A Black Beauty Born From A Stock Softail Harley-Davidson

You all know now that Roland Sands has a GP Motorcycle racing background. And his sport bike pedigree continues to show in all his creations. This machine is of particular interest for all Harley-Davidson enthusiasts because its base is a stock 2003 Softail and Roland demonstrates that starting from a legally titled and registered motorcycle it’s possible to create a top of the line motorcycle looking like a pure one-off built from the ground up.

The Sport stance comes, like often on his projects, from the stock Harley front end replaced by one coming from a Suzuki GSX-R and from PM/RSD Platinum Cut Diesel wheels wrapped with a Dunlop Elite 3 tire front tire and a Dunlop Sportman GP rear tire and using radial brakes. 

A very special single sided swingarm is moving via a Progressive Suspension mono shock. The Harley Twin Cam engine went from 88″ to 95″ by rebuilding it using Kuryakyn pistons, camshafts, cylinders and heads.

With a machine now prepared to be ridden hard with quick handling, Roland sands then turned his attention to the show treatment, starting with a custom hand made gas tank, a hidden battery, and of course using as many parts possible from Performance Mahine and his own RSD catalogs. It includes triple tree, handlebars, controls, pegs, beehive oil tank, exhaust etc. Built to go, this custom is also all show thanks to a delightful symphony of blacks accentuated by gold and silver touches. Roland Sands Design. (photography Studios Cardero)

Zipper's

14 Responses to “A Black Beauty Born From A Stock Softail Harley-Davidson”


  1. 1 ROCKSTAR Apr 20th, 2010 at 9:17 am

    rad. add a stubby lil carbon hugger & call it a day.

    HD needs to fire Willie G & hire Roland.

  2. 2 Knucklehead Apr 20th, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Rockstar would you pay it’s price? It is very cool looking. Sleek done well. But function, a fender I’d need. I’ve hit pot holes that put my ass on the fender.

  3. 3 Wikked Steel Apr 20th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Any bike destined to be ridden regularly needs to have fenders. I know it never rains in California but everywhere else both you and your bike will be miserable if caught in it. And it doesn’t take much to create a greasy stripe up your back and chit all over your bike. Especially here in FL where rain appears out of nowhere on a beautiful day. Just sayin’. Aside from that, the styling is very cool.

  4. 4 RUB Apr 20th, 2010 at 5:40 pm

    I agree with Knuck about the fender . seems like a lot of bling for a bar hopper .

  5. 5 SE7EN Apr 21st, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Lots of critique on Sands Softtail build up being designed with a SportBike style.. Suprised to see readers biggest comment is the ommission of fenders..

    How many customs do you see that are built with function in mind (fenders, comfy seats, etc) – the other posts with other show quality one off customs aren’t picked apart for such “daily rider” items.

    Roland’s design and build style is not for everyone. He incorporates many FUNCTIONAL items from the SportBike world and why not? He has the $, the support and the experience in that arena..

    When other builders build 100k+ custom choppers, why do they get praise yet a builder like Roland gets picked apart by so many bikers.

    Personalizing and Customizing/ Bike building is one of the best forms of expression a bike enthusiast can partcipate in. If Roland wants to take a 95″ Vtwin and make it ride like a SportBike on the track, more power to him! NOTHING wrong with technology evolution and if you look at Rolands other builds you’ll see many technological updates to the MOCO’s designs/offerings..

    With the backing of riders who purchase PM products, Roland and his new school style of builds are here to stay. I respect Rolands ability to continually evolve his bike builds (they all kind of look the same though) even if I acknowledge that most of his builds are meant for the track AND show versus daily riding and bar hopping.

    If I was to offer my criticism of Rolands and PM’s product line I would say this – WHAT the hell are they thinking on their price points? The product line-up DOESNT need to have that much profit margin in it!!! I have not seen anything they offer that warrants where they price their products in comparison to others…except supporting Roland’s rockstar lifestyle… but that’s another topic.

    LOVE the Softtail build Roland; keep em coming! Lower the cost of the PM and RS product line and you’ll be able to continue building bikes for yourself and the “crossover” crowd!

  6. 6 Jed Apr 21st, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    Beautiful. Apart from a few details it looks, at first glance, like a Paul Cox build. Kind of surprised to see it was done by Sands but he is definitely talented.

    H-D need to hire Cox, Sands, Ian Barry and a couple others I can think of to infuse some life into their models. Don’t knock Willie though, he’s the reason we have H-D today and I tip my hat to him.

  7. 7 RUSSELL Apr 21st, 2010 at 8:35 pm

    Fenders? You gotta be kidding me. This isn’t a touring bike. Just a damn nice looking around town bike.

  8. 8 jatinder pal Apr 22nd, 2010 at 12:00 am

    The bike like this doesn’t need fenders,the design and selection of parts are very nice.Roland is one of my favorite builders but as my fellow friends agree,if PM and sands parts are bit cheaper,that will be best.

    One more thing,Roland is one of the few builders who even today select a stock Harley for his projects.

  9. 9 David Apr 22nd, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Well when your out in the world Factory Harley bikes look like Factory Harley bikes and RSD bikes look like RSD bikes they are all the same. When I was pageing down on the blog page I knew this was a RSD bike before I ever got to the bottom. I dont really care for either right now or for matter of fact I have never cared for Roland’s stuff.

    SSDD: David

  10. 10 Knucklehead Apr 23rd, 2010 at 8:02 am

    SEZEN, I liked the bike and only stated for ME I’d like a fender for said reason. Roland does a great job. You did not read my post proper.

  11. 11 Chad Greulach Apr 23rd, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    Love this one. Great crossover. This is the kind of shit that separates the men from the boys in this sport.

  12. 12 Prophit Apr 24th, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Ugly and kinda foo foo. IMO

  13. 13 Dennis Apr 26th, 2010 at 12:17 am

    SEZEN, I liked the bike and only stated for ME I’d like a fender for said reason. Roland does a great job. You did not read my post proper.

  14. 14 Rob Apr 27th, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    Love this one. Great crossover. This is the kind of shit that separates the men from the boys in this sport.

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