1974 Harley Davidson Ironhead Sportster 1000 XLH
This bike was a ground up build commissioned for Rebel Yell bourbon.
The build was inspired by the traditional “frisco” style bobbers of California circa early 1970’s, incorporating some Dennis Hopper Easy Rider vibes with a darker edge. We wanted to bring out more of the raw stripped down look of that era that separated the men from the boys. True Rebels that just rode with the shirts on their back, freedom on their face and that American motor singing in their ears.
Seeing a lot of the marketing materials Rebel Yell uses to promote their “risk takers, rule breakers and noisemakers” message we’ve always noted the Harley Sportster images so it seemed the perfect choice in keeping with the true American spirit of the brand and wanting to mix it up from last years American bike which was an Indian.
The bike was completely disassembled and striped right down with the double cradle frame getting some light mods before being powder coated black and rebuilt from tip to tail with all brand new stainless steel hardware. The bored out motor, now an 1100, S & S Super B carburetor with a cast aluminum intake and custom stainless steel exhaust all come together for the Rebel Yell ‘noisemakers’ element as this Sportster belts out nothing but pure vintage American V-twin music!
The color scheme was inspired this year from both the Kentucky Straight Bourbon Single Barrel 10 year and the regular Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey bottle which features the deeper red RY which we matched in both the GC on the tank and the Oxblood torker grips with the gloss black paint to keep it both tough and period correct.
On the bike’s right side the RY crest was taken from the 10 year bottle and now lives over the points cover. On the left side we took care to match the exact shape and style with similar lines of the original ‘1000’ emblem on the clutch cover when we made the new one now featuring the Rebel Yell text logo as an homage to the bike’s vintage history…the true Harley aficionados will be able to spot the resemblance;)
A new 4 gallon gas tank was mounted to allow for longer fuel range then the smaller peanut style tanks while still keeping in line with the ‘Frisco style’ overall design. The bike features the vintage right side shifter now with a new primary, new clutch and custom stainless steel brake lines.
Up front the 10″ rise Z-bars are surrounded by the gloss black upgraded 55 watt headlight, new controls, a Motogadget Motoscope Tiny Vintage Speedo and push button to stay clean and minimal allowing the glorious restored Springer front end with a disc brake conversion to steal the spotlight.
The front 21″ and rear 16″ wheels are fitted with new Avon Speedmaster MK2 tires with the same look as seen in the original Easy Rider movie on Peter Fonda’s bike. Suspension is upgraded with new Hagon Shocks in their “Classics” series to add to the overall vintage appeal and keep in line with the rest of the builds black, chrome and polished aluminum design. The new custom solo ‘bobber style’ seat was done in black leather and below it sits a new Shorai lithium battery while a 1932 Ford Taillight graces the left side of the bike.
Riding The Gypsy gives you an immediate feeling of total freedom. You get on and loose any sense of an agenda and instead get a clear head and the desire to just keep on riding to wherever the wind takes you!