HARLEY-DAVIDSON OWNED the internet yesterday. Unless you live under a solid aggregate of minerals, you’ll know that the Motor Co. teased its upcoming model range—including the productionized Livewire, a streetfighter, and an adventure tourer called the ‘Pan America.’
But did you notice there was no mention of the Sportster? Could this finally be the end of the road for the venerable roadster? Fear not. There will always be killer Sportster builds to keep the massive second-hand market alive—like this rowdy flat tracker from Australia’s Gasoline Motor Co.
The Gasoline crew developed a taste for flat track racing after blasting round their local track at Appin, an hour’s drive out of Sydney. At first they used a KTM 450 shod with Dunlop DT3s, but founder Jason Leppa realized it was soon time to move on to more appropriate machinery.
“Learning the ropes of sliding at high speed on the dirt soon turned into a need to practice on a heavier Harley XR1200X,” he tells us.
At first glance, this V-twin street tracker looks like a no-fuss hooligan racer. But it’s primed to tear up asphalt as well as the dirt—and has enough of the right bits to make it street legal.
A 2000-model Harley-Davidson Sportster was the starting point for what became the ‘XX Tracker.’ Gasoline stripped it down, then threw away anything they could to save as much weight as possible.
A monochrome palette was on the cards from the word go, so the engine was removed and painted black, while the frame was refinished in white.
Gasoline kept the Sporty’s stock oil tank, but tossed the fuel tank, seat and fenders. In their place are a fiberglass tank and tail, hand made by Phil Little Racing in the classic American flat track style. The livery is simple and tasteful: gloss black, with a few custom decals.
As per normal flat track spec, the XX Tracker rolls on a pair of 19” hoops—in this case, lifted from an early model Sportster and powder coated black before being wrapped in Maxxis dirt track rubber. Roger at Retroline added a super-subtle touch: white pinstripes on each rim.
Custom-machined triple clamps were installed to get the front wheel to fit, and spacers ensure the sprockets line up at the rear.
The forks were fitted with new 11-1130 springs from Progressive Suspension, and shaved of any unused mount tabs. And a set of custom-tuned Nitron shocks was installed out back, dialed in to the rider’s weight.
Gasoline have also added a chain conversion kit, with an oversized 60-tooth rear sprocket for maximum pull-away out on the track.
As for the motor, it’s stock inside. On the outside there’s an S&S Cycles Super E carburetor, and a high flow Slant air filter from Roland Sands Design. And, of course, a massive, in-your-face twin exhaust system that provides max airflow and sounds magnificent.
It’s the work of Niko at Hi-Tech Mufflers, who built it up piece by piece from stainless steel. The Gasoline crew then whipped up a big ol’ heat shield in-house, to cap it off.
Those are the obvious changes—but there’s a ton of subtle tweaks on the XX Tracker that tie everything together. The stock mid-mount foot controls were converted to ‘low-mount’ controls, and upgraded with a grippier set of pegs.
Up top, the guys added a set of high-and-wide 1” bars, but trimmed off the cross brace that came with them. The levers are standard, but the throttle and grips are new—along with the mini switches and internal wiring.
The stock handlebar clamp was milled out to accept a tiny LED dash from Motogadget, plus a set of LED warning lights. The entire electronics package is discreet, with a trimmed harness running through Motogadget‘s popular m.unit control box, and activated by their keyless RFID ignition.
The ‘headlight’ is actually two powerful LEDs, mounted down low on a pair of custom-made engine crashbars. Out back is a floating license plate bracket, which also carries a thin LED taillight. Turn signals are present at both ends; small pin units flanking the tail, and wraparound LEDs on the forks.
Gasoline’s XX Tracker nails the Sportster tracker vibe flawlessly, tweaking the timeless recipe just enough to make it the perfect Harley for both road and track.
It’s uncomplicated, beastly, and a loud reminder that the Sportster’s going to be around for a long, long time.
Gasoline | Facebook | Instagram | Images by Rob Hamilton
This action-packed film tells the story of 'THE XX' – Gasoline Motor Co.'s custom Harley Davidson flat tracker – as it takes on vicious souls through a storm of dust. Slicing up the speedway, the streets ain't safe... Watch out, watch it now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=op4-hmEpbnE