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‘88 Harley Sportster – Adam’s Custom Shop


Posted on June 11, 2015 by Andrew in Bobber. 20 comments

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Ever had one of those dreams where you feel like you really need to do something, but somehow you never manage to? Maybe it’s a place you have to be or a task you have to complete.  Whatever the case, the harder you try in the dream the more unlikely you’ll be to make any progress. And in the end you’ll wake up with an incredible sense of frustration. Got the idea? Well, now you know how we feel about this bike. It’s one we first laid eyes on in 2012 and we’ve literally spent three years trying to get our hands on it – and now it’s here. Call it lucid dreaming. Call it luck. Hell, call it divine intervention. Presenting a bike that took a biblical one thousand days to get here. It’s Adam Nestor’s ‘Sporganic’ Sportster Harley.

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Adam first came to our attention after his ‘Madame Guzzi’ boardtracker graced our pages in 2010. Sporganic was built in 2012 and although we only got glimpses of the finished product, we liked what we saw. But then, due to his dislike of the peanut gallery that is anonymous social media comments (join the club) and a ton of interest from Sweden’s MCM bike magazine, he elected to keep things strictly offline. Fast forward to this month and after three years of subtle (and not-so-subtle) persuasion, he finally came around. Clearly, there is a god.

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“The initial idea was to build a woodie-inspired bike, so it was named the ‘Project Woodie Sportster,’ says Adam from his shop while enjoying the early Swedish summer. “I started off by acquiring an ‘88 Sporster 1200cc engine from my neighbor who runs a company called Sportster Specialist here in Rävlanda.” Adam’s vision was to build a bike with organic, rounded shapes and rear shock absorber that would sit between some old-school split tanks.

“So, I started to build the front. I’d been toying with the idea of a springer setup, but I wasn’t really sure how I was going to pull it of. Would I make it from scratch, source an old unit or buy one new? Then I found myself surfing the net. I found the ideal fork design from a photo of a ‘40s hillclimbing bike. It was perfect. And then a bit more of a search on Germany’s Wwag.com turned up gold.”

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Just imagine the thought that went into that

Adam’s next job was with the cylinders. “I though the engine cases looked too new, so I sourced a set from a 2004 sportster that I then redesigned to get a rounder shape. Basically, there’s four rows of fins that have been removed to get the look I was after.” The finishing touches here included an S&S carb, complete with Adam’s own jets (!) and choke controls.

The front hub was then fabbed up from scratch and the rear hoop is essentially a Triumph unit that Adam broadened to get it just right. “The saddle was a different challenge altogether. I wanted it to look like an old bicycle seat with a underside that allowed you to see the springs and frame. Once I had managed that, I made myself the leather cover and the aluminium supporting plate.”

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Sweden has a death penalty?

Then came a raft of smaller bespoke parts, including the bars, foot rests, front hub, headlight and tail light and even the paint. He also finished off the pants-wittingly sweet tanks, with the right one flagged for fuel and the left for oil and electricals. As a final touch, Adam revisited his original ‘woodie’ idea by asking his dad, a carpenter by trade, to create a set of wooden grips. The final look with the antique green, cream, leather, wood and brass touches is clearly masterful and utterly magic.

“The bike was completed in January, 2013. At the end of 2013, I was nominated for a ‘Bike of the Year” award. I was blown away when I actually won. I also took home ‘Best in Show’ at the 2013 Custom Motor Show in Jönköping.” As with many bikes of this quality, it’s since been sold to a private collector in Sweden – we can’t help but wonder if they need a test rider or two to air the collection out every now and then.

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A build shot showing the twin tank and shock arrangement in detail

And in response to the peanut gallery, Adam was quick to point out that the bike was never intended to be a daily rider. “No, you can’t go on vacation through Europe on it and there’s nowhere to mount a GPS. That’s not why I built it. I built it because I wanted to create something completely original. Yes, the bike is perhaps more art than vehicle, but it’s also amazing to see in the flesh and I’m extremely happy with it how it turned out.”

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Adam atop Sporganic

So, one thousand days later and here you have it. We spent three years tying to get it on the site and now it’s a reality. We’d tell you that we could have spent our time doing something more productive, but we’d be lying. It’s been worth every second.

