You can tell a lot about a motorcycle builder forte just by looking at his work. When I saw this bike in Sturgis, I knew right away that Joe Cooper, that I never met before, was a pure metalsmith mastering the art of metal annealing and soldering. This modified 19999 Sportster 1200 is not born from sheet metal bought out of a catalog or even from modifying any existing sheet metal pieces. All body work is done from scratch and is a great example of the beauty and purity that can be attained when you master the art of metal heat treatment and forming.
Original stock frame was converted to a hardtail with the neck modified to a 40-degree rake to make high-speed riding more stable with the springer front suspension. After being hand formed, both gas tank, rear fender and exhaust were highly polished then nickel plated. Other hand formed parts include the handlebars, oil tank, chain guard, springer front end and plug wire guides, all finished in copper.
Joe Cooper did a great job at hiding all electrical components below the frame rails in a custom battery box. From there, the small lithium battery supplies power via vintage cloth-wrapped wiring routed externally throughout the bike. 2 fat 16 x 3″ wheels dressed in Firestone rubber contribute to giving this Sportster its classic motorcycle flair. Although factory 74″ engine and 5-speed transmission were kept, this Sportster looked 2 times more expensive to build than some other bikes very sophisticated machines competing with it the 2010 AMD World Championship Of Bike Building. And of course you know the reason, simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. By the way, it is for sale. Make an offer to Joe at Cooper Smithing Co. (pictures H. Roesler, F. Sander)