The Harley flat tracker, as American as Twinkies, Mustangs and Mom's apple pie. A Classic American icon. But this stunning example of the breed helms from England's green Hampshire hills and the garages of Redmax Speedshop. Those images of hooked-up flat-track heroes spraying rooster tails sky high have been made metal by Steve Hillary and the Redmax crew. Having seen Steve race his classic 1977 Harley XR750 in anger in the brilliant UK Dirt Track series we can attest he is a complete authority on the species and the perfect man to create this beast. His shop stocks a vast selection of flat track and cafe racer parts as well as offering the full bespoke build option, creating an array of different machines. This bike, cultivated from a cumbersome Harley 1200 Sportster for lucky customer Gordon, is a fine example of the stunning work Redmax produce. Steve takes up the story; "We've sold plenty of these Redmax C&J rep frames for Sportsters, but not done any builds with one, so when Gordon wanted one built and had a donor 1200 motor, we were stoked....." So work began on the early four speed engine, which had a complete top end rebuild before it was dropped into the glorious C&J frame by way of custom engine plates. Aluminium XR tank and tail sections were fitted and various engine parts were polished and powder coated. The Anglo-American connection extended to Triumph Speed Triple yokes and forks that were shaved of their unused bracketry on the right leg. Refurbished Triumph calipers then had the lettering polished off and grip a single Speed Triple disc at the front and a Sportster disc at the back. Gordon specified a twin shock set up, so Redmax built up the box section swing arm and fitted it with adjustable Hagon shocks to maintain the old school aesthetic. Smooth Morad 18" alloy rims were laced with heavy duty stainless spokes to Sportster hubs and shod with dirt track rubber. The sinuous high level stainless pipes were built in house, enamelled black and finished with hand-made alloy polished end caps that Glenn at Redmax made his mission to make perfect, enduring multiple headaches along the way. The rectangular headlight was specified by Gordon, it apes the number board that would grace the race version of this bikes and has been blacked out, tying in with the pipes, Redmax inch bars, and billet yokes. Those burly tracker bars house hidden switchgear and run the wiring internally to maintain the super clean cockpit. The orange paint scheme was again the customers choice and despite eschewing the classic black Harley highlighting, sets the bike off in true Americana style. General Lee from Dukes of Hazzard springs to mind. The frame and swing arm were powder coated, and an alloy oil tank was incorporated to double the motors oil capacity. The belt drive was then ditched in favour of a chain and the bike was complete and ready for Steve to test ride. "The day dawned nice and bright, letting the wet of the previous day dry away nicely. I remember warming the motor up and carefully planning a country test route whilst putting my gear on in anticipation...... the first two roads passed without incident following some eurobox out to the main road, but as soon as I hit second gear I knew something was wrong and a quick snick into third was disastrous. Obviously the gearbox was about to implode with hardly any drive in 2nd and 3rd, but a quick (hasty) flip into top proved handy as the noise disappeared and I completed my test route in top gear only, proving how well set up the motor and chassis were at least .... depressed totally I stomped back into the workshop, my only job left was to phone the customer and tell him how great it could be if only...... Anyway we all know the 4speeders are weak, and easily repaired, so that's what we've done and here she is in all her glory - working as God intended a Harley Streetracker to!" This is the dream Harley. Forget fully dressed Road Kings and Fat Boys, XR's rule. Race heritage, purpose, dynamics and that Milwaukee rumble. Harley had a go at reviving a road ready XR themselves in recent time, but created a bike with so much visual and physical bulk that it lost the essence of the racer. It seems that if in fact you want the real deal, the American dream, you have to visit an Englishman in Hampshire and he will create you a masterpiece machine. See more from Redmax Speedshop on The Bike Shed and on their own Website. Posted by Gareth@TheBikeShed
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