Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 25th March 2010

Roland Sands has given the Harley Sportster 1200 a cafe racer makeover. The Harley Sportster was orginally a performance model in the H-D range back in the 60s, and H-D themselves once made a cafe racer XLCR1000 back in the 70s, which wasn’t particularly successful.

Sands Design wanted a cafe sportster on the cheap so they used a crashed bike as the donor. By adding clip ons, removing various factory parts, and making a instrument cluster, footpegs, pipes and headlight relocation piece, the bike began to look more like a retro cafe racer.

Sands design also prototyped a key and coil relocation piece to get rid of all the plastic under the gas tank. An exhaust pipe, chopped down rear mudguard, discs, calipers, new seat and moody black paint finished the makeover. Most parts on the bike made by Roland Sands are available from dealers in the US, but Sands says that the one-off ignition/coil mount and velocity stack will be in dealerships later in the summer, whilst the speedometer/headlight mount and seat are still in development. The bike runs a 19 inch front wheel and 18 inch rear and the exhausts are Vance & Hines.

The total cost of the project, including buying a damaged bike, was just under $10,000, making this a budget bike that turns heads. A kit to transform your existing Sportster into this cool cafe racer should be available from RSD later this year and there may be a similar project for the XR1200 on show late in 2010. You can buy Roland Sands Design parts in the UK from MAG Europe by the way.