H-D Sportster Project Bike

February 18, 2005
By Brian Korfhage

In 2004 H-D redesigned the Sportster and what emerged is a remarkably good motorcycle.
Take a good look at the 2005 Sporster because when we’re done with it is going to look and perform like no other.

Most Harley-Davidson owners understand that buying a new bike doesn’t just include the purchase price of a new motorcycle. There’s something in the blood that requires that all owners personalize their motorcycle with various aftermarket accessories, and this inclination runs deepest with Harley owners.

When we tested the 2005 Sportster a few months ago, we felt that as good as the small-bore Twin is, it could be so much better, both mechanically and aesthetically. Subsequently, instead of just blowing hot air, we’re putting our energy where our mouths are. Enter our latest project bike, the 2005 Harley-Davidson Sportster.

We had so much success with our Kawasaki Mean Streak project, which ended with a world record at the Bonneville Motorcycle Land Speed Trials, that we wanted to do something similar with America’s most recognizable motorcycle icon, the Sportster.

What makes the Sportster 883 the ideal platform for a project is that the bike is relatively cheap there is nearly no end to the available options. Getting started on the build-up on just about any H-D is easy, almost too easy thanks to the H-D accessory catalogue. It took several hours of perusing phone-book-sized tome to sort through the parts and accessories that would best enhance our bike. Before long, we had a laundry list of potential bolt-ons that will transform our Sportster from mild to wild.

We’re hoping to do a complete makeover on the Sporty, first enhancing the aesthetic appeal with lots of bolt-on goodies, and then by improving the performance. If all goes as planned we’re hoping to install a Screamin’ Eagle 1200cc kit as the final step.

There are four different models of the Sportster available in 2005  including the custom model show here.
The Sportster looks good but imagine what it will look like once we get through adding all the aftermarket components.

Early this week, seven boxes bursting with chrome and steel arrived at our Southern Oregon office. We have so many aftermarket parts in our office that we contemplated moving Art Director, Brian Chamberlain, and his stapler to the basement to make room. Our working space turned into a virtual cornucopia of genuine Harley-Davidson accessories; Christmas for big kids, if you will.

Because of the seemingly endless amount of goodies ready to go on the Sportster we’re going to divide the current assortment up into a few articles. To kick off the build, we’re going to throw ourselves headlong into the aesthetic modification by bolting on accessories that will improve the overall visual appeal of the Sportster’s mid-section. (We wish it were that easy to tackle our own mid-section.) We’ll replace mid controls and bolt a few new covers on the Sierra Pearl Red Sportster and show you exactly what it takes to spruce up your own H-D with the help of the H-D catalogue.

Project: Harley-Davidson Sportster Stage 1:
Air Cleaner Insert Kit
Timer Cover Kit
Skull Shifter Peg Kit
Passenger Footpeg Mount Kit
Skull Footpegs
XL Pillion Kit
Mini Rail Backrest Pad
Mini-Rail Upright
Detachable Chrome Sideplates
Oil Dipstick W/ Temp Guage

Check back in a few weeks as we unveil the first stage of our Harley-Davidson Sportster Project, and make sure to join us for our journey as we tap the full potential of Harley-Davidson’s icon, the Sportster.