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Parking Lot Bike of the week
Hey, have you all noticed how Sportsters are cool again? Yeah, me too and I couldn’t be happier. I never ever bought into “that’s a girl’s bike” thing and frankly, never understood it. My first ride on a Sporty was way back in 1966 on a ’65 Harley-Davidson XLCH that blew my mind at the time with its raw power and resulting vibration, but it was a ride a kid with a 30-day-old license would never forget. I remember the first time yanking the throttle WFO on that Ironhead and feeling like the rear tire was spinning the Earth backwards instead of merely accelerating the bike ahead. Trust me, I didn’t get off and think, “That’d make a great girl’s bike.” Sportsters were way cool then and always have been as far as I’m concerned.
Okay, okay, back to a bit of Harley reality with this fetching rendition of Jim Bortles’ take on a Sportster that willingly trespasses on Harley-Davidson’s recent highly successful Dark Custom series, but with a twist of brass. Actually, that’s a misnomer as Harley is the one who’s trespassing on a look that pro and amateur builders have been doing for years. Yes, Harley did capitalize on murdering out their various models to bring them in line with the hipsters, but builders like Jim Bortles, owner of The Chopper Farm in Waxhaw, North Carolina, are always way ahead of the production bike curve and this Sporty is just one more example. Dark and brassy always has its own appeal and you have to admit this 2002 Sporty wears it well.
Yep, it’s one more shrimp on the Smoke Out barbie with an owner we couldn’t make contact with, but at least we have his name and we know what state he’s from. Hey, at least it’s a step in the right direction and hopefully North Carolinian, Travis Collins, gets to see Jack Cofano’s pics of his spiffy custom Sporty online.
I love a good cheeseburger. If I had my druthers and my doctor lost his mind and said it was okay, I’d live on them. Or so I think. Problem is, after six months (or maybe more), they’d just become the norm and I’d probably grow tired of them and want to spice things up a bit even if it wasn’t my usual food stuffs. Variety is the spice of life they say and maybe there’s more truth to that than I realize. Same goes for motorcycles which is why I have more than one. I have my favorite rider, but it’s kinda fun to hop on something else just for the sheer hell of it.
Published in Non V-Twins
When I lived in the center of Boston back in the ‘80s, it was an absolute pain to work on my bikes from a fourth floor apartment. Many a night was spent working in a barely lit street (no driveway even) trying to fix my latest mechanical malady or trying to install parts while holding a flashlight in one hand and a wrench in the other. I hated having to run up and down the stairs to get whatever tool I should’ve brought down on the first run, but didn’t. Ten minute jobs could go on forever, but I had no choice being too obstinate to take it to someone else to fix it. But, I soldiered on like the cheap Yankee bastid I am until the job was done and there were some mighty elaborate jobs that went on night after night I might add. The only part I enjoyed about the whole street-fix experience was collapsing in bed exhausted when the last bolt was tightened.
“What a freakin’ nice bike” rolled through my head when I saw this Sportster hot rod bobber. Built by none other than Pat Patterson and the talented crew of hardcore Sportster fanatics at Led Sled Customs in Dayton, Ohio, it’s not a big surprise if you’ve followed the constant rise of Led Sled into the dominant, yet honest value builder of one Sportster after another that you just might kill for. A walk around this bike dares you to get on, get it on, hang on, and keep doing it ‘til the tiny, but effectively stunning ex-Husqvarna gas tank runs empty.
Bill Dodge is a lot of different personalities trapped in one body. He’s smart, articulate, skilled, funny, and most importantly, he’s his own man. When you see a Bling’s Cycle bike, you know who built it in a millisecond or two. That’s not to say he’s so stuck on a certain style or look that each bike looks like the other, no siree bob. There’s just a certain aesthetic, honest, yet whimsical that makes you know it’s a Bill-built bike. One thing that does honestly stand out for any and every one of his builds is that you want to ride it and that’s about the biggest compliment any builder could get in my opinion.
You gotta love what builders ride. No, no, not those crazy rad bikes they hop on for a convenient photo op or the yearly group ride to Mt. Rushmore. I’m talking about the bike they have just for when they feel like riding a motorcycle just for the fun of it. It’s never ever what you’d expect when you finally see their equivalent of a daily ride, but take a little time to think about it and it makes sense. Is it 12-feet long with a temperamental 124 motor, a 300+ rear tire, barely a seat to speak of, and a one-gallon fuel tank? Absolutely not. Matter of fact, they’re usually not too much different than what you all probably are riding yourselves. Reliable, relatively comfy, and easy to maneuver custom motorcycles are (or should be) high on anyone’s riding enjoyment list including the most radical builders on the planet. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, it can be custom and it can be rideable.
Love it, love it, love it. Probably not the most professional way to begin an article about a custom bike, but that’s what was running through my head when I saw this hot rod/bobber/café Sportster. This bike was a collaboration between Chris Garrison of CG Customs in Buford, Georgia, and W.T. Customs and Fabrication in nearby Flowery Branch, Georgia. The end result of this cooperative creation was good enough to have just won second place at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Atlanta. And, more importantly to me, a little place in my heart for just being such a cool bike.
Published in Sportsters
Some bikes are built for competition, some are inspired by it, and some are a direct result of competition. The racy little number you’re staring at is two out of three and that’s pretty unusual. First off, it obviously wasn’t built for race competition, but is of the direct result variety with a dash of competition inspiration thrown in for good measure. The direct result of competition part came about through a collaboration of DP Custom Cycles and Local Motors sponsoring an international design contest using a Harley –Davidson Sportster as the artistic muse while the winning designer chose a mid-seventies Formula 1 car as his inspiration.