Harley XL1200 Scrambler by Shaw Speed & Custom

XL1200 Scrambler

“1200 Cross”:  A Tribute to Steve McQueen

Shaw Speed & Custom is based in Brighton in the South of England. It is part of the Shaw Harley-Davidson dealership, which bills itself as “Not Your Average Official Harley Davidson Dealership.” That is a master of understatement for, besides winning the prestigious Bar and Shield award for excellence and customer service six times, Shaw also won 1st place in the Modified H-D class at the AMD World Championship of Bike Building at Sturgis.

SS&C’s motto is “Rideable Customs” and their work has been featured in over 50 magazines worldwide in the last two years alone.

Harley Davidson XL1200 Sportster Scrambler

The customer had always been a fan of the “King of Cool”–Steve McQueen–and the inspiration for this build was a fusion of two of the iconic actor’s most famous rides, his 1964 Triumph TR6 ISDT bike and his 1971 Husqvarna 400 Cross.

The build started life as a 2010 Harley 1200 Sportster will all the modern mechanics, fuel injection, ECU, and the dependability that provides. It was originally projected to be a low key off road influenced bike but early in the build the customer saw it and felt it was the perfect basis for his dream bike, dubbed the “1200 Cross.”

Sportster Scrambler

The bike was completely stripped, the fender rails removed, all unnecessary brackets and mounts removed, the frame drilled for internal wiring, and the ECM and regulator relocated. As the focus of the bike was competition minimalist, all lights and signals were removed, with the exception of a small tail/brake light. The absence of a headlight reinforces the competition look, but restricts this 1200 Sportster scrambler to day only operation.

1200 Cross by Shaw Speed and Custom

Period influences include Honda replica drum brakes, 4 leading shoe on the front and 2 leading shoe on the rear, as well as 7/8’s handlebars with Magura levers and vintage grips. The gaitored forks were rotated 180 degrees to accept the drum brakes. The aluminum rims are laced with short stainless spokes and the one off exhaust by Zero Exhausts, coupled with the beehive air filter, accentuate the competitive stance.


The suspension, while appearing vintage, sports Ohlins shocks and upgraded fork internals. The fenders and number plates are all SS&C, the plates having been hand rolled on an English wheel in SS&C’s shop. The tank is original HD, but fitted with a unique Italian period cap. The seat pan was fabricated by SS&C and tailored locally. The paint, simple and period appropriate, was applied by Image Design Customs.


278 was McQueen’s race number and we surmise he would be proud of this tribute.

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