If there is one thing we love here at BikeBound, it’s flat trackers. It’s been thrilling to witness the resurgence of the sport, as well as the wealth of new street and flat trackers this has inspired.
Enter Yann Le Douche of Breizh Coast Kustoms (BCKustoms), who comes to flat track racing with quite the pedigree. Yann has worked as a racing mechanic for Ducati France, a team coordinator in World Superbike, a MotoGP journalist, and a bike builder with BCKustoms. In 2012, Yann went to Daytona for the flat track races and was hugely impressed. As he said:
No technology, big show, big sound and riders with big balls!
The French flat track scene has been picking up, and Yann decided to build a bike for Dirt Quake 2017. He could not decide whether to build a show bike or race himself, so he decided to do both! Below, we get the full story on this magnificent Harley-Davidson Sportster Super Hooligan tracker build.
BCK-023 Hooligan Tracker: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I’m a long time motorcycle racing addict, who start training on track in late 90s. I started as a racing mechanic for Ducati France in 2002 and, after successful trials as rider manager or journalist, I got that Team Coordinator job in World Superbike Suzuki Team. Then left that job in May 2009 and return to Brittany for family purpose. Started then a first bike, a 650 XS bobber with quiet a lot of success. Saw the bike on websites/blogs worldwide so thought there was something to do.
Addicted to race bikes, all the bikes I did had something to see with racing. Then, event if interested for a while and after luckily met Kenny Sr a few times, I went to Daytona Flat Track in 2012. Big!!! Despite I saw the most famous competition live from the pits, this was something incredible: No technology, big show, big sound and riders with big balls! So back home, I started my first street tracker project. The story went and the french scene started to raise, pushed by Vintage Racing Spirit who started organizing events on motor shows and invitational training. Met them last February and decided to finally attend the 2017 Dirt Quake. Should I go there with a show bike? Should I race myself? Both? Ok, both. Let’s go…
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
The bike is a 1992 Harley-Davidson frame with a 1986 XLH 883 engine in, 4 speeds.
• Why was this bike built?
This was a long time dream to have that bike built. I had the engine with me in 2009 when I went back to Brittany and it went first in a XL frame to built that tracker. With the success of my first bobber built, the frame turned rigid and is still there. Maybe a bit to complicated project for my skills at that time. So now, as said before, the bike is built for racing. Only traces of this ‘bobber’ era is the right engine case cut to look like a knucklehead.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
The project was drawn also in 2009 on my computer at scale 1. Then came Sideburn, the FanChoice.tv live coverage, the visit of the 2012 AMA paddock. Earlier this year, when decision was taken to build it, the new XGR was released. I found the exhaust nicely designed and the first prototype for X Games promo had also that right side air cleaner like on OEM Sportster. So wasn’t a mess to build it like this. Even the paint scheme was influenced by Rogers Racing Design and his 2016 rider Jared Meed. I must say I’m fan of.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Taking part to a Hooligan race means you have to keep the original frame like initially built. So the job was to draw a racer with a ‘too’ long wheelbase, 19” wheels and to find the right body parts to fit. I designed my rear set and built it taking example of working solutions sold on the web. The Exhaust system has been fully built on the bike from scratch, tubes and stainless sheets. Big work has also been done to fit 19” wheels set on the bike: One set comes from 77 and 83 front Kawasaki bikes and second set is a pair of 19” stock Sportster wheels.
As that bike wasn’t initially this year planned to be built and within few weeks, then was built on a budget. Rear brake disc and rear sprocket has also been home-designed to match the new rear wheels and have the right dimensions for a short transmission ratio and a good braking for a 360 pounds bike. Last home-made part, with the number plates and the exhaust protection which is one too, was the air filter.
In 2009 I bought the S&S Super E carb and all the electronic ignition which is quiet a lot of money. So when came to find the right air cleaner element, I had to take care about four points: racing design/purpose, outer diameter not to come too close to the exhaust, overall design and price…I saved time when I decided to build my own. Found a K&N element lost on their website on a page they gathered all the unused references. I designed a flange and outer part, including an engraved logo to make it mine. My friend who engraved the new HD frame number plates, took care about the air cleaner outer part, the point cover and the exhausts tags I’ve designed also.
• How would you classify this bike?
… Hmm… Should I answer? I’ll kill the first stupid idiot to call it a scrambler or a cafe-racer… And I know some would do. It’s for race purpose so not a street tracker event if wouldn’t be long to get a road legal version with a new left fork tube to get the front caliper brackets back.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I would say 2 things: The overall proportions of the bike were matching in every point the initial computer design. Also the exhaust system is a big part of the work which gives a big bonus to the bike. OK, it’s not exactly the XGR design but I’ve managed to get as close as possible with the restrictions involved by the air cleaner, keeping the front/rear tubes the same length, and the mufflers to be exactly at this place.
Pro workshops with more tools could have to it lighter, with CNC nice weldings… But that one is my work and I’m proud of it. Finally, last point: I got t-shirts on sale in April to get some money for that build and the trip to UK. I’m fan of those people supporting that kind of project. So I told them the 50 first to pre-order will have their names on the bike. And it’s done, top of the gas tank and top of the seat cowling are covered with their names. So I’m gonna ‘bring them with me to UK’. Thanks to all of them.
Photos: Laurent Boyer of L.Boyer Visions
Follow the Builder and Sponsors
BCKustoms is supported by:
- L’Académie de la Bière– Craft Beers specialist – Chartres (Fr)
- T4 Klinik – VW Transporter T4/T5 specialist – Gourlizon (Fr)
- KCP Designs – Custom motorcycles and paint – Harley-Davidson specialist – Rédéné (Fr)
- Fifties and More – Surface treatment – Pont-Croix (Fr)
- Sellerie Eric Clément – Car Truck Motorcycle and boat saddlery – Quimper (Fr)
- Atelier du Graveur – Industrial and jewellery engraving – Ergué-Gabéric (Fr)
- Cap Enseignes – Stickers and advertising supports – Chateaulin (Fr)
- Dezert Point – Skate & Surf Shop – Quimper (Fr)
- Moto Sélection Honda – Quimper (Fr)
“Most of them are craftmen I use to work with for now years. They have specific tools and much more knowledge and skills on their own respective businesses I could never have them all. So never try to be the lord if it’s not my kingdom…
Special thanks to T2xC workshop in Quimper which took care about some part of the job with their tools I was missing. The bike got then its first shooting in their workshop.”
Nicky Hayden Tribute
We noticed that the bike was carrying the “69” stickers of our late hero, Nicky Hayden. Here’s what Yann had to say when we asked him about his love of Nicky:
In 2002, I was attending the Valencia MotoGP as a journalist. On Thursday, I met that yound rider, new AMA Superbike Champion, visiting the GP paddock in preview for his first season to come. I had that photo made for my first ever interview. I guess I was the first journalist to interview him on his arrival in Spain…
Later on, during my WSBK years, I met him quiet a few times in SBK and GP paddock and also in Belgium where he use to live and my Team too.
Great loss. Great guy.