When you think Café Racer, you probably don’t picture Harley Davidson since that brand’s tall thumpers really don’t lend themselves to the form. Today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe custom Sportster may just change that image. Let’s see if it has also been priced to quickly change hands.
By the pound, yesterday’s 2003 Ford Excursion Limited 7.3 was probably always going to be a good deal. At over three and three-quarter tons, its $8,000 asking price worked out to somewhere around $1.05 per pound making that big Ford about as cheap as chicken wings—if you were buying an Excursion’s worth of chicken wings.
On our scale it didn’t do badly either, bringing home a solid 58 percent Nice Price win despite the demerits of it only being two-wheel-drive and having those two wheels covering over 300,000 miles.
Maybe that Excursion was too big for your tastes. Perhaps it was little too ponderous appearing, giving you the mood for something lighter and more maneuverable. Maybe something like this custom 1988 Harley Davidson Sportster Café bike.
Now, these days Harley Davidson is in some deep yogurt financially. Yuppies aren’t buying the company’s cruisers in the numbers they once did, and a global pandemic isn’t helping matters any either. How bad has it been for Harley of late? Well, just yesterday the company got booted out of the S&P 500. I know that sounds like a race sponsored by a baked bean company but is actually a financial index intended to show how large companies are fairing financially. Harley is also limiting its production to only their most profitable models in the most sale-able colors.
That all means that should you be waiting with bated breath on Harley to come out with a spiritual successor to the XLCR or some other Café style Sportster, you’re going to have a lot of time on your hands. Maybe go play Hungry, Hungry, Hippos.
This custom bike could fill that gnawing hole in your Harley-loving heart as well as a spot in your driveway-slash-livingroom with its instant gratification.
Let’s check it out.
The base bike here is a Sportster 1200. That provides the 1198cc under-square V-twin and four-speed gearbox, as well as the frame which has been cut down at back. The bike has also been relieved of both front and rear fenders and sports a custom seat pan and tuck and roll saddle. Upfront, the bike gets a set of Harley clip-on bars and wing mirrors, and those sit nestled behind a min—fairing and LED headlamp.
A Ducati multi-function lamp unit under the tailpiece does both brake light and turn signal duties, providing an uncluttered rear-view. Strangely, the footpegs appear to be in their standard, forward position. That might make for a less than comfortable riding position with the clip-ons, running the risk that being bent over in such a way might also cause your ass-crack to whistle in the wind when rolling at a good clip.
The ad calls the paint Lamborghini orange and that’s accentuated by black trim and Harley Davidson branding. For rollers, the bike gets a standard spoked 19-inch up front, while the back one sports a stylish mooneyes cover. Brakes are single discs front and rear.
The ad claims that it all “Runs and sounds great for a 30+ year old bike.” and warns any prospective buyer that they will have to adopt a celebrity lifestyle, saying “If you don’t like attention, this is not the bike for you, you will get thumbs up everywhere you go. Truly unique and a great bar crawler.”
On the downside, there does not appear to be any instrumentation whatsoever on the bike so things like engine and road speed will have to be determined viscerally rather than through gauges. Unless you’re some sort of math whiz that will likely take some time to finesse. Another issue may be the wrapped pipes that appear to be of the “wake the neighbors” variety. Of course, you might not like your neighbors all that much—stupid HOA nazis—making that actually a plus.
The bike has a clean title and carries a $6,900 asking price. You now need to decide if that makes this custom Sportster a good deal or has you saying that you ‘Harley’ know her.
H/T to Daniel D. for the hookup!
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