A Hint to Harley: Noise Cycles’ Street Rod flat tracker

Harley Street Rod flat tracker by Noise Cycles
If you like weaving through city traffic during the week, and then blasting through the twisties on your days off, the Street Rod is probably the best Harley for you. We found it to be surprisingly sharp and agile, with a warmed-up version of the regular Street engine delivering 69 frisky horses.

Scott Jones of Noise Cycles likes the Street Rod. And his new ‘XG750R’ tracker version has got us wondering what a factory Harley tracker would look like—if Milwaukee decided to counter the threat posed by Indian’s FTR1200.

Harley Street Rod flat tracker by Noise Cycles
Scott is one of the top bike builders in the USA, and despite coming from the chopper side of the tracks, he’s been bitten by the dirt bug. Last year he built himself a racebike based on the regular Street 750: “It started out as just the basic XG,” says Scott. “So this year, I built one using the Street Rod—which has a 27 degree neck instead of 31 degrees.”

That simple change alone made a huge difference. “This one feels so much better and easier to ride. Still 500 pounds, but more nimble.”

Harley Street Rod flat tracker by Noise Cycles
Those of you who were riding in the early 80s may feel a slight sense of déjà vu with this bike, and you’d be right. The left-side exhaust mimics the placement of the Harley-Davidson XR1000 pipes, and the paint by Matt Ross (with pin striping by Jen Hallett Art) is a nod to the slate grey used on many XR1000s too.

Those exhausts look good, but changing sides caused a few headaches. So Scott decided to flip the cylinder heads. “It wasn’t too difficult, but I did it twice! The main thing is to make sure the timing chains stay in right spot. And the hardest part was counter-boring the heads for the new locating pin.”

Harley Street Rod flat tracker by Noise Cycles
The plumbing got a little tricky too, because the head inlets and outlets obviously switch sides. So Scott headed down to his local auto parts store, picked up some new cooling lines, and cut and routed them to fit.

The exhaust itself proved easier, thanks to a little help from S&S Cycle—who are based in Wisconsin, 2,500 miles away from Scott’s Santa Ana, California base. S&S had a spare Street Rod motor on the bench, and built the exhaust around that before shipping it to the west coast.

Harley Street Rod flat tracker by Noise Cycles
The exhaust fitted without a hitch, but the heat shield proved trickier. “I’m on my third shield now,” Scott reveals. “Took me a few times to prevent my pants and leg from getting cooked!” The exhaust sits high but works just fine. “Once off the line, I don’t feel it at all.”

The tank on the stock Street Rod is flat and wide, so Scott’s given it a trim. “Initially, I wanted the bike to still resemble the stock look. Well, I failed. So I cut the sides off the tank to make it ten inches narrower.”

Harley Street Rod flat tracker by Noise Cycles
He’s also cut about an inch off the back of the tank, so it flows better into the simple, stripped-back seat and tail unit from Saddlemen. And he’s added a bubble on the left side, to accommodate the stock fuel pump. The lines are just perfect, thanks to new frame rails that allow the seat to sit higher than stock.

The 19-inch wheels are a skillful touch too. They’re not unobtanium race wheels: the front is a nine-spoke Harley factory mag, and the back is actually a front wheel from a V-Rod. It fits using a custom hub from SK Machine Co., and a quick-change adaptor from GPS Racing.

Harley Street Rod flat tracker by Noise Cycles
“It allows me to re-gear for any track,” explains Scott. “Last year, I ran the same gearing on every track—not the smartest move.”

Of course, there’s a liberal sprinkling of ‘race shit’ on this Street Rod. Vortex bars are hooked up to Durelle Racing adjustable triples, via risers from Big Al’s. There’s a Motion Pro throttle, the rear brake master and lever are from a Honda CRF450, and the clutch lever is ProTaper. Shocks from Gears Racing help get the power to the ground.

Harley Street Rod flat tracker by Noise Cycles
The gear shifter is set at a weirdly high angle. “We race a lot of short track, so it’s either first or second gear usually,” says Scott. “I put the shifter up like that so there’s less chance of me hitting it with my boot when I put my foot back on the peg coming out of turns. It’s super ugly—I’ll be redoing it soon.”

Even weirder is the oil catch can taped to the right-hand front frame down tube—a blueberry Red Bull can.

Harley Street Rod flat tracker by Noise Cycles
Scott had binned the standard coolant overflow catch container, but when racing at Flat Out Friday, overheated in practice and left a small puddle on the concrete track.

“I dug through the trash and found my empty Red Bull can,” he says. “Taped the sucker on, where it still lives!”

Harley Street Rod flat tracker by Noise Cycles
Scott’s not going to be dicing for the lead with pros like Jared Mees or Brad Baker in the American Flat Track Twins series. He’s in it just for the hell of it, and enjoying every moment.

But he’s also inadvertently given us a pointer on what a Harley Street Tracker might look like. And it wouldn’t be a difficult bike for the factory to replicate, Red Bull catch can aside. Any takers?

Noise Cycles Instagram | Photos by Brandon ‘Gonz’ Gonzalez

Update: Scott and Brandon have rebuilt the machine after its first season. See the results here.

Harley Street Rod flat tracker by Noise Cycles