The Ivory Comet

2013 // Sep // 25
The origin of the name  “Ivory Comet”, where ivory is for the pursuit of elegance and “comet” for the overwhelming power and grace of a speeding comet.

When building the Ivory Comet, I wanted to stay with the traditional look of a cafe racer and introduce modern elements for my interpretation of a “Modern Retro”. Based on a 1997 Harley Davidson XL 1200 Sportster in designing this motorcycle, I followed three basic rules to convert it to a cafe racer. One is to have the front fairing, gas tank, and rear cowl lined up with a horizontal line parallel to the ground. Another is to have the rear axle aligned with the tail section, and of course add the duck tailed rear cowl.


At the beginning, there where several fairing designs that where considered. But since I am using a Harley Davidson engine I believe it will be a shame to cover it, so for the final version of the fairing design I had the engine completely exposed. With the fabrication of the front cowl, gas tank, and rear section of this motorcycle, I insisted on using a 1960’s method by utilizing wood for the mold and then have a metal fabricator make it for me.
With my vision for a modern retro cafe racer, I also wanted a suspension that was unique yet stable for this motorcycle. I decided to transplant the front shock absorbers, rear single sided swingarm, and the brakes from a Ducati 916. Then use wire rims making the bike a “Singlesided swingarm with wire rims”. At the time I was making the bike, I could not find available spoke rims for a single sided swingarm. I ended up searching for a manufacture that became a daunting task. Many engineers did not dare to make a wire rim to my specifications or afraid that it will be too easy to break. But after spending several months searching, I located a company in Europe that met my requirements with warranty to boost.
The origin of the name “Ivory Comet” includes “Ivory” for the pursuit of elegance, and “Comet” representing the feeling of overwhelming power and grace that comes from a speeding comet. To combine these feeling together, I chose the colors: red, white, black, and gold. White is the main color to fulfill the feeling of elegance and to tone down the louder colors.
This motorcycle has taken me over a year to make and is finally complete, overcoming many financial, mental, and physical obstacles to the point where many think I was crazy to pursue my dream. There are so many things I can say about the project but it will take me too much time to explain properly. If you see me or just curious to know my story, please don’t be afraid to ask me.