How To Convert A Sportster Into An Old School Chopper

Wondering how to convert a sportster into an old school chopper? Old School choppers are from the World War II period. The modifications that were made then included removal of fenders, windshield, blinkers, and anything which was not considered necessary for the proper functioning of the motorcycle. Some installations like small headlights, gas tanks, and Springer front ends were made. Also solo seats along with springs were a rage and were set for comfort.

Things you’ll need to convert a sportster:

  • Motorcycle lift
  • Mechanic's toolkit
  • Solo seat having 3” springs
  • Sportster Mounting hardware
  • Solid Struts or Bolt-on rigid hard tail
  • Handlebar risers
  • 2” under Springer front end
  • Ape Hangers or Drag handlebars
  • 1 Smaller size mirror
  • Side mounts for brake lights, license plate and brake light.


  1. Disconnect and take off turn signals. Disconnect the wires by following them to their particular plug-ins. Before removing them, check the laws of the state with regard to the motorcycle turn signals.
  2. If you are using the Springer front end, the motorcycle must be placed on the lift. Detach the front brake and tire assembly. Take out the handlebars, handlebar components and the headlight. Detach the risers of the handlebar and the neck nut of the steering along with the triple tree. Front end of the motorcycle must get out of the frame. Fix the Springer front end and install the front tire and brake assembly.
  3. Fix the new handlebars, risers, and small mirror, put together your components. In case you wish to use the ape hanger, longer clutch cables and brakes will be required. Also extended wires will be needed for the electrical components that will be connected to the handlebars.
  4. Replace the seat with the new solo seat using the hardware which is properly fitted. If a hardtail which is rigid is installed, omit this step.
  5. Set up the hardtail struts replacing stock suspension. Instead of the struts in case you wish to use the bolt on hardtail, take out the rear brake and tire assembly, fender, exhaust, suspension, along with the swingarm. Using the provided hardware, bolt the hardtail. Reinstall the rear brake and tire assembly along with the exhaust.
  6. From the rear fender remove the mount of the license plate and brake lights, when off the motorcycle. Alter the fender as required or remove it. Put back the fender not including the mount of the license plate and the brake lights.
  7. Install the rear wheel axle with the side mount of license plate and the tail light. Attachthe new brake lights with the existing wires.

Tips: Some prefer to change the gas-tank on the Old School chopper to a small one but since the Sportster comes with the smallest available tank, this action is not required. Check the state and local laws before making any modifications to the license plate and the turn signals.

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