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Rocket Bob’s 79 H-D Sportster, Sloat Slayer

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Words:Pete Pearson Photos:Horst Rosler

My pal Jo Discombe wanted her Ironhead Sportster transformed into something raw, beaten up and looking like it had been assembled in the middle of a battlefield. She wanted it a semi off-road style but also wanted the design to be far removed from a conventional flat track Sportster.

Other than that we were pretty much given a free hand to build the bike anyway we deemed fit, which is exactly what we love to do. The result is a bike that we really are proud of and the customer is very happy about riding.

The bike needed a nasty set of wheels and the only way to put a 190 race slick in the rear of a 79 Sportster with a 50’s arrowhead swingarm was to stretch it to widen it and then run a jackshaft through the original pivot point of the arrowhead. I’ve never been a big fan of Sportster right-side drive so this was a golden opportunity to convert one to left. wrapped around a full carbon race wheel. The pipes on this tracker are critical to it’s look and so the shock set up just had to be completely changed. I love fabricating monoshock systems, but the really massive advantage is that it gives you free rein to run the pipes anyhow you want. and so I did.

My pal Jo Discombe wanted her Ironhead Sportster transformed into something raw, beaten up and looking like it had been assembled in the middle of a battlefield. She wanted it a semi off-road style but also wanted the design to be far removed from a conventional flat track Sportster.

Other than that we were pretty much given a free hand to build the bike anyway we deemed fit, which is exactly what we love to do. The result is a bike that we really are proud of and the customer is very happy about riding.

The bike needed a nasty set of wheels and the only way to put a 190 race slick in the rear of a 79 Sportster with a 50’s arrowhead swingarm was to stretch it to widen it and then run a jackshaft through the original pivot point of the arrowhead. I’ve never been a big fan of Sportster right-side drive so this was a golden opportunity to convert one to left. wrapped around a full carbon race wheel. The pipes on this tracker are critical to it’s look and so the shock set up just had to be completely changed. I love fabricating monoshock systems, but the really massive advantage is that it gives you free rein to run the pipes anyhow you want. and so I did.

My pal Jo Discombe wanted her Ironhead Sportster transformed into something raw, beaten up and looking like it had been assembled in the middle of a battlefield. She wanted it a semi off-road style but also wanted the design to be far removed from a conventional flat track Sportster.

Other than that we were pretty much given a free hand to build the bike anyway we deemed fit, which is exactly what we love to do. The result is a bike that we really are proud of and the customer is very happy about riding.

The bike needed a nasty set of wheels and the only way to put a 190 race slick in the rear of a 79 Sportster with a 50’s arrowhead swingarm was to stretch it to widen it and then run a jackshaft through the original pivot point of the arrowhead. I’ve never been a big fan of Sportster right-side drive so this was a golden opportunity to convert one to left. wrapped around a full carbon race wheel. The pipes on this tracker are critical to it’s look and so the shock set up just had to be completely changed. I love fabricating monoshock systems, but the really massive advantage is that it gives you free rein to run the pipes anyhow you want. and so I did.

Spec Sheet

Builder – Rocket Bobs Cycle Works
Owner – Jo Discombe
Website – rocketbobs.biz
Handle – @rocketbobs
Year – 1979
Make – Harley-Davidson
Model – Ironhead Sportster

ENGINE
Year – 1979
Type – Ironhead
Size – 1000cc
Builder– H-D
Cases– H-D
Cylinders– H-D
Heads– H-D
Rocker Boxes – H-D
Cam – H-D
Carburetor – S&S
Air Cleaner – Rocket Bob’s
Exhaust – Rocket Bob’s

TRANSMISSION
Year – 1979
Type – H-D
Gears – H-D
Clutch – H-D
Primary Drive – H-D

FRAME
Year/Type – H-D Rocket Bob’s
Rake/Stretch – Stock

SUSPENSION
Frontend – Marzocchi
Length – 850mm
Triple Trees – GSXR
Swingarm – Modified 1957 H-D
Rear Shocks – Nitron

ROLLING STOCK

FRONT WHEEL
Builder – Rotobox
Tire/Size – Michelin 120/17
Calipers – Rocket Bob’s
Rotors – ZX10R

REAR WHEEL
Builder – Rotobox
Tire/Size – Michelin 190/60
Caliper – Hope
Rotor – Rocket Bob’s
Sproket – Rotobox

PAINT & PLATING
Paint Manufacturer
Colors Used – None
Painter – Not Much
Graphics – Very Little
Plating – None
Polishing – Rocket Bob’s
Powdercoating – Sunbase Ltd.

ACCESSORIES
Rear Section – Rocket Bob’s
Gas Tank – Modified Yamaha DT175
Handlebars – Rocket Bob’s
Grips – Biltwell
Hand Controls – Joker Machine
Foot Controls – Rocket Bob’s
Pegs – Rocket Bob’s
Headlight – Rocket Bob’s
Taillight – Rocket Bob’s
License Mount – Rocket Bob’s
Seat – Rocket Bob’s

 

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