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  • DanDanTheFireman

How To Build an Off Road Harley Sportster Scrambler on a Budget

You have a Harley Sportster, and want to take it off road. What do you do? Well, don’t do it haha. It can be expensive and the Sportster is a heavy lard ass. I do it, but I’m an idiot. If you still want to, follow some tips I have learned over the last half year.


The first thing I did when I got my Harley was change out the bars. I switched to cafe to start, but late last year I went to a set of Moto Bars by Biltwell.

MotoBars with RSD Grips

I love these bars. I didn’t have to swap out my stock cables when going to these. But if I had known, I would’ve went with the Burly Scrambler Bar from Burly Brand. Not just because I am a sponsored rider for them, but because the extra height of the bars would allow me better control in the hills. If you need to get new cables for these bars, which I’m almost positive you don’t, I have a link in the description.


Before jumping into the more obvious stuff like tires and exhaust. This is often overlooked. You need better suspension. The stock suspension from Harley is low and not very good. I upgrade to 13.5 inch Progressive 412 shocks well before I turned my bike into a Scrambler. I mainly got it for the looks. I love the way the bike sits higher than the rear tire. The added benefit of a better rear suspension. Priceless. It has served me very well off-road and I believe it is needed. Burly Brand also sells rear suspension called the Stiletto Shock. I found it on amazon for a little cheaper than the official Burly Brand website. These are for Sportsters from the year 1996 to 2003. But I compared the model number on the website and it says it’ll work for my 2012 Nightster. You can also get a set of Fork Preload Adjusters from Burly Brand to help out the front end. If you want to play it safe, go with Progressive.


There we go. Onto one of the most frequently asked questions I get. “What tires do you have brah?!” I think the main problem that comes with Sportsters and dual sport tires is the size of the wheels. 19 inch up front, not really a problem finding tires, but the 16 inch wheel in the back. Yea, that has been a problem. Most people just switch out the rear wheel for an 18 inch or 19 inch. I didn’t have that money to mess around with. So, here they are. For the front, I have the Mitas E-07 Dual Sport 100/90 at 19 inches. These fit perfectly on my stock Nightster spoked tires. For the rear shoes I have the Duro HF904 Median Dual-Sport Rear Tire in the 130/90 at 16 inches.


Now these are the only dual sport tires that I am confident will fit a sportster 16 inch rear wheel. I could not find anything else, and to be honest, these work amazingly well. So far, on road and off road have been safe and fun. A Little louder than street tires, but who cares right? We have a sportster with a sweet exhaust.


Tracker 2–1 Exhaust

You need a higher exhaust. Sportsters do not have a good clearance and you don’t want an exhaust that hangs low next to your feet. I have hit my pegs a few times, and that would of been an expensive exhaust. I recommend the Roland Sands Design Tracker 2 into 1 HIGH PIPE. That is the newest version of the exhaust I have. The reason I suggest getting that one, is that it is higher and looks like you can mount standard passenger pegs. The older version that I have does not allow that. Both exhausts look the same and they sound amazing. Now, This is a budget build so a tuner and aftermarket air cleaner are out of this equation. But I recommend the Vance and Hines FuelPak and Clarity Air Cleaner from Roland Sands Design. Those are the two I would get if I ever get around to upgrading.


Get yourself an aftermarket seat. If you want to get a whole new tail section. Go for some bolt on products. Harley just came out with one, but I recommend just getting a seat. I love my Mustang Fastback seat, and will always recommend it. You can’t go wrong with Mustang products. They make the Roland Sands seats, but cheaper. You’ll also want some aftermarket pegs. You can do without, but they have made a world of difference.

The Burly Brand MX Style pegs have been a foot saver. They have an insane amount of grip and are wide enough for my massive boots. They distribute my weight very well and help when I have to stand up. You can also get grips, new risers, speedometer relocation, gas caps, etc. I have a few extra things done to my bike, including all of those. If you want to see all my parts, go down in the description and click the links.

MX Style Pegs

Off Road Sportster Scrambler Essentials:

Bars —

► Biltwell Moto Bar Handlebars (Dimpled):

► Burly Brand Scrambler Bars:

► Cables:

Suspension —

► Progressive 412 Series 13.5" Shocks:

► Stiletto Shocks:

Tires —

► Mitas E-07 Front Tires:

► Duro HF 904 Median Dual-Sport Rear Tire:

Exhaust —

► Roland Sands Design Tracker 2–1 Exhaust:

► Vance and Hines FuelPak:

► Roland Sands Design Tracker 2–1 High Pipe:

► Clarity Air Cleaner:

Seat/Pegs/Accessories —

► Mustang Fast-Back Seat for Harley Sportster:

► Burly Brand 20" Black Sissy Bar w/Pad:

► Roland Sands Design Speedo Relocation Kit:

► Roland Sands Design LED Indicator Lights:

► Roland Sands Design Fly-By-Wire Grips:

► Front Fork Preload Adjusters:

#ScramblerSportster #Scrambler #SportsterScrambler #HarleySportster


► Burly Brand —

► Thunder Press​ —


►BRAAAAP T-Shirts:


► Official Website:

► FaceBook:

► Instagram:

► Twitter:

► Medium:


► Bell Bullitt TT:

► Bell Custom 500 Cabbie (Discontinued):

► Roland Sands Design Dezel Gloves:

► S&S Rust and Redemption Jeans:

► Roland Sands Design Tracker Jacket:

► Fly 8th Street Mesh Jacket:

► ICON 1000 Elsinore Motorcycle Boots:


► SENA SMH10r:

► GoPro HERO4 Black Edition:

► GoPro HERO3 White Edition:

► Tascam DR-05 Digital Audio Recorder:

► Sony ECM-CS3 Stereo Lapel Mic:

► DJI Phantom 3 Standard:

► Ram Mounts Handlebar Rail Mount with U-Bolt Base and Universal X-Grip Cell Phone Holder:


► 2012 Harley Davidson Nightster 1200cc (Sportster)

► Roland Sands Design Fly-By-Wire Grips:

► Custom Black 1" Short Riser Set For Harley:

► Biltwell Moto Bar Handlebars (Dimpled):

► Burly Brand 20" Black Sissy Bar w/Pad:

► Burly Brand MX Style Footpegs:

► Roland Sands Design Cafe Gas Cap:

► Roland Sands Design Tracker 2–1 Exhaust:

► Roland Sands Design Speedo Relocation Kit:

► Roland Sands Design LED Indicator Lights:

► Mustang Fast-Back Seat for Harley Sportster:

► Progressive 412 Series 13.5" Shocks:

► Mitas E-07 Front Tires:

► Duro HF 904 Median Dual-Sport Rear Tire:

***I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites***

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