Our first Harley Sportster Scrambler made some pretty big waves in the custom world, even more so when we went out and proved it was actually getting ridden for Wide Of The Mark. During that build process Scott visited the shop, saw my Harley Sportster Scrambler on the bench and told me I had to build him one. I said OK. If you want one of these monsters in your garage, get in touch, I’ve got plenty of new ideas to use on the next Off Road Sportster.
Soon after we returned from our ride in Tasmania I got to work on building the second signature series Harley Sportster Scrambler. Taking everything I’d learned through the first build process, and applying it to this new model. While these bikes share the same core DNA, they are vastly different in terms of style, and performance. We started with a hard mount 1998 Sportster XLH1200S, this was the “Street” model with a twin spark head, adjustable Suspension and twin rotors on the front end. So we made sure to rip off all that gear and just use the frame and engine.
I wanted to push further in terms of the design on this one, creating a highly distinctive Motocross feel across the whole build. But first, the performance upgrades. The 1200 Sporty is suspended by a KTM 1190 ADV front end, the rear has an aluminium Trac Dynamics swing arm and Ohlins shocks. All built and Tuned to perfection by Costanzo racing – A local off road suspension guru. Starting with the already highly regarded KTM forks and using only the best parts available the bike is a dream to ride. The work completed on this bike left us with 75hp at the rear wheel, and a dry-weight of only 203kg so let’s take a look at how we got there.
The custom wheel set has also been adapted from the KTM1190 using HAAN hubs and Excel rims, running a 17” rear and 19” front. Running a Moto Product’s custom sprocket and a set of Moto Master brakes. The engine was stripped and rebuilt with reliability in mind. Utilising a Lectron Carburettor, Mild Cams, some port work to the head and a new clutch the sportster puts out 75Hp with a strong torque curve. Leaving the rider with a smile on his face from Idle to red line.
The Lectron Carb breathes through our custom Sportster Air Box. Version 2 see’s the set up using a Ducati 1299 Aftermarket Air filter from DNA filters, a handmade filter mount and a 3D printed carbon filament intake plenum that links the 2. A bit more work went into this one, but once the Idea worked on our first ADV sportster scrambler build it was time to improve the performance of it.
The exhaust and muffler was completely fabricated in house, 1 5/8” stainless steel tubing snaked around the engine and out the back. The Idea was to create a Dakar Style exhaust that swung low, but was left exiting long and high. The 2-1 system and custom muffler sounds perfect on the thumping V-twin. You’ll see what I mean on the test ride video. Working around the Pillion peg mounts that were a customer spec’d item so he can take his son for a hoon now and then. Protected on the front end by a custom bash plate that wraps the front header.
We’ve swapped the tank out for a 2018 Street Bob tank and modified it to suit the carby sportster scrambler. I always liked the short bulbous design, and although our other hand made aluminium body parts don’t exactly “match” I feel like the proportions and balance have been struck pretty well. At the end of the day, it does seem to work.
The fenders and fairings have mostly been hand shaped and fabricated from aluminium. Up front we have an MX style number plate that houses the headlight set up, custom fork shrouds and a short/high mounted fender. The tail is my favourite part of this bike, simply because I never really thought I’d see something like that on a Sportster. Sharp and thin the tail protrudes out from under the seat giving the Harley Sportster Scrambler a modern dirt bike edge. Some built in lighting and hidden mounting keep the finish ultra clean. The seat is set atop an isolated mounting frame, rubber mounted to limit the vibration the rider gets through the seat.
The 1998 Sportsters still have the square shape battery box + cover which I ditched quickly. Re-purposing a late model battery box cover, mounting it to the frame via a hinge section that unlocks with some ¼ turn quick releases. The cover allows access to the ignition module, electrics and has room enough for that tool kit you’ll inevitably need at some point of your riding life.
Off road pegs are mid mounted on stainless steel brackets built off the case bolts on either side. The extra offset on the clutch side leaves room for a small leather pouch with onboard air compressor. A little gimmicky some might think, but actually really handy when you ride off the beach, and back onto the bitumen.
The command center is dominated by a set of 5” risers clamped to a set of Pro-taper Outlaw bars. Running ISR levers, Purpose Built Moto Switch blocks, and our Scrambler mirrors too. The front turn signals are mounted up under the levers, helping keep them out of harm’s way in the bush. Rubber mounting the risers on the bike also helps limit rider fatigue. Less vibration means more ride time!
When it came down to the finish on this bike, I wanted something as bold as the body lines itself. I had sketched out a twin bolt design on the tank during the fabrication process that I liked, but I wanted the whole bike to have that same feeling. I enlisted the help of Josh from Ride Design Co. He came and hand templated the Sportsters panels and worked up an epic custom graphics kit for our Scrambler. Black, grey and red finishing off that track side flavour.
Our second iteration of the Adventure Harley Sportster Scrambler design is something I’m really happy to see evolve. Informed by real world experience adventuring on my own sportster, I can say I’ve made some big leaps and bounds in the way the bike rides. I also prefer the more aggressive styling on this model, it’s just a bit more in your face.
I’ve been told this bike’s going to be making an appearance at the next Mackay Moto Beach races in QLD, so I may have to dust my old Sportster off and go see just how much fun we can have!
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For a full picture gallery on this build check this out
Check out our blog on our first Signature Series Harley Sportster Scrambler