Sportster Iron 1200 by Prism Supply Takes us Back to the 80s

It's rare that Harley-Davidson donates a bike for a build. So, when it does, you know the finished product is going to be good.

By Robert Bacon - May 16, 2019
Prism Supply’s Iron 1200 Takes us Back to the 80s
Prism Supply’s Iron 1200 Takes us Back to the 80s
Prism Supply’s Iron 1200 Takes us Back to the 80s
Prism Supply’s Iron 1200 Takes us Back to the 80s
Prism Supply’s Iron 1200 Takes us Back to the 80s
Prism Supply’s Iron 1200 Takes us Back to the 80s
Prism Supply’s Iron 1200 Takes us Back to the 80s
Prism Supply’s Iron 1200 Takes us Back to the 80s

Donated by Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson models are customized more than any other motorcycle brand in the world. But, even so, almost all the models you see were bought by the bike builders themselves, not given to them by Harley. For this build, however, a Sportster Iron 1200 was donated by the manufacturer to Prism Supply Co. This is where brothers Jake and Zach Hindes got their hands on it and created the retro 80s throwback you see before you.

Photo courtesy of Bikeexif

No Grinders

This Sportster screams '80s attitude but the Hindes brothers didn't alter the frame to achieve this look. According to Jake, "We wanted to build something that looked like it could have rolled off the showroom floor in the early 80s... But we didn't want to cut the frame or make any major changes.". This Sportster should serve as an inspiration to amateur bike builders around the country; truly magnificent results can be achieved without breaking out a grinder.

Photo courtesy of Bikeexif

>>Join the conversation about this custom Sportster right here in HDForums.com.

Getting Started

Zach and Jake didn't alter this bikes frame, but they did just about everything else. To achieve the retro look the brothers first had to strip the bike back so they could start with an (almost) blank canvas. By the end, they were only left with the engine, frame, and rear wheel. Then, the creative juices really started to flow.

Photo courtesy of Bikeexif

>>Join the conversation about this custom Sportster right here in HDForums.com.

Old-School Parts

This bike isn't just an imitation '80s chopper. Some parts of it really are from that period. The guys managed to source plenty of early '80s parts, which really add to the overall aesthetic. One of the stand-out additions is a dual disc Super Glide front end which was modified to fit the Sportster.

Photo courtesy of Bikeexif

>>Join the conversation about this custom Sportster right here in HDForums.com.

Mistakes

Different people will find different parts which they deem to be 'distinctly 80s'. But, for many, it's this Sportster's extreme stepped seat which sits above the valanced fender that will conjure up memories from the past. But this proved to be one of the hardest aspects of the build to pull off. According to Jake, "The first effort didn't work. It was way too tall and just didn't look right, so we scrapped the ten-plus hours of work we'd done on it and started again from scratch." 

Photo courtesy of Bikeexif

>>Join the conversation about this custom Sportster right here in HDForums.com.

Old Meets New

While most people love a good retro throwback, most of them also wouldn't want to live without the modern features we have become accustomed to. The Frisco-style tank on this Sportster has been modified to hide the bike's EFI pump and plenty of wiring. Another big nod to the '80s is the chopper box light at the rear, but even this has a modern touch. It has dual function LED lights inside so it can be used as a running light and a brake light. 

Photo courtesy of Bikeexif

>>Join the conversation about this custom Sportster right here in HDForums.com.

Enough Power

The bike's engine has remained relatively untouched as the brothers felt that 71 lb-ft of torque was enough power for most. They did, however, swap out the original pipes for exhaust from Lowbrow Customs. Judging by the diameter of the muffler, this Sportster is surely an earth-shaker.

Photo courtesy of Bikeexif

>>Join the conversation about this custom Sportster right here in HDForums.com.

Splash of Paint

The guys at Prism cut the exhaust back by about six inches, leaving the rear end nicely exposed. This shows off the Sportsters wheels which you'd be forgiven for thinking were genuine 80s parts. In fact, these are the original wheels which were just given a splash of gold paint. It's amazing what a lick of paint can do!

Photo courtesy of Bikeexif

>>Join the conversation about this custom Sportster right here in HDForums.com.

For help with your maintenance and repair projects, please visit our How-to section right here in the forum.

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