Icon 1000 ‘Iron Lung’ Sportster

Harley Sportster by Icon 1000
Icon’s design director Kurt Walter is one of the most inspired bike builders operating in the USA today. Working with a tight-knit crew in the company’s Portland headquarters, he creates machines that are bombastic, aggressive and refreshingly unorthodox. Like this 1991 Harley Sportster roadracer, nicknamed ‘Iron Lung.’

As with most Icon 1000 builds, the donor bike had done a few laps too many. But you’d never guess: it’s a modern take on a machine that Harley-Davidson could have entered into endurance races in the 1970s—complete with twin headlights and a liberal sprinkling of very cool race graphics and stickers.

Harley Sportster by Icon 1000
The heart of the Iron Lung is a Wiseco big bore kit, taking the XLH883 up to 1200cc. Just to make the intent clear, a pair of SuperTrapp exhausts poke out of the fairing like a double-barreled shotgun.

Harley Sportster by Icon 1000
This Sportster is low and hunkered-down, thanks to some heavy fabrication work: The front end features Wide Glide forks hooked up to custom billet triple clamps.

Harley Sportster by Icon 1000
After the front end was lowered and widened, a custom subframe was grafted on and Loaded Gun rearsets moved into position. A pair of Progressive Suspension 970 shocks were installed to prop up the rear. And it looks purdy. “It’s an exceedingly wide, ridiculously low bike built for the smoothest, fastest road you can find,” says Gustafson.

Finishing touches include hand-painted detailing by Garage 31, and a seat by New Church Moto. The wheels are from a Fat Boy, expertly painted to replicate the blue tinge of vintage magnesium racing wheels.

Harley Sportster by Icon 1000
Iron Lung has already had a shakedown test at an oval in Southern Oregon. Just to make sure she’s on form in time for the launch of the next Icon 1000 collection in spring. “Her handling was as questionable as the grandstand snacks, but she bore the brunt of torture with aplomb,” we’re told. There was a small fire, but that issue has now been sorted out …

Check out this rather good short film to see the Sportster in action. Kurt Walter explains the Icon way of working in a second film, Everything Is Process.

Harley Sportster by Icon 1000
The Icon 1000 bikes are examined in depth in the definitive guide to new wave custom motorcycles, The Ride. Learn more about the book here.