Impala-blue XLH883 Sportster from RULER…
Since its launch in 1957, the Harley-Davidson Sportster has proved itself as essentially the most adaptable motorbike within the Motor Firm’s bloodline — and maybe essentially the most versatile American motorbike of all time.
Sportsters have raced the Baja 1000, diced with Ducatis within the Battle of the Twins, received numerous customized exhibits as bobbers and choppers and café racers, starred in TV exhibits like Then Got here Bronson, and the Sportster lent itself to the creation of the legendary XR750 — essentially the most profitable flat-tracker in historical past. To today, our buddies like Mark Atkins of Rusty Butcher are racing Sportsters within the “Hooligan” courses of varied off-road sequence.
Sadly, Google experiences that questions like Is the Sportster an actual Harley? and Is a Sportster a woman bike? proceed to be common search queries. Anybody with even an inkling of motorcycling historical past would by no means ask such a query, and typically the one reply is that previous biker’s normal: If I’ve to elucidate, then you definitely wouldn’t perceive.
One place the place the Sportster is correctly revered is Japan, and one among our favourite Japanese builders is RULER, a division of HBC Motorbike Firm led by Takeshi Mizuta. Takeshi is an avid rider who lives on two wheels…and tries to infuse this pleasure of driving into his machines:
“I commute 120km spherical journey daily, over 33,000km a yr, and roughly 900 hours a yr (I’ll proceed to take action sooner or later)… I produce and promote customized bikes that incorporate the ‘enjoyable and pleasure of driving’ that I really feel daily.”
In 2021, we featured RULER’s “Knocky” 883 Sportster, and we’re excited to showcase Takeshi’s newly accomplished construct, a ’97 883 dubbed the “Strollster.” As at all times, Takeshi put the rider’s model and supposed use of the machine on the forefront. On this case, the client already owned a Harley Large Twin, which he makes use of for longer journeys. In distinction, he wished a lighter, extra minimalist machine to journey regionally and test on his tea farm.
“He desires to journey this ‘sport-ster’ to ‘stroll’ round city, longest possibly three hours or much less, he stated. So I gave this XLH the identify ‘Strollster.’”
From the start, the proprietor knew he wished the bike to be a Sixties Chevy Impala gentle blue, and Takeshi let this concept of lightness pervade the whole construct. He selected a solid-mounted donor not only for its precise lightness (the post-2003 rubber-mounted Sporties are greater than 50 kilos heavier), however for the lighter sensation of those earlier Sportsters.
“I particularly like that the solidmount not solely IS lighter than the rubbermount, it FEELS lighter. It has a extra ‘athletic’ really feel than the graceful, lazy rubbermounts.” -Vic Rattlehead, ADV Rider
The bike is completed up in a light-weight scrambler model, good for the dust roads across the proprietor’s tea farm, and there’s loads of 60s attraction. Highlights embrace a bigger 18-inch rear wheel, customized aluminum fenders and struts (once more, with lightness as a objective), a RULER-made handlebar with Flanders-style clamps and two-button switches, barely lowered suspension (1″) to account for the proprietor’s stature, coil and ignition relocation, Supertrapp exhaust, and rather more.
All in all, it’s the right bike for its proprietor and supposed utilization, and Takeshi is most happy with the stability, proportion, and coloring of the machine:
“Ruler at all times thinks in regards to the coloring and materials of the components on the bike, so this machine represents our pickiness on this regard. (The emblem on tank, as an example: the lettering’s edge colour is similar because the aged seat colour, whereas the silver letter colour is similar because the aluminum cylinder, and so forth.)”
Under, we discuss to Takeshi for extra particulars on this 883 “Strollster.”
Harley XLH883 Customized: Builder Interview
• What’s the make, mannequin, and yr of the bike?
Harley-Davidson XLH883 (1997).
• Why was this bike constructed?
• What was the design idea and what influenced the construct?
Design idea: Free-feeling, easygoing, informal.
Influenced: 1960’s IMPALA gentle blue.
• What customized work was achieved to the bike?
- Quick rear fender constructed from a common cycle fender
- Rear fender strut, polished aluminum
- Saddle seat mounting
- License place angle adjustment (about 5 levels down)
- Ignition coil side-mount relocation plate, with switches
- Quick entrance aluminum fender
- Ruler and XLH brand on facet, similar colour as physique
- 18 inch 2.15rim for rear (entrance is inventory 19-inch)
- Scrambler handlebar (Ruler)
- Flanders-style deal with clamp
- Previous model small brake grasp cylinder
- Two-button swap for flip alerts (Highsider)
- Proton small LED flip sign, mounted to fork higher and rear axle (Highsider)
- 48mm digital speedometer
- Single throttle cable
- Lucas-type side-mount 5 3/4″ headlamp
- Facet-mount gentle holder (Gasbox)
- Stem mount mirror holder (Motorrock)
- 2.25 small Sportster gasoline tank
- Polished spherical stainless air cleaner (Motorrock)
- Supertrapp 2-into-1 exhaust open finish
- Ikon suspension about 1-inch decrease than inventory
- 1-inch decrease entrance fork
- Mini crocker tail lamp
- Aged saddle seat and pillion seat
• Does the bike have a nickname?
The proprietor has one other HD Large Twin. If going far or touring with mates, he makes use of that, he says. He desires to journey this “sport-ster” to “stroll” round his city, longest possibly three hours or much less, he stated. So I gave this XLH the identify “Strollster.”
• Are you able to inform us what it’s wish to journey this bike?
It’s Harley-Davidson Sportster, however the level is “LIGHT.” Even a inventory rigid-mount XLH sequence is lighter than the rubber-mounted Sportster sequence.
As a lot as we are able to, we modified or constructed components with simplicity and lightness because the objective (that’s why we used some aluminum components for the entrance fender and strut, and so forth.).
Proprietor’s objective of driving this Sportster is, as I stated, to walk round city. The proprietor has a tea farm as his enterprise; he says can go test the tea fields with this machine — it’s like driving scooter! No want for a leather-based jacket or particular driving gear — simply seize his helmet, gloves, and journey with t-shirts and denims!
• Was there something achieved throughout this construct that you’re significantly happy with?
Steadiness of every half’s measurement, and the coloring of all of the components.
The proprietor isn’t tall, which is why we went with a low-down construct though it’s a scrambler model. Narrowed handlebars, seat place, and so forth. — all to go well with him.
The sunshine blue was the most important level of this bike. The proprietor requested that colour from the start. So we selected every half’s colour — not too shiny with solely chrome or polished components, not too darkish with black-out paint.
Ruler at all times thinks in regards to the coloring and materials of the components on the bike, so this machine represents our pickiness on this regard. (The emblem on tank, the lettering’s edge colour is similar because the aged seat colour, whereas the silver letter colour is similar because the aluminum cylinder, and so forth.)