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Harley Sportster – DK Motorrad

Posted on August 10, 2011 by Scott in Café Racer. 22 comments

If someone asked me to recommend a bike that would make a great cafe racer, a sportster wouldn’t be high on the list. Actually, it probably wouldn’t even be on the list at all. A young German bike builder living and working in Switzerland is trying to change that. Christian de Kant from DK Motorrad has been building bikes since he was 17, which might sound like a long time until you find out he is now only 22 years young. In this relatively short time he has built some very impressive bikes. He usually builds custom bikes based on old-school frames from the ’40s and ’50s. But his love of Harley’s and cafe racers has led him to develop his own mass produced bolt on kits for 2006 and up Sportsters. Christian was inspired by the many ‘bolt on’ parts that can be found on Japanese bikes and thought: “why not do the same for sportsters?”

So Christian did a bit of research and found a company in Italy called MAS Engineering that could mass produces the parts he designed. Looking at MAS Engineering’s website, these guys are no newcomers in manufacturing aluminium parts – they make parts for most brands of motorcycles. The DK Motarrad Cafe Racer kit consist of tank, seat, exhaust, front fender, pinion cover, belt cover, handle bars and fairing – and everything is made from high quality aluminium.  

Whether or not you like the look of this Harley Sportster cafe racer, you have to give Christian credit where credit is due. To design these kits and have the tenacity to follow through with getting them manufactured in larger numbers is a real testiment to a guy of his age (meanwhile we’re still struggling to print a few more more pipeburn t-shirts). We have a feeling we’ll be hearing more from this ambitious Deutchman in the years to come.

You can check out the complete range of parts at the DK Motorrad store.

PS. The more attentive of you will have noticed that DK Motorrad is also a brand new sponsor of Pipeburn. In the interests of full disclosure we’d like to state that Christian’s support of us had absolutely nothing to do with us choosing to featuring his bike; we just thought it was pretty damn sweet. As you were.

  • noyes

    most of these parts look like mild modification to bonneville parts. Front fender looks identical, air box cover is the side cover to the bonne; chain guard, tail section and exhaust look the same. If by "design" you mean measurement, I applaud his use of a tape measure. The bike looks like a decked out MAS bike. All this money put into a bike and he couldn't afford a pair of pants?

  • I am not convinced of these stock framed Sportsters ability to pull off "cafe'. Norley is much better.

  • Daithi

    I like it except for the headlamp ! I like the notion of a cafed sportster.

  • Fred X1

    headlight is a miss, so are the mid controls…otherwise nicely turned. if you're a sportster café fan, join for some amazing examples.

  • Steve

    It looks like a sporster that wants to be a cafe racer. It's hard to really take this bike seriously after seeing a build bike this…

  • Steve

    Wow. Somebody has sand in their panties.
    Nice looking bike, I especially like the dual megas.

  • vincent

    i dont like at all cafe racer and harley frame dosent much togheter…

  • Naysayers have missed the point of the designer … mass appeal. More specifically … "USA and their admirers appeal". The idea is a pure and simple stroke of marketing genius. The illeged "cafe scene" here in the states is only just starting up. With the absolute strongarm hold that HD has on the majority of the ~ahem~ "custom shops" here, the combo is a sure fire hit. Sure fire .. 100% … hit.

    Every former chopper shop here is scrambling to become the next "badass cafe bike" shop. Choppers are O.U.T. and the new toy for the American Mainsheep is the CAFE bike!!! Mix the two together and BANG you got yourself a hit record follks! So then, many of the little chopper shops in the US are converting to cafe bikes. Haircuts, garage shirts and all! Long haired tat-covered smelly "biker types" that were the norm in chopper shops are now sportin' slicked back haircuts, garage shirts with names like "Mike" on them, and excelently polished black steeltoes. The low and slung appearance of this HD is exactly what the stupid mindless sheep will just LOVE! It looks suspiciously like a Harley "Iron 883" with some spit and polish and set of clipons. No kidding .. go look for yourselves! Google the Iron 883 and see if it doesn't have the same "hunch" to it, even the same kind of rubber boots on the forks. You'll see what America is paying $10k for every day of the week. This is simply a British Sportser so to speak. Or perhaps better said .. it's a fine Harley Davidson Bonneville. (Did I get the one right? I'm so NOT a UK bike historian. Other than the Triumphs my dad raced at Ascot Park in the 60's I'm kinda dummer 'n fek on the whole "myth and mystique" of the Brit Bike scene … please allow some tolerance, for I am dummer than a box of hair).

    So this kid hit the jackpot in the capitalist game of "pleasing the sheep". He hit it .. square on the noggin.

