This Custom Harley-Davidson Sportster Boasts Forced Induction and Monoshock Suspension

Custom Harley-Davidson Sportster 8 photos
Photo: Cole Brightbill via BikeBound
Custom Harley-Davidson SportsterCustom Harley-Davidson SportsterCustom Harley-Davidson SportsterCustom Harley-Davidson SportsterCustom Harley-Davidson SportsterCustom Harley-Davidson SportsterCustom Harley-Davidson Sportster
For a talented custom bike builder like Bryce Schmidt, creativity knows no bounds and thinking outside the box is always the preferred route. He's part of a rare breed of craftsmen who seek to defy conventionality at every turn, operating as Schmidt Motos LLC over in Salina, Kansas. We think his work deserves a lot more attention than it actually gets, and you will soon see why that’s so.
Even though Schmidt Motos is a relatively modest shop located in the owner’s home garage, the motorcycles built there are nothing short of astounding. Each of them bears the hallmark of his unwavering dedication and meticulous workmanship, revealing the extensive skillset that Bryce has nurtured over the years. Like many builders of his caliber, he became interested in motorcycling at a pretty early age.

Later down the line, he began experimenting with metal fabrication and machining at 19 years old, constantly honing his abilities along the way. It didn’t take long for Bryce to become extremely proficient at transforming raw metal into bespoke artwork. Over the years, he has owned and tinkered with a large selection of bikes, totaling around 40 different models from various manufacturers. No custom project was as ambitious as the one pictured above, though.

It was pieced together back in 2018, with a Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200 Roadster acting as the basis for Schmidt’s conversion. To be exact, Bryce went with a 2005 model and his primary goal had to do with some good old forced induction, seeking to put the “sport” back in Sportster. However, he wasn’t content with simply fitting a turbo kit onto the Harley and then calling it a day.

On the contrary, the Schmidt Motos treatment worked wonders far beyond the powertrain sector, and the fruit of Bryce’s labor speaks for itself. From a cosmetic standpoint, he claims to have been inspired mainly by cafe racer aesthetics, but we also sense a nice bit of street tracker flavor all throughout this machine. Let’s go ahead and take a closer look without further ado, because there are many things for us to cover here.

Custom Harley\-Davidson Sportster
Photo: Cole Brightbill via BikeBound
The overhaul started with a complete teardown once the Sportster crossed his doorstep, deleting most components aside from the bare essentials. With the bike taken apart, our protagonist first busied himself with some intricate fabrication work. He replaced the stock subframe with a custom tubular alternative built from scratch, immediately altering the motorcycle’s rear-end geometry beyond recognition.

Aluminum was then used to shape a pointy tail section and two triangular side covers, each of them being sculpted to absolute perfection. What’s even more impressive is the new suspension arrangement at the back, as Bryce did away with the Harley’s twin shock absorbers in favor of a single Kawasaki Ninja unit. Of course, the swingarm had to be reworked extensively before this new setup could fit.

It has also been extended by about 3.5 inches (90 mm) in the process, and a boxy aluminum oil tank was installed underneath. Along with the high-grade monoshock, the aforementioned Kawi was kind enough to donate its rear wheel, as well. Schmidt had it mated to a Lowbrow Customs sprocket and a fresh drive chain, while modifying the wheel hub and using custom spacers to make everything fit like a glove.

Custom Harley\-Davidson Sportster
Photo: Cole Brightbill via BikeBound
The turbocharger and its associated plumbing are the things that truly set Bryce's creation apart, though. A testament to his ingenuity, the tailor-made setup employs a 45 mm (1.8-inch) Mikuni HSR carburetor, pie-cut stainless-steel pipework, and a compact aftermarket blower. You’ll find top-shelf air filtration hardware on the intake side of things, but the exhaust system is so short that it’s almost non-existent beyond the turbo.

In addition to the mechanical wizardry under the hood, the project’s author looked for ways to complement the new rear suspension with some front-end mods. Equipping the factory forks with adjustable cartridge inserts from Progressive Suspension, he really elevated things to the next level in the handling department. Braided stainless-steel brake hoses are also present fore and aft.

We spot tons of other tasty accessories scattered all throughout this build, including billet aluminum foot pegs, a swingarm-mounted taillight, and a low-rise handlebar. Much of the Sportster’s electronic equipment is now stashed in a handmade boxy beneath the tail, right in front of the license plate bracket. Moreover, the way ahead is illuminated by a fresh headlamp with retro looks.

Bryce Schmidt kept it simple when it came to the paint job, simply finishing the bodywork and frame in black while leaving other bits unpainted. The plain, unassuming colorway lets his incredible handiwork do the talking, and that’s just the way we like it. However, there is sadly no word on the performance gains achieved with forced induction, so we can’t quite grasp the full extent of this transformation without knowing the V-twin's updated output figures.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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