Mike called me as he was setting up his bike. As every Sportster racer knows, the first thing you do is pitch the stock rear wheel* and buy a 19” Harley front wheel and install it on the rear with a dirt track tire and my rear wheel conversion kit. Mike had this to say about it:
Just wanted to say thank you very much for the rear wheel conversion kit. Works fantastic and was super easy to install. Next project is your guick turn head kit. Once again thank you for the awesome products you make.”
Mike’s wish to purchase my Quick Turn kit is terribly wise. Stock Sportsters with 30o forks handle corners like a 50’ semi. My kit reduces the steering to 27 o and makes cornering a breeze by comparison. Thank you Mike Gettinger from Tigard, Oregon
Peter Holland from the state of New South Wales, Australia just completed his Hooligan project. Yes he bought a side cover, handlebars and shocks from me but the rest of the bike is what’s interesting.
He has a laced 19” on the rear, which is pleasing. Note how the 19” rear and 15” shocks level the bike--this also improves handling. The pipe works for me--all shiny and pretty. Love the anodized head covers. Do I detect a Norton touch to the tanks graphics?
Robert Washburn from Tulsa followed my 650 Yamaha street trackers before I sold that company. He never built a 650 but he has now--a Sporty Hooligan. I’ll let him talk.
I’ve been wanting to build a street tracker since I’ve saw your Omar trackers. On my Sportster I replaced the handlebars, switch controls, rear shocks, foot pegs, speedometer, gas tank and used your XRX Hooligan tail. I did all the paint and bodywork on the bike myself but I had the wheels professionally powder coated. The color is Ford Mustang Competition orange with hot rod satin black stripes. Thanks for everything.
Aaron Burch is a 2-Wheel Tuning Specialist for American SHOWA, Inc. in Wauwatosa, WI. He sent these photos and I don’t know where to begin calling out all the stuff he’s done. He said “The bike is built with function over form in mind, yet it draws more attention than I expected. Everyone seems to love it and wonder if they can buy it. My responses send them your direction.”
I understand why people like it. His function is our aesthetics. Let me tell how his function is minimal.
Last weekend we attended the Republic of Texas Biker Rally in Austin, TX. A flat track race was a side show to the Biker Rally. They had classes for Open Pro Flat Track, a SuperMoto AMA Sanctioned Class and a Hooligan class.
I entered the Hooligan class with my Phil Little Street Tracker along with two other Texans who had your rear wheel conversion kits. The track was a 3/8 mile. All three of we Hooligan Racers had your parts on our Harleys! A guy who raced in the Open Pro Class jumped down to enter the Hooligan Class on a Ducati and of course won the Hooligan Main Event. [Editor: this was a big time promoter error. It’s always a bad idea to mix pros with amateurs.]
I’m not sure how to classify John’s bike. The seat and low bars lean café. The lack of a front fender leans bobber or tracker. The one thing we can pin down is that it’s nice. I may have missed something but it looks like John has lowish dollars in a very outstanding motorcycle.
The changes I see are: bars, plate mount, tail and my graphics and side cover. The side cover is a must on any Sportser to hide the ugly battery. This is the first time I have seen my graphics on a stock tank (my project is coming too slow). I think it works very nicely.
This is my first Harley, a ’96, and I never thought I'd be interested in owning one until I saw Peter Morris' Tracker on Pinterest. I looked at other tail options online but nothing looked as slick as the Hooligan tail from Phil. I found the right bike for the right price on Craigslist and sourced the rest on eBay, a couple well known on-line retailers, a LBS called Cyclpath in Kirkland and a few more things on Craigslist.
Melvin Lusk from Ponchatoula, LA, was one of my first XRX buyers. He has recently finished his bike and it looks totally fine. A time ago I wasn’t keen on stock Harley Sportster tanks but now I love those old Hummer tanks. They have a unique style.
This is the first XRX Hooligan I’ve seen in just orange and I like the effect. Apart from cleaning up the bike, Mel doesn’t have pile of money in his scoot but I’m guessing if he ever decided to sell it, it would command much more than comparable Sportsters on the market. It looks as though Mel confined his money on paint, pipes and rear sets.
In the beginning Hooligan Sportsters were slapped together on the cheap to race on dirt or indoors on cement. And then came Peter Morris and Ian Jackson and they mess it all up with nth degree super high buck customs. Ian is a co-owner of Hard Case Performance in Modesto. Theses bike are a testament to our collective envy.
Ian spared nothing on this build and it shows overall and in detail. I’m gonna shut up and let you scroll around the bike for his ideas you can use in your build.
Right on, Ian. This is flat spectacular.
Hard Case offers custom rotors, risers, and many other awesome components made by HCP.
Aaron Burch is Tuning & Testing Specialist for American Showa. Motorcycles are his business and his passion. Like many of us he got wrapped around the Hooligan thing and created his own, which leans a bit to the café/street fighter side. He wrote and said,
“The bike is complete for now. Let me tell you, I’m not sure that I have ridden anything more fun as a complete package (and that’s what I do for a living). A 90 cu. in. Sportster with correct suspension/geometry topped off with your tail section gets a lot of looks.”
I’ve been around the bike sport/racing/business for 50 years--most as a custom builder. Folks do customs, and for one reason or another most miss the mark. By that I mean they don’t have the look. There are many ways to define the look but I don’t want to get into the weeds here. If you think back you have seen bikes with the look and you remember them even today. You know what I mean. Pete has created a special bike that very definitely has the look. Here’s is what he had to say about his build.
Peter Morris tells his story
“I had been thinking about a new project for a while and wanted to build a Dirtster so I started looking around the internet for ideas and came across Phil’s website. He seemed about as crazy as me, so I contacted him about building one of his SRX street tracker sportsters. Then I saw he had a new idea brewing around building hooligan racers where I could keep the stock tank. So I decided on being his guinea pig and figuring out how to fit his new tail to a stock sportster tank.
Larry Green from California is working on a Hooligan from a 2005 Evo. He chose my front number plate because it gives the race look but the headlight stays in place. Next he's going to get a 19" front wheel and stick it on the rear using my kit. As he builds the bike we'll show you updated photos.
Pete Morris from Park City, UT is in the process of building a truly spectacular Hooligan Street Tracker. If you study the photo you can see a unique bike emerging. It looks from the shock length and what looks like a shortened fork that this bike will be a low rider.
Pete just got the tail and fitted it. He reported everything is fine with it. I am hoping he sends a completed photo and some words about the complete build.