Little Comfort Customs’ Black and White Delight

Written by  By Buck Manning Photos by Carolann Cahill Friday, 12 July 2013 14:10
Published in Modified Stockers
Couldn’t take your eyeballs off this striking Sporty could you? Don’t feel bad as that’s the reaction anybody who’s seen this bike has had including a few people I know that could give a rat’s hat (I don’t know if they wear hats, but I’m not supposed to say ass. Oops, I said it anyway.) about motorcycles. It’s just so absolutely clean and crisp even my neighbor who doesn’t just not like, but hates motorcycles thought that it was “good looking” when he saw it on my screen. Yup, builder Tim Firstenberger of Little Comfort Customs in Sarasota, Florida, has delivered one of those BAM! bikes that has the potential to garner admiring looks in spite of it not being some mega-million dollar custom.

This is not Tim’s first Sportster rodeo as Barnett’s Magazine Online previously featured another Sporty of his and, wait for it, here’s another looker, but this one has got that “It” factor bikers look for along with a price that makes it affordable to just about anyone.

  Keeping it real, so to speak is what Tim’s all about as he said, “My idea is to take something that had been more or less left for dead and make something out of it while keeping in mind to do it for a price that the average working person can afford.” What he began with was a Sporty that had seen better days, but was a perfect palette for Tim to work his little comfort, but a whole lotta custom magic on. “This donor bike, a 1992 XL1200 Sportster, only had 13,400 miles on it when I got it, but it looked like it had spent most of its life outside,” said Tim. 

   Little Comfort Customs mantra of “average working person” affordability wouldn’t be worth a damn if the bike was a slap-dash affair made to just look marvelous, but not made to make you feel marvelous as you ride it. With that in mind, Tim starts from the ground up with a complete inspection and rebuild of the heart of the bike, the 1200cc engine. “As always, after I split the cases, I bead blasted everything and had the outer case powdercoated gloss black. After that I buttoned the thing up with new rings, a valve job and a new stator. The motor runs on Old School stuff like an S&S Super B carb, points with an Andrews coil and the pipes are Bassani Xhaust Sweepers,” said Tim. “I have run this same carb and pipe setup on three 1200 Sportsters this year and they all ran very, very well.”

   With that out of the way, Tim focused on the frame eliminating any semblance of rear suspension with a welded-on rigid rear triangle. It might not be as comfortable as stock, but it surely pumps up the cool meter a lot to say the least. “I set the motor in a sandblasted and powdercoated pearl white frame with the shaved lower legs of the stock front end also powder coated gloss black,” he said. “The stock Sportster mags are also powdercoated pearl white.” That powdercoating of the frame and wheels is a nice long- term thing for an “average working man” as powdercoating can take a licking and keep on ticking in these high-probability areas of gouging and scratching. Please don’t ask me how I know.

   When it came time to paint what’s left, Tim turned to a sure thing when it comes to paint as far as he’s concerned, “The tank and fender were painted by P-Man’s Classic Cycle Paint in Bradenton, Florida.” In my opinion, P-Man brought his A-game to this bike with an absolute knockout of a paint scheme that Harley-Davidson should unapologetically steal for an upcoming Sportster. Even my always crabby friend Okie who hates white bikes with an unknown passion said that this was “one good looking bike even if it was white.” Funny how P-Man’s perfect black tank panels and fender stripe are only there to accentuate the white it seems by the reactions I’ve gotten. I’m not sure whether Tim or P-Man was responsible for the Sportster tank graphic, but it was the best possible solution to finishing the paintjob off.  Tim insisted on a couple of important kudos so here goes, “I would like to give a big thanks to P--Man at P-Man Classic Cycle Paint and Tom Parise at Custom Colors Powder Coating in Sarasota, Florida. These guys take care of me really well.”

  Tim’s quite pleased on how this bike came out, but it’s not a keeper as he’s taken the route so many of us only dream of and is pursuing his ambition of making this custom thing his way of life both spiritually and fiscally. “This bike is a show winner with one best of show win. I feel like I did what I set out to do, build a nice, clean and simple little bike and re-use a lot of the donor bike to help keep the cost down. The bike is done and is for sale,” said Tim adding, “I have already started on the next one, a 1993 1200 with an 89-inch S&S Sidewinder engine that I found as a basket case in South Florida.”

Tim’s not only a really nice guy, he’s a straight shooter without a big ego to get in the way when it comes time to build customer bikes. This little baby that will never ever get lost in a crowd is currently for sale for less than a new 1200 so if you’re interested, you better catch up with him pronto by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through his “Tim Firstenberger” Facebook page. 

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