle had similar feelings about the entry level HD. After being hounded for some time by the Sportster crowd to turn out some Sporty parts under his Bench *Mark line, he decided to build a bike to help showcase those parts. That’s how this sexy, slinky scoot came to be.
Bench*Mark consists of Kim Boyle and Pat McCormack. Pat handles all of the machine work and Kim controls all of the rest.
Procured from a local contractor hit hard by California’s economic depression for a song, Kim and crew quickly got to work doing what they do. Seeing as how a couple of friends of his were building Sportsters at the same time as he was, this helped to keep Kim focused on setting his bike apart from the crowd. And by the looks of this ‘sickle, it’s safe say to say he’s done just that.
Slim is what Kim envisioned his finished product to be. In order to accomplish that, he called on Slim’s Fabrication to narrow up the sexy Sporty tank while Kim himself took care of placing the mounts. In keeping with the sleek motif, Kim went to another Southern California friend at Front Street Cycle for a set of narrow stainless tracker bars and a tasteful rear fender. Kim has the ability to lean on some pretty heavy local talent for things not usually done in-house. So, he went ahead and had Sonny Boy lay down some crisp black paint with just the right amount of pinstriping to highlight the subtle details this bike is chock full of. A bike of this caliber wouldn’t be acceptable with just any old seat placed on it, so the hard workin’ Duane Ballard was enlisted to stitch up the cowhide for this scoot. Man, did he nail it! This pad is all class but it doesn’t draw the eye away from any of the other work and effort put into this machine.
So what parts didn’t he outsource, you might be asking yourself?! Well for one thing, the one-off custom taillight came from Kim. A sexy jewel to say the least! Kim also had his way with the stock mids till they flowed like nothing the Factory ever sent anyone home with. And you see that nonchalant air cleaner that keeps this bike breathing real healthy? That’s a Bench*Mark product.
What goes in must come out so ol’ Kim got busy with the TIG and made the sensual two-into-one pipe ya see here today, too. There’s a few more parts massaged by the man like the brake calipers and lower legs. At first glance they may appear stock but upon closer inspection, one quickly realizes HD just don’t roll ‘em out the door this sano, man. Just as Kim carefully placed thought-out aftermarket parts on the bike, like the Aris re-pop headlight, he also put a lot of thought into what he took off the bike. Parts like the speedo and other tidbits that tend to detract from the clean lines a Sportster has, but are usually too cluttered up by chrome- plated plastic for the masses to enjoy were removed.
Lots of love was put into this easily dismissed lower rung model of a bike that’s now gained a cult- like following for its reliability and affordability as well. But Kim and Bench*Mark have helped the Sportster get some attention in the parking lot as well by beautifying a bike that isn’t particularly known for its sexiness. And that my friend is the Bench*Mark of a true ruler.
super sano sporty tech sheet
owner: Brian Saunders city: St. Louis, MO Fabrication By: Kim Boyle year: 2000
Model: XL 1200 Sportster time: A Few Months On and Off Value: Depends Who You Ask
year: 2000 Model: XL 1200 Builder: Stock Ignition: Mallory
pistons: Stock heads: Stock cam(s): Stock carb: CV
air cleaner: Bench*Mark exhaust: Handmade 2-into-1 primary: Stock
FraMe year: 2000 make: HD rake: None
stretch: None-Fender Struts Cut
type: Showa Builder: Kim Boyle extension: 2” Under
triple trees: Stock Shaved
Front Wheel: Stock Powdercoated
tire: Avon Speedmaster
Brakes: Shaved & Polished HD Caliper rear Wheel: FXR/Dyna Swap Meet size: 16”
tire: Avon Speedmaster
Brakes: Stock Powdercoated
painter: SonnyBoy color: Black type:
Bars: Front Street Cycles Stainless Trackers
hand controls: Magura Clutch-Grimeca Lever / MC Gas tank(s): Narrowed Sporty-Slim Fab Front Fender: None
rear Fender: Front Street Cycle
seat: Duane Ballard
Foot controls: Cut Down Stockers
oil tank: Stock
Mirrors: One-Shortened and Bent
taillight: Bench*Mark One-Off
headlight: Repop Aris
photographer: Lisa Ballard