The Dennis Kirk Blog
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When you think of Café Racers, old CB’s and Triumphs come to mind along with other Japanese and British bikes. Rarely does a bike with American muscle pop in. Lately, though, more and more bike builders are turning to an American classic – The Harley Sportster. The Sportster was designed to compete with the fast and nimble British bikes that were invading American soil. It did well, but the Cafe Racer craze was still a huge draw. For two production years, Harley did produce a stock Café, the XLCR Sportster Café Racer. At the time, Harley riders had no interest in that style and the café racer fans didn’t even think of Harley. With the café trend coming back in full force, custom builders have decided to combine the two once more. This time, the idea seems to be taking hold as a growing number of people are becoming fans. Burly is making the Café Sportster conversion much simpler and stylish with the release of their Cafe inspired products. The Burly parts listed below will get your Café Sportster out of your dreams and on the road in no time.
Cafe Solo Seats
By adding a Burly Café seat on your Bike, you can instantly transform it into a Café Sportster. The sleek and streamlined design of this Solo seat screams cafe racer. The back of the bike will instantly become stripped down to look the part. Burly gives you the option of having a fully covered seat or one with the fiberglass exposed on the rear cowling. The exposed rear cowling is perfect for custom paint jobs on your XL. While these Burly seats have the look of classic café racer seats, they are far more comfortable. The Burly seat features a high density foam base with a gel insert in the seating area. You will be able to ride all day with one of these seats on your bike. Installing the Café Solo seat does take a bit of commitment to the style. You will need to remove the fender and fender struts/supports from the frame. That can be done with an angle grinder. Of course, because you have removed the fender, you will now need to relocate your tail light and turn signals. The Burly seat does include mounting hardware and a bracket to move these electronics.
The stock Harley handlebars just are not going to cut it for your Café Racer conversion. Burly Clubman handlebars will give your bike the look and performance capabilities it needs. The 3” drop on the bars gives you a low riding position needed for the high speed situations that the café racer was designed for. Cornering and aggressive riding is made easy on your bike with the Clubman bars. You might need shorter cables and brake lines with these bars due to the distance to the controls being shorter than stock. The Burly Clubman handlebars are drilled and slotted for internal wiring to make for a cleaner look. The process is made easier with the capped ends.
Burly is known for lowering bikes with their famous Slammer Kit, but now they are getting into the business of lifting bikes. Burly Stiletto shocks are designed to lift your Sportster to give it the look and feel of a true Café Racer. These shocks are more than just for looks, though. The Stilettos feature a high-performance damper with dual springs for a plush ride. The coil of the main spring absorbs big hits and prevents bottoming, while the secondary coil creates a smooth ride over small imperfections in the road. The secondary coil also reduces road noise. You will be able to ride in comfort all day with the Burly Stiletto shocks on your Sportster.
MX Style Foot Pegs
The Burly MX pegs may not be “True” café racer styling, but they definitely hearken back to the 70’s. The bear trap design will give your Sportster that raw characteristic that you desire in a stripped back bike. You can adjust the angle of the foot pegs for the most comfortable riding position. The serrated edge of the peg will give your feet plenty of traction when you hit the twisties on your Café Sportster.
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