How To Build A Sportster Café Racer Only With Harley-Davidson Custom Accessories

How many Sportster owners want to ride light, fast and loaded with hard-edged, retro-custom attitude . Many, of course. Less is more because less is faster. That was the simple philosophy of the original bikers in 1960’s England who stripped motorcycles down to the bare essentials and put their machines to the test street-racing from coffee shop to coffee shop. The bikes became known as Café Racers and the stripped-down style became iconic. A Café Racer has signature features to define the look and feel: a low-slung handlebars, rear-set foot controls and a narrow profile. Harley-Davidson is now selling Café Custom accessories to create this style of motorcycles starting from a Sportster.

Designed to transform the style, attitude and performance of the Roadster and other Harley-Davidson Sportster models, the new Café Custom accessories leverage the popular retro-custom look influenced by vintage Café Racers and the current garage-built bike scene. Café Custom accessories – including a sleek tail section with solo seat, clip-on handlebars and rear-set foot controls – may be installed as a complete package or individually, and combined with additional Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories items to complete a personal custom vision.

“The new Harley-Davidson Café Custom accessories dramatically alter the look of a Sportster, but they can also transform the riding experience,” said Harley-Davidson Senior Product Manager Rebecca Krueger. “The low bars, rear-sets and the seat positon put the rider in an aggressive, athletic posture. When blitzing back roads or snaking through an urban jungle, riders feel connected to the motorcycle and the pavement because their weight is shifted lower and forward over the front wheel of the bike. Curbside, the look is unmistakably classic. These Café Custom parts provide the perfect foundation for a uniquely personalized Sportster.”

Café Custom accessories can even evoke a craving for more power. “During testing we found the control and confidence a rider feels in the café riding position ignites an instant desire for more-potent Sportster performance,” said Krueger. “Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Accessories can unleash the potential of a Café Custom Sportster with the no-compromise Screamin’ Eagle Stage IV Street Performance Kit and the new Screamin’ Eagle Fully Adjustable Front Fork Kit and Screamin’ Eagle Fully Adjustable Piggyback Shocks.”

Since not every Sportster owner has a fully-equipped garage – or the time and expertise required to scratch-build a custom motorcycle – Harley-Davidson Café Custom accessories have been designed to provide factory-quality fit and function with no cutting, welding or fab work required for installation.

Low, narrow Gloss Black Clip-On Handlebars (P/N 55800647 39mm fork, P/N 55800668 49mm fork, P/N 55800646 55mm fork; $249.95) enable the rider to “tuck in” over the tank in a classic, aggressive riding position to help to reduce wind resistance and improve control. Ideal for carving corners and splitting lanes (where allowable by law), these Clip-On bars mount on the fork tubes below the upper triple tree and narrow the overall width of the bike. Fully adjustable for reach and height, these individual 12.25-inch bars are engineered from solid aluminum for strength, and drilled and dimpled to accept bar-end mirrors and standard hand controls. The bars are secured to the fork tubes with precision-machined clamps and aircraft-grade hardware. Each kit includes bars, fork clamps and all mounting hardware. These bars fit many 2014-later Sportster models, and individual vehicle applications may require separate purchase of an instrument mount and cables or brake lines. See an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer for fitment details.

The new Round Bar End Mirrors (P/N 56000133 Right Hand upright position, P/N 56000134 Left Hand upright position; $99.95) complete a cut-down Café bike look. The mirrors offer an improved field of view on a bike equipped with narrow bars, are adjustable for maximum rear visibility, and can be positioned above the bar or, in some configurations, below the bar. Right and left mirrors are sold separately and include hardware required to fit both 7/8-inch or 1-inch bars. Installation requires separate purchase of Diamond-Black Hand Grips (P/N 56100199 or P/N 56100202; $99.95**). These mirrors fit stock or accessory handlebars on 1996-later Sportster models as well as many other Harley-Davidson motorcycle models. See an authorized Harley-Davidson dealer for fitment details.

