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K&N Employee Takes Trophy At 2011 Grand National Roadster Show For His Custom Sportster Bobber

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1999 Harley-Davidson XL1200C Sportster converted to Bobber
1999 Harley-Davidson XL1200C Sportster converted to Bobber
Typically when one thinks of art, and artists, visions of paintbrushes and canvas come to mind. However, according to Webster's II new college dictionary, first edition, 2004 the word art can be defined as "a conscious arrangement or production of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a way that affects the aesthetic sense." In that respect, the show winning motorcycle of Todd White and Matt Dawson most certainly qualifies as a work of art.
Harley-Davidson Aircleaner
Harley-Davidson Aircleaner


The general public has been familiarized with the custom chopper motorcycle by popular television shows and famous bike builders. The word bobber may still be new to many folks out there. A bobber usually retains stock frame geometry, unlike a chopper, and takes a stripped down, minimalist approach to styling. Bobbers can trace their roots to the late 1940s and can be considered some of the earliest custom motorcycles.

K&N employee Todd White and his good friend Matt Dawson spent six months transforming a stock 1999 Harley-Davidson XL1200C Sportster into a one of a kind bobber.
Harley-Davidson Oil Filter
Harley-Davidson Oil Filter
The build was described as a melding of Matt's vision and skills, with Todd's hard work and money. The duo was influenced by post World War II era motorcycles, and attempted to create a nostalgic looking motorcycle out of a modern machine.

As most motorcycles at the end of World War II lacked rear suspension, commonly referred to as a hard tail, the rear portion of the frame was removed and a new hard tail section welded into place. This also stretched the motorcycle by four inches. Modern telescopic forks were not usually found on motorcycles in the 1940s, so the front suspension was replaced with a Springer type front suspension. But perhaps it's the small details that really set this motorcycle apart.
Todd White on his Harley-Davidson XL1200C Bobber
Todd White on his Harley-Davidson XL1200C Bobber
The cooling fins were rounded for a vintage look and custom rocker boxes, similar to those made famous by Panhead motorcycles, were installed. Cloth braided hoses were used instead of rubber or stainless steel. Leather ties replaced plastics ones and the motorcycle's electronic components were relocated to be less conspicuous.

Proper filtration is critical even for custom motorcycles. Installed on this motorcycle is one of K&N's custom air filter kits, and K&N Wrench-Off Oil Filter® part number KN-170. "The K&N oil filter looks really good on the bike, and the nut makes it easy to get on and off" said Todd White, who is a the Product Manager for Existing Tooling at K&N.

This 1999 Sportster bobber is Todd's first custom bike and many people are surprised to hear that he actually rides it. "I ride it hard" said Todd, "when I get home from work on a nice afternoon, I'll take it out for a ride." Next on his build list is a custom Triumph motorcycle and an old Ford pickup.

K&N offers air filters, and air filter kits for a wide variety of applications whether it's for a custom vehicle or stock from the factory. Find K&N products for your vehicle using the K&N application search then use the K&N dealer search to find a K&N dealer in your part of the world.

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K&N Engineering in Riverside California is the world's leading manufacturer of washable performance air filters and air intake systems. K&N invented the reusable high flow cotton air filter in 1969 and has been perfecting the technology ever since. K&N is a world class filtration company selling air filters, oil filters, and intakes in over 30 countries. K&N sells over 5,000 products designed for cars, trucks, motorcycles, engines, and industrial applications. From their Million Mile Warranty to their Consumer Protection Pledge, K&N stands behind their products and their consumers 100%. The distinctive K&N logo represents performance from one of the original performance companies. For more information, visit knfilters.com.