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First build: 98 sportster chop


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  • First build: 98 sportster chop

    I picked up this 98 XLH883 with about 1,000 miles on it. A buddy of mine was selling it for his grandpa, he bought it new in 1998 & I’m now the second owner.

    This is my 3rd Harley, but my first time attempting to customize one or doing any real wrenching. I removed or changed as much as could to try to make a “cool swingarm bike”. Rode it around like that all summer untill I realized it was time to bite the bullet & attempt my first chopper build.Click image for larger version

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  • #2
    First step was to build a workbench and start tearing the bike apart. Probably took me a full day to get the bike stripped down, then called in help from a buddy to get the motor out.

    Took some measurements, cut the frame, and slid in the hardtail. Went with a prism supply one because I love the look of the looped rear end. Managed to get the motor back in myself and got all the motor mounts torqued down before tacking the hardtail in place.Click image for larger version

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    • #3
      Sorry I’m new here! But why is it rotating some of the photos? Should I just crop them as squares from now on?


      • #4
        This forum has been super helpful for a noob like me. For example, when I slid the hardtail on my front/lower motor mounts weren’t lining up perfectly. I saw someone suggest to put a ratchet strap around the frame to add tension, and it worked perfectly.

        I got the frame all line up, tack welded in, and left for Milwaukee for the weekend to check out the mama tried show. Needless to say, I came back super inspired and ready to do some more work on my build.

        Took the motor out again & finished tig welding the hardtail. While everything was torn down, I thought it would be a good time to work on my front end. I love the look of 6 over forks with stock rake, so I got some extended fork tubes (I believe I got them from tc bros). I also wanted to shave the front brake and fender tabs off the fork lowers. Cut the bulk off with a bandsaw, then took them as low as I was comfortable with using a flap disk before throwing them in the lathe. Put the motor back and and front end back together. Also picked up one of these breadbox air cleaners from trident cycle supply & couldn’t wait to see what it looked like on there!Click image for larger version

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        • #5
          Click image for larger version

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          • #6
            Fuckin rad man! Look foreard to seein progress!


            • #7
              P.s. i want your air cleaner… been scoping those trident supplys for a while now. Gotta control my wallet though. Been reckless with chop shit ha


              • #8
                looking fresh as fuck dude, love the build so far. first time seeing one of those prism hard tails in the wild. does it look skinny cause it's unpainted, or are the lower frame rail tubes legit skinnier than the stock front lower tubes? geometry of it looks great either way.


                • #9
                  The hardtail looks good. The seat post angle gives more options as far as oil tank placement.

                  Other 'tails force a tank position near the rear pipe or behind the post that requires hacking out tank for chain clearance.


                  • #10
                    Thanks dude!
                    The hardtail actually transitions from the stock 1.25” to 1” tubing. It’s kinda hidden under the motor, but I’ll try to attach a photo to see what I mean.

                    I’m trying not to build a prism supply fanboy bike, but I do love their parts. Using their hard tail, oil tank, mid controls & tail light.Click image for larger version

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                    • #11
                      Thanks bro! I think those air cleaners are so tough lookin. I want to have as many rectangles & right angles on the bike as possible because is think the repetition is harmonious to the eye. Rectangle air cleaner, headlight, tail light, p-pad. Squared off sissy bar & Z bars hopefully fit with that theme too.


                      • #12
                        Got the oil tank, fender & seat mounted. Got the tank from prism supply, made to fit nicely with their hardtail. Think that’s a lowbrow fender and a biltwell solo seat/p-pad. Oh yeah, and a chain conversion!Click image for larger version

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                        • #13
                          Love this and will be following. I'm in the first process you mentioned above, where I'm trying to make the swingarm bike look good and dreaming of the first chopper build. Actually have the same bike. Can't wait to see where this goes!


                          • #14
                            Do those hardtails come with any sort of tabs or holes drilled to mount a sissy bar or are you on your own for that? Great looking scoot, by the way.


                            • #15
                              No, most hard tails I’ve seen don’t have anything like that. That way you can mount the sissybar, fender, seat to your own personal preference.

                              I’d like to try making a sissybar from scratch next time, but this gasbox kit was super simple. Just cut it to the length you want & weld some tabs wherever you want. So you can control the placement and the angle.


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