Harley 48 Sportster by RSD

Harley-Davidson 48 Sportster
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.

Harley-Davidson 48 Sportster
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.

Harley-Davidson 48 Sportster
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.

Harley-Davidson 48 Sportster
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.

Harley-Davidson 48 Sportster
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.

Harley-Davidson 48 Sportster