The boys (and girls) of Milwaukee Iron (MI) are big fans of racing, so much so that their first kit bike is styled to resemble the vintage board- and flat track bikes of almost a century ago. With its single loop frame and long straightline gas tank, the SS Kit bike brings you back to a simpler era in bike design before the ubiquitous double-cradle frame was all the rage.
Not content to merely build a race replica, MI wanted to do more. And what more storied a venue than the Jackpine Gypsies' short track in Sturgis, during the Rally? This blue flattracker is a tribute to the club that started it all in 1938 with nine motorcycle racers-possibly racing machines a lot like this one. Obviously, the Sturgis Rally has grown to encompass so much more that the racing is definitely an afterthought, but MI thought they'd do their part to spotlight the contributions of the country's longest continuously operating AMA-sanctioned club.
During the intermission at the short track every night of the rally, they'd take this machine out on the track and cut some hot laps with it. We're here to tell you that they weren't babying the thing, either! Instead, Howard Hall, the man responsible for the machine's Evo powerplant, wound it up on the track's blue groove, banking into the turns hard and stepping the back end out on the corner exits.
Luckily, the MI boys got some advice on set up from dirt track legend Chris Carr prior to the bike's maiden dirt voyage. Dropping the air pressure down to a sensible eight pounds gave the street-based 21-inch tires some bite on the slick, hard-packed dirt. Good thing they talked to Carr (in town for the AMA Hot Shoe National) with their initial street-ready setup of 35ish pounds front and rear, he opined that they would have definitely scratched the pretty paint job.
According to Howard, the machine was blast to ride around the track. He gained speed and confidence on every go-round of the bike's initial dirt outing, which we witnessed first hand. The sublime roar from the exhaust was about right for a race bike: heart-thumping loud without being ear-shattering annoying. Despite all the pictures we've seen of bikes looking somewhat like this one battling it out on banked ovals, it still looked a little weird to see it in living color.
|BIO || ||NAME ||Randy Simpson /Milwaukee Iron's "Blue Streak" |
|ADDRESS ||110 Ramsey Place |
|CITY ||Lynchburg |
|STATE/ZIP || VA/24501 |
|MAKE/MODEL ||Replica J-Racer |
|YEAR ||2003 |
|FABRICATION ||Gary Woodford @ Milwaukee Iron |
|ASSEMBLY ||Milwaukee Iron |
|BUILD/REBUILD ||90 days |