My Approach: Mule builds the final word Hooligan flat monitor race bike


If there’s one man who is aware of the best way to eke each final little bit of efficiency out of a flat tracker, it’s Richard Pollock. The person generally known as Mule has been constructing (and racing) them since lengthy earlier than Bike EXIF was even conceived, and has constructed among the most lust-worthy trackers to ever grace these pages. So it’s little surprise that his newest creation—a full-throttle Hooligan flat monitor racer—is such a tour de drive.

If you happen to’re not aware of the American Grand Nationwide Hooligan Championship, it’s a flat monitor collection geared toward amateurs working extremely hopped-up avenue bikes. The foundations are simple; you’ll be able to run any street-legal manufacturing bike over 649 cc, with an open e book on motor, swingarm, and wheel mods. However you’ll be able to’t reduce and weld the steering neck to change the geometry, and you may’t change the shock mounts on the body’s aspect until they’re bolt-ons.

Hooligan flat track race bike by Mule Motorcycles
There’s a 370 lbs minimal weight restrict too, and every bike wants a wheelbase of a minimum of 56 inches. From there, it’s as much as every racer to search out inventive methods to make their bike go sooner and switch left more durable. Fortunately for Mule, he’s been at this lengthy sufficient to know all the workarounds.

“Having raced the Hooligan class yearly since 2018 on a Sportster-based bike, I made a decision to construct the final word class-legal bike for this 12 months,” he tells us. “Given the constraints, my purpose was to smash the minimal weight rule and attain the purpose of getting so as to add weight.”

Hooligan flat track race bike by Mule Motorcycles
Mule began by sourcing a Buell X-1 Lightning from eBay, chosen particularly for its fundamental body loop. “It’s 10 lbs lighter than the lightest Sportster body,” he explains, “and contains a detachable forged aluminum subframe, which I wouldn’t use anyway.”

With the Buell stripped right down to its bones, Mule started to work his magic. First, he fabricated a light-weight chromoly swingarm and subframe, with a bolt-on higher shock mount. A pal and ex-colleague from his days within the aerospace business helped, by 3D-printing prototype shock mounts till the design was good.

Hooligan flat track race bike by Mule Motorcycles
The mounting system makes use of titanium plates, bolted to the higher finish of a custom-made Penske shock. It’s a trick setup, but it surely distracts from an much more trick modification that’s lurking decrease down.

“Within the unique Buell avenue bike, the motor and aluminum swingarm pivot castings had been rubber mounted,” Mule explains. “Now the motor is rigid-mounted, incorporating a billet swingarm and rear motor mount that permits full adjustability of the motor placement throughout the body. Fore, aft, up, down, and axial rotation; bam, how you want me now?”

Hooligan flat track race bike by Mule Motorcycles
On the reverse finish of the bike, a set of Mule Bikes yokes grip Yamaha R6 forks, fitted with metal cap extensions from J.J. Flairty. The wheels use Durelle Racing hubs, Solar rims, chrome steel spokes, and Dunlop DT4 tires. The rear brake makes use of a Beringer caliper and rotor, with the previous mounted on a Mule caliper bracket.

The rear wheel hub additionally contains a {custom} inside spud that not solely permits straightforward gearing adjustments, but additionally permits Mule to ‘flip’ the rear wheel between races. The thought is to make sure even put on throughout the tire’s tread, since flat trackers are all the time torching the left aspect of the rubber.

Hooligan flat track race bike by Mule Motorcycles
Mule has a go-to checklist of engine mods that steadiness energy and reliability, so he threw the e book on the V-twin mill. The crankcases and crankshaft went off to Darkish Horse Crankworks for heavy-duty rods, contemporary bearings, balancing, and meeting. The highest finish was despatched to Department & O’Keefe in California for in depth head mods, proprietary pistons, and boring.

The displacement continues to be 1,200 cc, however the engine now sports activities Purple Shift cams, Jim’s Machining curler rockers, and a Dyna ignition. The inventory carb was rebuilt and modded by Randy Troy Carburetion Specialties. It’s fed air by a ForceWinder consumption and a Ok&N filter, providing much more proper knee clearance than the OEM air cleaner.

Hooligan flat track race bike by Mule Motorcycles
Because the hooligan tracks are usually quick, Mule by no means will get past second gear. So this race bike makes use of a two-speed transmission with a Barnett Scorpion clutch, shaving one other 12 lbs. “The motor options loads of torque and large pulling energy, so it may possibly simply pull a lot increased closing gearing if needed,” he provides.

Eager eyes will discover that the bike’s main cowl shouldn’t be fairly unique. The OEM clutch cable attachment sits actually low and has a behavior of snapping off within the occasion of a lowside. So Mule reduce the duvet, rotated it about 45 levels, after which welded it again, successfully retaining the cable’s attachment level out of hurt’s means.

Hooligan flat track race bike by Mule Motorcycles
The modification known as for high quality work, so Mule used a wire EDM cutter to separate the first cowl. It’s a machine generally utilized in aerospace fabrication because it solely removes about 0.01” of fabric. The entrance half of the case was additionally reduce and shut, and fitted with a {custom} cowl.

“The duvet facilitates precision ignition timing versus the ‘manufacturing facility caveman’ means of placing the bike in gear and rocking the wheel backwards and forwards whereas peaking in somewhat inspection gap,” Mule tells us. “It nonetheless takes two folks, but it surely works a attraction. Sure, there are different methods to do it… however that is my means.”

Hooligan flat track race bike by Mule Motorcycles
Most notably, this flat tracker wears the least bodywork we’ve ever seen on a Mule construct. A wafer-thin aluminum gasoline tank sits on prime of the body, made up of a number of items, together with a few radiused sections from a classic Husqvarna gasoline tank. Welded up by Mule’s pal, Chuck Connell, it holds simply 1.3 gallons of gasoline—sufficient for the temporary, but livid, races that the bike will undertake.

A {custom} oil tank sits additional again, with its filler cap positioned up entrance, mounted on a protracted hose. The spigot that connects the hose to the reservoir, and the oil tank breather, are each positioned inboard of the body—so there’s nothing that may get in the way in which of the rider’s leg.

Hooligan flat track race bike by Mule Motorcycles
Ending touches embody a burly two-into-one exhaust, a fiberglass tail part from Competitors Sheet Metallic, and a home made cushion from Corbin. The cockpit is a typical Mule affair—full of solely the necessities and super-duper tidy.

However one of the best facet of this construct is the way in which that the minimalist bodywork provides only a sliver of zest to a beast that unapologetically places its mechanical nature on show. Laid down by SBK Paint, it’s a no-nonsense livery for a no-nonsense machine.

Mule Bikes | Instagram | Pictures by Bart Cepek

Hooligan flat track race bike by Mule Motorcycles


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