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lowerider 22nd September 2017 01:16

Long Chopper Build - 2001 XL
y'all -

Picked up a 2001 XL1200 last month to use as a donor bike for a rigid frame, long springer front end build.

I haven't done this before so it should be interesting. Hoping to absorb some of the expertise of this fine forum...

The engine has 10k miles on it and it runs and shifts real fine. My intention is to put it directly into the new frame without doing a rebuild or anything.

Have been looking at plenty of mags and pics online to get an idea of what I would like for it to look. Here's what I have so far:

- rigid frame (Paughco swedish style) w/ 40* rake (model 120EB24)
- 12" over Paughco springer front end
- 19" spoked front wheel (I know 21" is the norm but don't like the current big wheel craze so I'm going smaller than usual just to be different)
- classic chopper handlebars (currently has narrow rabbit ears - may keep 'em, maybe not). Don't like those straight T-bars...
- big ole' king & queen seat
- tall sissy bar
- Clean look, so no turn signals, horn, front brake, speedo or dummy lights

Here are pics of the donor bike:

It's not stock (note the narrow handlebars, flat seat and crappy turn signals) but overall it's in good condition.

I'm still pondering the right frame/front end combination - it is, after all, a pricey decision. In the meantime, I'm cleaning up the bike by removing stuff that won't be migrated to the new frame.

Hoping y'all will follow along as I try to figure this stuff out. For me, the problem solving is half the fun :D

Flame__ 22nd September 2017 04:46

Copy and paste the BB code. Can't wait to see this by Scott Lowe, on Flickr

lowerider 22nd September 2017 16:55

Thanks Flame. Is that how you get the pics to show up? And sorry what is a BB code?

Flame__ 22nd September 2017 17:02

When you hit the little share arrow bottom right of Flickr, a menu pops up. At the top are tabs for options, one of which w a BB code. You can even select the size of the image. Try it!

Sent from my SCH-I435 using Tapatalk

lowerider 22nd September 2017 18:09

Thanks for the tip!

One of the first mods is to swap out the big oval air cleaner for a smaller low profile one.

Here's the stock view: by Scott Lowe, on Flickr

And the replacement kit - cheap 4" air cleaner kit from auto parts store, and not quite so cheap carb backing plate from J&P Cycle. It took some cutting and shaping on the air cleaner kit to make it all fit. by Scott Lowe, on Flickr

The end result looks pretty good. I will be avoiding the rain-riding (which is tough in Seattle) but I can always put a rain sock on the open filter if needed. by Scott Lowe, on Flickr

Flame__ 22nd September 2017 18:30

I love it!

Sent from my SCH-I435 using Tapatalk

lowerider 22nd September 2017 18:43

Slowly cleaning things up while waiting for the $$ to get a frame/front end. Removed the dinky (and metric!) turn signals that someone had stuck on, as well as the speedo and horn. by Scott Lowe, on Flickr by Scott Lowe, on Flickr

Next up: clean up the handlebars by removing all switches and front brake master + lever. Plan is to wire the run/stop wires together, then install a push-button start switch where the horn used to be, next to the choke.

Sprtstr1200s 22nd September 2017 22:13

Fine looking Sportster, like it is. Can't help but think of all the fine looking Pre-72 Sportsters that got customized.

cotton1 24th September 2017 20:02

Im hoping you get a Sugar Bear springer. At least thats what popped in to my mind reading your plans. I think the way the Sugar Bears look with the smaller front rim would be my choice if I were to build a long fork. Not cheap though,but look awesome!!

Looking forward to watching this build..


lowerider 25th September 2017 17:36

Looks like a 12" over Sugar Bear would be $2,600, vs $2,200 for a 12" over Paughco w/ "tapered legs". Not sure what they mean by tapered legs. They do offer a 12" over w/ half-round legs for $1,400. I can't find any pictures or discussions online re: the differences between tapered legs and half round legs. Is it just aesthetics?

Anyway, I digress. Back to the discussion on Sugar Bear forks. They look very cool plus the extended rockers will help reduce flop. And would probably help on the resale value based on their reputation. Not that I want to sell this bike but we all know how that goes...

My main reason for going "all Paughco" is to make sure things go together without a ton of tweaking. I'm just working out of my little garage at home. I have a good supply of tools but I don't do welding. I know there will be customization needed (grinding, cutting, drilling, sanding...) to get it all together but I'm hoping to minimize that by buying key components from the same place.

That said, is it easier or harder to build something a la cart? Are the fitments (necks, wheels, axles, brakes) fairly standardized? What have been some of your experiences with putting together a build like this?

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