Customized Harley-Davidson Cafe Sportster Forty-Eight

Our Cafe styled Sportster Forty-Eight project is complete

Cafe styled '16 Harley-Davidson 48 front 3/4
Cafe styled '16 Harley-Davidson Forty-EightJon McDevitt

We have had our 2016 Harley-Davidson for quite some time now slowly adding bits and pieces from H-D's Genuine P&A Catalog, and we have finally finished the project. We had some complaints with the stock Forty-Eight. See: 5 THINGS I LOVE AND HATE ABOUT THE SPORTSTER FORTY-EIGHT. So we took to the catalog to find out what we could do about or complaints and see if we could make a damn good looking bike, and to make a better suited ergonomic model for our needs. Well I say we hit the nail on the head with this build. We could not be happier with the final look of this project or the new riding position. We got rid of a few things and added a bit more and in the end I feel we ended up with a dramatically altered looking motorcycle.

Mid Controls and the Harley-Davidson rail Collection primary & derby cover
Mid Controls and the Harley-Davidson rail Collection primary & derby coverJon McDevitt

We were not fans of the forward controls on the Forty-Eight at all. I am 6' and Morgan is 6'4", and for both of us it was simply unpleasant. So naturally we ditched those suckers and swapped out for a set of stock mid controls off of an Iron 883. For us it was a million times better. So much more comfortable especially when on the freeway for 30 miles at 80mph. We also installed Harley-Davidson Clubman handlebars. Now we installed these purely for the aesthetics, trying to make a cafe styled bike, but it turned out to be a much more comfortable riding position once the mid controls were added. So without planning it we got the best of both worlds. We of course paired the new handlebars with a set of Harley-Davidson's Diamond Black Steel Braided Lines. We finished off the handlebar install by installing the turn signal relocation kit along with a smoked turn signal lens kit.

Harley-Davidson's Clubman Handlebars paired with Diamond Black Steel Braided Lines
Harley-Davidson's Clubman Handlebars paired with Diamond Black Steel Braided LinesJon McDevitt

Finishing off the look of the front end we installed my personal favorite addition to add when building these bikes. Of course I am talking about the Daymaker headlamp. I say it every time, but I can't stress enough how much of a difference they make to the overall look of the bike, but also the performance of lighting. The Daymaker may be on the pricier side of the spectrum, but I would pay time and time again for one of them.

Harley-Davidson's Daymaker Headlamp and black headlamp trim ring
Harley-Davidson's Daymaker Headlamp and black headlamp trim ringJon McDevitt

New to Harley-Davidson's gigantic bible of a parts catalog, is the Sportster specific Rail Collection. A gorgeous looking product line with nice gloss black with contrast cut highlights. We went ahead and ordered the entire collection which includes, Engine Covers and Air Cleaner kit. We really love the look of the Rail Collection covers paired with the other accessories added and the Billet Silver paint scheme. It also worked out perfectly since the new Forty-Eight ditched the spoke wheels and has a set of mag wheels with just a touch of contrast cut near the hub.

Screamin' Eagle Rail Collection Air Cleaner Kit
Screamin' Eagle Rail Collection Air Cleaner KitJon McDevitt

As previously stated the stock seat on the Forty-Eight seems to disappear on you mid ride leaving you sitting straight on, what feels like, the frame. Well we looked into that as well and swapped that stock seat out for Harley-Davidson's Cafe Solo Seat. Of course as we were going for a cafe styled look, the Cafe Solo seat was an obvious choice. Not only is it an upgrade visually, it is an extreme upgrade in functionality. The Cafe Solo Seat most definetly holds its foam in place a lot longer leaving you more comfortable and your rear will thank you.

Harley-Davison Cafe Solo Seat on the '16 48
Harley-Davison Cafe Solo Seat on the '16 Forty-EightJon McDevitt

As for the exhaust system, the stock mufflers are actually already black, they just have chrome heat shields over them. The head pipes also have chrome heat shields over them so to save money, we just removed the muffler heat shields and replaced the head pipe's heat shields with Screamin' Eagle's Black Buck Shot heat shield Kit. All in all we love the new Harley-Davidson Forty-Eight with our genuine parts and accessories added. It is one damn good lookin bike!

Harley-Davidson Sportster 48 cafe project A Side
Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight cafe projectJon McDevitt
Harley-Davidson Sportster 48 cafe project rear 3/4
Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight cafe projectJon McDevitt
Harley-Davidson Sportster 48 cafe project B Side 3/4
Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight cafe projectJon McDevitt
Harley-Davidson Sportster 48 cafe project front 3/4
Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight cafe projectJon McDevitt
Harley-Davidson Sportster 48 cafe project A Side
Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-Eight cafe projectJon McDevitt