AFT fabricator builds a Ti-framed Harley street tracker…
If you’ve got an eye on the two-wheeled world, you’ve certainly noticed the meteoric rise in popularity of American Flat Track (AFT) in recent years. The racing is simply some of the best anywhere in the world, with AFT Singles (450cc), Production Twins (649-900cc), and Super Twins (649-900cc) battling it out on mile, half-mile, and short dirt tracks across the country. The old war between Harley-Davidson and Indian has entered a 21st-century phase, and we’re happy to say that flat track racing is in the midst of a global revival.
Recently, we heard from Kully Millage of KullyCo, a young fabricator who grew up racing motorcycles and built his first custom bike during his senior year of high school: also a black and white Ironhead! For the last several years, he’s worked in the American Flat Track (AFT) series as a fabricator, working for Indian’s factory race team and starting KullyCo to build exhausts for the top teams.
“This is the first year I haven’t worked with a race team in a long time so I decided to build another custom bike…and here we are!”
The engine is from a 1960 Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster XLH, a 900cc V-twin from the early days of the Sportster, which was introduced in 1957. As for the frame? Kully built it entirely out of titanium, with Öhlins forks, a custom chromoly swingarm, and torsion bar rear suspension!
The bodywork is all handmade from aluminum, the exhaust is titanium, and this “KC900” is dripping with CAD-drawn, CNC and 3D-printed parts. Kully even went with RH side foot controls in true vintage flat tracker fashion.
Though the early Ironhead engine is no horsepower king, Kully says he’s very pleased with how the bike rides and handles so far:
“Regardless of the 1960 HD engine, and the lack of horsepower… It has a very aggressive rider feel. I’ve been pleased with the early stages of the rideability — I am enjoying it. The Öhlins forks and the torsion bar setup in the rear are giving it a plush feel.”
As you might imagine, he’s most proud of the custom Ti frame and rear suspension design:
“I am probably most proud of the chassis overall. First using titanium as the material and then secondly getting the torsion bar rear suspension concept to work efficiently.”
The result is one of the most striking, most interesting Ironheads we’ve ever seen — one that exhibits an incredible amount of fabrication detail and skill. Below, we talk to Kully for this full story on this “KC900” street tracker.
KC900 Ironhead Street Tracker: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I grew up racing motorcycles and got interested in the fabrication stuff in high school. I built my first custom bike my senior year of high school, which was also a black and white Ironhead Sportster. Since then I’ve built a few custom bikes and spent a lot of time in the AFT professional flat track series doing fabrication work.
I started my company KullyCo and built exhausts for a lot of the top teams. I also worked on a number of teams including Factory Indian Racing. This is the first year I haven’t worked with a race team in a long time so I decided to build another custom bike…and here we are!
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
The engine is a 1960 Harley-Davidson Ironhead Sportster XLH.
• Why was this bike built?
Just a fun, personal project for myself.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
I wanted to build something that was influenced by the Flat Track racing industry…but also maintain a very tasteful, timeless, Harley-Davidson finished product.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
Custom titanium frame, chromoly swingarm, handmade aluminum body work, titanium exhaust, torsion bar rear suspension, and a number of CNC / 3D-printed, CAD-drawn products.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
Regardless of the 1960 HD engine, and the lack of horsepower… It has a very aggressive rider feel. I’ve been pleased with the early stages of the rideability — I am enjoying it. The Öhlins forks and the torsion bar setup in the rear are giving it a plush feel.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I am probably most proud of the chassis overall. First using titanium as the material and then secondly getting the torsion bar rear suspension concept to work efficiently.