Category Archives: Rehab

Rehab project: Dave’s 2011 sportster 48 cafe racer part III Almost there!

Today we put a few finishing touches on the little Harley 48 custom. First order of business was a fresh fuel map for the Power Commander V, followed by a first start on the new pipes that shook the whole shop. After that was set, it was on to the finishing touches. We wrapped LED strips around the front fork between the triple trees for discreet front blinkers.

Shortly after that, it was on to the rear blinkers, mounted on top of the rear shocks.

Tuck all the wires neatly, put the cover back over the battery and install the seat on the bike with our custom seat bracket.


Finally, on went the rear marker light and license plate mount. It may not be completely visible, but it is securely affixed to the bike in the event that David has an encounter with Johnny law.


And there you have it, two or three more tweaks, a solid test ride to make sure it is all working in harmony, and David takes her home. Bet you can’t wait for the next round of pictures from the studio!




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Rehab Project: 94 Sportster IV

There was a huge influx of complicated diagnostic repair work over the last two weeks, only slightly slowing progress on the little sporty. The last few days have yielded some aggressive advances. Yesterday we closed the doors to the shop so we could get caught up and I decided it was time to build the motor in the little monster. I must say, the end product looks stellar, possibly even better than anticipated. We ordered the new jugs in black with polished fins, to further enhance the murdered out appearance, with every intention of painting them and the heads wrinkle black. Painting both would have made the motor one solid color from the rocker boxes to the crank case. While all of the components were side by side on the bench, a pattern emerged. We agreed that the only things to be painted wrinkle black would be the heads and the rocker box covers. The end result is absolutely stunning.


Shortly after the motor was completed, we bolted on the long awaited Thunder Header.


After a few heat cycles on the bridge, we let her cool down and started on some final touches. A progressive fork lowering kit was installed dropping the nose 1″ closer to the ground and teaming up with the rear lowered Drag Specialties shocks. Who wants their license plate on the fender anyway? An inexpensive side mount license plate adapter was installed, with a tiny three bulb LED light to keep things legal. An OEM quick disconnect was installed behind the plate for quick removal. The fender holes were plugged with bolts from the rear, and pike nuts were attached to compliment those on the fender struts. The cluster of spikes on the fender has been affectionately dubbed “the crotch killer.”


Now the bike is 95% complete, we are only waiting on one more back ordered part to complete it all, at which point she will go into the studio so we can share some real images in the gallery!

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Rehab project: Dave’s 2011 sportster 48 cafe racer part II

Today was a big day for the little 48. The UPS driver, our daily resident Santa, brought some more brilliant brass, as well as shortened clutch and throttle cables to accommodate the lower position of the Roland Sands fork mount handle bars. Our genius stash tube also gained some brass screw on end caps to finish off the look. After the stash tube was threaded and re-installed, we hooked up the foot and hand controls. The last touch for the day was mounting the exhaust. She is starting to look like quite the little badass!






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Rehab project: 94 sportster III

The UPS man showed up with a shiny new set of shocks for the sporty today, we got them on quick, put the bucket back on, and wired up a running light module for the rear lights. The sporty is slammed, and looking sick. As soon as the exhaust gets here the motor goes back together and break in begins!




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Rehab project: 94 sportster part II

Sourcing some OEM “take off” parts, the 94 sporty got a little more love in the darkness department today. Late model black sportster strut covers were installed and needed only a slight modification and some spacers to fit seamlessly. Along with the struts, the smaller late model turn signal housings were used to really trim the fat off of this little beast. The new black triangle was installed behind the battery box, and lastly, since this bike was a gift from the customers father, the original brass eagle was adhered to the new battery box to keep the spirit of the previous owner with the bike. Removing the chrome oil tank cover added to the trim, murdered out look. She is lean and beautiful, almost ready to rock.





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Rehab project: Dave’s 2011 sportster 48 cafe racer

Dave’s sportster 48 has been waiting for parts to come back from being brass plated, and today the UPS driver brought toys for us to play with. Since we are using the stock triple tree and indicator lights we had to come up with a genius way to make it look better, so the old bars were chopped for a slick stash tube. Mid controls and new pegs were also installed, this little bike is turning into a sick cafe racer very fast.








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Rehab project: 94 Sportster part 1

Day one that the sporty was up in the air yielded some dramatic steps. We sourced some black take off parts to remove a lot of the chrome per James’s request. The belt guard, eyelid, left triangle, and battery box were all scuffed up, sanded, primed and painted.

The eagle emblem from the old chrome battery box had to stay with the bike, so we peeled it off, cleaned it up and affixed it to the new black battery box. Given the age of the bike, the clear coat on the rocker covers had bubbled and pitted with time. For a cleaner more healthy look they were smoothed out with scotch pads, sanded and treated with VHT texture black paint. To follow the theme of black on black, the cylinder heads were also taped off and treated with VHT. To complete the look, the cylinders will also be given the same treatment after they are prepped for the new pistons.

Part of the project involved a revamp of the hand controls and lighting. This is where the most progress was made today. After removing everything from the chrome buckhorn style handle bars, Kevin did some custom prep work to the new black 10″ mini apes, and ran all wires internally. The front brake line was also hidden inside the bars to clean up the look of the front end.

To finish off the work for today, a set of take off 2″ black housing blinkers were added to the lower triple tree mount, and the high mounted 2 1/2 inch chrome units were removed. The front end of the bike looks sharp, and has been leaned out with only a few very simple modifications.


Profile view with the new bars in place.


Kevin bleeding the brakes after setting the controls on the new bars and tucking the lines.


The stock turn signal housing on the left of the image, the replacement OEM take off in its new mounting location on the right.


Freshly painted parts moved to a safe location for curing after being sprayed.

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Rehab Project: 94 sportster

When James showed up on this poor little sporty we knew something had to be done, and stat. The 94 883 XL was bleeding from the rocker box and base gaskets in the worst way. As soon as he killed the motor it was pouring oil in the parking lot. James, a huge fan of torque was not going to be satisfied with just a repair, and opted for a 1200 upgrade. Since it was in the shop there were a few other upgrades that needed to be done at the same time at the customers request. Plans included new bars, new rear shocks, a full wrinkle black treatment to the rocker box covers, heads, and new jugs. On top of all that, we decided that the blinkers must be replaced with some much more slender fixtures, and the chrome needed to be swapped for as many black parts as possible.

The first day it came to the shop, we gave it a thorough clean and degrease just before ripping the motor apart. The project has been idle for a few days while we have been waiting on a few more parts to come in, but today the metamorphosis has begun!

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