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Winter means it is time for the Autorama, World of Wheels, and Cavalcade of Customs car show series. I'm planning on going to the Indianapolis show running February 11-13. It is usually a fun break from the normal winter doldrums.
The International Motorcycle Show series will also be making the rounds.
I thought I'd do a post about the changes I've made to my Sportster over the years. I bought this bike brand new in the spring of '03. I'd been doing some bike shopping, primarily looking at naked sport bikes, the Yamaha FZ1 being in the lead of what I'd been looking at. I decided to have a look at what Buell offered, so went to the Harley dealer. I wasn't all that impressed at the XB series, but got to looking at Sportsters during the visit. I'd always loved the basic look of Sportsters, but never seriously considered buying one. After some thinking I decided to give one a try. For better or worse, I went with the XL1200C, with the two tone paint.Below is the bike after a few needed changes. First was the SE air breather kit, SE2 slip-on mufflers and rejet to the carb. The bike ran 100% better than the corked-up and too lean engine as delivered. I also added a tach kit. The stock short rear shocks were awful to say the least, so I scored a new in the box set of adjustable 1200S shocks on ebay cheap. They were a huge improvement! The other changes were cosmetic, like the smoked turn signal lenses. This was how the bike was for the first couple years.
Much better, but just getting started. At the end of '06 I began to do some more mods. The big one was to make a custom tail/seat piece. Below is the start of it. I bent up tubing to get the shape of the bum stop I wanted.
Then i skinned it in steel, and blended it into the bike. It uses an aftermarket GSXR integrated taillight. I also converted to 520 chain drive, with Renthal sprockets and RK x-ring chain. I bought a stock HD used hub and laced an Excel 18" rim, using Buchanan stainless spokes, as I used on the front. I also trimmed the cam and sprocket covers.
Ready for '07.
For '08 I bought a cheap dinged up tank, and welded in a CBR600 fuel filler.
I also braced the swingarm...
...and made some lift blocks to raise the rear ride height.
I also added a larger side mount headlight, trimming the flyscreen to fit.
By now I installed Progressive front springs, and made the forks air adjustable.
Done for '08.
Just minor cosmetic changes for '09.
I haven't done any big changes in the last couple years, as I really like the way the bike looks and performs currently, but I'm always thinking of what I might do next. I've considered engine mods, but it runs very good, and is very reliable, so plan to leave it alone for now. I'll likely lace an 18" rim on the front at some point, and I've thought of going to a different gas tank. I love the Sportster tank shape, but have been thinking of something with a better cafe' look. The bike is an absolute blast to ride! I've also had a great time working on it, and have done 100% of it myself. Most of the mods have been fairly low cost, and I even came out ahead on some of then by selling the stock parts.