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In its current guise, the Harley-Davidson Sportster S is a relatively new motorcycle to the market. It was only introduced by the Milwaukee-based company in the summer of 2021, arriving into this world as a revival of an older nameplate, and the first entry in a new line of two-wheelers Harley likes to call Sport (it now comprises the Nightster and Nightster Special as well).
Because almost two years on the market don’t mean all that much in the motorcycle industry, the model is still scarce when it comes to custom versions. Sure, some shops have taken it upon themselves to create modified Sportsters as soon as they hit the roads, but to date, very few examples have gone down a relatively radical customization path.
The modified Sportster S we have here is no exception, but it does bring a more extravagant look to the table as the shop behind it, German Thunderbike, decided to go deeper with its changes.
The first thing one notices about the ride, which is called post-conversion SPS 3, is its color combination. We’re talking about a lot of black spread on the lower part of the machine, perfectly contrasted by a bright shade of yellow deployed over the fenders, fuel tank, and lower protection elements.
Then the eyes fall on the bike’s wheels. Usually, they come out of the factory as aluminum cast pieces wrapped in fat tires, but that’s not what we have here. Thunderbike, which also makes wheels in-house, went for custom bits from their GT line. They’re a bit wider than stock (200 mm at the rear and 130 mm at the front), and they come wrapped in slicker Metzeler Marathon rubber.
When talking diameter, the new wheels come in at 21 inches up front and 18 inches at the back. And it’s important to note that these things are some of the most expensive elements fitted on the SPS 3, as the larger one for instance is listed by the shop with a price tag of almost $2,300.
The wheels spin courtesy of the Sportster S native engine, modified solely with the addition of a slimmer exhaust system supplied by Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde. Stopping power is ensured by a slightly larger than stock (340 mm vs 320 mm) front brake disc.
A number of other body elements have been grafted onto the motorcycle. The list starts with the front fender, and moves through a series of custom covers designed for the frame, clutch, alternator, axles, and so on. Add to those things like a new triple tree, turn signals, or handlebar, and you get a list of custom parts some 30 items long.
In all, they amount to about $9,600, which could sound a bit like much, given how that’s more than half the MSRP of the stock bike in its 2023 incarnation. Still, it’s the only way you can get a normal Sportster S, and someone clearly thinks this Bumblebee-like machine on two wheels is worth it.
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