Hardley. A 883 Sportster Stretching Imagination In The Right Direction

revival1revival2revival3In Austin, Texas there is another shop than the one you know whose work is well known by those into vintage and classic style Ducati, Moto Guzzi, Kawasaki and BMW bikes. Revival Cycles is led by a trio of individuals (a designer, a formally-trained engineer, a mechanic) that pulls all the pieces of an existing motorcycle into a precise equilibrium to produce remarkable machines. All the team admire and respect the new cutting edge motorcycle technologies but consider that every layer of ride-by-wire and traction management systems are just more barriers between the rider and the machine. Pushing away the limitations of mass production, they devote most of their time rethinking and improving the technologies of the past to produce old-school beautiful reliable machines as close as possible to the essence of motorcycling.

revival3bis“Hardley” is the first work of Revival Cycles on a bike produced in Milwaukee. A custom 883 Sportster I loved at first glance without an easy way to explain why. As a matter of fact, all people around me liked it as much without being able to exactly pinpoint the reasons it is so appealing. If you are into vintage style, the work featured here shows the path to “Sportster Righteousness.”

revival4revival5 revival6revival7The beauty of this creation is that it looks so elemental. Like there is in it little more than the basic engine, transmission and a gas tank suspended above a pair of wheels. A sort of vintage modern art with a touch of Cafe Racer. But because it looks so simple, so pure, you can guess that a lot of work was involved in this project. You know that building such a naked bike from a model out of the assembly line always requires a full tear down before a full rebuilding from the bottom up. When it was done, first task was to give muscle to the smallest Sportster. It was accomplished by fitting a 1250 cc cylinders-pistons kit. Coupled with a custom mapped EFI, the 883 is now producing 100 hp and 100 Nm of torque.

revival8 copyrevival9Bodywork is limited to a gorgeous hand-made 3-piece gas tank. A longer inverted front end was installed while the rear was given  the race stance via solid-extended shocks. A minimal seat is enough for this machine, contributing in helping “Hardley” lose a total of 100 lbs. A pair of 19-inch spoke wheels wrapped in Maxxis dirt-track tires complete the identity of this Sportster stretching imagination in the right direction. Fast, naked, nimble. The realm of motorcycling. Revival Cycles.

17 Responses to “Hardley. A 883 Sportster Stretching Imagination In The Right Direction”

  1. 1 REV.JIM May 26th, 2014 at 8:35 am

    As Indian Larry would say “I love the “Mecanhicalness of it” I would have spent more time on the seat section though!

  2. 2 BCinSoCal May 26th, 2014 at 9:55 am

    Like it a lot , would be great fun to ride, agreed, the seat area is weak.

  3. 3 Brett Sherman May 26th, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Somebody did something very different with a Sportster. Applaud.

  4. 4 Josh Parker May 26th, 2014 at 10:23 am

    The definition of a naked bike.

  5. 5 Brad Schaeffer May 26th, 2014 at 10:25 am

    When a builder is doing the cross over from what he usually does, the work is fresh. This guys don’t work on Harleys. Then they do one. Bingo. Style is unique.

  6. 6 Shifter May 26th, 2014 at 10:38 am

    I prefer to qualify this bike with the term that Cyril coined years ago. Neo-Retro.

  7. 7 P. Henry May 26th, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Everything good…except the seat.

  8. 8 Ronnie May 26th, 2014 at 10:41 am

    Not sure that this rear shocks extension will work well, but like the bike.

  9. 9 James just another Crazy Kiwi May 26th, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Very Cool Bike !
    Surf Board seats become uncomfortable very quickly.
    Looks like something off a 650 Bonnie which we never complained about in the day.
    Aging changes taste and perception.
    Not always for the better !

  10. 10 skinny denny May 26th, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    Why do they call it an 883 if it’s actually a 1250 cc?

  11. 11 Doc Robinson May 26th, 2014 at 4:03 pm


  12. 12 Septic the Sceptic May 26th, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    I am completely over this current fashion in seats.

  13. 13 Mack May 26th, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Love the seat !…..reminds me of my le pera…..more comfortable than u think..
    Great Bike !!!

  14. 14 nicker May 26th, 2014 at 10:38 pm

    “…every layer of ride-by-wire and traction management systems are just more barriers between the rider and the machine …”

    Technology for it’s own sake is a waste of time and money.
    Not sure about the tank.
    Hand made tanks can be way-cool and can be used to showcase a builder’s talents.

    But seeing asymmetrical bodywork of any type will raise suspicions.
    The master “panel beater” at Moal Coach builders, when an interviewer complemented him on an exquisite hand-formed left front fender, replied:

    “…Oh creating one such fender is relatively easy. The trick is making the other side a mirror image duplicate…”

    This scooter’s design is certainly headed in the right direction.
    Its a bike that makes the connection between today and the Rockers of the 50s/60s.
    I like it very much.


  15. 15 James just another Crazy Kiwi May 27th, 2014 at 5:09 am

    It sits high at the back end but will look very different with a body of weight on the seat
    Maybe Doc’s……lol

  16. 16 Martin Twofeather May 27th, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Well done….

  17. 17 tussuck May 29th, 2014 at 4:05 am

    Man thats just plain fugly! I like Sportsters but this is just ‘wrong’.

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Cyril Huze