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Wednesday Edition


Mudflap Girl Part 1, the Concept

The Year of the FXR, the EVO and Sturgis Run

By Bandit, Paul Cavallo, Kim Hottinger, Wrench, and Sin Wu photos
3/1/2011


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Bandit's official Bikernet Mudflap Girl by George Fleming.
Bandit's official Bikernet Mudflap Girl by George Fleming.



Life is nuts, or is it just me? Fortunately, we have motorcycles and women to chase. And this year became the year of the Evo, the FXR, and the mudflap girl. I'm scratching the back of my head and wondering how to kick off this build for 2011. There's a lot on the plate this year and it's a tad difficult to explain. First, I must fess up. I'm turning 63 this year and no more riding rigids to Sturgis, or even chasing young broads. Ah, but the adventure continues. It's actually a blessing not to be hassled with women troubles. I'll let my son, who just turned 37, deal with the addiction to soft curves. I'll hide out and watch…

My son and grandson, Frank and Frank, both tattoo artists. That's another classic long bike built by the Spitfire crew.
My son and grandson, Frank and Frank, both tattoo artists. That's another classic long bike built by the Spitfire crew.



Speaking of my son, Frank, he's riding to Sturgis with me this year, but we'll carve into the background of this story. It's his first trip to the Badlands, and who knows how many times I've fought the crowds on Main Street during August.
 
But let's back up a bit. Recently, I was in a spot and had to sell my 2003 Road King, which I'd planned to keep for the duration. The 100th anniversary King was my second attempt at a touring motorcycle.

Official Salt Shaker FXR.
Official Salt Shaker FXR.




The solution for my missing long distance rider was an FXR, and I have one, the John Reed V-Bike that I took to Bonneville in 2006 and set a 141-mph record with a top speed over 150. Unfortunately, I have a hip problem and can't ride mid-control bikes anymore. I even modified that puppy, but that didn't do the trick. I love that bike. So, what the fuck was I going to do?

The original Quantum Pro-Street frame in the Spitfire jig waiting for the master surgeon, Paul Cavallo.
The original Quantum Pro-Street frame in the Spitfire jig waiting for the master surgeon, Paul Cavallo.



Here's the sidebar to this story: We have an on-going debate between the old school camp and the Twin Cam aficionados. Many of us feel the Evolution-based FXR was the shit, the most simplistic V-twin configuration, the most reliable, best-handling Harley-Davidson to be born in Milwaukee. So we started forming a plan in our feeble brains for 2011. 
 
Initially, this effort was enabled by Rogue, a long time brother, who worked for Quantum cycles in Florida for several years. I bought a couple of Kenny Boyce-based Pro-Street frames from him. We built our shrunken FXR with one while the other collected dust in our shop until I needed a rubbermounted bike to ride.

Frank's black and chrome re-manned H-D 80-inch engine, with the JIMS 6-speed and a Rivera-Primo in-primary drive and clutch system.
Frank's black and chrome re-manned H-D 80-inch engine, with the JIMS 6-speed and a Rivera-Primo in-primary drive and clutch system.




Okay, so I started to piece this bike together. We factory re-manufactured a '98 Evo engine and JIMS rebuilt the transmission into a six-speed. I had a couple of Renegade Wheels and Progressive Suspension shocks. Then I had a conversation with Kenny Boyce, the man who designed the Pro-street FXR frame. He wasn't happy with now-defunct Quantum. I also found out that some of these frames break in front of the seat area at the backbone. The project was moving forward with a Custom Chrome, super-wide, upside down front end, Aeromach risers, and we added super wide, Burly bar highbars.

This completely stock 500 Honda four rolled into the Spitfire shop one night ,and this is what they created in less than 12 hours, a complete ground up bobber chassis using all the stock components.
This completely stock 500 Honda four rolled into the Spitfire shop one night ,and this is what they created in less than 12 hours, a complete ground up bobber chassis using all the stock components.

Nick's Mudflap Girl aluminum oil bag. We are thinking about running it on Frank's bike. He's going the Black and Chrome route. I'm the anti-chrome hot rod guy. Click on this image to reach Nick in NY city.
Nick's Mudflap Girl aluminum oil bag. We are thinking about running it on Frank's bike. He's going the Black and Chrome route. I'm the anti-chrome hot rod guy. Click on this image to reach Nick in NY city.


I even had an aluminum mudflap girl oil tank I ordered from Nick at New York Choppers. The bike was leaning toward a pro street touring model with a set of Redneck Softail fiberglass saddlebags and a Klockwerks touring bike rear fender.

Mike Marquart's Redneck Softail. He ran this bike at Bonneville. Is that sharp or what?
Mike Marquart's Redneck Softail. He ran this bike at Bonneville. Is that sharp or what?



I was rolling when Kim Hottinger called and asked if I could haul my old ass out to the American Built/Spitfire manufacturing facility in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Paul Cavallo was the engineer/manufacturing guru behind Hellbound steel. As we watched the production chopper industry dry up, in the wake of a floundering economy, only the diehard survived, and I wanted to support anyone who understood the code of the west.

Spitfire products waiting for the chromer.
Spitfire products waiting for the chromer.



