It takes a pretty special Harley to stop me in my tracks, but this Sportster 48 from Roland Sands Design hits all the right notes. It’s a street tracker with a strong vintage vibe—plus enough performance upgrades to make it an entertaining ride without compromising usability.
The bike is a parts showcase from one of the USA’s biggest motorcycle-related businesses, the Motorsport Aftermarket Group. MAG licenses the Roland Sands Design brand, and owns Vance & Hines and Progressive Suspension—and also the Motorcycle USA website, which commissioned this build. But unlike most such endeavors, the result is far greater than the sum of its parts.
The 2010-spec XL1200X v-twin now breathes through an RSD Slant Carbon Fiber intake kit, with gases exiting via a sinuous exhaust system from Vance & Hines. A V&H Fuelpak control unit is plugged into the ECU to ensure optimum fuelling and maximum power.
Fork springs and 970-series shocks from Progressive Suspension improve the handling, and Sands has tweaked the ergonomics with his own brand of swept-back bars and mid-controls.
Some of the components on the MotoUSA machine are prototypes due to hit production later in the year. That includes the vintage-style teardrop tank and the tracker-ish tail unit, which have been beautifully painted by Airtrix in a classy black, gold and silver.
There’s a sprinkling of RSD ‘Machine Ops’ parts throughout, including the 19” wheels—which have an old-school textured finish but are actually machined from billet aluminum. The tires are Mitas H-18s, designed for the flat track.
Head over to the Motorcycle USA website for the lowdown on the build—and visual proof that this is one Sportster that likes to pull a wheelie. We’ve also got an exclusive high-res gallery showing the bike in detail on our Google+ page.