Ten Years GONE
2007 marked the 5oth Anniversary of the Harley Davidson Sportster. That bike has always been my favorite - but the prices are far out of my reach and the number of remaining survivor units are getting more rare every year.
While still stunning in Black & White archive literature - Harley - Davidson Motorcycles always had to an Orange. Always.
The classic lines of the first Sportster had a large tank, over the 4 gallon mark, perfect for rolling around the town or out into the hills. The 'Peanut tank would not appear until 1958 - and I have never been a fan of the shape nor the capacity of it. I wanted to build a modern bike - to celebrate the original - but keep all the benefits and technology that had been introduced to the model over the five decades of production.
I started with the 2007 XL883R - in Mirage Orange. Here is the factory brochure pic of what a stock unit looked like.
I chose this model - because at the time - this was the only way to get a purely blacked out motor on the bike - this was before Harley Davidson would produce their line of Dark Customs - where the dark and black would appear throughout the entire line out. The first thing to go was the small 3.3 peanut tank. GONE. The XLC 4.5 gallon bolts right up.
Another classic Original 57 for reference.
First brush - and how to blow 5,oo