Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-eight Bob Job




The old stereotype of a Harley-Davidson woman is a Sportster emasculated to look like the Malibu Barbie. This Sportster, however, is more GI Joe than that. It’s a 2010 Sportster Forty-Eight HD that’s been blacked out, stripped down and given an aggressive look. The bike is also owned by Samantha (Sam) Jackson.

The story here started with Sam wanting a set of RSD mini-monkeys for his 2008 Sportster Custom. really based on those bars.” In her opinion, her first bike just wouldn’t look good with the bars she wanted. The builder and the customer argued over the best way to proceed. The 2010 Forty-Eight she bought from Performance Harley-Davidson in Syracuse, New York, was a perfect midpoint between her old Sporty and spending a mountain of money to make it look “proper” with these mini monkeys. It was brand new, quite different, and had a lot of potential to turn it into a nice little street rod with less effort.

Shane Gatto walked a fine line between stock and custom for this bike. He and owner Samantha Jackson wanted him to be lean and mean enough to look good with the monkeys without losing his Harley essence.

What Roland does not offer in its line of parts are matching fenders. Cutting the front and rear sheet metal was a no-brainer. However, drilling holes along the sides of the rear fender to match the new belt guard was a great way to bring the rear of the bike together in a united style.

Both wheels have Sands rotors, the engine got Roland’s Mission air cleaner and Tracker exhaust, and the gas tank got a new RSD cap.

Shane has loosened his creative leash a little more with the Roland Sands training pulley. This is a 70 tooth unit designed for a 2006 Softail with a 20mm belt set for Buell gears. He might have done that just because, or maybe the decision had something to do with Performance HD pushing Sam’s engine to 1200cc and wanting the best response from the rear wheel matches.

Mom wants her baby to look good, but baby should also be fun to ride. The Tracker pipe brings more pep to his approach.

Of course, what really matters most is whether Sam liked the finished beauty, meaning his bike and all. The short answer to that question is: she was thrilled. Shane Gatto has done a great job of preserving its Harley feel while giving it just enough change to mark this Sportster as truly its own animal.

Between the new styling and the higher displacement, Sam’s 48 is definitely a Sporty with a bag. Specifically, a bespoke leather side bag from Garage Leathers. See how its lines work in tandem with the shock, rear primary and battery cover.

The only aspect of this Sporty that’s even remotely girlie is the pseudo-psychedelic gold pattern on the gas tank, and even to say that is overkill. Sam’s Kandy Rootbeer, Pagan Gold and the Black Fuel Can are a blob of color floating over black, chrome and nickel.

Shane’s design strategy was simple, but the tactics he used to execute it showed some creativity. Since Sam’s bike centered around ribbed RSD handlebars, targeting locations all over the bike with other Roland Sands offerings to match made sense.

Shane only left the bare minimum of a front fender on this bike.


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