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2004 Sportster Project - Vance & Hines RSD Slant Exhaust Install Photo Gallery

We rip off the old pipes on our 2004 Harley Sportster project bike and throw on a set of Vance & Hines RSD Slant Exhaust to give it more of a hot rod look and feel.

Here's a peek at our 2004 Sportster 1200 Custom before the process began to turn it more into a street tracker.
We tearing stuff off and trimming things down on our 2004 Harley Sportster project bike. The first thing we did was swap out forward for mid-controls and throw on new pipes, in this case, Vance & Hines RSD Slant Exhaust.
Gotta love a good Craigslist score! We got a drilled-out chain guard, two turn signals with black housings and black mid controls from a 2007 Nightster for $75.
We're doing the work on our Harley Sportster project out of our garage to show what just about anybody with a few tools and a little patience can accomplish. First step, new pipes.
2004 Harley Sportster Dyno Chart - Vance & Hines RSD Slant Exhaust Install
Now that's what we're talking about. With the Vance & Hines RSD Exhaust on our '04 Sportster project bike, it's already looking and running a little racier.
During the install, the Sportster's drive belt cover has to be removed and the rear brake rod disconnected. The small bracket on the drive belt cover is removed and won't be reused.
Yep, the old pipes on our Sportster project bike have seen better days. Blueing and rust gotta go.
The Vance & Hines RSD Slant Exhaust have us steered in the right direction as we attempt to convert the tired, stock look of our '04 Sportster Custom 1200 into a hell-raisin' street tracker.
Carbon and steel on the slash cut tips of the V&H RSD pipes. Does Roland make anything that isn't racy? We hope not!
The Vance & Hines RSD Slant Exhaust are helping us put more 'sport' into the Sportster equation.
The Progressive Suspension 970 series shocks have a great design that should add to both the looks and performance of our Sportster project bike.
The Progressive 970 shocks have a high pressure gas monotube and piggyback reservoir.
Gotta love being able to reach down and dial in compression with a few simple clicks.
Quick and easy two-way adjustability, preload and compression, is one of the 970s strong suits.
The Progressive Suspension 970 shock has made a big improvement on the back end of our Sportster project bike, improving its stability at lean and at speed.
The RSD Clarity Sportster Derby Cover is a direct replacement for the stock cover with the added benefit of a see-through window so you can visually check your transmission oil levels.
Out with the old, in with the new. The stock Sportster derby cover comes off via six bolts. You'll need to take off the quad ring, spring and lockplate, too, but hold on to them because they'll be reused.
The RSD Clarity Sportster Derby Cover gives our 2004 1200 Custom project bike an edgier, more modern look with the added benefit of being able to inspect your tranny fluid levels.
Only one bolt had to be removed to take the stock 2004 Sportster 1200 Custom seat off.
A new fender nut insert is pulled through the hole from underneath with the help of a zip tie.
The new Mustang Solo Tripper Sportster Seat is thinner and not as wide as the stock saddle. It also looks much sportier.
We like that the Mustang Tripper Solo Seat gives us the versatility of running solo or two-up simply by removing one bolt.
We added a new Mustang Bracket Style Sissy Bar Pad with the same Tuck and Roll pattern as the Solo seat and pillion to our Sportster project bike.
Our 2004 Sportster 1200 Custom project bike with the complete Mustang ensemble - Tripper Solo Tuck and Roll Seat, Tripper Rear Seat and Bracket Styles Sissy Bar Pad.
Looking to increase air flow to our 2004 Harley Sportster 1200 Custom project bike, we added an RSD Clarity Air Cleaner with a Contrast Cut design.
The stock backing plate and breather tubes had to come off in order to throw on the new one included in the RSD set.
The new backing plate is much smaller than the stock Sportster one. The breather tubes slide over to form a good seal on the breather bolt heads.
The RSD Clarity Air Cleaner comes with a K&N filter that breathes much better than the stock Sportster one.
