By now you may have heard that Kain Saul of Australia backflipped a Harley Davidson XR1200. There was a bit of a race going on, he wanted to beat American Chuck Carothers who was scheduled to do the same thing the next day. Carothers did a flip the next day though it looks like he fell off shortly after landing.
Saul had a practice backflip the day before into a foam filled pit which went just as planned and the actual jump the next day, came off without a hitch.
Watching the video it was immediately clear this was not a showroom stock XR1200. Josh Kennedy from Firestorm films sent some details of the modifications to the bike which were not extensive, mainly it was changes to the suspension to handle the landing.
The XR1200 Sportster was supplied by Harley Davidson Australia and prepared by Gavin Walker and co from Quick Fix Harley Davidson Mildura, The bike tips the scales at 257 kilo (566 pounds) and has around 100 horsepower. Here are the modifications they made: -STD Harley Street rod rear shocks -Tag handle bars -Strengthened triple trees -WP front forks with heavier springs and valving -Chain drive with the standard swing arm -KTM front master cylinder the rear brake pedal was removed -Knobby tires
The jump took place Tooradin in Victoria, Australia at fmxruss’ compound (one of Cam Sinclair’s practice compounds). Cam Sinclair is the first person to throw a double backflip into a freestyle run. He was there to give a hand, he is pretty handy at flipping things.
After backflipping a 566 pound XR1200, those off road Sportsters are looking a lot more reasonable. I’m wondering how many modified Sportsters we’ll be seeing running around off road now on long legs and knobby tires. If Harley doesn’t jump on this and offer some sort of suspension package, they’re missing the boat, of course, any aftermarket suspension company could do the same thing, there’s an opportunity just waiting.
OK, now, who’s going to flip a Softail?
This is the successful jump by Kain Saul:
This is the practice jump the day before into the foam pit: