From Kaleb Zink: Harley-Davidson Tracker for Flat Out Friday…
Within the early Nineteen Sixties, Harley-Davidson noticed the rising reputation of smaller displacement bikes like Honda’s OHC twins and reduce a deal to buy half of Italian firm Aermacchi. The “Italian connection” would final till 1978, leading to a sequence of rebadged H-D machines not like the rest to come back out of the Motor Firm.
Most folk don’t notice what a successful connection it will be. A Harley-Davidson Baja 100 positioned first in school on the 1971 Baja 1000, after which there have been the Grand Prix victories.
“Harley ought to be pleased with the Italian connection, as a result of it supplied the corporate with 4 worldwide GP racing victories when Italian road-racer Walter Villa received the 250 class in 1974, ’75 and ’76, doubling up in 1976 by successful the 350 class as nicely — using a parallel-twin two-stroke constructed by Aermacchi with Harley-Davidson writ massive on the fairing.” -Clement Salvadori, Rider
Within the mid-70s, the two-stroke SX sequence enduros appeared to compete with machines like Yamaha’s vastly profitable DT sequence.
“Aermacchi Harley-Davidson’s first actual counter-offering to the DT-1 got here 5 years later with the 1973 SX125, adopted rapidly by the 1974 SX175 and at last the SX250. The SX175 and SX250 have been basically similar other than the 250’s bigger cylinder bore.” –Bike Classics
Harley was critical about getting a piece of the enduro market, and the SX175 and 250 have been full of options reminiscent of adjustable Marzocchi suspension, quick-change ISDT-type rear hubs, built-in spark arrestors, and a breakerless CD ignition separate from the battery system, so riders might strip down the bikes for off-road using and racing. Whereas the SX sequence may not have carried out fairly in addition to its Japanese rivals, these bikes had one thing nobody else might declare: the title Harley-Davidson on the tank.
The SX175 flat tracker you see right here comes from 34-year-old former woods racer and present customized paint artist Kaleb Zink of Florence, Missouri…however the bike has fairly an extended historical past behind it.
“I had bought this bike 5 years in the past from my authentic motorbike mentor, Bob Jeffress, who had initially bought it new for his spouse, Linda, to commute backwards and forwards to school. Bob’s mother and father had owned a small Harley store within the small city of Syracuse, Mo. She made the commute practically 50 miles a technique for 2 years earlier than upgrading to a SS-250.”
After that, the Jeffress brothers stripped down the SX and took turns racing it. Rising up, aspiring woods racer Kaleb developed an early love for the Harley orange filth bike on the Jeffress home. After taking the bike off his mentor’s palms, Kaleb reconditioned the bike and confirmed it in “woods trim” at Gasoline Cleveland in 2022.
“This would be the second time competing at this occasion, and it solely appeared becoming to race a Harley in Milwaukee!”
The wheels have been swapped for a set of 19-inch D.I.D. DirtStar wheels wrapped in flat observe rubber, and the bike is now sporting a GSX-R entrance finish with the steering stem, bar mounts, entrance axle, and spacers machined by Kaleb’s father, Paul, who owns Zink Machine Device and Fabrication in Warsaw, Missouri. A Harley XR750-style tail part was modified to suit, and the rear outfitted with a hydraulic disc brake — no entrance brake, after all, as it is a flat observe bike.
After all, Kaleb himself dealt with the paintwork — the tank is the one absolutely authentic paint on the bike — and enlisted the assistance of native Missouri craftsmen and workshops for different wants: A&B Auto Trim for the seat, Pat Shull for the exhaust restore, and Jake Owens for the warmth treating and sharpening.
That is one beautiful flat tracker that oozes fashion and historical past, and a stunning tribute to a motorcycling mentor. We will’t wait to see Kaleb sling it sideways on the syrup subsequent month at Flat Out Friday — we’ll be rooting for you, Kaleb!
SX175 Tracker: Builder Interview
• Please inform us a bit about your self, your historical past with bikes, and your workshop.
My title is Kaleb Zink from Florence, Mo. I’m creeping up on 35 yrs outdated and have been using bikes since I used to be 8. Most of my early using consisted of subject using, which changed into woods racing. I began hare-scrambling in 2004 and raced steadily till 2013. I fueled my love for bikes in 2011 by taking a place at our native Harley-Davidson dealership (Yeager’s Harley-Davidson) working on the elements counter. That’s the place the true habit for bikes started…
Within the evenings, I’m able to couple my ardour for bikes with my love for artwork and portray and mix the 2. I’ve been working towards customized paint work for 15 years and it appears that evidently the motorbike stays my favourite canvas.
• Why was this bike constructed?
I had bought this bike 5 years in the past from my authentic motorbike mentor, Bob Jeffress, who had initially bought it new for his spouse, Linda, to commute backwards and forwards to school. Bob’s mother and father had owned a small Harley store within the small city of Syracuse, Mo. She made the commute practically 50 miles a technique for 2 years earlier than upgrading to a SS-250.
The SX-175 then was stripped of its flip indicators and avenue tires and have become destined for the woods. The Jeffress brothers took their turns racing the bike for the following few years earlier than upgrading to the brand new MX-250. The unique tins for the bike have been stowed away on a shelf because the forks have been exhausting on gasoline tanks!
My household grew up with horses, not bikes, so each time there was a necessity for a contemporary spark plug or a quart of two-stroke oil for my first filth bike, Bob’s home was the place to go. Each time the door would open, right here sat this orange Harley-Davidson motorbike with knobby tires…I used to be hooked.
It has gone via its final transformation to have the ability to race within the classic class at Mama Tried’s Flat Out Friday occasion held in Milwaukee in February.
After I determined it was going with me up there this yr, there was just one approach to reintroduce the bike to the racing group: as a contemporary new motorbike! The gasoline tank paint is the one authentic paint left on the motorbike that has not had any re-conditioning. Powdercoat was executed by Certain Coat in Sedalia, Mo. Machine work was accomplished by my dad, Paul Zink, proprietor of Zink Machine Device and Fabrication in Warsaw, Mo. Bike was proven in its “woods trim” on the Gasoline Cleveland motorbike present in 2022.
• What was the design idea and what influenced the construct?
I wished to create one thing with the race fashion that I like that was additionally fairly sufficient to stare at.
• What customized work was executed to the bike?
- GSXR entrance finish: machined steering stem, handlebar mounts, entrance axles and spacers from Zink Machine Device.
- XR fashion tail part shortened and trimmed to suit.
- Rear hydraulic disc brakes.
- Seat by A&B Auto Trim Sedalia, Mo.
- Exhaust: Energy Pipes Jr, repaired by Pat Shull and polished/warmth handled by Jake Owens — each of Sedalia, Mo.
- Paint work: Zink’s Customized Paint, Florence, Mo.
• Are you able to inform us what it’s prefer to journey?
Solely have had a couple of check classes with the brand new tracker setup, however the bike was all the time enjoyable to journey, making enjoyable sounds during the RPM vary!
• Was there something executed throughout this construct that you’re significantly pleased with?
Finishing the bike in time to race Flat out Friday! Took many hours of sleepless nights to finish whereas sustaining a traditional daytime life.
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