Off-Road Attitude: Building Your Harley Sportster Scrambler

Building a Harley Sportster-scrambler is a great way to customize your motorcycle and achieve an off-road look and feel. With its classic style and powerful engine, the Sportster is an ideal base for creating a scrambler that can handle any terrain.

From upgrading suspension to installing larger wheels, there are many modifications you can make to transform your Sportster into a capable off-road machine. With its off-road capabilities and rugged design, this motorcycle is built to handle any terrain.

But before you hit the dirt roads, it’s important to know how to build a Harley Sportster scrambler that can handle everything nature throws. Here, We will discuss all the necessary steps to create your ultimate off-road machine. From choosing the right parts and accessories to tips on driving it like a pro, we have got you covered.

Harley Sportster Scrambler

About Harley Sportster Scrambler

About Harley Sportster Scrambler

The Harley Sportster-scrambler is a popular motorcycle model known for its off-road capabilities. It combines the classic Harley design with modern features like improved suspension and higher ground clearance. The scrambler style is achieved through bike modifications, including knobby tires, raised handlebars, and a shortened rear fender. Here is an overview:

Engine Type V-Twin
Displacement 1200cc
Horsepower 70 hp
Torque 73 lb-ft
Transmission 5-speed
Fuel System Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI)
Suspension Front: Telescopic fork, Rear: Dual shocks
Brakes Front: Disc, Rear: Disc
Wheel Size Front: 19 inches, Rear: 16 inches
Weight 567 lbs
Seat Height 29.9 inches
Fuel Capacity 3.3 gallons
Color Options Black, Silver, Orange
Price Starting at $11,999

Gathering Materials and Tools

You must gather the necessary materials and tools to build your Harley Sportster Scrambler. Here is a list of what you will need:

  • Harley Sportster motorcycle
  • Scrambler conversion kit
  • Wrench set
  • Socket set
  • Screwdrivers (flathead and Phillips)
  • Pliers
  • Allen wrenches
  • Torque wrench
  • Wire cutters/strippers
  • Electrical tape
  • Paint and primer (if desired)
  • Safety goggles and gloves

These materials and tools will help ensure you have everything you need to convert your Harley Sportster into a Scrambler-style motorcycle successfully.

Harley Sportster Scrambler Building Guideline

Harley Sportster Scrambler Building Guideline

Building a Harley Sportster scrambler can be a thrilling and rewarding project for motorcycle enthusiasts. The Sportster Scrambler offers a unique blend of classic style and off-road capabilities, making it a versatile and exciting ride.

By building your own Scrambler, you can customize every aspect of the bike to suit your preferences and create a one-of-a-kind machine. Below we provide guidelines on the Harley Sportster-scrambler building.

Choosing The Right Harley Sportster Model For A Scrambler Build

Regarding building a Harley Sportster-scrambler, choosing the right model is key. The Sportster line offers several options to serve as a great base for your custom build. The most popular choices for a scrambler build are the Iron 883 and the forty-eight models. Both of these models have a strong and reliable engine, a solid frame, and a classic aesthetic that pairs well with the rugged style of a scrambler. Here are all the model names. Choose your best one:

  • Harley-Davidson Iron 883 Scrambler
  • Harley-Davidson forty-eight Scrambler
  • Harley-Davidson Roadster Scrambler
  • Harley-Davidson Superlow Scrambler

Disassembling The Sportster

Disassembling the Sportster is necessary when customizing or performing maintenance on your Harley. Before getting started, gathering the right tools and ensuring you have a clear workspace is important. Begin by removing the seat and disconnecting the battery to prevent electrical mishaps during disassembly.

Next, remove the gas tank, exhaust pipes, and other accessories attached to the bike. Take care to label or organize any removed parts to make reassembly easier. As you disassemble the Sportster, be mindful of any wiring or cables that need to be disconnected. Following these steps and taking time, you can safely and effectively disassemble your Harley Sportster for modifications or repairs.

