Bringing you the world's best cafe racers, trackers, scramblers, bobbers & custom motorcycles.

2010 Harley Iron 883 Sportster Custom

Posted on December 23, 2010 by Andrew in Bobber. 29 comments

More fun in the garage; if only I could keep them after I shoot them (click for a larger version)

Ever asked someone about Harleys? I have and I’ve decided that there’s really only three responses that matter. Firstly, and most obviously, you’ll get a flat out “don’t like ’em”. Fair enough. Then there’s the response that a Johnny-come-lately hipster like my good self will give; a long rambling monologue about nothing in particular that you’ll be lucky to stay awake through. Put simply, I like a select few. Then there’s the response that the owner of this bike gave me. No words, he just rolled up his sleeve and showed me an old Harley tattoo. Enough said, I reckon…

Can you tell us a little about yourself?

My name’s Thom Davy. I’m a 34 year old Graphic Designer, originally from England. I’ve been living in Australia for the last 7 years. Been pulled numerous times by the police for my noisy pipes and i’m not talking about my insides.

Nice. Can you take us through the build of the bike?

It’s a 2010 Iron. I originally bought it because of the matt black stealth looks and the reliability of a brand new engine but overall the affordable price tag. I decided I wanted to strip it back and try to make the bike look more classic and over time I sourced bits and pieces from ebay etc. and gradually my spare room filled with parts… spoked rims, tires, headlight, tail light, new seat, shocks, speedo relocation, forward controls, bars, risers, indicators, tank lift, coil relocation, air filter, pipes, sprocket cover, points cover, pedals, grips, mirror and a few more odds and sods.

I had all the parts but needed help in making it happen, luck would have it I bumped into a top bloke called Kendall Madigan who lived literally at the end of my street and who knows his shxt, been building bikes for years and we came to a deal he’d help me fix my bike up in exchange for a logo for his bike building biz (if anyone wants to customize their bike without the hefty price tag give him a shout). So he had himself a deal. I would like to wrap the pipes, but we had such a bitch getting them on we don’t really want to take them off for a while. I’ve asked my bro who works at Crumpler to make me a new version of a blanket roll bag which will be handy.

Original bike, pre Davy molestation

Did you sketch, Photoshop, or just go with the flow while building? Did you draw any inspiration from other bikes?

Mainly when it came down to choosing the colour and tank design I made a couple of 10 minute photoshop mock ups, but really just had it all in my head. I changed my mind so many times it was stupid only to come back to my original idea of the scallops which I then gave to Marc over at Sydney Custom. I think he did a great job and unfortunaly you can’t really see the flake in the paint in the pictures; it’s best viewed in daylight – looks awesome.

You entered the bike in the Deus Bike Build-off. How was it?

Yeah I entered the bike just as something to do. Think the idea was to build the best for less, not sure I fitted into that category. Would have been a great day out apart from the fact that I got a flat so spent most of the day pumping it up in ball-sweating heat to then end up getting towed away from Deus and then to top it off I lost my house keys… all that for a free T-shirt. (I’m starting to run out of bike pump jokes. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated – Andrew)

Custom Harley 101 – always lower the light

How have the mods you’ve made changed the way the bike rides?

The suspension is way better and the risers don’t break my neck anymore, but now the seat breaks my ass and the tires are as scary as hell in the rain.

Any words of wisdom from the build you’d like to pass on?

Ebay takes over your life, but it’s worth it.


If money was no object, what woud be your ultimate Harley?

An old Shovelhead, Panhead or something old with truck-loads of character.

What bikes have you owned before, and what bike would you like to own next?

I’ve owned Scramblers, and vintage Vespas. I think my wife would chop my nuts off if I bought another bike. If however she wasn’t to know then it would have to be as above…

If the bike had a theme song, what would it be?

Ha…err?…Ch Ch Changes – David Bowie.

Probably the best angle to show off the “high up front, low at the back” stance of the bike

Mad hogs and Englishmen; Thom with bike

PS. Are you in Sydney? Do you have a bike that you think tops this? Why not contact us and see if we can’t get it shot in the Pipeburn Garage of Photographic Super Excellence? Go on, then…

  • Steve

    I definitely like this bike. I'd say the detail I like best are the grooves in the headlight bucket. Very nice.

  • kik

    looks unbalanced, kind of like a bison, huge front, little rear, like a good woman the big front should have a nice sized rear to match.

  • kambei

    Please.. no more Harleys for a bit..

  • kambei

    oops. wrong blog – I think it's that's been posting a lot of them. Just not that big of a fan.

  • Frank

    The Sportsters are all right, even if Harleys are not my cup of tea. This one looks cool in details, but the tank is too humped up in my opinion. Sould be lowered to fit.

  • Chris

    "showed me an old Harley tattoo" Old? He's 34.

  • Braaaatt….


  • Twostoked

    lovin the paint job

  • Chris Mc

    Awesome! Now cut those bloody Gaiters off!

  • dan

    not my thing harleys..But to each his own..That tank though destroys the whole bike, just looks wrong that high up…

  • madv

    what about the post-hipster response? an old panhead or knucklehead is cool because it's authentic–no mash up, pure heritage. this bike was put together from parts sourced on ebay. this bike is just not that special.

  • 522design

    Sweet bike exept the new tank ! Switch to old sportster tank and set it low on frame!

  • Stanmoos

    Damn that's uglu

  • D.

    First and most obvious respondent here.

  • kik

    merry christmas kids..

  • Scott

    @KIK Merry Xmas mate.

  • Bart

    tanks too high,other than that its pretty cool.But then again if I had the funds,I can buy a new bike and throw money at it too.

  • VPW

    Fantasic job, Classic Style, True Rolling Art

  • Bob

    Nice bike, like the tail light setup. Anyone know the legalities of getting rid of that horrible rear mudguard extension?

  • Andrew

    @Bob I guess that would really depend on exactly where you intend on riding it…

  • Bob

    @ Andrew
    Fair point. I'm talking about getting something like this road registerable in South Australia. Would you be able to get rid of the extension here?

  • psycho_stev

    A good looking bike. I've built a few sportys with this style, including my personal bike. I've got a couple of pointers that woul send it over the top. The joker machine pulley cover has got to go, it doesn't go with the feel of the bike. Get lower riser bars, thats why the front end looks so drastic, 2 inch risers look much better. Also flip the mirror, thats personnal preference tho. Get rid of the plastic wiring harness shroud in front of the oil bag, running the wires through the frame takes a long time but looks great in the end. Cut the mounting tabs for the "eyebrow" off the upper tree. It cleans up the front. And lastly get a chain drive conversion, I personnally hate belts, and it makes it look more "old school". A couple sites that have a good selection of sporty parts and ideas is led sled customs out of dayton ohio, usa (my home town) and licks cycles. Good work so far.

  • Nice site ….)

  • Tony

    Nice looking bike – can you tell me what the exhaust is and where you got it

  • carlos

    hey man can you tell how you create the space between the gas tank and the engine my email is  tks buddy

    • Just go to ebay and look for “iron 883 tank lift”… and then prepare to run the cables beneath the tank.

  • Barryxb9s

    Love it! fuck all the haters great inspiration

  • SmokingIndian

    I like how your air cleaner casing looks similar to the side-view of your signals. Intentional? Hm, possibly. Yep, I would ride her. I would ride her all night long.

  • I live in Ecuador, and recently bought my first Harley, an Iron 883… You bike is top inspiration for what I have in mind for mine. It just looks awesome man. Congrats.