Here’s How The Roland Sands Design Harley-Davidson FXRGTFO Got Built | Cycle World

Here’s How The Roland Sands Design Harley-Davidson FXRGTFO Got Built

Transforming a 1993 FXR into a modern lux lounger

Roland Sands Design Harley-Davidson FXRGTFO

The Roland Sands Design Harley-Davidson FXRGTFO began life as a used 1993 FXR.

Joe Hitzelberger

To hear Roland Sands describe it, the Harley-Davidson FXR is a mythical creature. For those who’ve ridden one that’s set up correctly it can be a life-changing experience. But Sands believes that Harleys traditionally are not the best-handling motorcycles and as a rider he’s learned not expect much.

Aluminum Metmachex swingarm

Aluminum Metmachex swingarm and Öhlins 15-inch Blackline shock.

Joe Hitzelberger

“But for a few years in the ’80s and early ’90s Harley-Davidson got it right and the FXR is the result,” Sands said from his from his office in Los Alamitos, California. Sands and his team got their hands on a used 1993 Harley FXR. The goal for this build was to create the ultimate lightweight two-up traveler.

“We started off wanting to do just a little to the bike and then things changed,” Sands explained. “It started with a phone call from Dave Zemla at S&S who wanted to get a set of our flat-track wheels. One thing led to another and a trade for a smoking S&S 111 V-twin engine was arranged. At that point we had to go full out.”

Mustang seat

Mustang custom king and queen seat.

Joe Hitzelberger

According to RSD Project Manager Cameron Brewer, this finished RSD FXRGTFO is ready to rip up the city, the highway, and shred the canyons while maintaining the classic FXR style that’s become so iconic.

“Roland actually planned on riding this bike with his wife, so it was really important the bike worked well,” Brewer added. “We talked about what he wanted to do and worked on the direction for the bike, and he let me go. It was really a matter of keeping the bike as close to stock as possible while improving the performance at every level. This build features a blacked-out S&S V111 engine paired with a Mikuni and Slant Carbon air filter to give the bike more power.

“It also features a pair of early Sportster forks with DLC-coated tubes and drop-in, fully adjustable internals by GP Suspension,” he explained. “This will allow you to rail corners with comfort. I used a front setup of dual RSD calipers and rotors with Black Ops Hutch wheels to stop on a dime and reduce rotating mass at the wheels. Additionally, we installed a 10-inch-rise T-bar mounted to a RSD Black Ops top triple clamp to add comfort while riding, and an RSD Black Ops gauge mount housing for a simple stealth setup. Lastly, I added a custom sissy bar with a king and queen seat that will allow comfort for two riders. RSD Traction footpegs, grips, and radial brake masters keep the bike under control and improve rider feel.”

Headlight fork

“The stock bike had a proper long fork with air suspension which made it feel like you were surfing across the asphalt. When you hit the dual front brakes the bike would dive and immediately spring back up when you let off the brakes. It was insane.” —Roland Sands

Joe Hitzelberger

Tailight

Mini LED taillight.

Joe Hitzelberger

“I really enjoyed riding the stock bike,” Sands said. “It had an amazing touring setup with soft bags, multiple windshields, cupholders, dual sunglass holders, compass, a watch, and a full Live to Ride accessory package. The bike has a proper long fork with air suspension which made it feel like you were surfing across the asphalt. When you hit the dual front brakes the bike would dive and immediately spring back up when you let off the brakes. It was insane.

10-inch-rise T-bar

A 10-inch-rise T-bar mounted to a RSD Black Ops top triple clamp.

Joe Hitzelberger

RSD Traction grips

RSD Traction grips and radial clutch master.

Joe Hitzelberger

RSD Track exhaust

Custom 2-into-1 RSD Track exhaust.

Joe Hitzelberger

“The results of the build are the motorcycle we wish The Motor Company would bring back,” Sands added. “It’s fast, stops like a champ, wheelies, turns, works very well in the twisty, and feels very light when you’re on the bike. It’s also a great two-up bike, and with the bags bolted back on it’s a hell of a travel bike. This all culminates into a formula that H-D hasn’t been able to replicate since it killed the FXR. The Milwaukee-Eight does a decent job, but no matter the modifications it’s still going to be heavy and take a pile of money to make cool, which is really not much different from what you have to do to a Dyna. The FXR, on the other hand, is full of attitude and style in stock form.”

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Here are the build specs for the bike, which photographer Michael Lichter used in his exhibit at Sturgis 2017.

Brand/model: 1993 Harley-Davidson FXR (nicknamed “FXRGTFO” because it’s the go-to bike if you need to “Get The F—k Out” from any situation
Style: Two-up cruiser
Engine: S&S V111 w/ Mikuni 45 and RSD Slant Carbon air filter
Frame: Stock
Front end: Late-model Sportster Narrow Glide w/ DLC-coated tubes and fully adjustable internals
Transmission: Stock 5-speed
Paint: Original 1993 FXR

Gas cap

RSD Vintage gas cap.

Joe Hitzelberger

RSD Parts Used
Hutch 19 x 2.15-in. front wheel
Hutch 11.5-in. front dual discs
Hutch 18 x 3.5-in. rear wheel
Hutch 11.5-in. rear disc
Hutch 48T chain sprocket
Radial brake master, 11/16
Radial clutch master
Custom T-bars
Traction grips
Top triple clamp
Gauge mount adapter
Misano stem bolt and washer
Gauge and headlight relocator
Prototype front number plate w/ LED headlight
Narrow Glide fork brace
Dual front brake calipers
Rear brake caliper: Harley-Davidson V-Rod bracket w/ modified swingarm
Vintage gas cap
Slant intake
Traction footpegs
Softail footpeg relocators
Traction shifter toe peg
Track exhaust, custom 2-into-1
Tracker tag bracket fender mount
Nostalgia 5-speed hydraulic clutch cover
Nostalgia points cover
Nostalgia derby cover
RSD/Mustang custom king and queen seat

Non-RSD Parts
Engine: S&S V111
Ignition: S&S HI-4N
Swingarm: aluminum Metmachex Engineering
Shocks: Öhlins 15-in. Blackline
Brake Lines: Spiegler
Carburetor: Mikuni 45
Front Motor Mount and Cleve Blocks: Alloy Art
Side Covers: Chopper Dave
Tires: Dunlop Trailsmart
Oil Filter: K&N
Oil: Motul

Pinstriping: Tom Clark
Paint: Stock, but anything that could be blacked out was

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