While in California for the Biltwell Parts & Labor show I ran into my good friends over at TrackerDie. Cory, Kate, Steve, Josh and a few more from their crew at their booth. As I was talking to them, my eyes kept veering away towards the bike they had just finished and brought to the show.
A 1200 blacked out Sportster that had some familiarities to my chopper I had just finished. I asked Cory who's it was and he said, "That's Josh's, let's go check it out!" He points out the open primary, which you don't ever see on a Sportster.
Josh's bike in the Parts And Labor show.
My eyes then wondered to the rear, and immediately noticed it was a 19" front wheel converted to a rear. I noticed the tight little mid controls, the stance, the handlebars, the brake, the foot controls, and holy shit, the brake! I just got super excited.
At that point I knew we had to roll it outside and get some better photos of this beast so we could share them with all of you!
With rain in the SoCal forecast all day long, the weather was dewy, and a misty type rain. I felt right at home. It's not really rain but more of a cool crisp condensation build up all around you which made for some really interesting shots of Josh's bike.
Josh shared with me the story behind the build and all of the ideas that translated into it, but rather you guys hear what I had to say, I thought it best come straight from the source. So here's Josh with the story of "The Bwack Widow".
19" front, 19" rear, 6 over tubes, custom exhaust, and so much more.
"The Bwack Widow" Sportster Chopper
Building a Sleek, Slim, Sketchy Little Ripper
As long as I can remember, I have always wanted to build a Sporty Chopper. Sleek, slim, and sketchy little rippers are just so much fun and visually pleasing to no end, so when our shop (TrackerDie Motorcycles) took a crusty 90’s Paughco frame in on trade, I jumped at the chance to make my girl-bike fantasy a reality.
I first approached my wife with classic “Listen, I can get this thing up and running for about $3k, have some fun with it, and one day waaaay down the line we can tear it down and do a full build on it.”
That lean though!
“Up and running” came and went, while the project rocketed straight to full build. I originally had plans for a high and tight, chrome-to-the-max 23”/18” spoke setup with a ton of flash, but I had trouble finding a front hoop that got my tail wagging, and with an impending crank-up motor build (that would end up fully blacked out) on the horizon, the decision was made to push for a leather-clad Judas Priest bad boy “performance” sporty chop.
That Stance Though: 19" Wheels Front & Rear, 6 Over Tubes
Influence was taken from my home base, and a TrackerDie 19”/19” front to rear mag conversion was utilized on a couple of Timken 9-spoke mags, mated with tracker tread pattern rubber for a little hint of Mad Max aesthetic.
An 8” over front end by way of +6” tubes and TrackerDie extended dampers, paired with a set of cleaned up legs (cuz if you’re gonna go to the dance, you gotta shave ‘em, ladies), and she finally had that gangster-lean stance I had been longing for since I first laid eyes on her.
She's just one long ripper!
The powerplant was torn down to the cases and Mikey at Kings Cycle went to work on the high compression rock solid 1200 crank-up build that left no stone unturned when it came to new components. The decision to keep the stock engine size was made with “practicality” in mind; I wanted to enjoy the ride, and not just survive it stuck on the side of the road.
With a Supertorque starter, Antigravity battery, and a manual compression release, the motor was set to fire up every time without hesitation. A full powdercoat job had the engine looking so nice, surely something could be done to spruce up the “B” side. Enter Evolution Industries.
Killer Evolutions 2" open primary concept with ridges for your foot on the top.
A Sportster With A 2" Open Primary Drive
I ran across Evolution’s 2” open primary and was immediately smitten. I couldn’t shut up about how rad it would be on the build. The guys at TrackerDie took notice and surprised me with a package, it was a little out of reach for my bike budget, but the team consensus was that it belonged on the bike, and I personally think they just wanted me to stop talking about it already.
Things were really starting to come together!
Lowbrow Customs Frisco Sportster tank, Manta Ray Fender. She's got the goods.
When it came to sheet metal, lean and mean was the only way to go for me. A Lowbrow Customs Super Narrow Frisco style 1.6 gallon gas tank and a 4 3/4" Manta Ray rear fender were sourced and fit the bill perfectly, complimenting the attitude of the bike.
