Sportsters Without end: A {custom} Harley Evo Sporty from Australia


Custom Harley Sportster Seventy-Two by Zen Motorcycles
On November 18, 2022, Harley-Davidson rolled the final air-cooled Sportster ever to be constructed off their meeting line in York, Pennsylvania. The announcement marked the top of an period within the motorcycling world; a book-end for the enduring everyman’s V-twin that had been in fixed manufacturing since 1957.

Whereas the full variety of Sportsters in existence is now formally capped someplace nicely into the tens of tens of millions, the demise of the Evo comes with a silver lining: with obsolescence comes road cred.

Custom Harley Sportster Seventy-Two by Zen Motorcycles
Few perceive this in addition to Sydney, Australia’s Zen Bikes. They’ve turned this 2015 Harley-Davidson Sportster Seventy-Two right into a dependable each day driver, with all of the traditional cool of an outdated ironhead. All that’s lacking is a kickstarter (if you understand the place to look, after all).

This construct began when a consumer approached Zen asking for a 70s-style chopper, with fashionable efficiency and reliability. An abundance of chrome was excessive on the precedence listing too, however every thing else was largely left as much as the Zen crew. A late-model Sportster Seventy-Two was sourced as the best start line.

Custom Harley Sportster Seventy-Two by Zen Motorcycles
Work sensible, not exhausting, as they are saying. Harley first launched the Seventy-Two again in 2012, and each the title and magnificence had been meant to invoke the 70s-era chopper craze of the time. Included within the manufacturing facility bundle was the traditional 2.1-gallon peanut tank that also lives on the bike as we speak, in addition to a full suite of manufacturing facility chrome choices, together with the engine, wheels, and shocks.

This laundry listing of OEM chrome bits shortened the construct to-do listing significantly, however remodeling the inventory Sporty into the clear {custom} you see right here was no straightforward job. The workforce had made up their thoughts early on {that a} springer front-end was simply what the Seventy-Two wanted to actually seize that 70s attraction. Sourcing the forks was straightforward sufficient—however making them work with the trendy body took some creativity.

Custom Harley Sportster Seventy-Two by Zen Motorcycles
The shiny set of stock-length springers you see right here was sourced straight from Lowbrow Customs within the US—however sadly, they weren’t precisely plug-and-play with the shopper’s wants. The primary hurdle was sustaining the Seventy-Two’s manufacturing facility ABS braking, which required some critical fabrication to adapt to the springer.

For that, Zen handed the bike off to their buddy Edi Buffon at Machine 1867—a one-man fabrication store just a few miles down the road. Edi labored his magic on the forks, and when the bike got here again to the store, Zen was in a position to end off the front-end setup. Chrome calipers had been equipped from Efficiency Machine, the manufacturing facility rotors had been swapped with drilled stainless models from Russell, and {custom} spacers had been added to deliver all of it in line.

Custom Harley Sportster Seventy-Two by Zen Motorcycles
Out again Zen largely left the Sportster unmolested, holding the manufacturing facility swingarm, shocks, and brake parts in place. The manufacturing facility belt drive was swapped for a sequence conversion package for a bit of further ironhead fashion, and the rear sprocket was given the chrome remedy to match the remainder of the Sporty’s brightwork.

With the chassis sorted out, it was time so as to add some coloration to the Seventy-Two. Zen says the consumer’s solely stipulation there was that gold be labored into the theme to a point, giving them free rein to decide on their very own muse from a catalog of 70s influences.

Custom Harley Sportster Seventy-Two by Zen Motorcycles
The result’s actually one thing particular. From a distance, it’s straightforward to mistake this as your typical ‘vivid black’ Sporty with an added Ohio flame job. Up shut, nevertheless, it’s a complete totally different story.

That’s as a result of Zen used the deepest purple paint we’ve ever seen, with steel flake buried underneath extra coats of clear than we care to rely. The flames themselves are performed the old-school approach, with hand-laid gold leaf gilding outlined in purple pinstripes.

Custom Harley Sportster Seventy-Two by Zen Motorcycles
Zen continued the gold theme all through the bike, however opted for polished brass particulars somewhat than 24-karat bling, for causes we shouldn’t want to clarify right here. The bar risers, grips and fuel cap are all performed in brass, whereas the spark plug leads put an additional pop of gold glitter entrance and middle.

The ultimate piece of the puzzle was discovering a solution to stash all of the clunky fashionable electronics, which Zen pulled off handily. Inventory lighting was changed high to backside with minimalist Kellermann LED {hardware}; the dime-sized flip sign pods on the entrance of the springer are a very good contact. The OEM gauge cluster was retained, however Zen moved it down by the entrance cylinder for an unobstructed cockpit.

Custom Harley Sportster Seventy-Two by Zen Motorcycles
As for the controls themselves, Zen built-in flush-mount single-press buttons right into a set of custom-made handlebars, giving the look of a correctly bare-bones machine. They had been in a position to wire all the brand new parts with out dropping any of the CAN bus performance—so so far as the onboard ECU is anxious, the Sportster remains to be fully inventory.

Last touches embrace a Mustang leather-based seat, a chrome sissy bar from Lowbrow Customs, a full chrome nuts and bolts package, and the addition of braided brake and clutch cables. Zen even added a little bit of efficiency for good measure, with an S&S teardrop consumption and a set of Vance & Hines ShortShot pipes, to assist the Seventy-Two’s chunk match its bark.

Custom Harley Sportster Seventy-Two by Zen Motorcycles
The Sportster as we all know it might be relegated to the pages of historical past, however bikes like Zen’s Sporty Seventy-Two will proceed to hold the torch for generations to return.

It’s unnerving to assume that each one new Harleys could also be powered by one thing aside from inner combustion fifteen quick years from now. However we take consolation in realizing we received’t must go digging for outdated ironhead elements to have a timeless traditional within the storage when that point comes.

Zen Bikes | Fb | Instagram | Pictures by Andrew Jones

Custom Harley Sportster Seventy-Two by Zen Motorcycles


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