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  1. #1

    Default 2003 Softail Standard old school chopper build

    I just now realised that I haven't made a tread about my Softail build yet, time to change things up a bit. Got the bike in 2015, wasn't planning to get one, but my friend wanted to trade it for my Sportster bobber, it was just a too good of a deal to pass down, I'm a pretty tall dude and the Sportster was just way too small for me.

    The build started off with a completely stock 2003 Softail Standard, didn't even get a chance to ride it in the stock form because it was in the middle of the fucking winter.

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    So as always, the first thing that I do with a new bike is that I tear it completely down to see what I actually have to work with and surprise surprise, a Softail isn't so much of a bolt on bike like a Sportster. The biggest pain in the ass was the ECU hidden on the back fender, so beware of that one.

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    From here on out a couple of friends helped me out, I'm in university right now and away from home, so I don't really have any time right now to work on the bike as I would like, but yeah, I decided to go more of an old school chopper type, we really don't have any cool chopper builds around here, so why not take matters into my own hands. I pretty much knew from the get go what I wanted to achieve with the bike, so it all went pretty smoothly actually

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    The part list is actually pretty short for the first version, I went with a Lowbrow 6'' fender, Biltwell seat, bars and grips, custom stainless sissy bar and some fucking awesome pipes from Paughco.

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    So as I said, I'm a pretty big dude, so even a Softail manages to look like a small Japanese cruiser when I'm on it. The seat will be lower and more back now, so I hope that this will make it a bit better. Sorry for the shitty quality in advance

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    For the upcoming season I have some new plans. The seating solution was awful, so I got rid of that mess, the fuel injection system has been replaced with a S&S carb setup and I got a chrome oil tank. Oh, and I've got a pretty sweet custom paint job coming up on the tank that should take things on a new level.
    Stuff I want to do: 10'' apes, aluminium Lowbrow fender, make the sissy bar higher and change the angle, lower the front, clean up the bars, triangle front light, chrome up the engine.
    Things I hope to do in the near future: Fender and sissy bar, maybe the bars

  2. #2
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    I like it but I'm a softail fan. I'm currently doing a 88 evo ST springer. I think the 3 top things to do on a softail build to really change the look is a single tank, custom seat pan and swing arm mounted fender. I'm currently trying to decide on tanks, have two from lowbrow gotta send one back. Will probably be the mid tunnel peanut I send back and I'll go with Frisco sporty tank. 10" apes are a good compromise. Keep up with changes and post more pics!

  3. #3

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    Going with swing arm fender and a custom seat does wonders to these bikes, they really do have great frames. I definitely want to go with a custom tank in the future, but that would require getting rid of the box tube backbone, that's more work than I want right now. But I'm pretty sure I'll buy a new tank pretty soon and get it painted anyway, so then it's all ready when the frame is done, I think I'm gonna go with a Cycle Standard dual cap one

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    This is the gas tank right now, still need some pin striping and a shit ton of clear

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    The engine needs some chrome too, especially with the new S&S air cleaner, just looks sad

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  4. #4
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    I gotta see pics of the sporty that your friend traded you for. Either that thing was king dick of the sportsters or your friend is a bit of a dummy, or both.

  5. #5

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    Just have a couple of pictures right now, don't know where I saved the rest of them. I mean, it was a pretty clean bike, front and end lowered, new paint etc. and I had to pay around $1000 on top of the trade.

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  6. #6
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    I did a similar build on a 2000 softail here http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showth...ht=loose+drfxr
    I was able to hide the cpu boxes under the seat by cutting the unused portions off the fuse blocks and stuffing it all behind the battery. With the sporty tank you don't see much of the square back bone, but I did cut out the lower brace and replaced it with a round tube. Lowbrow rear fender, 12" apes. I spent under a grand on parts, materials and paint (fender, tank, bars, cables, leather, sheet metal)
    Looking good, like to see her all buttoned up!

  7. #7

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    The sportster tank fits surprisingly good on there are really changes up the whole tank, never liked stretched tanks anyway. The bike should be ready to ride next week or so, then it's time to change up the fender and sissy bar asap.

    Got another teaser shot of the tank from my painter

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  8. #8

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    Love this thread and the build you're working on Boredom! I've been working on a '94 softail since late last summer and the basic profile I ended up with looks a lot like yours. I've spent the winter working on smaller stuff and am about ready to shoot the paint and start bolting the old girl back together. When that happens I plan to put a bit of an abridged 'build thread' on here and hopefully not bore anybody too much.

    Here's the profile. I ditched the stock tank like you plan to. On my 94 though it's a round tube, just bent in a lot of funky ways. A tank with a deep tunnel hides it though. You can't really see it here but I put a tunnel through the left side of the tank with a 2 1/4" pipe so I can mount a mini speedo (Drag Specialties I think) where the gas cap was. It's different, I dig it.

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    I love the gold leaf stuff you got going on. I've been thinking about giving it a shot on this bike. How hard is it to do?