The brothers who love motorcycles, choppers, bobbers, and custom parts continued to jump up every morning and do what they adore, work on motorcycles. Some went from building hundreds of bikes every month to a handful, but they kept building. Paul downsized and kept rolling with his father at his side. When I saw what he was up to, I was inspired. He can build any frame, for any motorcycle configuration, so my mind went wild. We could build a Frisco'd and stretched, single-loop FXR, and I dragged an old Durfee girder out to his facility so Paul could see how the master built the originals. Imagine an FXR with a state-of-the-art girder.

Paul on the left with smilin' Doc Robinson, the Australian Heavy Duty Magazine tech editor. If you click on this image you can buy a raffle ticket for this Spitfire scooter.
Paul on the left with smilin' Doc Robinson, the Australian Heavy Duty Magazine tech editor. If you click on this image you can buy a raffle ticket for this Spitfire scooter.




Paul is a wild man when it comes to building and manufacturing anything. He re-engineered the girder and refined the looks, and added two shock mounts to incorporate a state-of-the-art front suspension. Over the next year, you're going to witness Paul's Spitfire abilities with features in several national magazines, and you'll begin to see his products pop up in Custom Chrome catalogs.

My FXR Renegade wheel ended up on the Bikernet Bonneville Peashooter. I swear, these are the worlds most aerodynamic wheels.
My FXR Renegade wheel ended up on the Bikernet Bonneville Peashooter. I swear, these are the worlds most aerodynamic wheels.




At one time, Paul made many of the WCC products. Now, some of them will hit the streets under the Spitfire name. So suddenly, we were building a one of a kind Frisco'd and stretched single-loop frame with a Spitfire girder front end.
 
Hang on for this next move. I decided that since I wanted to build my son a hot rod Harley to park in front of his tattoo shop, Body Electric Tattoo on Melrose, in Hollywood, this was going to be the machine, since he's too much of a wimp to ride a rigid.

Paul Cavallo, the Spitfire boss, installing a Spitfire girder.
Paul Cavallo, the Spitfire boss, installing a Spitfire girder.



The more we moved forward with this bike, the more inspired I became. This was a bike for me, maybe the bike for my old-guy riding future, now that my Road King was down the road. So I went to Paul with the deal of the century: build two of these frames and front ends. I spoke to Paul, then to my son.

Paul refined the Durfee Girder configuration and added shape to the links. These puppies are strong.
Paul refined the Durfee Girder configuration and added shape to the links. These puppies are strong.




There had to be a goal behind this effort. We would ride to Sturgis together. Shit started to happen fast and I ran into a TV producer who wanted to follow the build, and Leomark studios got involved.

There's my Mudflap girl point cover from Michael Boen, and a Chowder Barge card, official Bikernet lunch hangout.
There's my Mudflap girl point cover from Michael Boen, and a Chowder Barge card, official Bikernet lunch hangout.



  Next, I reached out to Chris Kallas and we started to work up a concept drawing. Here's some of the e-mail that flew back and forth.

Spitfire girders are designed for two shocks. Paul will be working with the best shock designer for the finest suspension--we hope.
Spitfire girders are designed for two shocks. Paul will be working with the best shock designer for the finest suspension--we hope.




Here's my initial description:
 
FXR style frame: Single-loop look, two down tubes bent together to form a single-loop style. Stretched 5 up and 2 out, about a 33-degree rake. Stretched Sporty-like gas tanks, Spitfire girder front ends



Frank's bike: classic black mag wheels from Metalsport. Klock Werks rear dresser fender on Frank's, might bob it. Both wheels will be mild width. Mudflap girl theme on my bike and Hardball tattoo on Frank's. Paint reversed from Frank's bike to mine. Forward controls on my ride, Frank's will run mid controls. Rubber pegs, grips. dog bone-style tall rubber mount risers. Shotgun pipes. One Redneck bag on the left of Frank's bike. We also talked about a small front fender.

--Bandit

Chip Foose designed, very sharp wheels and rotors by Metalsport. Click on the image for more info.
Chip Foose designed, very sharp wheels and rotors by Metalsport. Click on the image for more info.




Some questions?
Black and chrome or silver Evo engine?
Your wheels? Mag or spokes, what kind?
Style/brand of headlight, tail light?
The risers are the type with rubber mount at top?
Carb/aircleaner?
Shot gun pipes, staight, no mufflers?
Style of seat?
Your fender the same not bobbed?
Brakes? Dual or single up front? What brand of rotor/caliper?
If any of these things aren't specific yet, they could be semi generic on art.

I've been collecting Mudflap girl accessories from the likes of Billy Lane and 2Wheelers in Denver for a couple of years.
I've been collecting Mudflap girl accessories from the likes of Billy Lane and 2Wheelers in Denver for a couple of years.



If you can send any photos or links to of fenders, wheels, bags, brakes or controls, it would be helpful.

This cool ride was spotted at the ER show in Charlotte, N.C. by Mike, the Stealth Bikernet correspondent.
This cool ride was spotted at the ER show in Charlotte, N.C. by Mike, the Stealth Bikernet correspondent.



