The Daily: Dan's Bad Habit


Obviously I have a penchant for Sportsters. I've had more than a few over the years. Most people see sportsters as a good first bike or a stepping stone to a big twin. I think they're just a great platform for building custom bikes that can be fun as hell to ride without breaking the bank, and as far as evo Sportsters, extremely reliable as well. I've owned big twin Harley's for almost as long as I've been riding, and I've almost always had at least one Sporty in the garage as well. After I sold The Virgin Killer sportster a couple years ago(to buy my FXRP) I missed having it around so much I always had my eye out for another. One day I was on Craigslist and I saw an ad that read "my Harley for your van". I had a pretty sweet conversion van that I had picked up for a good price, and later that night a deal was struck and I was riding my new 883 home with only 1,800 original miles on it. I had a pretty clear picture in my head of what I was going to do with it, and it's pretty much as you see it in these pics. I knew I wanted 4" over fork tubes, a stock rear fender, frisco'd tank, and taller risers than the virgin killer. I also wanted to run the stock mags, and run the factory Harley racing colors. I had The Legendary Forking By Frank make my fork tubes for me. I guess you can get cheaper Chinese ones but if you know me at all you know I try to support local economy whenever possible. I had a local painter squirt the tins and bury the vintage decals in clear, I made my own risers using an old set of two piece clamps, drag bars, 60's era sportster taillight, unknown British fog light, I made the seat myself, used one of my bullseye points covers, some Bates pegs by Wompy at Still Kickin, an old ham can air cleaner, leftover pipes from another build. I bead blasted a lot of the parts, re-wired it and used simple levers and controls on the bars including an internal throttle. I ditched all of the unnecessary parts like mirrors, horns, signals, etc. Paul over at Spitfire hooked me up with a set of bitchin' chrome sprung struts, and I used a raw finned derby cover from Speed Merchant, along with a set of their fork adjusters. I was so stoked on the finished product I couldn't get enough of riding it. It handles killer and looks just as good. I dubbed it Bad Habit because no matter how hard I try, I keep goin back to sportsters. It's on a boat to Europe right now. I'll join it in May and ride to three of the big shows for a month all over Western Europe with a few friends. It's for sale, so whoever buys it over there will hopefully get to enjoy it as much as I have. I have a few other Buell/Sportster projects lined up already...

Bike Owner: Dan Collins 

Location: Ventura Ca

Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1994 Sportster 883, stock, re-jetted carb, custom exhaust


Frame: Stock Harley Sportster with modified rear struts


Fork: Stock Harley Sportster with 4" over tubes by "Forking by Frank"


Chassis mods: Sprung struts from Spitfire Motorcycles


Tire/wheel size and style: 19" front stock mag with Avon Speedmaster, 16" rear stock mag with Dunlop 


Favorite thing about this bike: The paint


Next modification will be: Nothing it's done 


Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc:  Speed Merchant derby cover and fork adjusters, BCM "Willis Bolts"breathers, Old Gold Garage seat, carb brackets and points cover, hand made risers and heat shield, Bates pegs by Still Kickin'


Thanks to: Kim Boyle at BCM, Denver Dan at Speed Merchant, Wompy at Still Kickin', Paul at Spitfire Motorcycles 


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Commented on 3-11-2013 At 12:42 pm

I want that seat sooo bad

Commented on 3-11-2013 At 05:16 pm

I always dig Dan's style . Stuff you can ride the piss out of .

Commented on 3-12-2013 At 10:41 am

So good! One of my favorite Sporties!

Commented on 3-12-2013 At 09:32 pm

Sweet sporto Mr. Collins!

Commented on 3-13-2013 At 09:10 am

Sik Sporty!

Commented on 3-13-2013 At 11:43 am

Way to copy me...

Just kidding, nice to see another swing arm sporty chop.

Commented on 3-14-2013 At 03:59 am

whats the story on that master cylinder and resevoir, wheres it from?

Commented on 3-14-2013 At 01:07 pm

Looks great! I love the paint job and the seat.

Commented on 3-18-2013 At 07:54 am

sweet sportster. what are those control levers? they're rad

Commented on 3-19-2013 At 12:40 am

Awesome Bike! but that is one bad ass ford van in the back!!

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