Roland Sands is one of the more eclectic custom motorcycle builders in the USA. He’s built countless bikes in many different styles, and is never afraid to try new ideas. This is his latest creation, the ‘Race-ster’, and it’s the first time he’s put a fairing on a Harley custom.
“There are many difficulties to be faced when getting a Sportster ‘faired’,” Roland says. “Mainly there’s the height of the stock Sporty and the front fork. Most faired bikes are bit shorter in the front end, so we’ve had our work cut out to make it look right.” In the end, RSD modified a fairing from their 450 SuperSingle project, adding a modern touch to an otherwise vintage look.
The Race-ster has the power to match those looks. It’s been fitted with a Revolution Performance 1250 kit and Screaming Eagle .536 cams—increasing output to around 90 hp. The header is made from lightweight thin-wall .035” stainless steel, supplied by Vance & Hines. “We modified the collector and made our own mini-megaphone muffler to finish it off,” says Roland.
The bike was switched over to rearset controls, and a new rear subframe was bolted on. “We tried to think ‘bolt-on’ when building this bike rather than chopping it all up. Technically speaking, this is a stock bike that could be built in anyone’s garage with a regular old set of tools.” The lustrous paint was applied by Airtrix, and days later, the wraps came off at the recent Born Free show.
It’s a look you don’t often see in the US, with hints of the resto-mod superbikes popular in Japan. Wouldn’t it be great if Harley-Davidson itself explored this route—especially now that Buell has left the fold, and taken Milwaukee’s sporting edge with him?