Sporty but sweet

Sporty but sweet

Beginning with a Harley Sportster is always a good place to start. They are such a versatile bike and you can basically do anything with them. In standard trim, they are a little boring if the truth be told. This one had a few bits done to it over the years, sissy bar, raised bars, bags and tool-roll, but her owner had grown tired of the look.

Tony the owner wanted his uninspiring Harley turned into something nice and different. He liked the look of flat trackers, the seating position and stance of that style spoke to him. 

Tony uses his bike so it needed to be comfortable and usable. He had already fitted a 1200 conversion kit, but he wanted a little more mid-range power. We decided a flat-tracker style would have the look and set about our creation.

We replaced the standard sportster cams with Andrews N2 cams to boost the mid-range. Accompanied by a S&S carb and the power increase was immediately noticeable, boosted mid range and off-the-line acceleration. We modified the chassis to give the correct stance at the rear, fitted a longer set of shocks to lift the back and converted it from belt to chain drive. With longer shocks the swingarm was now sitting at a more acute angle and belt-drive didn’t give the required flexibility. 

After some time in the machine shop the FXR rear hub was mated to the sportster sprocket, and laced to a 17” rim. Some one-off spacers were made to fill the gaps and the entire ensemble bolted together… it even runs true!!

On the front we opted for the standard sporty forks and fitted a set of period gators, buffed and polished the lower leg and went for a 19” flangless rim which we laced to the standard sportster front hub.

Both rims were powder-coated black and laced with stainless spokes to add some longevity. We wanted to keep the front of the bike clean so we rotated the speedo in the housing and mounted it facing upwards.

We also relocated the ignition coil and moved the key switch to beside the battery to give a clear line at the front. When it came to leatherwork, my good friend Claudio Nosari is my go-to guy.

Claudio came up with the design for the seat and used a new technique which involved carving the seat foam and pressing the leather into the grooves to give it the ribbed effect. Exactly the same method they used to make the seats on old Ferrari’s.

Matching leather grips and a battery belt strap complete the picture. We hand-made the exhaust system careful with its route so it doesn’t get in the way but still looks cool . I’ve lost count of how many custom parts were made for this build but I’m sure you will agree the final product is simply stunning. This bike draws a crowd wherever it goes and is probably already the most photographed bike in Northern Ireland!

Add Comment

You must login to add a comment. If you do not have an account, you may register for one. Registration is free!