The term “hipster bike” gets tossed around fairly liberally these days, mostly at any motorcycle with classic or retro-inspired styling. The presence of fork gaiters or a single round headlight tends to bring on this label. As cliched as the term has become, it seems impossible to look at the Sterling Countryman Deluxe without the word “hipster” coming readily to mind.

The Sterling Countryman Deluxe looks like a barn-find relic from the 1920s but it’s actually a brand new 2016 model from The Black Douglas Motorcycle Co. The Italian company (don’t be fooled by the British-sounding names) has been producing custom flat tank motorcycles since 2011 but it’s now ready to start mass production.


Black Douglas strove for authenticity whenever possible, only using modern components and manufacturing techniques when required to meet today’s safety and emissions standards. That means using a pure steel (non-alloy) frame, girder fork, spring-suspended leather seat, replica klaxon horn and “herring can” headlight. Instead of chrome plating, Black Douglas used a more period-accurate (though admittedly more costly) nickel-plating process. The girder fork may look classic but Black Douglas used a modern ergal aluminum alloy.

The electrical system is modern, in order to power the lighting systems required for street homologation. Black Douglas tried to hide the wires as much as possible, using an unusually thin wiring harness all hidden within the handlebars and frame.


The engines are also modern, four-stroke Singles licensed from Honda with a choice of two displacement options, 125cc or 230cc. Black Douglas used natural rubber to dampen vibrations and reduce noise; the technique may not be historically accurate, though the company does point out the material was available in the ’20s, if engineers had thought about it at the time.

Black Douglas will offer a choice of 36 different paint options and a number of customization options including different handlebars and luggage. Pricing starts at 9,480 euros (US$10,800) for the 125cc version and 10,950 euros (US$12,474) for the 230cc engine. Unfortunately, the Sterling Countryman Deluxe is not certified for the U.S., though Black Douglas is offering kits that customers may use to build their own.


The Black Douglas Sterling Countryman Deluxe Specifications
Body type Flat tank motorcycle
Engine type OHC 2 valves, air cooling, electronic CDI, assembled and
completed in Italy
Engine configuration 1 cylinder, 4 Stroke
Fuel system and type carburator, petrol
Cubic capacity 124,9 cm3; bore & stroke: 57 x 49 mm 229.5 cm3; bore & stroke: 67 x 65 mm
Battery and electrics Gel type, 3,3 Ah; three-phase alternator 90 W; LED
turn indicators; daylight dimmed by PWM controller
Gel type, 4,0 Ah; three-phase alternator 75 W; LED
turn indicators; daylight dimmed by PWM controller
Max speed over 100 km/h (62 mph)
Noise level less than 85 dB in ruled testing condition
Max power 12.8 HP (9.5 kW) @ 7500 rpm 14.1 HP (10.5 kW) @ 6000 rpm
Maximum torque 15,0 Nm (11.1 lb-ft.) @ 5500 rpm 15.0 Nm (13.5 lb-ft.) @ 4500 rpm
Fuel consumption average 35 km/l (82.3 mpg) average 32 km/l (75.3 mpg)
Fuel capacity 9 liters (2.4 gallons)
Range over 300 km (186 miles) over 270 km (168 miles)
Total seats 2
Overall length 2180 mm (85.9 in.)
Width 620 mm (24.4 in.) with standard handlebar
Wheelbase 1500 mm (59.1 in.)
Height 960 mm (37.8 in.) with std handlebar
Seat height 830 mm (32.6 in.), up to 880 mm (34.6 in.) with adjustable seat kit)
Curb weight from 95 kg (209 pounds) from 98 kg (216 pounds)
Carrying capacity 190 kg (419 pounds)
Silencer inox steel with catalyzer
Transmission 5 gears
Axle ratio 15/42 (others permitted) 15/40 (others permitted)
Tires 90/90-21″ or 100/90-21″ or 2,75-21″ or 3,00-21″ front and rear
Service brakes mechanical dual drums
Extras Adjustable seat, U-shaped handlebar, twin cap fuel tank, passenger seat, “Herring Can” headlight, Klaxon replica horn

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