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Harley Sportster Café Racer


Posted on November 18, 2010 by Scott in Café Racer. 30 comments

Rachael Prevett, or Racy Rach as she is more commonly known to her friends, has been riding motorcycles her whole life. “I’ve been riding since I was 8 on the farm where i grew up” says Rach. She has ridden across Europe to Barcelona and Monte-carlo, raced a Ducati in drag racing, sprinted at Brighton speed trials and ridden Flattrack on her T100 pre-unit Triumph at the Hayride – now you know why they call her Racy Rach.

So when Racy Rach wanted a new ride, she approached Steve at Red Max Speed Shop to build her something special. Rach wanted a newer café racer, so after looking around Steve decided a Harley Sportster would be a good option. “She had to have a 1200 and we wanted a clean late one, so this 2005 seemed perfect for the job” says Steve.

The first thing Steve did when he got the donor Harley back to his workshop was attack it with the disc cutter. “We removed all surplus crap – and there was plenty of it!” says Steve. After removing all the unwanted metal and cutting over a foot off of the rear frame, the bike had lost more than 30kg – almost a contender for the Biggest Loser.

The bike originally started as a 883XLH with a 1200 conversion, then they added a Supertrapp pipe, alloy short circuit tank, Redmax large cafe seat, rearsets and tail lamp, spondon clip-ons, side mount number plate, Triumph spitfire air cleaner, alloy front guard and Akront flanged rims in 3 x 18″ both ends and lastly Avon roadrider tyres for extra grip. The beautiful alloy tank and seat were painted in an Aston Martin metallic green, then the seat was covered in brown suede by Glen Moger at Redmax.

Overall the guys at Red Max have done a stellar job and Rach is extremely happy with the finished result. Not only does it look great but she also tells us it rides like a dream. “The ride experience is similar to my old Triumph café racer (Strumpet), but with more muscle!.”

Want to see more? You can view the whole build process in pictures on the Red Max Flickr page.








  • kik

    Beautifull bike, nicely done…

  • Mike

    This is a gorgeous bike. I love non-traditional Harley mods. I've got a 1200 sporty that I've been thinking about doing something with; is there any way we could get Steve to tell us what all he cut off this bike? I'd like to follow suit and rid myself of some of that weight.

  • Scott

    @Mike Heres a photo of the items removed…

    http://bit.ly/cZFRa0

  • cmc

    What a stunner. Makes me sorely regret selling my 2004 1200XLC. With a little (ok, a lot) of work I could have had something really cool.

  • Jeff

    This is what Harley should make. Great work.

  • Really really nice, but……………. The taillight lens and/or the logo on the cowl is not centered?????

  • Josh Y

    Fuck Yeah, A harley done right. Why are there so few harleys id ever want to through my leg over? This gives me hope!

  • Beautiful shall I say. I love the color and the outlook of this motorcycle.Good creation men!.God Bless!

  • Ken

    Still has the crappy Harley brakes – should have had 2 discs up front if you like to stop occasionally. Personally could do without the iron cross, which is just cheesy. The rear cowl is squint (I think its the pin-striping) but I liked the taillight and the tank – super.
    They added back about 30 kg with that steel frame in the back – aluminium would have been better. Great inspiration for what I could have done with my 94, instead of selling it without a backward glance.

  • SportsterMike

    Very nice looking bike – haven't seen any others with the rubbermount frame
    Gives me food for thought…
    More lightness would be good on my 883R

  • it's nice and clean.

    If I had to say someting negative I'll point the belt drive (I like chains) and the rivets on the seat, only. And yep, those brakes doesn't look to poweful.

    Anyway, it's a cool bike for a cool girl.

    • RP

      So how would you make a Harley cafe fit a 5 ft tall, 8 stone girl??…I asked them to build it for me and i can ride it very well..so up up yours
      You are either just trolling or jealous……………………………………….what a cock….

  • Tony240Z

    It's nice and all, but those Vincent-esque badges on the tank are pure blasphemy. And yes, I hate Harleys.

  • harvey wallbanger

    after checking out the flickr page, it appears they built the bike around looks and not the rider. what miserable ergos that thing has.

  • Not normally a Harley fan, but this one is very well done. Clean lines and I love the "Vincent" looking logo on the tank.

  • Chris

    Not sure about this, the v-twin looks way too big for a caff. Nah, don't work for me.

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  • Sproggy

    On the face of it a nice enough bike if you like that kind of thing (which I don't) but the quality of someone's work is best judged by looking at what can't normally be seen. Check out the seat subframe picture – what a mess! If I was a company hoping for more bike-building business I wouldn't post pictures like that…… And what a pity they didn't think to build the bike to fit the customer – clearly it doesn't as others have said.

  • tuesday

    starts with sloppy ends with ugly

  • sven

    it may not be to everyone's taste but it's very uncool to just anonymously sledge it. The bloggers, builder and owner have given you something interesting to view and read so you could try being gracious instead of snotty

  • Sproggy

    Hey, I'm not sure who that comment was aimed at, sven, but these bikes are put on here and comments are invited – I don't see a rule saying "nice comments only". There have been some absolutely beautiful, stunningly crafted and painstakingly detailed bikes posted on this site (most of which I like, some I don't, but I appreciate them all for the craftsmanship that's gone into them) but this one is not, in my opinion, either stunningly crafted or painstakingly detailed. This is just my opinion, though, and clearly others do and will disagree. As for beautiful that's an entirely subjective judgement which is why I didn't really comment on it.

    If it was built by a guy in his shed at home that's one thing, but this was built by a company that is supposed to specialise in building such bikes and, by implication, have professional fabrication skills. If I was the customer I would be REALLY unhappy to have paid good money for someone to build that awful subframe.

    You build a bike, you stick detailed pictures of it on the web for all to see, you have to be ready to take what's thrown at you. Good and bad.

  • Bryan

    I really want a cafe seat bracket made by Steve for Racy Rach's Harley sportster. Anyone know where I can get one made or where to buy one? I'm located in California, any info helps. Thanks in advance!

  • Ian

    I am not a Harley fan, but this is so tasty, well done. I love the colour scheme too. I previously owned a Vincent Rapide and also a Norvin and see nothing wrong with the vincent style logos, they don't offend me. Yea, it looks under braked, but bikes of this ilk are always "a work in progress" I know as an original English 60's rocker.

  • Myron Whitt

    A verry sweat scoot & Im not a harley guy . be my gess all the nagative coment,s come from people who dont get there hands dirty

  • boohoo

    I'd take it for a blast.

  • subv3rt

    i own a stock '96 sportster 1200 that i really want to caffeinate bad. this certainly gives me a few ideas. there are some things i would have done differently but overall nice mod. the one question i have been asking myself for sometime is "could i get a cafe tank to look good on that frame?" the front angle of the backbone seemed too steep for it. i'm wondering if they needed to re-tunnel that tank to get it to look good on the frame

  • MikeH

    Stunning work, real nice machine.

  • chef76

    What is the rear end fender from?

  • Broc

    Probably one, if not the, best looking Sportster Cafe’s out there. Very nicely done. Hats off to all involved.

    Only change I’d make is to add some sexier rear shocks 🙂