Make Sportsters Great Again. That’s the slogan we’ve been seeing from the likes of Sportster-builders like Rusty Butcher and TrackerDie. You might say Sportsters were always great — well, sure, but who wants to put that on a hat or t-shirt?
Seriously, builders these days have been stretching the Sportster platform to the limit, home-brewing scramblers and dual-sportys, super hooligans and jump bikes of staggering variety. And not just for show — far from. Check out Rusty Butcher’s Youtube channel to have your doubts vaporized. One such dirt-happy Sportster recently caught our eye: this 2009 Sportster XR1200 scrambler by Brandon Sparks (@beard.wrench), an Alabama native living in Austin, Texas.
The Harley-Davidson XR1200 first became available in North America in 2009. The tuned Evo V-twin offered up 91 horsepower (79 at the rear wheel), and the bike came with four-piston dual front discs and an aluminum swing-arm. Vance & Hines offered race kits for teams wanting to participate in the AMA XR1200(R) Cup — all in all, this was one of the baddest production bikes ever to roll out of the Harley-Davidson factory.
Brandon has taken the platform to whole other level, building one of the burliest, meanest, no-fucks-given Sportsters we’ve ever seen — a creation akin to a 1200cc, 90-hp, V-twin dirt bike. Call it what you will: scrambler, tracker, dual-sport, whatever. Brandon, who has a motocross background, built this Sportster to be used and abused. Below, he gives us the full story on the build.
XR1200 Tracker/Scrambler: In the Builder’s Words
(Words by Brandon Sparks. Highlights by us.)
My name is Brandon Sparks, 25 years old from Mobile, Alabama, I spent most of my life in Columbus, Ohio but recently moved to Austin, Texas. I raced motocross and other disciplines of racing for most of life. All of my bike work is done in my garage, basic hand & power tools — nothing too special.
2009 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200
I built this bike for my own personal use. I honestly just wanted to build something that I could go relatively anywhere and have a blast riding. A lot of the custom work was just minor: fabrication to mount the dirt bike fender, number plate and hand guards. Custom mount and electrical work for the TrackerDie LED light bar.
- Biltwell Moto Bars
- Biltwell Kung Fu Grips
- ROX Risers
- Biltwell Moto Pegs
- Cycra Stealth Handguards
- Cycra Flo Front Fender
- Cycra Number Plate
- TrackerDie 7″ LED Light Bar
- Shinko Dual Sport Tires
- Custom re-valved suspension
I would classify this bike a mix between a tracker and a dirtbike.I am very proud of the way the bike turned out as a whole, the ride ability of this bike is just phenomenal.
Follow the Builder
Follow Brandon Sparks:
- Instagram: @beard.wrench
- Snapchat: skraps46