Bike Of The Week: CRC Sportster

Bike Of The Week -


Bike of the Week: CRC Harley-Davidson Sportster

Foggy London town doesn’t often spring to mind when you think of a Harley-Davidson Café Racer. The chaps over at Café Racer Customs in London decided to set the record straight and prove that a proper Harley motor can evoke some serious street credibility – sans traditional stereotypes.

Ceremoniously unveiled during the BSMC III, which took place last weekend, this remarkably detailed Harley is the brain child (let’s not forget soul sacrificed) of Simon and Will of Cafe Racer Customs. Spawned from the days of flat trackers, this former Harley-Davidson Sportster has been under the knife for a serious overhaul.

Cafe Racer Customs Harley-Davidson Customs

First is the all new, purpose built,  oil-in frame chassis constructed by C&J here in the USA. A trick feature added to this build is the removable rear swing-arm section for lightning fast belt-changes. The motor is straight out of a Buell S1W1 1203cc twin fueled by a Mikuni HSR 42mm slide carb and a Forcewinder intake. Add some Screaming Eagle cams and carbon pushrods to a set of Vance & Hines headers growling out of a Remus can and the only thing crossing your mind is…WHERE THE HELL IS THE VIDEO?!

Cafe Racer Customs Harley-Davidson Customs

Keeping with the racer theme, the tank is all aluminum and rather than fabricate an independent seat pan with “heavy” leather; the strategically placed oil catch can doubles as the seat.

Cafe Racer Customs Harley-Davidson Sportster

We could pour over the impressive amount of parts (e.g. Brembo brakes, Penseke suspension, Vapor digital gauge, etc.) but you should head over to the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club post to get the full scoop. Not to mention fall in love with nearly every bike they feature.

Cafe Racer Customs Harley-Davidson Sportster

  • Scott Otte

    Every time I see a motorcycle like this (and it’s a lot lately) I wonder how that seat feels after half an hour or so.

    • Scott Otte

      But it is the best looking Harley I’ve seen in a while.

  • snacks

    why a sporty instead of an xr?

    • Lee Scuppers

      Since they replaced all the parts and the frame, they could have started with a Super Cub. Or a Piper Super Cub.

  • PeteN95

    Pretty cool bike, but if it’s “oil in frame”, what is that Aluminum tank under the seat?

    • Sportbike Mike

      oil catch can.

    • Davidabl2

      (More) serious reply.. on old school choppers a pseudo oil tank is a traditional place to hide the bike’s electronics (if any) and electrics up to an including batteries. These folks may well have done the same thing.

  • Bill J

    Is it me, or is that headlight pointing way too high? Otherwise – yowza!!!

    • Michael Howard

      Maybe they’ve got it set up for doing stoppies at night. ;)

  • Paolo

    RideApart recommending a Harley…albeit a very heavily modified one.

    • Davidabl2

      Right. But it’s a one-in-a-million Harley.

      • Diego Martinez

        The problem is that the only thing left from the original bike is probably the transmission. It’s a pseudo-Harley.

        • Davidabl2

          That’s one way to look at it,for sure. Another way to look at it is that since the MoCo no longer builds bikes with the original Harley “soul’ they had do go outside the Company to do it.

  • Errol Glenn

    Those look like HP Corse Hydroform cans instead of Remus

  • AndrewF

    It goes to show that you *can* make a decent bike out of a Harley… if you replace every single component. I mean, come on – different frame, swingarm, suspension, brakes and seat, speedo and exhaust – even the engine is from Buell and is full of aftermarket parts inside. The only thing ‘Harley’ on this bike is the name painted on the tank (which isn’t the original either).
    Cool though. Interesting that they kept the belt drive instead of the usual chain conversion.

  • Eyvind Mondragon

    I had a Harley, namely a Sportster Nightster 1200.
    I loved the engine, love the torque. Hated the handling and even more its incapacity to brake.
    Thought about so many mods I could do to the bike….
    Then I just went and bought a BMW K1200R, and sold the Harley. Been happy ever since.

  • Dennis Newman

    It’s not a Harley, it’s a Buell. Buell forks, Buell brakes, Buell Engine, Buell wheels. Sadly, the Lightning they cannibalized would have handled, stopped, and ridden better. Nice way to take a useful bike and make it a conversation piece.

  • Brett Lewis

    That bike does not suck. Good choice for BOTW.

  • Davidabl2

    A “trick feature added to this build is the removable rear swing-arm section for lightning fast belt-changes.”
    If this is patentable, I surely hope that CRC has applied for a patent on it.
    If they do so one or another of the major manufacturers will come calling.
    Maybe even more than one manufacturer…

    If I still owned a bike with a drive belt I’d want to be able to carry a spare belt. And to be able to change it at the side of the road if needed.
    Just like carrying tire repair supplies..and one of those little tire pumps that run off your battery.