[Photos by Daniel Abrahamsson]








  • John Wanninger

    Yes. It is wow. I want that. I want it to be a different color… Nah. never-mind. I’ll take it in that color. Sick whip.

    :edit: I would put a hugger on the rear tire though.

  • NoRider

    Beautiful craftsmanship.
    Wondering if the pivot point location would cause the suspension to bottom-out on acceleration.

    • bill smith

      Yes, a little more written detail on the rear end set up would be greatly appreciated. I also like the Springer set up, Not sure if I have ever seen that set up on the front wheel before.

  • Hardley T Whipsnade III

    Nicely done . Not much worth complaining about to be honest . But as to the ‘ peanut gallery ‘ comment ? To put it quite simply : if you want to play the game you need to be willing and able to deal with the consequences . Which is to say : if you’re going to create something and put it out there you need to accept the criticism valid or not . If you can’t deal with the realities of being an artist/craftsman and the criticism that comes with it : quit your whining and go do something else . Being an artist/craftsman demanding 10% inspiration , 90% perspiration , and 150% tenacity regardless of the obstacles .

    e,g, Welcome to the real world . Deal with it !

    • Hardley T Whipsnade III

      PS; To be clear . I like the bike ! Its both classic and contemporary at the same time which is a rare combination indeed !

    • He’s clearly an artist, dude. And what artist has EVER been cool with criticism of their own work?

      • GarbanzoBean

        Maybe every one that has gone forward to do another piece? Clearly he is talented so hopefully he will give us another work to appreciate.

        • Hardley T Whipsnade III

          Absolutely brilliant ,painfully accurate and to the point reply GB !

      • Hardley T Whipsnade III

        Artist ? Craftsman ? Thats a debate thats been going on since the beginning of time and not one we’re likely to resolve here . Regardless the man’s talent is not what is in question . What is in question is yours and his unwillingness to accept the criticism that is simply just part of the game when it comes to the Arts & Crafts professions .

  • methamphetasaur

    Its bikes like this that makes one wish suicide shifters aren’t mega impractical.

  • Fast2Furious

    Did I miss the part where the suicide shifter was mentioned. Also not a word about how the rear end works or what it does. And I kind of have a problem with the whole my bike is more valuable then your life thing it’s just a bit too much.

    • bill smith

      Beautiful bike, great attention to detail and well executed. But do not let the engraving bother you, Like most bikers they post a lot of false bravado to build their egos. Look at the Biker killings in Waco Texas, Bunch of bad asses until the shooting started. The real bikers were quickly separated from the wanna be bikers. Next thing you know the wanna be bikers were crying foul and having their house mouses plead their cases In the news media…especially the Vise Grips MC. LOL

    • Three years we waited. As you can probably understand, we weren’t in a ‘let’s go back and ask more questions’ frame of mind…

  • I like the classic chopper look… with a functional rear suspension. I see where he’s going with this – not a daily rider for sure but a daily dazzler.

  • creeping J

    The front suspension linkage looks like it would operate great under brakes. Bumps, not so much?

  • guvnor67

    Really nice work, lots of engineering not seen too often!!! Wasn’t sure about the seat position til I saw the Man On Bike picture and then it made perfect sense. Really, really like this.

  • David Gustavsson

    I’ve had the honor to ride with Adam once, he builds bikes that actually rides, and damn good to, so not only an artist and an incredibly nice person, he’s also a skilled craftsman and engineer.
    One of those renaissance men who knows their shit to put it simple, and i highly respect that.
    And him not wanting his work to be commented or displayed on this type of pages is probably about all the extremely ignorant bullshit people are spewing out, criticism is a whole other story in my world.

  • CC

    Still blown away by the chain tensioner system…

    • TH_Stokes

      The support for the seat is great. I love how the support gussets make a small fender. This is one of the best detailed builds in a long time. Sure would like to see more detailed shots on the ‘Electolux’ carb intake.

  • the DEATH thing is a bit pathetic from someone who has a peanut allergy, talk about about tempting fate, nice piece of art but not really a motorbike