Thanks to its open design, the new air cleaner is shoveling air down our Sportster engine's throat.
Our 2004 Sportster 1200 Custom is much more responsive at the throttle now that we've added the Slant Exhaust and RSD Clarity Air Cleaner.
We slapped on a set of Burly MX Style Pegs on our 2004 Sportster 1200 Custom project bike because we like the grip they give and spice up the style, too.
The Burly MX Style Pegs were inspired by the bear trap foot pegs used by motocross racers back in the '70s.
Now those are some gnarly steel teeth. They provide great grip though.
Look closely at the underside of the Burly MX Style Pegs and you'll see the bottle opener Burly fashioned into it.
We dig back in to our 2004 Sportster 1200 Custom project by slapping on a new belt and replacing the old rear sprocket with a shiny new Harley-Davidson 6-Spoke Billet Sprocket, Chrome Hardware Kit and Sprocket Bolt Cover Kit.
Check out the weathered and worn, 10-year-old rear sprocket. Now check out the shiny 6-spoke Billet Sprocket from Harley-Davidson. Nice!!
In order to replace the rear sprocket, the back wheel of our Sportster had to come off.
What a difference a shiny new sprocket makes on the rear of our Harley Sportster 1200 Custom.
We'll be talking about the installation of new RSD bars, risers, levers and grips soon, but know the electrical system of our project Sportster was a mess.
Our 2004 Sportster 1200 Custom project is looking less like an old man's bike and more like the hot rod we envisioned.
Looking for a little relief from windblast on the freeway, we added a Harley-Davidson XL Super Sport Wind Deflector to our Sportster project bike.
The XL Sportster Super Sport Wind Deflector is small, unobtrusive, and provides a small pocket to duck behind.
The back end of our stock 2004 XL1200C was big, bulky, and in need of a change.
To clean up the back end of our 2004 Sportster 1200 Custom project bike, we ordered a Chopped Rear Fender Kit, Chopped Fender Edge Light and Side-mount License Plate Kit from Harley-Davidson.
The internals of the stock taillight needed to come out while the stock housing is retained.
What a difference the Chopped Rear Fender Kit and Side-License Plate make on our 2004 Sportster XL1200C.
The Side-Mount License Plate Kit ($199.95) doesn't come with the chopped rear fender kit but was worth it to help clean up the bulky looking stock back end.
We've put a lot of work in making the 2004 Sportster 1200 Custom project bike look and run better and we're not done yet.
Our Sportster project bike is looking more hot-roddish all the time.
Harley's Chopped Rear Fender and Side-Mount License Plate Kits were a welcome addition to our Sportster project bike.
Lovely Mrs. Harley the mechanic enjoys the fruits of her labor.
The new bobbed fender not only cleaned up the back end, it follows the lines of the bike better as well.
From the sweep to the exposed wiring to the downturned grips, the stock bars of our 2004 Sportster XL1200C looked old and dated.
The former owner wrapped the Sportster levers in leather and at one point they had tassles, too.
The stock wiring was a mess. The prior owner had jimmy-rigged it with a six-inch strip of excess wire and had haphazardly wrapped everything in black electrical tape.
The stock master brake cylinder needed to come off because we installed it on the new bars until we can switch it out, too.
The speedo on our 2004 Sportster 1200 Custom is built into the top clamp of the riser, so it had to go. We had to disturb the spider living in it in the process. Sorry spidey!
A couple of torx screws are all that hold the control housings in place.
That's what we're talking about! The new RSD ProStep Handlebar gives the Sporty a lot more attitude and a fresher look.
The RSD Nostalgia 4-Bolt Risers mount into place using the two stock bolts.
The project comes together. We ran the wiring internally to clean up the bars.
The look behind the bars of our 2004 Sportster project bike is much nicer now. Thanks RSD!
Our 2004 Sportster 1200 project bike is looking leaner and meaner.