The relationship between the seat, the handlebar and the foot controls has an enormous impact on the control and confidence felt when riding a motorcycle. The new Rear Set Foot Controls (P/N 50700040 Gloss Black, $699.95) move the foot controls to the passenger foot peg location, transforming the Sportster riding position from a relaxed cruiser to an aggressive, curve-carving posture. When combined with Clip-On or Sportster Clubman Handlebars (P/N 55800342, $199.95), the resulting hands-forward and feet-back profile drapes the rider over the bike for a feel that’s one with the machine. This complete Rear Set Control Kit includes all required components and hardware and retains the standard shift pattern. Unlike many after-market rear-set kits, this Harley-Davidson kit can be installed with the Original Equipment exhaust system. Installation requires removal of passenger footpegs and footpeg mounts and is for a solo rider application only. The kit reuses the Original Equipment rider footpegs and fits 2014-later Iron 883, SuperLow, Roadster, SuperLow 1200T, and Forty-Eight models

The fast-back Café Custom Tail Section (P/N 59500644 Unpainted, $549.95; P/N 59500560DH Vivid Black, $699.95**) mirrors the look and feel of the iconic 1977-79 Harley-Davidson® XLCR Café Racer model, and re-imagines the style for the modern era. This seat supports an aggressive, lay-down riding posture when combined with Clip-On or Sportster Clubman Handlebars (P/N 55800342, $199.95**) and mid- or rear set foot controls. An upturned tail and longer nose positions the solo rider closer to the tank for better weight balance, quicker steering and added front-end feedback. The bolt-on design wraps the fender struts – no frame modification is required – and the installation is reversible back to a stock seat. The complete kit features a sweeping composite tail section with a steel inner support, a deep solo seat with backstop pad, and all necessary installation hardware. The kit fits 2007-later Iron 883, Roadster, Nightster, Seventy-Two and Forty-Eight models. Canada and other International models may require separate purchase of License Plate Bracket Kit.

These and other Harley-Davidson Genuine Motor Parts & Accessories are available at more than 750 authorized retail locations in the United States and online.

* Screamin’ Eagle products are not available for sale in all countries. Please contact your local dealer for more information. (Suggested Retail Price (MSRP), excluding taxes, shipping and labor cost for installation. Prices at local dealerships may vary and are subject to change. All items are subject to availability and prior sale by our dealers.)

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14 Responses to “How To Build A Sportster Café Racer Only With Harley-Davidson Custom Accessories”


  1. 1 seymour Mar 30th, 2017 at 8:28 am

    Pretty sweet

  2. 2 Tony Sigula Mar 30th, 2017 at 9:18 am

    Great stuff. Like the parts.

  3. 3 Donnie Mar 30th, 2017 at 9:34 am

    Harley took the best of what they have seen on the street and adapted it to the Sportster. Fashion is created by Custom Builders. Pre-A-Porter by Harley.

  4. 4 Jeffrey Mar 30th, 2017 at 9:36 am

    Bravo Harley!

  5. 5 BobS Mar 30th, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    I like the look, but if I were in the market for this I’d buy a Thruxton and not have to ‘fix’ a brand new bike by replacing all these parts.

  6. 6 James just another crazy kiwi Mar 30th, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    I agree with BobS

    Will this be one of the new 50 models released ?

    But the engine needs more Ponies !

    Four valve heads…….maybe ?

  7. 7 NoH2oh Mar 30th, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    699.95 for rearsets that should be standard. And people b*tch about RSD…..

  8. 8 JohnnySpeed Mar 30th, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    That is some pricey stuff. You’re better off putting that money into the motor and suspension to get some real power and handling out of it instead of just cosmetics.

  9. 9 Joe Mar 31st, 2017 at 8:05 am

    They did a nice job on all of these accessories and the bike looks great!

  10. 10 Jerrman Mar 31st, 2017 at 9:35 am

    Along with the new Street Rod, possibly the second smart thing HD has done in years to appeal to younger riders.

  11. 11 hardley davidson Mar 31st, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Leave it to harley..build a lacking bike and then charge big bucks to make it right.hey harley just build a good bike

  12. 12 Bikerchick Mar 31st, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Wow! My ’13 Iron Sportster would look amazing set up like this but the end result is too expensive. Harley did do a great job but it would be great to actually produce this so you can purchase off the showroom floor with all the parts already on the bike.

  13. 13 Rob Apr 3rd, 2017 at 9:56 am

    Nice to see that Harley realizes some of us want rearsets for our Sportsters. But I was a bit bummed out to find that the rearsets won’t fit my 2013 Iron. Well, not bummed out for long as that $700 price tag would have scared me away even if they did fit.

  14. 14 hacksaw Apr 4th, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    he right idea. just a bit pricey. buy a used 1200 and install your own aftermarket stuff. i don’t see 20grand sportsters as a value.

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