Archive for October, 2010


Forward controls-check/chin fairing-check

With the drop seat sticking me so much deeper ‘in’ the bike I found the stock position of the forward controls a bit closer to me than I prefer. I happen to have the stock aluminum forward control/lower motor mount brackets as well as the steel ones used with mid-control bikes, so I decided to use the steel ones. By adding material to them I was then able to install the forward controls about 1 inch forward and another inch lower than the stock aluminum mounts allowed. That doesn’t sound like much, but it makes a big difference. Using the pre-2004 rigid mount chassis with the 180 tire out back forced me to use a 7/8 inch offset transmission pulley, which forced me to delete the stock pulley cover, which forced me to delete the rear master cylinder location – you never end up making ONE little change! I had a rear master cyl. laying around from (I think) a Dyna, which fit perfectly in the spot you can see here in the image.

I think I’ll try to impress on every client wanting this conversion to stick with the stock width rear tire (it’ll handle better that way anyhow and won’t piss away horsepower), maybe we’ll be able to bump it up to a 160 without any modification. Leaving the stock or slightly larger tire will help keep expenses down because the only thing needed for the drivetrain will be the longer V-Rod belt.

I like the look of a chin fairing on bikes because it gives the bike a more sleek and lower look, plus it gives us a nice place to add the color of the sheetmetal to that part of the bike which is pretty plain looking without the fairing. I created this one, which I’ve given the Pro-Tour ‘S’ moniker. It is already available as a bolt-on for rigid mount and rubbermount XL’s. Just email me at or call 608-783-3684 to order one. I accept Visa and Mastercard. It is made of hand-laid fiberglass and comes to you in paint-ready gelcoat and there is a black powdercoated mounting bracket that comes with it as well. It sells for $139.99 (including mounting bracket) plus shipping.
Next up is creating a tunnel for the gas tank and mounts for it. Then the oil tank gets finished off. Stay tuned – we’re getting damn close now!


We’ve got an exhaust system

The exhaust is all but finished. I’m going to create a ‘tip’ embellishment for the tail-end of the muffler to help dump the spent gases downward.  I used 2 1/8″ ID primary tubing for the primary pipes and purchased a racing collector which I TIG welded to a highly modified Stock bagger muffler.  My goal in this conversion is to keep costs down and I think with a little creativity its possible to use many stock components that came from the original bike or from another model that can be purchased cheaply on Ebay or Craigslist. This muffler is an example of that philosophy. I want the exhaust to work well (be as unrestricted as possible) but be relatively quiet. If this has the db level of a stock Buell exhaust system I’ll be very happy – thats what I’m after. A deep/throaty note. I know many will think this is crazy because they love loud-ass pipes, but I’m simply past that point in my life, PLUS I already have to wear hearing aids to be able to have a conversation with anyone, so further damage to my ear drums is a big no-no. I’m sure I’ve sacrificed a little low-end torque using such big diameter primarys on this, but I wanted to make sure the 100 inch mill wouldn’t have anything behind the exhaust valves holding it back from breathing as freely as possible. I think a good collector (like the one I’m using on this) will help each cylinder clear the other of spent fuel and may make up at least some of  the torque I would have had with smaller primaries. The dyno will be the judge.


The ‘Real’ 100 inch components are installed

We’ve pre-installed the ‘actual’ 100 inch S&S components that’ll be run in this bike. First of all to verify that I wouldn’t need to clearance the backbone for the rear rocker cover (which I don’t) and also to decide what would need to be done regarding the exhaust. I’m a huge fan of 2 into 1 exhaust so that part was easy, the thing I was hoping for was to be able to use an “off the shelf” system. First I tried a pair of Vance & Hines Short shots, which I expected I’d need to shorten a bit then add a collector. Those won’t work because they end up just a tiny bit too high and would require I cut a ‘notch’ into the mid-frame cover to clear the 4 inch muffler I’ll be using. I also tried a Supertrapp system, but that required a slight ‘ding’ in the front pipe to clear the chassis, plus I’d have to relocate the forward controls because the Supertrapp is a mid-control specific pipe. I really wanted to use the Supertrapp for the quiet performance it’d provide, along with the fact that both front and rear primary pipes are exactly the same length which is best for optimum performance.  What I’ve decided to do is build my own exhaust using the same 1 3/4 inch primary tubing as the Supertrapp system, route them in a way to make them as close as possible to equal-length,  then merge them together with a real deal ‘racing’ collector (not one of those cheap stamped pieces of shit) then weld that collector to a stock bagger muffler that I’m going to modify by shortening it a bit and opening up the internal restrictor plates. Finally I’m going to create a flange that’ll allow me to use the Supertrapp diffuser discs to fine tune the exhaust. I know a guy who added the discs to a Bassani Road Rage system with some pretty sweet results. I’ll have to admit I am a bit concerned that the stock bagger muffler will be a bit restrictive, but am hoping that after opening up the restrictor plates in it I’ll overcome that possible problem. I want this bike to be relatively quiet, but I don’t want to sacrifice performance. I’d put an automotive muffler on it if wouldn’t impede performance and would look good. I know this sounds odd as most Harley enthusiasts like the noise – as I’ve gotten older I’d rather have something that ‘seems’ (sounds) pretty docile, but with a quick snap of the throttle will kick the shit out of any doubters…

After the exhaust is done I’ll finish up the gas tank mounting and tunneling and the oil tank mounting. Once thats done it’ll be ready to come apart for paint and FINAL assembly.

I’ve got another ‘Pro-Tour’ project that I’ll be tearing into right after all the mock-up is done on the Pro-Tour ‘S’, and that one is for a client. This one isn’t going into a stock XL chassis so there’ll be a few one-off components I’ll need to create for it – but for the most part I’ll be using the lion’s share of the body components you see here on this one, and this should give you a good idea of the typical turn-around time it’ll take to convert a stock XL into a Pro-Tour ‘S’.

Oh one more thing, I have the majority of the seat pan completed but can’t finish the front of it until I’ve got the shape of the rear portion of the gas tank finalized. So you’ll just have to wait a little longer to see how it turned out. If you have any questions about this project, by all means ASK! I don’t bite and am happy to see all the interest there is in this conversion!