As for paint, just a thought.
sately I've been leaning toward dark metallic blue and off-white.
It looks good with lots of black or aluminum, and chrome.
It also looks good with your signature orange accents or striping. Since I'm not crazy for white frames, they could both have blue frames and just flop the two-tone paint on the tanks and fenders.

-- CK



Here's the basic FXR platform showing the frame modifications.
This is with a 3" extended swing arm.
I need to go back and recheck some measurements but it will give you a
rough idea of the stretch up front.
Is this the type of exhaust setup you were thinking of?
When you said shotgun and 2-into-1, I wasn't sure.
-- Chris K.

Dick Allen shows us how confusing handlebar selection can become.
Dick Allen shows us how confusing handlebar selection can become.




I think we should go with this type of exhaust, if we plan to pack passengers. I'm going to ask Dar about that swingarm, but my tendency is to extend it about 1.5 inches, not 3. The stretch looks great. Let's fuck with those fender rails, arch them, or make them disappear and bob the fender slightly. Plus I think we will need to lower the rear at least an inch, with shorter shocks.

--Bandit


Hey, here's my first crack at putting it all together. Overall the stance looks good. Since it's a rough draft without much decoration, I just threw a couple
of mud flap girls on it. I thought I'd try a traditional Sportster/FX headlight with it's rubber- mounted bulb to stay with the theme of using rubber pegs, grips, and
rubber mounted-risers.... not to mention a rubber-mounted engine, plus I like them.

Ah, let's take a break for a shot of Fireball Whiskey. Good shit!
Ah, let's take a break for a shot of Fireball Whiskey. Good shit!




The frame tube behind the shocks creates a challenge for curved fender struts. I've included a couple of photos of some frames so you can check out that area, plus for general interest I tried mounting the tank higher (Frisco style) but thought this looked better.
You might use a semi-later model Sporty tank (when they first started making them larger but still had a carb).
I don't know at what angle or how Spitfire plans to deal with the secondary neck brace under the tank, so just drew it how I thought it might go.


The Dennis Goodsen air cleaner destined to be shipped to Heather New for Mudflap Girl engraving.
The Dennis Goodsen air cleaner destined to be shipped to Heather New for Mudflap Girl engraving.




When you said a Fantasy in Iron tear drop air cleaner I took that to mean a plain Goodson (no rib), for engraving. (We now have a Roger Goldammer air cleaner for Frank's bike)
Since you need to run a front fender, I made it small. I like when they show most of the top of the tire.


Stainless sleek air cleaner design by Roger Goldammer. Click this image for more info.
Stainless sleek air cleaner design by Roger Goldammer. Click this image for more info.



Questions:
Who's handlebar and foot controls do you plan on using?
How about brake calipers?

--CK


Hey, Chris,

I feel like I want more attitude. How about the tank mounted in line with the bottom of the top bar and stretched a tad at the back to more of a point? Take out the stress bar and add a gusset there with a mudflap girl cut out.
Check the news. I ran a shot of the air cleaner, but you nailed it. Did you check out the heavy green flake and silver bike? I like that theme. My bike will have a plain engine. I thought that style worked well with the plain silver, driveline. And I liked the green springer to match the frame.




We don't need to go with green. It could be almost anything and silver, then reversed for Franks, with a silver frame, and colored sheet metal.

--Bandit

Bob T's FXRT. He's riding to Sturgis with us and a handful of other FXR maniacs.
Bob T's FXRT. He's riding to Sturgis with us and a handful of other FXR maniacs.


If the Redneck bags wouldn't fit, we looked at what Bob T. runs on his fantastic RT.

Part number for bags:
'87-90 FXRS conv bags
H-D 90702-89 left
90703-89

Frank, escaping back to the city in his used undercover cop car. Fuckin' Ford Crown Vic is too cool.
Frank, escaping back to the city in his used undercover cop car. Fuckin' Ford Crown Vic is too cool.




As you can see we are flying at this effort. Don't miss the frame build in the next segment. As it turns out Frank and I will be running the same drivelines: JIMS six-speed transmissions and Harley-Davidson Evo engines.
My 80-inch H-D Evo just arrived. We will immediately add a cam and some Branch headwork with the help of Bennett's Performance.
My 80-inch H-D Evo just arrived. We will immediately add a cam and some Branch headwork with the help of Bennett's Performance.

 
 
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Reader Comments


Great read man. Can't wait to see the end of this FXR build.

Jon
Chillicothe, MO
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Editor Response Hey,

Here's the final feature: http://www.bikernet.com/pages/The_Mudflap_Girl_FXR_Saga.aspx
--Bandit
Are you guys planning on adding the triangular rear section of the Harley FXR? I noticed it in your concept drawings. That was actually one of the things I love best about my KB FXR- it lacked that triangular section and hid the fact it was an FXR cosmetically(for the most part).

I love the fact you're documenting building an FXR-based bike, it's so cool to see something different from the standard hardtail bullshit that has become so common and boring now.

BigV
SE Alabama, AL
Sunday, May 01, 2011
Editor Response Interesting. Actually one bike will have the V, and the other will be more of a Pro Street FXR style. I should start work on another update later this week.
--Bandit

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