Choosing The Right Parts For Your Harley Sportster-Scrambler Build

Choosing The Right Parts For Your Harley Sportster-Scrambler Build

When building a Harley Sportster-scrambler, choosing the right parts is crucial to achieving the desired look and performance.  By carefully considering these factors and doing thorough research, you can select the right parts for your Harley Sportster-scrambler build to enhance its aesthetics and performance. There are several factors to consider when selecting parts for your build:

  1. Quality: Opt for high-quality parts from reputable manufacturers to ensure durability and reliability.
  2. Compatibility: Ensure your chosen parts are compatible with your Harley Sportster model and year.
  3. Aesthetics: Consider the overall aesthetic you want to achieve with your Scrambler build. Choose parts that complement a Scrambler’s vintage, rugged look, such as a high-mount exhaust, knobby tires, and a minimalist seat.
  4. Performance: Enhance the performance of your Sportster by selecting performance-oriented parts like upgraded suspension, a high-flow air intake, and a tuned exhaust system.
  5. Budget: Set a budget for your build and prioritize which parts are most important to you. Investing in critical components like brakes and suspensions is always wise before splurging on cosmetic upgrades.

Modifying The Frame

Modifying the frame of a Harley Sportster-scrambler is an essential step in transforming it into an adventure bike suitable for off-road riding. The frame modification typically involves raising the rear suspension and adjusting the steering geometry to provide better stability and control on rough terrain.

This allows for a more comfortable and capable ride during adventure riding, where unpredictable surfaces and challenging obstacles are common. Modifying the frame may also involve installing skid plates or crash bars to protect vital components and improve durability. By making these modifications, riders can enhance the performance and versatility of their Harley Sportster- scrambler, making it ready to conquer any adventure that comes their way.

Selecting The Appropriate Tires For Off-Road Riding

Selecting The Appropriate Tires For Off-Road Riding

Off-road riding is a thrilling experience that requires the right equipment, especially regarding tires. Choosing the appropriate tires for off-road conditions can make all the difference in stability and control. With so many tire options, selecting the right one can be challenging.

When selecting your Harley Sportster-Scrambler tires, look for knobby tread patterns that provide excellent traction on dirt and gravel surfaces. Consider the size of the tire as well, as larger tires may require modifications to your bike’s suspension and brakes.

Tires with a higher aspect ratio will offer more cushioning on rough terrain, ensuring a smooth ride regardless of the bumps in the road. Choosing the appropriate tires will give you confidence and control while off-roading your Harley Sportster Scrambler.

Upgrading The Suspension System For Improved Off-Road Handling

Upgrading The Suspension System For Improved Off-Road Handling

A high-performance suspension system is key when taking your Harley Sportster Scrambler off-road. Upgrading your suspension can help improve handling, stability, and overall bike control on rough terrain.

You can better absorb bumps and uneven surfaces by replacing your stock shocks or adjustable fork springs with high-quality upgrades designed for your Harley Sportster-Scrambler. Adding a steering damper to your off-road build can also help reduce wobbling and provide greater control while navigating challenging terrain.

When selecting parts for upgrading the suspension system of your Harley Sportster-scrambler, it’s essential to choose parts that are compatible with other upgrades you plan to make. You can transform your Harley Sportster-scrambler into an off-road machine that will take on any trail or motocross course by carefully selecting and installing the right suspension upgrades for your riding style and needs.

Upgrading The Engine

If you’re looking to upgrade the engine on your Harley Sportster-scrambler, there are a few options to consider. One popular option is to install a high-performance exhaust system, which can improve your bike’s sound and performance. Another option is to upgrade the air intake system, which can increase airflow to the engine and improve overall power and torque.

Additionally, you may want to consider upgrading the fuel management system, such as installing a fuel injection kit or a performance tuner, which can optimize fuel delivery and enhance the bike’s performance. It’s important to do thorough research and consult with professionals before making any modifications to ensure compatibility and maximize the benefits of your engine upgrade.

