Sportster 883R “Urus” Project

Sportster 883R Urus Project

“The feeling of riding is close to the feeling of riding a bull.”

The urus, aka aurochs, is an extinct species of wild long-horned cattle that once roamed the prehistoric grasslands of Eurasia and beyond — the ancestors of today’s domestic cattle. These were not your typical bovines but highly aggressive megafauna, prized as battle beasts in the Roman arenas. Wrote Julius Caesar in History of the Gallic War:

“These are a little below the elephant in size, and of the appearance, color, and shape of a bull. Their strength and speed are extraordinary; they spare neither man nor wild beast which they have espied.”

 Sportster 883R Urus Project

Enter our friend Fernando Casado, a 26 y.o. designer who grew up hearing the stories of his own ancestors — his grandfather, father, and great uncles — who’ve been riding since the 1940s, spending time on iconic machines like the Honda CB750, Yamaha RD350, and more. Back in 2018, we featured a trio of Fernando’s small-displacement Honda builds, which he dedicated to his family, his teachers, and especially to his father and grandfather.

Two years ago, Fernando got the opportunity to acquire a bigger machine, a 2008 Harley-Davidson 883R. As a long-time fan of the brand, he had a mission in mind:

“One of the goals of this project was to break this stereotype that Harley-Davidson is only for old fat guys who listen to Credence all day LOL. “

Sportster 883R Urus Project

Fernando took as his inspiration the mighty urus, which had an incredibly massive chest and shoulder area that tapered into lighter, thinner hindquarters — a shape that Fernando translated into the silhouette of this machine. The build took him two years, as he could only work on it during the weekends, and more than 80% of the parts were built from scratch, including the fairings, handlebar clamp, air filter cover, indicators, graphics, saddle, and more. Some parts were 3D-printed, others cut and hand-shaped from stainless steel. Says Fernando:

“The idea of this bike is that the feeling of riding is close to the feeling of riding a bull.”

Sportster 883R Urus Project

Fernando also handled all of the photos and video himself. We’d like to thank our friend Guilhes from Motocultura BR for the heads up on this story.  Below, we get the full scoop on this mighty brute.

883R Urus Project: Builder Interview

• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.

Well, my name is Fernando Casado, I’m 26 years old and a designer. Motorcycles have always been present in my life. My grandfather and his brothers have always had motorcycles since 1940. My father is also an admirer of motorcycles and when he was younger he rode iconic motorcycles such as the Honda 750 Four, Yamaha RD350, etc. And since I was a little kid I listened to the stories and was fascinated.

I always liked to draw and build things and that took me to the university for design, where I learned to improve my skills, and that’s where it all started. I bought my first motorcycle, the blue Honda CG125 that was already published on BikeBound, and turned it into a café racer. Soon after that, other projects on small bikes came, and two years ago I had the opportunity to have a bigger bike. This is my first project with a big motorcycle.

883R Bobber

• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?

It’s a Harley-Davidson Sportster 883-R, 2008.

883R Urus Project

• Why was this bike built?

This bike was a personal project — I always wanted to have a Harley-Davidson. I love the sound of the engine and the story of the founders of the brand — it is really inspiring. When I had the opportunity to buy this bike, in the media, Harley was announcing some more modern models, which were a little out of the classic pattern that the brand has always presented. And I thought the idea was cool, and I decided to do a project that was even more modern — one of the goals of this project was to break this stereotype that Harley-Davidson is only for old fat guys who listen to Credence all day LOL. I wanted a modern motorcycle, one that offered technology and robustness.

883R Bobber

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

As the name says, the inspiration for the design was the bull’s ancestor, called Urus. It was a kind of bull much bigger than we have today, and extremely robust. I took the shape of this bull, which has a higher mass concentration from the middle of his body forward and lighter and thinner at the back, and passed it on to the silhouette of the bike.

In the link of my online portfolio there are some GIFs that compare the lines of the bike with the lines of the bull. The height of the tank simulating the back line, the lower fairing forming the chest line, and the front suspension fairing simulating the front leg.

As for the design of the graphics, I followed lines that were more futuristic, based on some movie spaceships, with the least letters necessary, such as HY-DV in place of the big name Harley-Davidson.

883R Bobber

• What custom work was done to the bike?

Everything, 80% of the pieces were manufactured from the beginning, fairings, finishes, the handlebar clock, air filter, arrows, graphics, the seat finish.

Some structural changes were made, such as cutting the chassis to make the bike shorter, lowering the front and rear of the bike, changing the angle of the dampers to stay in the same line as the tank.

• Does the bike have a nickname?

Yes, Harley Davidson – Sportster 883R – Urus project.

• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?

The bike was very massive, having lowered the bike made it easier to ride, giving more control to the legs. The idea of this bike is that the feeling of riding is close to the feeling of riding a bull, you feel the massive bike in the front, the tall tank is close to your chest, it is a feeling of robustness, which together with the sound of the engine is incredible.

883R Bobber

• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?

I think everything that was made in it makes me proud. It was an intense two-year project, being able to work on it only on weekends. The result of the front suspension fairings made me happy. They were all made of stainless steel; I cut them all by hand; it was a great challenge to leave the pieces symmetrical. Making the fittings for the fairings was also a challenge, as I didn’t want any apparent screws to maintain a cleaner look. The air filter was also a challenge — I designed it in 3D on the computer and then I made the 3D printing with a resistant polymer that withstands high temperatures.

883R Bobber

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  1. Andrew Hoffman

    Very good original build that shows a lot of attention to detail. Only thing I can’t hack are the bars as Z bars are a default set for me. A stage 3 performance kit would give it some more punch if it hasn’t got one already.

  2. Didn’t feel drawn to pics of bike, but video showed me bike looks good with a rider astride and in motion. Definitely interesting proportions. The larger tank works and is a funny antithesis to the typical peanut tanks on Sportsters.

    Hated the “rap” in the video and the rider not fastening the helmet strap (as if that’s some fashionably rebellious act, just cut the stupid thing off if you’re never going to use it, duh). I do like the acceleration passes and think all bike videos should have those, they are very helpful in demonstrating what kind of snap the bike might have.

    And, again, to beat a dead horse, bike looks so-so, precisely because black backgrounds in pics obscure a lot of the detail. Can see very little of what’s going on.

  3. Sportster-Low bars, tank lift, bobbed fenders.. been seeing these forever. Tired cliche fat old guys on Harley’s also been hearing that forever. Riding a motorcycle like riding a bull? Air cleaner labeled air cooler? What lol?

  4. Derek " HARLEY" Morton.

    IM 60, I have a 2003 883R ROADSTER, I love her, She’s named after my Mother DIANA MERCEDES DEL PULGAR!!! She passed in 2017.I ride her everyday!!! I’m the second OWNER!!! She has ORANGE tank bobbed rear black fender,a black front fender. Everywhere I go all ages of people LOVE the Old look, She reminds people of Dirttrack racers of the 70s!!! I as the first OWNER envisioned her!!! I love UR new version!!! BORN FREE,RIDE FREE, DIE FREE!!!! Keep up the great work YOUNG MAN!!!!From an OLDMAN!!!!

    • Oh yeah? Well, I’m 64, I have a 2002 883R Roadster, also in orange, also second owner. I like Creedence (but am far from fat). I’ve had people ask if this was one of those old dirt trackers.
      Can’t deny the work that went into this, but I’m keeping mine stock, because I think it’s one of the few times Harley got the design right.

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