Type to search

Kurt’s Led Sled Custom Sportster Bobber Bites Him Back

Custom Motorcycle Custom Motorcycle Feature Feature Motorcycle Reviews Harley Reviews

Kurt’s Led Sled Custom Sportster Bobber Bites Him Back


As you can see, nothing on Kurt’s scoot is stock, save the H-D 1200 mill. From the frame to the bars, fender, struts, floorboards, oil bag, gas tank, battery cradle, seat, paint, fender … The boys really went to town on this one, not that they can otherwise control themselves when handed a lucky victim. They have a disease, which should not be diagnosed.

Of particular note is the front end, a Led Sled first. That’s right,  yet again, another groundbreaking American Iron exclusive. The National Enquirer has nothing on us! “Kurt’s bike is the first springer we built from scratch,” says Pat. “It’s our design, and we’re really proud of how it looks. In the back legs, you might notice a raised part that comes to a point. We’re trying to pay attention to detail and still make it a killer ride. Given the rake and the fat front tire, you can still throw that thing into corners and it’s awesome. You might feel a crack or two in the road, but you can whack it and give it hell just like anything else.”

Although I’d known Pat for awhile before he decimated and then beautifully resurrected my XL, Kurt had never met Pat prior to his Led Sled odyssey. “It’s always kind of strange when you’re building a bike for a dude that you don’t know,” Pat concedes. “But what’s so cool is that he trusts you. And you have to respect that insane trust. Ideally, it becomes a bond.”

Bond, trust, honor, detail … It all comes back to the finished product, with which Kurt was thrilled. Except for those damn low-slung pipes. And now we come to the lesson in humility. Having shredded his exhaust, bada$$ that he is, Kurt went back to the swami and requested that Pat give him the upswept pipes he’d originally asked for. And so Pat did, setting those suckers above the floorboards and angling them, as you can see, over the fender, pointing to the moon, the sun, your deceased relatives, or whatever else you believe in. How gorgeous. Kurt was a happy man.

Then it all went to s#!%.

“It was Sunday night at the [Buffalo] Chip,” recalls Kurt. He was drinking Wapatui (remember that?) with his buddies, and they were just happy to have enjoyed a great day riding Spearfish Canyon, eating Indian tacos, and generally being the distinguished gentlemen that frequent the annual gathering in the Black Hills. Kurt and company were hanging on top of their RV perched above the Chip’s stage hill camp area, perfectly situated to take in the evening’s music. And, of course, soaking themselves in the trash  can glory that is Wapatui.

When the sun sank, the band cranked, and things got really dark. To show his appreciation of the whole spectacle, Kurt zeroed in on the one thing he thought was lacking — a personal “rev check,” whatever that is. (I’ve knelt at the knees of some old school authorities, and nobody has ever heard the term, but, apparently it’s a sportbike ritual referring to revving the hell out of your bike at a standstill — always an honorable practice.)

Custom Sportster Bobber built by Led Sled Customs

Kurt’s rev check found him, perhaps a bit sloshed, with his Led Sled bobber in a dim section of grass. “I went to fire it up,” Kurt remembers. “Damn those pipes sounded so good. I had some trouble locating the switches to start the thing, but I worked it out. Then I slung my right leg over and my boot lace caught on the slash-cut, upswept pipes. I tried to pull it off, but things were going and my curled leg and body position would not allow me to free my boot from the pipe. I ended up falling over the bike while my foot was still stuck on the pipe and then the bike fell on top of me. I woke the next morning, and I had a huge gash on my thigh where the petcock had torn through my jeans, and my knee was the size of a pumpkin.”

Kurt spent that day at the Rapid City Emergency Room where he was diagnosed as having a severely sprained MCL (medial collateral ligament) and a shanked quadriceps muscle. “It kind of screwed up my Sturgis vacation,” admits Kurt. “But you can still have fun at the Chip, even if you are crippled.”

For the record, Kurt and his ailments are now healed, his bike is as ratty and marvelous as ever, his treasured (and dubious) high pipes remain, and his arm is frozen from constantly stirring a trash can full of Wapatui.
Fear the juice. AIM



  1. David Johnson February 20, 2015

    Even with the pipe opening cut downward and pointing toward the back, rain or condensation may roll water down those pipes. But if the head pipes were pointed a bit downward instead of parallel before the upsweep perhaps that would keep any water from getting to the engine. Any water would accumulate in the upsweep elbow. Once the motor was running, the little bit of water would blow out or heat up and evaporate.

  2. Custom Sporty September 29, 2011

    Kurt here is your lesson: Stay away from pointy and sharp things, like up-swaying pipes, while drinking your famous Wapatui elixir. We’ve all had times like these but sometimes worse. Be thankful your “Petcock” didn’t get bruised.
    Memories of a time in the mid-1960s a few friends and myself met in a small canyon north of LA. We drank, smoked, dropped etc etc etc. They tell me that my Levi’s got stuck in the chain and this pulled my foot down to the ground and while still moving along about 50 mph and my foot anchored and turned my bike around to a tree trunk and while running up the tree the bike’s front tire got stuck in a branch and still hanging from my pant leg from the rear sprocket the engine died leaving me hanging.

  3. Ranger Jay September 24, 2011

    Um, what’s to keep the rain (or any water) from running down the exhaust pipes into the engine?