There’s no denying the world of video content is becoming a bigger part of our daily lives. It’s something we want to start featuring more of and even create our own Pipeburn video content. To start off, we thought we’d support Purpose Built Moto’s new build series. Over to Tom from Purpose Built to tell us what he’ll be doing in the new series. Or just grab a beverage and hit play…

I’m currently mid-build on two Adventure projects and we’re going to be walking you through, in a series of step-by-step YouTube videos. Starting off with a 2006 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200C. This bike, and a Nemesis 400 to come will be used on new film project we’re working on with some of Australia’s most exciting motorcycle personalities. For now though I’m focussing my energy on prepping this Harley to go to hell and back.

This Sportster is a personal project, I want to test new ideas, build out concepts I’ve had in my head for a while and really experiment with just how you turn a 1200cc highway-puppy into a dirt-fighting-dog. The key to this build is stripping weight, improving handling and allowing the bike to put its torquey motor to good use off-road. Turning a Sportster into an adventure-ready off-road scrambler will be a challenge, but that’s exactly why I chose it.

In this Instalment of the Harley Davidson Sportster conversion, you’re going to see: The teardown, Inverted (USD) fork conversion, New Wheels Fitted and a tail-end remodel.

The first job was to tear off all the parts I no longer needed. Stripping, chopping, removing and just moving pieces all over the bike which pretty much left me with not much more than a frame, swing arm and a motor… Perfect.

The rear wheel was stripped, hub painted and re-laced to a K60 Scout Tyre. Using the stock hub, and alloy rim gives a good weight saving.

The front end I’d chosen for this bike is a fully adjustable adventure bike front end, with a twin disc brake set up. A suspension and braking upgrade in one package. Much needed for the Sportster scrambler.

I’ll often see scramblers built with sportbike front ends, to me that makes little sense. I’m building an adventure scrambler, so the obvious option is an adventure bike front end right? Turns out it wasn’t that simple.

It took a little work getting the Triumph triple-clamps, a Sportster head stem and Triumphs forks to fit together, but I got there. These challenges often come up on front end swaps. The important thing I feel is to take it step by step, working with what you can’t change, and modifying what you can to make it work. That’s pretty much a summary of my life in the garage. I always recommend to make a few sketches and jot down measurements. It’s a lot more reliable than your shotty beer-soaked memory.


Next step was getting on the Handlebar risers and the bar clamps on to give me an idea on the hand position when riding.

The tail end always helps to get a clear idea on the shape of the overall bike, so it’s often something I’ll do very early on in the build. I slapped a lump of foam on the seat area and got to work carving out the seat and tail end. I came out with a sharply styled back end with plenty of space and the support an adventure scrambler needs.


Next is getting the seat pan fabricated to sit over the tail section. With Jamason’s help I’ve probably built and shaped well over 100 seats by now. That’s taught us a few things including that a slim seat can be comfortable if you layer it right. We were really happy with how this turned out, practice makes perfect I guess.

This wraps up our first instalment of the Sportster Scrambler in this build series. Next episode we will be fabricating some MX style fork guards, fitting the headlight shroud and mounting the digital speedometer. I’ve got an epic surprise in store for the front end of this Harley.

Right now, we’re looking at the bottom of a very steep mountain that needs climbing. I’m going to do my best at bringing you every gritty detail that goes into creating one of our custom bikes, so will you come along for the ride?

Make sure you subscribe to The Purpose Built Moto YouTube Channel so you don’t miss the next one.

[ Series produced by Electric Bubble ]