Back in 1994 the Harley Sportster 1200 made an incredibly disappointing 50 horsepower and 55 lb-ft of torque. It was fine if you just wanted to ride around making potato-potato noises at fairly low speed, but if you wanted to really romp on it, you weren’t going anywhere particularly quickly. Doctor Motorcycle didn’t like how slow this bike was, so they added a draw-through turbocharger setup and bumped the power significantly.
In the video below, brought to our attention by the good folks at RideApart, the Sportster gets a full build from the ground up, and it’s absolutely intriguing to watch. Obviously Doctor Motorcycle, who has done this kind of thing before, makes the whole task look easy enough. Maybe a little too easy, because this video has me thinking I need to turbocharge my own bike.
Aside from tearing the turbocharger apart to add some carbon seals, this whole project looks simple enough. The whole installation is a fabricated intake manifold and exhaust manifold, and the Turbo is hanging. From there it’s just a few minor taps to facilitate oiling, and an extra inlet for increased fueling under boost. The turbocharger build is less than 10 minutes of the 24 minute build video. The rest of the time is spent on aesthetic modifications which, by the way, are well worth it.
There is just something so cool about a hater pipe sticking forward right off the turbo, and an air filter in your right thigh. Hang an Ohlins remote reservoir off the back, de-clutter the front end, and hit the highway for a good time.
I’m working on a track-focused BMW K-series in what little spare time I have, and it’s already way above and beyond what any normal human being would do. I swapped an S1000RR front end onto it, for crying out loud. So maybe I should add a few ponies to the stable with a nice turbski tucked up under the seat. I like motorcycles that whistle.