Custom Sportster Forty Eight Built The Right Way Down Under

Ellaspede1Ellaspede2Ellaspede3Ellaspede4Warwick Lyon is an Australian garage builder who wanted to build a modern interpretation of a Cafe Racer with elements of a hard-boiled Street-Fighter. For help with design and fabrication that he could not handle in his home workshop, he turned to Brisbane based Ellaspede Custom Motorcycles. With the help of duo Steve and Leo at Ellaspede he defined the overall concept: a more powerful Sportster Forty Eight through an enhanced appearance and modified engine.

Ellaspede5Ellaspede6The stock Harley 1200cc V-Twin is already a good reasonably good performing engine for this type of bike. Horsepower increase and bike responsiveness was achieved via a simple Stage 1 modification: with a high performance Screaming Eagle air intake, a free flowing Vance & Hines exhaust system, and by remapping the ECU using the Screaming Eagle Super Tuner, the engine’s performance has been upgraded to produce around 75 hp versus stock 67 hp..

Ellaspede7Ellaspede8Bodywork redesign and fabrication for a new Cafe Racer inspired stance was a much more tedious process. The factory “cruiser” style rear fender had to go and was replaced by a fabricated sportier tail end. Because this piece support the seat and include a lockable small storage compartment, it was the most time consuming task of the project. A mockup of the full tail section was first made out of styrofoam, then computerized for CNC cutting out of ABS. Long hours for prototyping and a big cost for a one-off CNC machining are rewarded by an aesthetically superb result.

Ellaspede9Ellaspede10To emphasize the Sportster racing attitude, rear of the bike was raised 2.5″ with the front slightly lowered. For the correct sporty riding position, Harley foot controls were replaced with rear sets. Installation of clip-on bars with bar end mirrors were also a must. Notice the work done on the triple tree, modified to authorize the gauge mounts to be underneath the tree, visually cleaning this area. The flexible LED taillight fits nicely into the rear cowl, the way it was done on some old european sport cars. The custom muffler shrouds were fabricated from stainless steel then ceramic coated. Seat pan was upholstered in tuck n’roll kangaroo (we are in Australia) A very pretty Sportster to ride the beautiful roads of Queensland. Ellaspede Custom Motorcycles.

12 Responses to “Custom Sportster Forty Eight Built The Right Way Down Under”

  1. 1 SIGFREED Sep 30th, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Somehow the late model Sportster, with clip-ons, cannot escape the side profile of the Hunchback of Notre-Dame – irrespective of built quality, the best of intentions and cash notwithstanding.

    The only guys to have cracked it aesthetically are the Del Prado Bros – viz DP Customs – in my humble opinion their “Black & White” 1200 is the definitive Sportster Cafe Racer layout and as such aesthetically balanced.

  2. 2 Shifter Sep 30th, 2013 at 9:05 am

    The tailend/seat combo is very cool.

  3. 3 Gary Pozak Sep 30th, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Very clean

  4. 4 D. Jersey Sep 30th, 2013 at 9:09 am

    The way I like Sporties. Sober with muscle look.

  5. 5 CafeSportyTC Sep 30th, 2013 at 10:12 am

    though i’ve never been a fan of that big tire up front, it is an outstanding looking bike, love it!

  6. 6 Gary Princeton Sep 30th, 2013 at 11:37 am


  7. 7 Woody's Sep 30th, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    Sweet bike. Love the tail/seat treatment and matching tires. Due to my age I wouldn’t care for the clip-on bars either, but that’s more my problem.

  8. 8 Sharrack Sep 30th, 2013 at 7:49 pm


  9. 9 Terence Tory Oct 1st, 2013 at 12:36 am

    I’m not sold on the looks, kind of O.K.,taste is one’s own I guess.I don’t think a heavy bike would steer very well with the fat front tire and clip-ons.The bars are at least wide enough for ample leverage.I don’t know why more builders don’t fit narrower and lower profile 16″ front tires like the German guys like Walz do to make for better and lighter steering.It works on German Fatboys etc.

  10. 10 Mike Greenwald Oct 1st, 2013 at 5:41 am


  11. 11 baggerdude Oct 1st, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Looks good except for that ” Hunchback ” fuel tank. Looks like it was stuck on there as an afterthought.

  12. 12 nicker Oct 2nd, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    The tank doesn’t do it justice.

    -IMHO- anyway

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Cyril Huze