There are a lot of different interpretations of the street tracker style and we've seen quite a few of them here recently, including a Ducati and even Mert Lawwill's version, but when you want to see what many believe are some of the best, you go to the master, Richard Pollock of Mule Motorcycles. Richard's eye for symmetry and proportion, not to mention his ability to mix and modify parts from many sources, results in some of the most unique and classy builds you'll see anywhere.
The latest issue of Motorcyclist magazine has a really nice article about his booming business which operates out of his two car garage, and it tells how he's been converting a lot of Triumphs lately because with the right touch you get not only a great looking tracker, but more power from the engine than his popular XS650 trackers can muster. But, when you want a street tracker with a really authentic look, the Harley Sportster is the way to go and this Web Surfer 2 is the latest in the line.
I thought I'd touch base with Richard and it seems he's up to his ears in current builds, customers all over the world know where to go for the one off custom specials you can't get anywhere else. I asked about this Harley, the Web Surfer 2, a newer version of the Web Surfer we mentioned some time back and he told me how it came about.
Originally, the chassis was built as a joint effort Between Sundance in Tokyo, The Real McCoy’s (a clothing company in Tokyo), myself and rider Jay Springsteen. In the year 1999, a plan was hatched to campaign a Sportster based racer in what the AMA called “Supertrackers” or “Project 2000”. The intent was to get more people involved by opening up the racing to more available engines instead of all the racing being restricted to just the Harley XR750’s. The new rules allowed 2-valve, air-cooled 1250cc limit streetbike based motors (the Sportster), among others. In racing, if you think you’ll have some sort of advantage, you're keen to join the fray. Well, Sundance had two advantages. First, they had developed an XR750 “Style” top-end, cams, exhaust, ignition, etc., that with much expensive hand work, can be installed on a 5-speed lower end. Power output is as high as 116 at the wheel with stock 1200cc displacement, bore and stroke and RPM range. Great guns! Next, they had rider Jay Springsteen waiting and game to give it a go. There is only a small handful of riders that could beat him 10-15 years ago.
“The Real McCoys” would handle the financial end and I would build the bike with a supplied, built motor. Long story short, McCoys went South, the motor stayed in Japan, Springsteen continued his successful career on XR750’s and I ended up after some trading, with a race bike chassis. I installed a Buell M-2 motor into the bike and sold it to a beginning local who raced it a couple of times, never really stressing the package. A few years later, I saw the bike on eBay where it had been purchased by a gent in Colorado. He installed new forks, front brakes and lights as well as getting it street registered. When a customer in Germany contacted me wanting a replica of Dave Edwards’ Web Surfer Special, I purchased the bike only to have the customer back out at the last minute. The “last minute” after I had paid for it and had the bike shipped here to California. Soon after that, a deal was struck with a man who shall remain nameless, to build a Web Surfer 2. With wood seat and all.
I had planned for things to go quickly and smoothly, but as I fussed over every tiny detail, time marched on and costs increased. Duplicating the original wood seat which took about 40 hrs or so skyrocketed to 60-70 hrs and that didn’t include a much more sophisticated attachment structure. Yet, I wanted this bike to be much better than the original (Sorry Dave!). This bike had a racing chassis which was easily 30-40 lbs lighter and utilized a Penske monoshock among other features.
The look is slightly different from the original with some silver paint on the tank and the sides of the seat using Redwood instead of exclusively Balsa as on WSS-1.
Similar, but even better than the first and just the latest example of some of the best looking, if not THE best looking street trackers to be found anywhere. No two exactly alike, each one the product of a well developed sense of what looks just right and then having the skills to put it together.
Nice job, Richard!
Link: Mule Motorcycles