Customizing The Look Of Your Harley Sportster-Scrambler

Customizing The Look Of Your Harley Sportster-Scrambler

Regarding customizing the look of your Harley Sportster Scrambler, numerous parts can be swapped out to give your bike a unique aesthetic. However, it’s important to remember that functionality should be just as important as appearance.

Choosing high-quality, durable parts will ensure the longevity of your custom build and contribute to a safe and comfortable ride. Researching different manufacturers and reading customer reviews can help you decide which parts to choose.

Whether you want to switch out your handlebars for a more aggressive stance or install a new exhaust system for improved performance, selecting the right parts will ultimately pay off in style and functionality. So let your creativity run wild – ensure you do so with safety and quality in mind.

Customizing The Exhaust System

Regarding customizing a Harley Sportster-scrambler, one area that many riders choose to focus on is the exhaust system. Upgrading the exhaust can enhance the bike’s overall performance and give it a unique and personalized look.

One popular option for customizing the exhaust system is to install a high-performance aftermarket muffler or slip-on. This can improve the bike’s sound and increase its horsepower and torque. Another option is to go for a full exhaust system replacement, which can offer even more significant gains in performance.

Additionally, riders may switch to a different exhaust style depending on their aesthetic preferences, such as a high-mount or low-mount configuration. No matter what style or type of exhaust customization you choose, always consult an expert or professional to ensure proper installation and compatibility with your Harley Sportster-scrambler.

Installing Handlebars And Controls

Installing Handlebars And Controls

Installing handlebars and controls on your Harley Sportster-scrambler is a great way to customize your bike and enhance its performance. One popular option for handlebars is the mini ape hangers, which give your bike a more aggressive and commanding look. When installing new handlebars, it’s important to consider the height and width that best suits your riding style and comfort.

Upgrading your controls with high-quality aftermarket options can improve your bike’s responsiveness and overall feel. Once you have installed your new handlebars and controls, consider adding a powder coat finish to protect them from rust and corrosion and give them a sleek and durable look. With these upgrades, you’ll be ready to hit the road in style on your Harley Sportster-scrambler.

Adding Off-Road Accessories To Your Scrambler Build

Enhancing the performance and style of your Harley Sportster-Scrambler build with off-road accessories can take your experience to the next level. By adding accessories such as off-road tires, skid plates, and high-performance suspension systems, you can enjoy better handling, improved stability, and increased durability on rough terrain.

Additionally, upgrading to a high-flow air filter and exhaust system can increase horsepower, providing more power for off-road adventures. However, when choosing off-road accessories for your scrambler build, it’s important to ensure that the parts are made of durable materials that can withstand harsh weather conditions and tough terrain. Moreover, ensure all the accessories are compatible with your Harley Sportster model.

Painting And Styling Your Harley Sportster-Scrambler With An Off-Road Theme

Painting And Styling Your Harley Sportster-Scrambler With An Off-Road Theme

Several options exist regarding painting and styling your Harley Sportster-scrambler with an off-road theme. The goal is to achieve a rugged look that meshes well with the bike’s capabilities. One way to accomplish this is by painting the bike with earthy tones or camouflage patterns. This will give it a military-inspired aesthetic that fits well with its off-road attitude.

Add accessories like knobby tires, skid plates, and high-mount exhausts to enhance the bike’s off-road capabilities. Along with appearance, it’s important to choose lightweight materials for components like fenders and gas tanks to improve the bike’s agility and manoeuvrability. Remember that the parts should match your desired aesthetic and complement each other for optimal performance on rough terrain.

