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Sportster Bobber Tank Modifications

Life's a bitch...   Thank God there's Harleys...

1973 Sportster Peanut Style Fuel Tank

The standard peanut fuel tank of our 1973 Harley Sportster did match the overall Bobber design we had in our head, so L&T decided to re-use it.

Photo of 1973 XLH Harley Sportster Standard Fuel Tank - by Harley Oldschool Bobber. This is how our 1973 Harley XLH Sportster looked like in April 2008, before L&T stripped her down. As you can see, the Sportster gas tank sat right on top of the Ironhead engine cylinder heads, and the top frame member runs halfway through the fuel tank.

Photo of 1973 Harley Sportster XLH Standard Fuel Tank - by Harley Oldschool Bobber. Here's a closer look of the upper tubular of the frame running through the tunnel in the Sportster fuel tank.



Elevating the Gas Tank

For a more extreme Bobber look, L&T wanted the Sportster gas tank to sit higher on the frame.

We wanted to go from here:

Photo of 1973 Harley XLH Sportster Standard Fuel Tank - by Harley Oldschool Bobber. Bottom of Sportster tank below the upper frame member.

To here:

Photo of modified position of 1973 Harley Sportster Standard Fuel Tank on our Bobber - by Harley Oldschool Bobber. Bottom of Bobber gas tank on top of the upper frame member.

So, some modifications were required.



Sportster Gas Tank Modifications

In more or less chronological order:

Photo of stripping paint and filler off a 1973 Harley Sportster Gas Tank - by Harley Oldschool Bobber. As you may have noticed from the pictures at the top, there was quite a bit of old paint and filler on the original gas tank, which had to come off. That was not so easy, this is how far T got after two hours chipping away carefully with hammer and chisel...

Photo of modified support brackets on 1973 Harley XLH Sportster Tank - by Harley Oldschool Bobber. To elevate the Sportster tank we ground off the forward support brackets and fixed new ones to the bottom of the tank.

Photo of welding on a 1973 Harley Sportster Standard Gas Tank - by Harley Oldschool Bobber. Who needs a seat?   We got wheelz!

Photo of welding of tunnel closure plate on a 1973 Harley Sportster Fuel Tank - by Harley Oldschool Bobber. Here L is welding a closure plate on the tunnel gap of our 1973 Harley Sportster gas tank.

Photo of drilling of frame of 1973 Harley Sportster XLH - by Harley Oldschool Bobber. Meanwhile, T - angel on his shoulder - is drilling some holes in the upper tubular of the frame to fit the bolts of the repositioned Bobber gas tank.

Photo of mock-up of repositioned 1973 Harley Sportster Gas Tank - by Harley Oldschool Bobber. This is what we were trying to achieve.

Photo of repositioned fuel tank on 1973 Harley XLH Sportster Bobber - by Harley Oldschool Bobber. And here she is!

Photo of repositioned fuel tank on 1973 Harley Sportster XLH Bobber - by Harley Oldschool Bobber.

Photo of repositioned fuel tank on 1973 XLH Harley Sportster Bobber - by Harley Oldschool Bobber. This mock-up gives a fair impression of the geometry of our Bobber. Note the 20" Nash Midget Gimp Hangers!



April 2009


To be continued...