Repurposed Junk

To Read The Full Article, Go To

Article By: Matt Reel

Photos By: Melissa Shoemaker

Originally Published In The October 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

I’ve known Terry Summers, builder of this bike, since I became seriously involved in motorcycles. Where I’m from Terry is a name known by everyone on a Harley, especially anything vintage. Through the years I’ve learned a lot of things from Terry. I’ve learned a lot about engine work especially when something with a good bit of age rolls into the shop. One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that he has a Love/Hate relationship with Sportsters. Terry can run through a Quad Cam engine getting it into shape in no time. And all the time he tells you how much he hates Sportsters. Terry says this goes back to the 70’s when his brother was beating on Iron Heads like crazy. His brother had everything; even a street bike that he rode several miles after a cylinder broke loose from the cases just to have Terry fi x it for him. This is why I was really surprised when Terry told mehe was building a Sportster. Of course, as he said, he started to notice he had a complete Sportster laying around, just not in one piece. He started off with the frame that he hauled up to RJ at Cutting Edge Customs in Morgantown, WV. RJ cleaned off all the taps and welded up the hardtail. Next, he added a few new tabs for some mounting points that Terry needed. The frame then went back to Terry’s shop to be worked on.

With the frame back in Terry’s hands a roller needed to come together. A stock 16-inch Harley rim was mounted on the back with a Duro tire and disc brake. Up front, the Sporty got a vintage VL springer. For a wheel, Terry put together a 19” set up with a vintage star hub, drum brake, and an old tire he had sitting around. With the whole thing rolling Terry turned his attention to the engine. He bumped the compression up on the 1200 and ported the heads. For fuel, an S&S carb was added and a custom bracket was made to use an old gas station bell as the air cleaner cover. With the engine placed in the frame, the whole thing took another ride to Cutting Edge Customs for some exhaust work which included using a Flathead Ford radiator hose as the muffl er. With all the big stuff done it was time to add the little things that really make this bike unique. Not only is Terry an expert on antique motorcycles, he’s a collector of all kinds of unique things. So, into his stash, he went. First, he dug out an old Military light and mounted it to the springer for a headlight. An old railroad signal light was found next and  put into use as a taillight. A set of Sprint Car fi nned aluminum oil fi lters were sent off to Matt Marshal for some machine work and mounted to the frame to be used as an oil tank.


Next, an old set of steps from a playground sliding board were mounted as fl oorboards. A foot clutch setup was built and a hand shifter was added with a shift knob from a Stutz Bearcat. For a seat, Terry found a solo seat that was literally made of springs. The seat was sent off to Tanners Alley in Morgantown WV, and each spring received a leather cover. The last couple things to be added were handlebars and gas tank. For bars, Terry dug into his motorcycle parts stash and pulled out a rare set of Harley Davidson racing handlebars. The gas tank was sent back to RJ at Cutting Edge Customs where a mount was made to add the fi ller that came from an antique car. Like any build, once it was together it was time to blow it apart. With everything apart, Terry contacted his friend Mike Oproh, the Auto Body Instructor at Marion County VoTech Center. Mike’s students helped Terry with bodywork and paint prep. Once prepped Terry used the VoTech Centers paint booth to apply the red fi nish. While the paint was drying Jeff Wade at Compton Metals in Clarksburg, WV powder coated a few select parts. As a fi nishing touch graphics by Mark Simms were added and the air cleaners lettering was done by Darren McKeag. With everything said and done the man who “Hates Sportsters” put together a pretty sweet one using just Repurposed Junk.


Owner: Terry Summers

City/State: Pinch Gut Hollow WV

Builder: TR

Year: 1991

Model: XL

Value: Cheap

Time: 6 Months


Year: 2003

Model: XL

Builder: TR

Ignition: Points

Displacement: 1200

Pistons: 10.5:1

Heads: Ported by TR

Carb: S&S

Cam: Stock

Air Cleaner: Gas Station Bell

Exhaust: Cutting Edge Customs

Primary: Stock


Year: 2003

Make: Harley-Davidson

Shifting: Hand


Year: 1991

Model: XL

Rake: Stock

Stretch: Stock


Builder: Harley-Davidson

Type: VL Springer

Triple Trees: Stock

Extension: Stock


Front Wheel: Star Hub

Size: 19”

Front Brake: Stock Springer

Rear Wheel: 2003 XL

Size: 16”

Tire: Duro

Rear Brake: Disc


Painter: TR

Color: Ford Tractor Red

Type: Cheap

Graphics: Mark Simms

Chroming: None


Bars: Rare HD Racing


Hand Controls: Old

Foot Controls: Old

Gas Tank: 2003 XL

Oil Tank: Sprint Car

Front Fender: None

Rear Fender: Old Car Spare Tire Cover

Seat: Tanners Alley

Headlight: Military

Tail Light: Old Railroad Signal

Speedo: None

photographer: Melissa Shoemaker

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.