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John Lippy's 1977 Sportster flat-tracker

This 1977 Harley Sportster streetfighter is a 1960's flat-tracker clone. It was designed and built by The WingNut Group of Louisville, KY.

The WingNut Group, after years of building British and Metric bikes, has decided to venture into the overlooked jewel -- The iron-head Sportster. These bikes were totally looked down upon with the advent of the Evolution motor.  We just love the iron-head nostalgia look. This series was built to bring back the glory days of board-track racing. The difference is contemporary style handle bars and lighting. It uses a 1976 frame with a 1977 motor.

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The front end lower legs have been polished, with the raised elements turned down. The legs are filled with Amsoil for a better ride. A late-model caliper was used instead of the large outdated original one. A new drilled disk was added. This allows for a very clean front end look that is enhanced by the aftermarket headlight and bracket. The rims are new aluminum shoulder style with polished spokes to reflect the Harley racing heritage. The front tire is 100/90/19” and the rear is 110/90/18”.  The rear brakes are manual with all new parts. Both sets of wheel bearing are new. The tail light switch and rod are XLCH style. The tail light is LED. We mounted the tail light on the rear as not to hide it from an oncoming side driver.  Wiring is there if your state requires turn signals. A speedometer unit is on the front end if the State also requires one.

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The coil and gas tank were moved to keep the frame open and help continue the lines of the clean downward look. The rear clip adds three inches to the length and 4 inches drop. This rear end is very rare and almost one of a kind with the rounded look. Compare this look to a Santee Brand that comes to a point. This rear end is a bolt on that was welded on for strength. We installed large bolts to keep an industrial look. This clip was used on the old K Model Sportster KHK Flat Tracker. A lot of thought went into picking the right seat. Notice how it is arched. This is to keep the driver on and not sliding off like many bobbers. The arch on the seat follows the same curve as the fender. On the seat we used a system of washers that allows the seat height to be lowered or raised. The seat sits at 25” off the ground. A stock peanut tank was used along with Flat Track style handle bars. It has all new wiring with the barrel style key switch being on the right side, keeping the clean look. This placement allows the driver to turn off the bike while holding in the clutch, unlike modern bikes. There is a kill switch on the handle bars.

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This bike has polished heads and cases. The engine needed to be completely torn down and gone through. The cases were split and the crank bearing was replaced.  These bearings took the brunt of the wear and tear of the engine. The transmission was completely taken apart, mic, checked and parts replaced if needed. The tranny is almost 100% new. A valve job was done, and Andrews Cams were installed to give to some umph and sound.  We chose a late model Keihin CV carb to do the job of sending fuel to this monster. The kick starter works and is in place for the retro look. The pipes are a style used in the K Model KHK Racing Series. There are no hard bends like the stock Sportster pipes. White spray heat paint was used which can be changed easily.

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There was a problem was with the RPM in relationship to road speed. At 60 to 70 mph the engine felt like it needed another gear.  This made the engine work at a higher temperature than I would like it to be, plus it caused internal problems. To solve this we went from a factory 21 to a 23 tooth front sprocket.  A new chain was used.

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The rims are new aluminum shoulder style with polished spokes to reflect the Harley racing heritage. The front tire is 100/90/19” and the rear is 110/90/18”.  The rear brakes are manual with all new parts. Both sets of wheel bearing are new. The tail light switch and rod are XLCH style. The tail light is LED. We mounted the tail light on the rear as not to hide it from an oncoming side driver.  Wiring is there if your state requires turn signals. A speedometer unit is on the front end if the State also requires one.The rims are new aluminum shoulder style with polished spokes to reflect the Harley racing heritage. The front tire is 100/90/19” and the rear is 110/90/18”.  The rear brakes are manual with all new parts. Both sets of wheel bearing are new. The tail light switch and rod are XLCH style. The tail light is LED. We mounted the tail light on the rear as not to hide it from an oncoming side driver.  Wiring is there if your state requires turn signals. A speedometer unit is on the front end if your State also requires one.

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My thanks to Roy “Moses” McMeans, of Buffalo KY for giving me the push do this bike. Kirk Kelley, of Fullerton, CA found me many Sporty parts and especially the old “K-model” parts. Ron “Tinker” Gladden, of Scottsburg, IN is a great master engine builder and designer.

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