1981 Harley-Davidson Sportster Custom “Top Fuel II”

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1981 Harley-Davidson Sportster Custom “Top Fuel II”. From Bike Exif.com, 2011

Blue Streak: DP Custom’s “Top Fuel II” Ironhead Sportster

If there’s a specialist in custom Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportsters, it’s Arizona-based DP Custom Cycles. Their bikes are classy and well-finished, and invariably have a strong graphic look. And best of all, they’re priced to sell: DP’s motto is “Built by the workin’ man, for the workin’ man”. This time DP have gone for a really old school look with a springer front end, vintage Firestone rear tire, and white headers.

“My brother Jarrod and I are huge racing fans, and we’ve owned and love old Fords,” says shop boss Justin Del Prado. “The paint scheme was inspired by the 1965 Ford Galaxie that won the NASCAR Championship. The sharp blue really pops against the cool white, and it looks like magic in the bright sun. Tons of hours were put into restoring this beauty, and now she’s back on the road getting attention—instead of heading to a junkyard.”

After dismantling the 1981-vintage Ironhead, DP found that the internals were in surprisingly good shape, so they simply detailed everything to like-new condition and installed all new gaskets. “We had everything apart to inspect, repair and restore as needed,” says Del Prado. “We spent a couple hours just getting the coil to sit perfectly between the motor, frame and tank. Every nut, bolt, wire and switch are new.”

Ironhead motors make great torque throughout the rev range—over 50lb ft at the wheel—and this makes for a very fun bike to ride around town. So, the 5×16 Firestone (rear) and 3.5×19 Avon (front) are for cruising to the local pub rather than MotoGP-style cornering. It’s got the style of a straightline gasser, with a comfortable Biltwell seat and an easy reach to the powder coated bars.

The combination of the 4” under springer with a stretched hardtail gives the bike a great stance. And it’s good to see colors that you don’t normally get on Harleys—like the white wheels and blue frame.

The 1981 Harley-Davidson Sportster Custom “Top Fuel II” On offer here is this tribute to Ned Jarrett’s #11 Nascar Ford Galaxie. Sharing the same livery, DP Customs did a fantastic job of customizing the Sportster with very subtle features. Owned for several years by the vendor, the bike has been part of a discerning collection of cars and motorcycles. It has been on static display for the most part with only negligible use, in a climate-controlled environment. In excellent condition throughout, the bike has held up well since DP Customs’ exquisite build nearly a decade ago.

1981 Harley-Davidson Sportster Custom “Top Fuel II”

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