Safety Considerations When Building A Harley Sportster-Scrambler

Safety should be a top priority when building a Harley Sportster-Scrambler custom bike. Remember, safety should always be prioritized when building and riding a custom motorcycle, especially one designed for off-road use, like the Harley Sportster-scrambler. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:

  • Suspension: Upgrading the suspension on your custom motorcycle is essential for off-road riding. Make sure to choose quality components that can handle the demands of rough terrain.
  • Tires: Opt for tires with aggressive tread patterns that provide superior traction on unpaved surfaces. This will ensure stability and control during off-road adventures.
  • Braking System: Enhancing your braking system is crucial for safe riding. Upgrading to high-performance brake pads and installing a larger front rotor can improve stopping power and prevent accidents.
  • Lighting: Consider adding additional lighting to increase visibility during off-road rides. Auxiliary lights, LED light bars, and upgraded headlights can greatly enhance your ability to see and be seen.
  • Protective Gear: Use proper protective gear, such as a sturdy helmet, gloves, boots, and durable riding apparel. This will help protect you in case of mishaps while enjoying your Harley Sportster-scrambler on challenging terrains.

Maintenance And Care Tips For Your Harley Sportster-Scrambler

Maintenance And Care Tips For Your Harley Sportster-Scrambler

Proper maintenance and care are essential for keeping your Harley Sportster-scrambler in top shape. Following these maintenance tips will help keep your Harley Sportster-scrambler running smoothly and ensure that you can enjoy many miles of thrilling rides ahead. Here are some tips to help you maintain your bike:

  • Custom Chain Tension: It is important to regularly check and adjust the chain tension on your Sportster Scrambler. A loose or tight chain can affect the performance and longevity of your bike. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on properly adjusting the chain tension.
  • Custom Electronics: If you have made any customizations to the electronics on your bike, such as adding aftermarket lights or a new ignition system, it is important to ensure that they are properly installed and functioning correctly. Regularly inspect the wiring and connections to avoid any potential electrical issues.
  • Tire Selection: Choosing the right tires for your Sportster Scrambler is crucial for optimal performance and safety. Consider factors such as tread pattern, size, and type of tire (e.g., off-road or all-terrain) based on your riding preferences and conditions. Regularly check tire pressure and tread wear to maintain optimal grip and handling.
  • LED Tail Light: Upgrading to an LED tail light can provide better visibility and increased safety on the road. LED lights are known for their brightness and longevity compared to traditional bulbs. Ensure that the LED tail light is securely installed and functioning properly by regularly checking for any signs of damage or malfunction.


Building a Harley Sportster scrambler can be a rewarding and exciting project for any motorcycle enthusiast. By combining the ruggedness of off-road riding with the classic style of a Harley, you can create a unique and personalized machine that truly reflects your personality and attitude.

From selecting the right parts to customizing the paint job, building your own Harley Sportster-scrambler is a labour of love that requires patience, skill, and dedication. But once it’s built, it’s time to hit the dirt roads. Building a Harley Sportster-scrambler is an exciting and rewarding project that allows you to express your off-road attitude and create a unique motorcycle that perfectly reflects your style. Following the tips and guidelines, you can transform your bike into a true scrambler that can easily handle any terrain.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.Does Harley Have A Scrambler?

Ans: Yes, Harley-Davidson does have a scrambler in their lineup. The Harley-Davidson scrambler is a versatile and rugged motorcycle that combines off-road capability with Harley’s iconic style and power.

2.Is The Sportster A Real Harley?

Ans: Yes, the Sportster is a real Harley. It is a popular model in the Harley-Davidson lineup and has been in production since 1957.

3.Is A Sportster A Small Bike?

Ans: Yes, a Sportster is considered a small bike compared to other motorcycles. The Sportster offers a nimble and agile riding experience with its compact design and lightweight frame.

4.What CC Is A Sportster?

Ans: The Sportster is a model of motorcycle produced by Harley-Davidson. Depending on the specific model and year, it is available in various engine sizes, commonly ranging from 883cc to 1200cc.

5.What Bike Is Scrambler?

Ans: A scrambler bike is a type of motorcycle that is designed for off-road or rough terrain riding. It typically has a lightweight frame, high ground clearance, knobby tires, and a powerful engine.

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