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Old 15th May 2017
Scored: 10
Views: 11,435
Default Bike Of The Week for 5-15-17 Lia went Plum Crazy on this cafe build

You all know I love following build threads. When this build came to a point where it was on the road, I asked for pictures and a story to go with it. Lia was kind enough to share this cool purple cafe with us.
This is my 1988 Sportster XLH883. Last spring, I decided to follow through on something I’ve wanted to do for years: a Sportster cafe racer. This bike is the result, so far. It's not really a cafe, as you can see - the bike itself sort of set the direction as we went along, and ended up just being a great daily rider, a "standard" with the Sportster flair, but without the "low in back, tall in front" stance. The paint color is the old Dodge "Plum Crazy" from the 1970s, which I love. My partner Veronica and I did most of the work, until we got stuck (see below).

I wanted a four-speed bike because I wanted the lightest bike I could get that still had the EVO engine. Plus the early EVO Sportsters were the first Harleys I ever saw when I was younger. I found this bike on Cycle Trader, at a dealer in Orlando, FL. A friend and I drove down from Nashville, TN to get it, on what ended up being the weekend of The Pulse Nightclub shootings. I’m here for Sportster talk and camaraderie, not to talk about my personal life, but I will say that the timing adds a lot to what this bike means to me.

Veronica, who is much more mechanically inclined than I, did most of the wrenching, including the first carb rebuild and a lot of electrical work as we sorted out issues on the bike. I helped her with the mechanics, fleshed out the aesthetics, trimmed the rear fender, and reshaped the seat. In addition to the aesthetics, we’ve shaved about 30 pounds off the already-light (for Harley) bike, and improved handling and performance a great deal.

I have to give a huge shout out to Bill Shawley at World of Mayhem Motorcycles here in Burien, WA. My partner and I ran into some mechanical and electrical problems we just couldn’t sort, so I called Bill. He fixed everything up mechanically and electrically, cleaned up some frame and body work, did a second rebuild on the carb (needed by the time this past winter was over), helped with choosing the tank, paint color, and some other design decisions, looped the painter in to finish things off, identified some important issues I hadn’t yet noticed, and gave great advice on next steps, etc. This bike would not be on the road without him, and I highly recommend his shop!
88 Sportster BOTW Pics - 2 of 10 by Fred Snider, on Flickr
88 Sportster BOTW Pics - 10 of 10 by Fred Snider, on Flickr
88 Sportster BOTW Pics - 3 of 10 by Fred Snider, on Flickr


[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Knees in the breeze.

Gamertag, PS4: Bikerdude__

Last edited by Flame__; 4th August 2017 at 17:09..

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Old 15th May 2017
Thanks so much for featuring my bike, Flame__!

I wish I had had the time to do some engine detailing first ... that's coming soon!

The bike is an absolute blast to ride, and has been a very fun build, even though we did end up straying from a true cafe format ... though a set of clubman bars and some rearsets would pretty much get us there.

Thanks again!
Old 16th May 2017
I love a knee-squeeze tank, and that plum is pure purty. Is that a Lucas tail light on there? Definitely a great take on a different way there.
Old 16th May 2017
Hi, oilly1,


Yes, it's a Lucas-style taillight 🙂

I love the tank as well ... It's the Blackbird from Lowbrow Customs. Drag Specialties sells it as their "Legacy" tank, and W&W Cycles sells it or one that looks identical in Europe as the "Marlin" tank. I wanted that vintage look it gives along with the fork boots.
Old 22nd May 2017
Nice work! Great looking bike.
...Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right...~Robert Hunter/Jerry Garcia
(In honor of Ruby Red "Beebe")
Old 23rd May 2017
Thanks ChinCactus!
Old 9th June 2017
I love that colour and the tank!!! The knee pads are a great feature.
Barry the Cantankerous old git.

Blue belt in Serious tea drinking.
Old 15th June 2017
Chief Know It All
nice bike & i like the supertraps
Old 7th August 2017
Recovered the pics from Photobucket's grasp.
[SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Knees in the breeze.

Gamertag, PS4: Bikerdude__


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