    Now then .. there are problems with the juxtaposition that is the "Cafe Sportser". The forks on this bike do not nearly match the capabilty (or travel) of the rear end, so it's horribly unbalanced in that regard. It seems a better starting point for this type of project would be an XR1200 .. but let's keep ever forfront in our minds this guy wasn't building an adept cafe bike, he was building a set of accessories for mainstream HD owners. Anyhow, as has been mentioned … HD frames aren't the best handling. However that fact alone leaves the door WIDE open for DIY idiots like myself that have played with tube framed streetbikes for decades. This is CANDY for guys like me. What's this? A tube framed bike that needs some inventive help? Made of an easily weldable steel? With relatively easy geometry fixes you say? I'm in!! Makes for a great proiject bike. A bit on the "Fat Chicks" end of the hotness spectrum, but cool none the less.

    I know that there are things about Sportsters and this build specifically that do not compute with the practical CAFE crowd. I was trying to point out my awareness of that here. I didn't want anyone thinking I was totally loving the bike. I am totally loving the builder's marketing prowess. So if I screwed up with some of the technical observations, please don't call me out on them (don't pick the flyshit out of the pepper) … I was just trying to make a general point that the "proper cafe-ness" of the bike is moot, simply because it was never intended to be any such thing. It is a marketing idea, one that is pure genius. We Americans are easily talked out of our money if you have the right combination of appeal built into it regardless of the practicality. This guy hit that concept big time.

    These bikes allow the HD lover to be at the tip of the "hipness spear" while still having their low slung HDs. Good job, sir! Holy Radioactive Coyotes, Batman! Great execution of a well worn idea.

    (I was raised on cartoons, fast food, and public schooling .. what's your excuse?)

    Nice job. Great looking bike. And BINGO on the marketing idea.


  • me


  • SportsterMike

    Wow! Give the guy some slack – he's only 22!!
    I was as thick as 2 planks at that age – and just riding bikes, not building saleable bike parts..
    Yes, the Sportster frame will never make a true Cafe Racer but then neither does the current Bonneville -its all about weight distribution, centre of gravity, changing the seat, bars and tank isn't changing any of that
    Bike would be better with rearsets
    But still a nice rideable bike in the Roland Sands style


    I like the sporty, I like cafe racer but I think this one could have been better
    I hope mine will be, tell me what you think about it at :
    sorry for my bad english, I'm french !!!!!!!!

  • Ian

    Nicely put together, as I suspected from MAS. Unfortunately I also suspected it would have MAS prices, which it does. Sorry but far too 'meh' for $8k

  • GuitarSlinger

    Brilliant ! And for all the Doubting Thomas's out there ( about a Sportster becoming a proper Cafe Racer ) let me remind you all of the Factories brilliant effort back in the day ( XLCR which when properly sorted is a real runner ) as well as the multitude of successful Sportster- Cafe conversions over the last decade .

    Sure the Norley is brilliant ( though in truth I prefer the Norvin ) but a well done Sportster conversion , be it Cafe or Street/Dirt Tracker is a joy to behold and ride .

    As far as the explanations about including this M/C at the point the builder advertised ….. none needed

    Any way you look at it this M/C deserved to be featured here

    How's about a peak into the Vincent World of Bog Sid & Co in the future ? ( after Bonneville ) Let me know if you'd like an introduction

    His and Matthew's Vincati being a work to behold .

  • Jay Allen

    It looks fun, fast, and entertaining, but that's just stoopid ol' me. Would look great in my neck of the woods : )

  • Well, caffed Sporties don't work for me though.
    But thats just the personal opinion of an Triumph lunatic.

  • norman

    On a totally different point: Where is the result of imaginary garage with the kwaka w800? Must have totally missed it….

  • WillyB

    Nice job all around. Some proper rear-sets are needed though. I tried the current riding position when I put some drag bars on my Sporty back seized up in about 5 miles.
    USD conversion on prices put kit in the high range, but quality looks outstanding.

  • @norman No – you haven't missed it. We've been incredibly fucking lazy extremely busy here and we haven't had a chance to finish it. We're also editing the ride day video now, so expect to see the both of them within a week or so. Apologies for our tardiness.

  • Ash

    Nah, it's a sheep in wolves clothing.

  • norman

    @Andrew No problem, i know that the working out of the IG-idea means a lot more work than i could imagine. And with other projects to finish, it is clear that it takes some time. Was just wondering.


    I like this bike a lot; many other custom bikes, with twice as much done to them, don't have half as much style and class. Well done, Christian!

  • Chris DK

    Thanx allot for all the positive comments, and a special thanks to 10 Bones!!!!