    Anyway, really cool to see there's someone else working on a similar project. Best to you sir. Salute!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by boredomtodeath View Post
    Going with swing arm fender and a custom seat does wonders to these bikes, they really do have great frames. I definitely want to go with a custom tank in the future, but that would require getting rid of the box tube backbone, that's more work than I want right now. But I'm pretty sure I'll buy a new tank pretty soon and get it painted anyway, so then it's all ready when the frame is done, I think I'm gonna go with a Cycle Standard dual cap one

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    I've looked at that tank several times. I don't have the box frame on my 88 but it does have some weird curves on the top bar.... I'm going to mock up the Frisco tank this week and see how it looks, I may end up with the tank you have but I believe its available in a single fill which I like a little better. Great paint job!

    This is the gas tank right now, still need some pin striping and a shit ton of clear

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    The engine needs some chrome too, especially with the new S&S air cleaner, just looks sad

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    I've looked at that tank several times. I don't have the box frame on my 88 but it does have some weird curves on the top bar.... I'm going to mock up the Frisco tank this week and see how it looks, I may end up with the tank you have but I believe its available in a single fill which I like a little better. Great paint job!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryTheHump View Post
    Love this thread and the build you're working on Boredom! I've been working on a '94 softail since late last summer and the basic profile I ended up with looks a lot like yours. I've spent the winter working on smaller stuff and am about ready to shoot the paint and start bolting the old girl back together. When that happens I plan to put a bit of an abridged 'build thread' on here and hopefully not bore anybody too much.

    Here's the profile. I ditched the stock tank like you plan to. On my 94 though it's a round tube, just bent in a lot of funky ways. A tank with a deep tunnel hides it though. You can't really see it here but I put a tunnel through the left side of the tank with a 2 1/4" pipe so I can mount a mini speedo (Drag Specialties I think) where the gas cap was. It's different, I dig it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I love the gold leaf stuff you got going on. I've been thinking about giving it a shot on this bike. How hard is it to do?

    Anyway, really cool to see there's someone else working on a similar project. Best to you sir. Salute!
    The tank fits it real nice, can't see any of that backbone mess going on. The gold leafing isn't exactly hard, but it does require some skill, would suggest talking to a specialised custom painter.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillcapper View Post
    I've looked at that tank several times. I don't have the box frame on my 88 but it does have some weird curves on the top bar.... I'm going to mock up the Frisco tank this week and see how it looks, I may end up with the tank you have but I believe its available in a single fill which I like a little better. Great paint job!

    Yeah, it's also available with one cap, I personally have liked the double cap tank for years now, just waiting for a chance to finally mount it on something.

  12. #12

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    Got some progress on the tank. Pinstripes are done plus the lettering, he actually had to do that twice because the first time the center console would cover the top part up, but he got it done by the next day with the pinstriping. To clear up, Fast Iron is sort of my own brand, been keeping a blog for years with that name as well as a small "clothing line", the blogs address is www.fast-iron.tumblr.com, got a pretty decent collection of choppers and bobbers over there. Anyhow, the tank is pretty much done now, only thing left to do is the clear. Should have some put together pictures by next week.

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  13. #13

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    Tried the tank on real quick today, didn't have time to properly mount it tho, had to get it to the paint shop for a proper clear coat. Really gotta change up the sissy bar asap, just doesn't look right anymore, as well as the fender

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  14. #14

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    The paint on that tank looks so cool.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by boredomtodeath View Post
    Tried the tank on real quick today, didn't have time to properly mount it tho, had to get it to the paint shop for a proper clear coat. Really gotta change up the sissy bar asap, just doesn't look right anymore, as well as the fender

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    I tried the fender mounted to swingarm on my softail frame & the bike handled like
    shit if there was anything on the back (camping gear etc.)
    all that unsprung weight bouncing up and down sucked big time, eventually breaking
    the sissy bar. I ditched that idea & went back to standard fender struts.

    If this was my bike I would lose the swingarm mounted fender & also ditch that sprung
    seat, It's a softail, you don't need springs on the seat.

    tank looks good

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Revelator View Post
    I tried the fender mounted to swingarm on my softail frame & the bike handled like
    shit if there was anything on the back (camping gear etc.)
    all that unsprung weight bouncing up and down sucked big time, eventually breaking
    the sissy bar. I ditched that idea & went back to standard fender struts.

    If this was my bike I would lose the swingarm mounted fender & also ditch that sprung
    seat, It's a softail, you don't need springs on the seat.

    tank looks good
    Good to know about the risks of that set up, but I'm not too concerned about it right now, don't plan to strap anything too heavy back there anyway, I'll just use some friends bike for hauling. The seat is actually mounted solid, spring are there for purely looks, but I'm gonna get rid of that anyways because the guy messed up the height of the seat.

  17. #17

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    Finally got the bike back today and went for a short ride around town, feels solid and sounds awesome, definitely a eye catcher in traffic. Gonna go for a longer ride on the weekend, far too cold right now with 7 degrees C during the day

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  18. #18
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    That leaf work looks killer. Sets the whole thing off.

  19. #19
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    looks rad!

  20. #20

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    Finally got the bike all shiny and clean and went for a proper photo shoot, found a rad old warehouse

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    And two Sportys that my friends have built, the one on the right was my previous bike

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