RSD MotoUSA Sportster 48 Street Tracker

January 27, 2014
Byron Wilson
Byron Wilson
Associate Editor|Articles|Articles RSS

Byron's sure to be hunched over a laptop after the checkers are flown, caught in his own little version of heaven. Whether on dirt, street or a combination of both, MotoUSA's newest addition knows the only thing better than actually riding is telling the story of how things went down.

The fate of MotoUSA President Don Becklin’s 2010 Harley-Davidson Sportster 48 was largely left to the discretion of Roland Sands and his project crew in Los Alamitos, California. Not unwise considering their propensity for building completely jaw-dropping and original motorcycles when loosed from strict demands. In this case they were given license to free form without a definite time frame for completion, so RSD used the opportunity to create prototype pieces and make extensive use of its new Machine-Ops finish. After about three months of work the end result is the MotoUSA Sportster 48 Street Tracker, a slick, everyday rider dripping with vintage style.

Roland Sands Design fabricated a completely new Flat Track Tail Section for the MotoUSA Sportster 48 Street Tracker.
A number of pieces  such as the RSD Slam wheels and sprockets  are done in the new Machine Ops finish.
(Above) Roland Sands Design fabricated a completely new Flat Track Tail Section for the MotoUSA Sportster 48 Street Tracker. (Below) A number of pieces, such as the RSD Slam wheels, are done in the new Machine Ops finish.

A fair dose of the Street Tracker’s classic panache comes from the tank and tail section, both of which were designed and built specifically for this project. Both are crafted in a retro Flat Track style and according to RSD Project Manager Cameron Brewer, the “Vintage Tank” is already in the process of being added to the product line for 2014. The tail section is still in the works but it may be available mid-2014 as well. The custom seat comes from Bitchin Seat Company.

It’s powered by a stock 1200cc V-Twin, though they’ve added some punch with an RSD Slant Carbon Fiber Intake Kit, Vance & Hines LCS Fuelpack ignition and Custom Slant 2-into-2 Works Finish exhaust that spills in an elegant tangle out of each cylinder head. On the right side the crew removed a portion of the cam gear cover to expose more of the internals, giving the profile a raw, unguarded look. RSD Black Ops Nostalgia Ignition and Clarity Derby Cover add to the blacked-out appeal, while new Machine Ops-finished pieces like the RSD Nostalgia Rockerbox Covers offset the brooding demeanor of the mount.

Machine Ops kit is all over the Sporty Tracker, and like the tank and tail section, will soon be available in the RSD product line. The new finish is highlighted by the textured and machined appearance, which is clear anodized for added protection. The pieces exhibit a raw, cast aluminum look but rest assured they’re all billet.

Both the front and rear wheels (19-inch RSD Slams) feature the Machine Ops finish, and close up shots reveal the depth of texture offered. The front and rear discs and sprockets also get the Machine Ops treatment, as do the RSD Tracker Grips, Nostalgia Headlight and Misano Stem bolt.

The front end features OEM Harley Nightster/Iron Fork Gaiters, Progressive Fork Springs and RSD Fork Preload Adjustors, while out back a pair of 13.5-inch Progressive Suspension 970 Series shocks soaks up the bumps.
The RSD ProStep 4” handlebars (Black Ops finish) are set low and sweep back enough to allow for an upright riding position, while the RSD mid-controls keep a rider’s feet right beneath them. This almost-dirt-style set-up allows for more freedom than the locked-in position of a clip-on, rear-set configuration.

This resulted in plenty of wheelies and rear-tire slides during the photo-shoot shakedown once all was said and done.
Topped off with a coat or 10 or 12 from Chris Wood at Airtrix, in a subtle but commanding Black, Gold Leaf and Silver Leaf scheme, the MotoUSA Sportster 48 Street Tracker is a complete show-stopper.


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