Custom: Roland Sands XR1200

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Setting out to transform the flat track-influenced Harley XR1200 into a superbike, we think Roland Sands has ended up with a slick cafe racer instead. Matte black with a grey powdercoated frame and gloss black highlights, this bike is remarkably restrained for the typically flashy Roland.
The forks are Ohlins, orginally designed for a GSX-R while the rear
shock and linkage are from a Ducati. The single-sided swingarm and tail
unit are custom fabricated and the wheels, wearing a two-tone black
finish Roland calls “Tuxedo Black,” are out of the RSD catalog.

All these changes should ad up to a Harley that handles like a Buell,
while the looks are at once Harley, but also totally contemporary thanks
to the addition of strong mechanical components, aggressive angles and
simple surfaces. The overall effect kinda imagines an alternate present
in which Harley still honors its heritage without the shameless laziness
of continuous copying.


  • s0crates82

    No headlight?

    • Wes Siler

      There’s a projector lamp integrated into the front numberboard. Check out the RSD site for details.

  • chili sv

    He’s off to a nice start. When will it be finished?

  • meatsmasher

    Isn’t that a Greg’s Customs swingarm? Too bad the open wheel doesn’t face the other side. Guess that would be hard to do on a Harley.

    Maybe Harley should take a good look at this thing and make one. Nah…. that’l never happen!

    • VetteWrecker

      For you guys that said Harley should do something like this, or that they dig it, I have one word for you “Buell.” This bike just pisses me off, I hope Harley dies slow. (I’m a former Buell & Harley owner. I don’t mind admitting that here because these comments are anonymous)

      • Mark D.

        Yeah it is a shame. I see alot of shared design DNA with the Buell xb9sx cityX Not that its a rip off, but both are modern cafe-racer, American V-twin powered sport bikes with competative suspension bits. We need more of those.

  • meatsmasher

    FYI: Bad link on the headlight post.

  • BL

    i’d ride it vs that ugly falcon thing….

  • Jed

    Yawn. Smacks of the Confederate Hellcat with different tank and seat. I’d have expected more innovation/imagination from Sands.

    • Wes Siler

      Every bike with a V-twin and minimal rear overhang doesn’t necessarily rip off the Hellcat.

  • http://Http:// Benjamin

    I love his work. Period.

  • Dr. Gellar

    This bike is my favorite RSD Harley creation yet…by a long shot. Very, very cool! It’s hard to believe that was once an XR1200.

    As for the bike copying a Confederate Hellcat…??? Not seeing that at all.

  • truthscreamer

    Yuck. Looks like a hack job from some Long Beach punk with zero art school training or schooling, funded by a rich daddy who owns a motorcycle business. Oh wait…

    • BG

      Hey truthscreamer, show us what you’ve built lately.

  • lenny

    art school training to build a motorbike…?

    i like it a lot but i think it looked better with the white tank and the gold rims

  • Stephen R

    Very nice concept but whats with the outdated Harley motor? I would think a Rotax would be far superior.

  • bobx

    bike looks good. tank looks kinda tall – just my opinion.

  • CMC

    Gorgeous… love all his stuff.

  • Peter

    Very nice. I love the V-twin cafe racers / naked bikes the custom guys are doing. Harley (Victory?)should go in this direction.

  • Scott

    finally something kewl on H4L!

    more of this… less of Wes glooves & socks.

  • carbon

    Not bad. The “666″ shit is the new/old harley skull accoutrement, though.

  • conrad

    Minus the lame decals, it’s a badass 21st century cafe.

  • heavy duty

    Jeez, I’m not getting this one at all. I mean, what’s the big deal? I think it looks sucky.

  • Anders

    Like it, but so what?

  • eric

    By far the best-looking bike to come out of RSD. It looks like he may have raked-out the front end a bit, which I don’t dig, and I think that rear tire is about a 200mm, while a 180 or so would look better (and turn better). Still, a solid effort. I’m happy to see someone doing a real custom job on an XR; hopefully, we’ll see more.

    For the haters who constantly hammer HD about their engines – have you ever ridden one? The XR and the air-cooled buells (RIP) have really sweet-running engines, with as much ‘character’ as my old ducati M750 monster, without all the maintenance fuss. Ride one, and you’ll see what I mean.

  • johnny

    I love this and I love his bikes. So many nice details..the highlighted ‘sportster’ lettering on the cases is nice, and I really like the exhaust .A nice slimline tank to match the seat would be good.

  • DC

    Normally, I find Roland’s work to be far too gaudy and soul-less (CNC Machining just isn’t interesting to me), but this looks extremely purpose-built and fun.

  • Nick

    I have to admit, even though I have a huge knob, I like RSD bikes.

  • Jason

    It’s always the gas tank that kills these v-twin, and this ones no different. I think this bike is good overall, but with a different tank shape, I would really like it!