Evo Sportsters are a plentiful and practical foundation for any home-built custom motorcycle. Their abundance and relative low cost have helped first-time bike builders pepper the planet with XL's of every style imaginable. As easy as these bikes are to modify, it's just as easy to make one look downright silly. Trendy bolt-ons, flake-of-the-month paint and a poor sense of style can send even the most carefully crafted Sportster down the road to Fuglytown. Fortunately, ChopCult member Shaun Jackieshan has avoided the temptation to gussy up his Sportster with unnecesssary geegaws, and the result is a garage-built bike that looks great.
Shaun's '98 XL is a bike that catches your eye because of everything it's not: not over-decorated, not over-detailed, and not falling apart. Subtlety and restraint reward the eye with clean lines and no superfluous nonsense. Take the seat. A simple flat seat slammed on the frame rails beats a sprung seat on a swingarm bike every time. Stock hand controls cleaned up on a grinder and spray bombed flat black just blend in and look like they came that way. Minimal wiring and a few simple switches keeps the rat's nest under control. Pipes and bars? All business: short, functional and ready to split lanes. Chain conversion, flat-bottomed tank, aftermarket headlight, blacked-out stock mags and passenger pegs for foot controls are all easy mods that individually aren't a big deal, but add up to a clean overall package. Hear what the man who built the bike has to say about his machine.
I bought the bike a couple years ago thinking I was going to throw the engine into a Sucker Punch sporty frame. Long story short, the economy took a dump and my pay was cut in half, so I ruled out the new kit. I felt super lame riding around this basically stock Harley with a million chrome and gold eagles all over it, but I didn’t have the funds to put much into it. So little by little I started chopping stuff off. Over the winter I took the motor out and shaved everything off the frame and forks that I didn’t think it needed. I studied the wiring diagram and cut out about 50 pounds of wires. I ended up purchasing a few things like the tank, headlight, tires, shocks, chain kit, a few wires, some switches and a cat face taillight. And of course I concocted up a few things too, like the seat/bracket, license plate bracket, and coil mount. Sure the bike isn’t how I envisioned it at first, but now, it’s exactly how I want it. Thanks go out to Jay at Special ‘79 for my bars and shaving my fork legs, to my pops for getting me into bikes, to Big T for putting up with all my crap in the garage, and to Rouser Rob and Kim Boyle for inspiration.