When Jürgen Hawighorst of Ride-Inn ordered a VG rigid frame, his intention was to build a bike using a Sportster motor that would effectively showcase Ride-Inn parts- in particular a new open belt primary drive from fellow German company, NH Power.
But, as chance would have it, he was offered a 1998 1200 Buell power plant, which in a stock state of tune kicks out around 18% more torque and horsepower than the stock Harley Evolution lump. Undaunted by the boost in power and speed the Buell would offer the finished bike, Jiirgen’s pre-build thoughts focused on how the rigid frame would make contact with the ground and how the intended 40deg rake chopper would turn out.
All elements of the bike and frame geometry were first carefully calculated by computer, from which it was concluded that the triple tree should be stretched by 6deg and the downtubes should be made 14″ longer than the original.
The list of aftermarket parts that went into what then became Ride-Inn’s ‚Roadster‘ includes SJP forks and brakes, Braking brake rotors, RST instruments, a Crane HI-4 ignition, an open Forcewinder air filter and an AMC exhaust. The gas tank is a Paughco Mustang, elongated for extra capacity.
The power transfer between motor and gearbox is courtesy of the previously mentioned open primary drive from NH Power- said to be the first of its kind for the Sportster and Buell. The unit transmits power via a seven or nine plate dry clutch and has a 3″ drive belt, which is tensioned by a high-speed pulley.
While the Roadster uses very few stock parts, the NH Power open belt drive can, in fact, be easily bolted on using a bike’s existing engage mechanism, starter, stockforward controls and dutch pull, as well as retaining the stock tooth configuration. The initial development of the open belt drive was well tested over 15,500 miles on another Buell custom built by Ride-Inn which also distributes the product for NH Power.
Moving onto the Roadster’s wheel and tire configuration, Jurgen chose a 200 section rear tire on the basis that it was „not too fat“ and would, together with a 19″ front wheel, provide a smooth and stable ride. Jurgen’s claim to have already had the Roadster up to 1 lOmph-plus with no sign of a handling problem, while also being a credit to his riding ability, is testament to the accuracy of the bike’s configuration and build.
Words by Richard Burton, pictures by Frank Sander
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