Since its introduction in 1977, the Harley-Davidson Low Rider has been a styling weathervane in Hog circles. Brought to the market as the Motor Company’s first custom straight from the factory floor, the FXS leaned into common modifications of the day: low-slung seats, slammed rear ends, and lots of chrome. In 2020, the Softail Low Rider S employs USD forks, dual-disc front brakes, and drenches everything in black for a more performance-oriented clientele.
Between those two eras, the FXR platform melded the classic styling of yesteryear with a chassis that’s still hailed as the brand’s best. While the frame was a giant step for the Bar and Shield, the single-disc braking system, 39mm front end, and 81ci (1,340cc) engine are underpowered by today’s standards. To bulk up the nimble (by cruiser standards) Big Twin for modern roadways, Barnstorm Cycles of Spencer, Massachusetts overhauled a 1988 FXR Low Rider that’s now up for auction on Bring A Trailer.
Acquired from its second owner in 2016, the team at Barnstorm Cycles ripped out the bulletproof yet aging 81ci Evo engine out of the FXR and shoehorned in a massive 143ci (2,343cc) twin-cam S&S motor. Dyno sheets reported a jump to 150 horsepower and 160 lb-ft of torque thanks to the new supped up v-twin.
Of course, with more horsepower, you need more stopping power and the team utilized Erik Buell’s perimeter braking system by adopting an eight-piston ZTL2 caliper and fabricating a rotor to fit the custom 21-inch front wheel. Aft, a Brembo caliper with a new rotor and pads improves on the historically vague feeling Harley rear brakes.
This bike of Theseus also adopted an FLT Tour Glide fairing, FXRT clamshell bags, and a 2012 Road Glide gas tank. To fill out the oversized fairing, the builders filled the dual-light bay with a huge 12-inch Rigid Industries LED light bar and spiffed up the cockpit with a Kicker stereo system and RacePak digital gauge.
A Gigacycles Corsair USD fork provides suspension at the front end while dual 14-inch Fox IFP-R shocks even out the bumps in the rear. Final touches like the brown leather mustang seat, stainless steel T-bars, and custom exhaust system compliment the cream, gold, and burgundy paint job.
Gallery: 1988 Harley-Davidson FXLR
Along with a clean Massachusetts title, the sale includes service records, magazines featuring the build, and free shipping to the lower 48 US states. The bike currently displays 7,000 miles on the odometer after the rebuild, but total mileage is unknown.
If you need additional proof of the build’s pedigree, it won the Editor’s Pick award at the 2016 Hot Bike Baggers Build Off Tour. With the current bid at $4,500 and the project costing nearly $32,000 according to build records, nabbing this performance cruiser could be a major steal for one lucky bidder. If you’re hoping to get a Low Rider before the winds of change bring us another version, here’s your chance.