Custom Bikes Of The Week: 16 June, 2019

The best scramblers, flat trackers and land speed motorcycles from around the web.
This week, we’ve got Ducati’s new Pikes Peak contender, an electric land speeder from the 70s, and a Harley-Davidson XR1000 from Mule. We also look at how S&S Cycle turned the FTR 1200 into a legit flat tracker, and how to improve the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled’s off-road ability. Buckle up!

Indian FTR 1200 Race Bikes by S&S Cycle
Indian FTR 1200 Race Bikes by S&S Cycle If you’ve been wondering what it would take to convert the Indian FTR 1200 into a pukka racer, S&S Cycle has the answer. The Wisconsin company has just race-prepped a pair of FTRs for Hooligan class racing in the UK, and they look spectacular.

Each bike weighs 25 kg less than stock, because anything that makes the FTR street legal or practical has been cut out. There’s some serious geometry tweaking too; the swing arm is 25 mm shorter, and the head angle’s two degrees steeper, thanks to offset bearing cups and adjustable offset S&S triples.

Indian FTR 1200 Race Bikes by S&S Cycle
Changing the head angle meant moving the oil cooler and a bunch of other things (lest they hit the front wheel). And the shorter swing arm meant the rear tire would hit the under-seat fuel tank—so a new, smaller aluminum tank was fabricated.

The parts list includes Roland Sands Design wheels, a Fox Racing rear shock, a new tail section and ProTaper handlebars. (Fun fact: the rear wheel has extra material in it to make it heavier, thereby mitigating rear wheel spin.) Then there’s the crown jewel: that incredible twin S&S exhaust system. [More]

Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled conversion by Earle Motors
Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled conversion by Earle Motors The Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled was one of last year’s big surprises. It was one of the first factory retro scramblers that actually came with a measure of off-road ability. But as Alex Earle proved with his ‘Alaskan‘ build, there was still room for improvement.

Now Alex has returned with a ‘Lite’ version of the Alaskan. It focuses on those components that improve the Desert Sled’s off-road prowess the most: bigger hoops. By switching from the stock 19F/17R wheel sizes to a 21F/18R setup, you get better handling in the loose stuff, and more choices in proper dirt-worthy tires.

Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled conversion by Earle Motors
The conversion hinges on a very special component—a set of swing arm extenders, specifically designed for the Scrambler by Alex. They add enough clearance to wedge an 18” wheel in there (or even a 19” unit, if you’re building a flat tracker). They also add 3” to the wheelbase, bringing it close to the length of the KTM 690 Enduro.

Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled conversion by Earle Motors
With the swing arm extenders in, you need to re-lace the stock Ducati hubs to bigger rims, fit a longer chain and bigger rear sprocket, mod the rear fender, et voila: fun times for days. As fans of the Desert Sled, this is one kit that’s just skyrocketed to the top of our Christmas lists. (And we’ll take that sweet Earle Motors space grey livery too, please.)

Mike Corbin's Quicksilver electric land speed motorcycle

Mike Corbin’s Quicksilver Corbin Saddles is one of the world’s best-known motorcycle seat manufacturers—but did you know that its founder, Mike Corbin, also made electric motorcycles? In 1973, he became the first person in history to ride an all-electric motorcycle on the Bonneville salt flats. And in 1974, he debuted the ‘XLP-1’—one of the first street legal electric motorcycles on the market.

That was also the year that Mike returned to Bonneville for the second time, with a new electric landspeeder: ‘Quicksilver.’ He wanted to push electric tech further, and prove that electric bikes could be fast.

Mike Corbin's Quicksilver electric land speed motorcycle
Quicksilver was built with a Honda CB750 front end, and the electric motors from Douglas A-4B fighter jets. Mike wanted to use silver-zinc batteries, so he partnered up with specialists in the field, Yardney Electric. But since he couldn’t afford the silver he needed to build the batteries, he ‘borrowed’ it from (and later returned most of it to) a naval shipyard.

Our friends at Iron & Air have the full story, but it includes gems like how he charged the batteries by clamping a sequence of jumper cables to the power source on a telephone pole outside his motel. And how tricky it was to get Quicksilver started without overdoing it. In the end, he set a speed of 165.397 mph—a new electric motorcycle record, that would take 38 years to top. [Via]

2019 Ducati Streetfighter V4 prototype
Ducati Streetfighter V4 prototype Ducati have long been rumored to have a naked version of their groundbreaking Panigale V4 in the works, and now we’ve finally got a look at it. This is the Ducati Streetfighter V4 prototype, and it looks absolutely mental.

Ducati are pretty much calling it exactly what it looks like: a Panigale V4 without fairings. They haven’t revealed much in the way of technical details—but the Panigale V4’s Desmosedici Stradale power plant makes 214 hp and 124 Nm. So even if it’s a little down-tuned, it’s going to be beastly.

2019 Ducati Streetfighter V4 prototype
This guy also gets a very Kawasaki-esque headlight nacelle, and a set of aerodynamic wings. And those sharp graphics you see are actually a race livery. That’s right; this prototype’s first outing will be at the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Ducati are entering it into the Exhibition Powersport class, piloted by last year’s premium motorcycle class winner, Carlin Dunne.

It’s a ballsy move, but we’re betting it’ll pay off. Ducati say they’ll release the final production version of the Streetfighter V4 at EICMA this year, and that it’ll hit showrooms by March. If they don’t offer this paint scheme as a special edition color, we’re going to be mad.

Harley-Davidson XR1000 street tracker for sale
Harley-Davidson XR1000 by Mule Motorcycles If you’re into performance-oriented customs, you’ll know Richard Pollock of Mule Motorcycles. He’s one of the best street tracker specialists in the world, and his creations don’t come cheap. They’re packed with high-end components, clever upgrades, and built using knowledge that takes a lifetime to gather.

Right now there’s a rare Mule-built Harley up for sale on eBay—an XR1000 so cool that it caught the eye of Cycle World’s Don Canet back in 2015. It’s based on a low-mileage 1984 XR1000, and after an accident, the owner decided to upgrade it to a whole new level.

Mule worked his magic with Triumph Thruxton forks and RaceTech internals, adjustable-offset billet triple-clamps, top-shelf Italian brakes, a custom rear frame and seat unit, and a Storz alloy fuel tank.

Harley-Davidson XR1000 street tracker for sale
Other goodies include a ceramic-coated twin megaphone exhaust, stainless steel flat track handlebars, RaceTech adjustable rear shocks, and black wrinkle powdercoat on the engine covers.

If you want a dose of that Mule magic at a substantial discount and without the waiting list, head over to the eBay listing. It’s just over $13,000 at the time of writing—which qualifies as an absolute bargain.

[social_warfare post_id=41699]