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Add Lightness: A wild Softail street tracker from SMCO

Harley-Davidson Softail street tracker by SMCO
Suicide Machine Company build machines that go fast and turn well. Brothers Aaron and Shaun Guardado have a taste for speed, and it’s right there in their company slogan: “Fast Loud Deathproof.”

So when they were invited to build a custom Harley for this year’s Born Free show in Southern California, it wasn’t likely to be a chopper. Instead, SMCO took a Softail Standard, shaved 160 pounds [72 kilos] off it, and built a rapid street tracker that’s borderline insane.

Harley-Davidson Softail street tracker by SMCO
“The first step was to plan out where we could save the most weight,” says Aaron, “and improve the handling of the bike. We integrated components that we’ve used in our past from road racing, flat track racing, and previous builds—leaning towards strong, lightweight composites, and fabricating with aluminum and titanium.”

So in a bid to add as much lightness as possible, this Softail street tracker is loaded with carbon fiber parts.

Harley-Davidson Softail street tracker by SMCO
The wheels are 17” carbon Blackstone TEK items, supplied by Brocks Performance; a Ducati Diavel front, and a Ducati 959 rear. They’re shod with Pirelli Supercorsa TD rubber—a street legal tire designed for track use too.

The front forks are custom units from CeraCarbon with fully adjustable Öhlins internals. Both the upper and lower tubes are carbon fiber, with a ceramic coating bonded to the lowers for zero resistance.

Harley-Davidson Softail street tracker by SMCO
The Speed Merchant supplied a new swingarm, which is mated to a custom shock from Gears Racing. The entire subframe’s been rebuilt too.

With better suspension and rubber, SMCO chose to also upgrade the brakes. So they installed Brembo .484 CNC radial mount calipers, with full floating rotors from BrakeTech USA, and trick dry-break fittings from Core Moto. Even the paddock stand is ‘performance’ (it’s a carbon fiber unit from GDH Motorsport).

Harley-Davidson Softail street tracker by SMCO
SMCO also eliminated all of the Harley’s steel bodywork, shaving off even more weight. Long time readers of Bike EXIF might recognize the monocoque bodywork—it was designed by Alex Earle, in the same style as his early Ducati flat tracker. Made entirely from carbon fiber and capped with a Saddlemen seat, it took a little modification to fit over the Softail’s bones.

There’s a ton of trick fabrication happening under the bodywork too. Fuel’s held in an aluminum cell with a quick-fill cap, and a carbon box houses a Speedcell Lithium-ion battery, while also supporting the seat.

Harley-Davidson Softail street tracker by SMCO
SMCO have experience extracting maximum performance from Harley’s Milwaukee-Eight power plant. “Our Road Glide Special from 2019 is cranking out over 130 hp and 145 Nm,” says Aaron. On this bike, they installed a cam, cam plate, oil pump, and adjustable pushrods from V-twin tuning gurus, S&S Cycle.

They also swapped the fuel injection for a 45 mm Mikuni carb. It’s fed by a modified air cleaner from San Diego Customs, with the SMCO logo machined into it by Horsepower Inc. Custom-made titanium exhaust headers run high and tight under the body’s side boards, into dual titanium Austin Racing mufflers.

Harley-Davidson Softail street tracker by SMCO
The bike’s also running a standalone ECU from The Speed Merchant, to make it work with the carb. It allowed Aaron and Shaun to ditch the stock wiring harness and can-bus system, setup their own wiring, and install CNC Racing’s Ducati Panigale switchgear.

The full parts spec on this performance-driven street tracker is eye watering. There’s a chain conversion with custom sprockets from CeraCarbon Racing, and mid foot controls that use carbon plates matched to Roland Sands Design pegs and shift levers.

Harley-Davidson Softail street tracker by SMCO
Up top are are ProTaper dirt track handlebars, narrowed and mounted on RSD risers, with Brembo RCS controls. The carbon fiber levers are from AEM Factory, as are the fluid reservoirs, which are ‘direct mount’ units that require no plumbing. There’s also an upgraded hydraulic clutch actuator from Baker Drivetrain.

A Baja Designs Squadron Pro LED handles headlight duties, with an FIM racing-style LED tail light setup below the tail.

Harley-Davidson Softail street tracker by SMCO
“This project challenged us to save weight anywhere we could,” says Aaron, “to increase the handling and performance. We also tried to keep anything we didn’t need off the bike. These factors always influence the overall design of our bikes.”

Unfortunately, this year’s Born Free show was postponed until next year, so the bike’s gone off to do a stint at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. But it’s no trailer queen—as soon as it’s done time at the museum, SMCO plan to unleash it on the track.

Harley-Davidson Softail street tracker by SMCO
“It’s amazing to ride. We lightened the bike by over 160 pounds with the carbon and titanium, and eliminating unnecessary parts. With the improved seating position and the increased performance of the engine, this is a real weapon.”

“It’s both street friendly for canyon riding, and ready to hit the track.”

Suicide Machine Co. | Instagram | Images by Jose Gallina

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