Archive for January 9th, 2009|Daily archive page

2002 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Cafe Racer

As you may or may not know, I like Sportsters. I have 2005 883 myself, and have been converting it into a cafe racer for the last two years. Cafe conversions of the XL are fairly few and fair between relatively speaking, so when one comes up for sale on eBay, or I find one elsewhere, it tends to end up posted on the blog.

What we have here is a 2002 XL 1200. What does buying a 1200 and not an 883 get you? About 20 extra horsepower and dual front discs. While this bike has some nice mods done to it, it is far from complete. The clip-ons are there. The fender has been bobbed nicely. The bike has the black-out treatment on lots of the parts.

So what’s left?

It’s got to have a new exhaust. I don’t even want to think about how loud the stock head pipes run without mufflers must be. and it probably has moved the power band completely to the top end. I’m going to guess that the carb has been set up properly given that the bike has cams and head-work done to it. Oh yeah, did I mention how loud it probably is?

The wheels: stock Harley wheels are heavy! It needs something lighter. Sportsters can be made relatively light compared to their portly weight in stock form, but one of the most important weight-loss procedures is losing the factory boat-anchors. Plus, Sportsters with 18″ 40-spoke alloy rims built up on nice, stock alloy hubs look really sweet!

Three sets of foot pegs: it’s got three! Pick any two and get on with it. Rear-sets would be best, but lose the highway pegs if nothing else.

That’s it. I’m done complaining. This is a good build-up of a Sportster into an almost cafe racer. A couple of tweeks, and it would be done. And I bet it’s a lot faster than a lot of bikes out on the road…


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1978 CB750 SOHC Project?

When you think about stinkin’ fast Japanese cafe racers, the CB750 certainly comes to mind as one of the easiest to create. Parts are readily available, the motors can be built up to good horsepower levels, and a fully modified CB750 cafe racer is the real deal.

I found this bike on eBay, and although it is a bit expensive at a starting price of $1,400, it appears to be rust free (it’s in California). If Comstar wheels are your thing, this one comes with them. And it has a non-vintage look exhaust that could probably be sold to help amortize the cost of the project. Lots of miles and a non-1978 tank, but pretty clean for all of that…


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