Here’s How I Turned My 2006 Harley-Davidson Sportster Into A Badass Scrambler

Meet the Gnarly-Davidson

Whats better than saving up to buy a motorcycle? Saving up to build one. Alright, the word “build” might be a stretch here, but that’s exactly what I’ve done. I bought clean 2006 Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 you see in the video above and the photos below for about $3,400. I could have went newer and spent more, but I landed on that amount because I wanted a solid motorcycle that I could use as a canvas to do some simple, fun cosmetic work.

Fortunately, I did end up with a solid bike for that price. Nothing mechanical needed my attention, so I started the build by stripping off parts. The wide factory seat and long rear fender were the first to go. Once I built brackets for an old CB750 tank and shortened the front fender, I  welded a piece of flat bar to mount a custom seat and hooped the frame.

At that point I ran out of money, but the bike ran well and looked alright. My Sporty remained half built for about a year until I started work at a motorcycle shop here in Boulder, Colorado called Sidney’s Moto Club. Once I had the tools and the funding I needed, the Sportster finally became a scrambler.

A 19-inch front wheel, Pirelli MT60s, and a Biltwell Moto bar turned the former chopper into an old-school, off road menace. Dual sport tires transformed the way it handled the dirt, although it’s still too heavy for serious trails. The best thing about this motorcycle is the ability to go anywhere from highways to dirt roads, and the fact that it shakes like an old-school bike at idle.

I still use my car for long distances and snowy days. That being said, I ride my Sportster almost every day. I have more fun with this scrambler than any other vehicle, period. The riding position is comfy, the exhaust is iconic, and a twist of your wrist produces a wave of torque at any RPM.