Earlier this year we got the invitation to stay at a new motorcycle festival called „Wildays“ in Parma, Italy. A festival with races, music and camping. And not only because of the festival but also because of the beautiful country we fell in love at first sight. But together with the excitement also the stress came up. Next to all the organizational work we also had our race bike that was not ready yet. So we decided to first focus on the bike and get it done as soon as possible. At that point we only had 4 weeks left to finish all and plan the crazy trip itself.
But let’s go back to the start. A few months ago I finished my BMW R75/5 Flat tracker and was hooked from the feeling to go sideways. Unfortunately, the BMW Boxer engine was not really a good choice – high weight and limited space in curves are the main reasons why I changed to a Harley-Davidson Sportster. A Flat Tracker based on a XLH 883 is a reliable and perfect base to get into some race activities. Non-Pro races are gaining more and more ground in Europe and I´m looking forward to get even more experience in it.
In the end I found a perfect XLH 883 but had a very limited budget and a rough timetable. Our timeline was actually full with projects for clients and the Flat Tracker was planned more as our daily “after work”-project. Our Budget was only 700€ for parts – good for us the Sportster is running strong and we didn’t need parts for the engine, clutch or primary. A wheel conversion to 19″ front and 19″ rear was the very first step and I found a potential wheel on eBay. Also a suitable set of Goldentyre Flat Track tires was found on eBay – Yieha! I ordered more parts like a chain conversion, a rear spacer for the chain line, a Flat Track bar, an engine-stop button, MX grips, YSS Eco-Line Shocks and some accessory parts too. After that I went straight into the modification of the gas tank and seat section. I decided to chop the Sportster Gas Tank in the height and width. For a quick remove option, we added a One-Screw mount in the middle of the tank. After 3.5 hours I got a rough, but running version of my tracker gas tank.
Next step was the seat with a sub frame for the right height. The Sub frame is actually hidden under the seat and is made of 25x2mm pipes. It allowed me to keep the straight line between tank and seat, but also the perfect seat height for a better weight distribution. The seat is made of 2mm Aluminium and was finished in 4.5 hours.
Christoph (Mechanic) also invested 8 hours only to clean the carb, rewire with a new battery and make some spacers for the fork. We also modified the stock battery holder for a smaller LiPo-Battery, built a small start switch holder and invested some time to rebuild the fork with new seals and some lowering spacers too. The most expensive parts are the Supertrapp 2-1 pipes combined with a modified Megaton-Muffler and the YSS Eco-Line Shocks. We actually invested only 3-4 days to transform a road legal Sportster to a race ready Flat Track-Version.
And one thing I can say now is: the first test-drive was awesome. In German I would call it „geil”!
In-between all these different projects, our new collection is now ready to show off and so is our Harley.
So you see, time is running way too fast and now there are only 2 days left to our Wildays road trip. The whole Hookie family is excited to enjoy 3 days full of nature, motorcycles, food and music. Italy here we come!