The Harley-Davidson Sportster, introduced in 1957, has been in continuous production for over sixty years — one of the longest-running models in history. Available in 883cc and 1200cc versions, the bike continues to be powered by the 45-degree V-twin Evolution engine, which replaced the Ironhead in 1986. The bike went from a four-speed transmission to five-speed in 1991, from chain drive to belt in 1993, and from solid-mount to rubber-mounted engine in 2003.
Today, the Sportster is experiencing a strong resurgence in popularity, largely due to the Super Hooligan class — the “run-what-you-brung” style of flat track racing that’s become so popular in the States and across the world. With more Milwaukee tractors slinging dirt on the track, we’ve seen a welcome corollary: more Sportster street trackers.
Enter Andre Tenardi of Indonesia’s Garasi 19, who’ve been specializing in Harley customs and aftermarket parts for half a decade. After a customer was in an accident on his ’02 XL883, severely damaging the bike, he asked Andre and crew to rebuild it. They wound up settling on a flat track style, and what a job they’ve done. Below, we get the full story on this “JSH Flat Track” Sportster, named for the owner’s initials.
XL883 Street Tracker: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I’m Andre Tenardi and I’m the owner of a motorcycle workshop called Garasi 19. We are located in Jakarta, Indonesia. We have been in the industry for over five years and we specialize and focus on Harley-Davidson customs and aftermarket parts.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Harley Davidson Sportster XL883, 2002.
• Why was this bike built?
Actually it was a customer project… He had an unfortunate accident a few months earlier and asked me to rebuild his bike with whatever budget he could afford. The bike had severe damage, so I had to change the triple three, front suspension and front wheel. At that point I decided to go with the flat track style that can be used as a daily ride.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
It’s a Flat Track Sportster.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
We did the following…
- Custom-made tank
- Custom-made flat track rear fender
- Custom-made header and muffler
- Custom-made front headlight frame
- Change wheels into 18 x 3.5” rear + 19×2.25”
- Shinko E705 Dual Purpose Tires
- OEM HD Sportster 48 Handlebars
- OEM HD Sportster 48 front suspension
- Custom-made triple Tree
• Does the bike have a nickname?
JSH Flat Track.
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
The bike is simple, very light, and easy to ride. Great sound of exhaust.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
What I’m most proud of is that we were able to inspire the owner to ride again with a simple, good-looking bike. ?