Steve at TrackerDie got moving on a Bung King “build your own” oil bag kit to line up a filler neck with the one-off cutout in the frame that was there from the bikes original build from who knows how long ago, and I’m so happy we decided to keep it.
Looking Into The Abyss... Of Harley Vivid Black
I first spoke to friend of the shop Andrew “Bondo” Babish about the project and mentioned I wanted to go with a classic Harley Vivid Black, but wanted it to look like it was ten miles deep. He told me he had just the trick and proceeded to bury the black base coat with a series of black tinted clear coats to achieve the abyss of a paint job that feels like looking into the eyes of a stone cold killer.
Vivid Black paint with a side of misty rain.
Just a taste of Harley’s Twisted Cherry with the same tinted clear was applied to the underside of the tank and fender, providing a subtle surprise of color to anyone taking the time to appreciate the meticulous details, while the casual glance would surely overlook this.
Yeah, that's the foot set up and brake. WHA the!?
Now comes the time to start cramming all this awesome into a very tiny package (that’s what she said). Anyone can see fitting all these components was going to take some serious finesse. Cory at TrackerDie took the reigns on 3D printing a one-off ignition switch mount and brackets to hide the taillight wiring as well as laser cutting and engraving the pentagram points cover.
From tucking a license plate frame into the open primary standoff posts, frenching the Gasbox battery box into the seatpost tube, all the way to an unorthodox Thrashin Supply Co. bagger brake pedal that became a mini floorboard, it truly took a village of brainstorming to pull this entire thing together in a cohesive way.
More ARP bolts than I ever knew existed (and some that didn’t) alongside carefully placed AN oil lines and fittings, as well as some chrome punk spikes and way too many “finishing touches” are all overboard. These details were executed in a seamless way that seemed hidden in plain sight, the bike feels almost too simple to have as many easter eggs as it does.
California sun is right around the corner this beast.
I’m looking forward to making my rounds this season, enjoying the ride and getting into some back roads with a big silly grin on my face, this bike gives me the same feeling I had the very first time I threw a leg over a Harley.
She gets tons of attention (that I wasn’t really looking for, but I’m also very happy to see others enjoy it), so stop and say hi if you see me at the shows this year!
A TrackerDie Exclusive.
This is my first chopper, and I can hardly take credit for it outside of ownership and vision (which I share with my team). This entire project was headed up by Steve at TrackerDie Motorcycles, without whom none of this would be possible.
Countless friends and family talking me off the ledge, providing insight and rationale, keeping me on track (or leading me way out in the woods to help me put a bad idea to rest).
Thank you to my Team at TrackerDie (Steve, Cory, Jermaine, Jose) even Ben “The Nerd”, and everyone that took interest, you guys kept the project going. Big thanks to Mikey for the awesome photos and everyone at Lowbrow for giving the bike a chance to be seen, I’m super proud of her!
- Josh Boehling
Photos by Mikey Revolt
Take it all in, she's a real thing of beauty.
"THE BWACK WIDOW" SPORTSTER TECH SHEET
Owner: Josh Boehling
Year/Make/Model: 1999 XL1200S “The Bwack Widow”
Fabrication: Steve Blalock (TrackerDie Motorcycles)
Build Time: 2 Years (off & on)
From clapped out and wack, to hold my beer this thing will rip your face off in a hurry.
Year/Type/Size: 1999 XL 1200 High Compression (Crank-Up Build by Mikey @ Kings Cycle) Feuling 505/515 Cams, Evolution Industries 2” Open Belt Drive
Carburetor: Mikuni HSR 42
Exhaust: Custom-bend Polished Stainless 2>1 with modified 90’s BUB cap
Air Cleaner: S&S Stealth Paughco frame with the windowed neck.
Year/Type: 90’s Paughco Rigid
Rake/Stretch: 35 Degree rake
6" over tubes with TrackerDie's extended fork tube dampers making it 8" over.
Type / Brand: HD Shaved legs, +6” tubes (+8 with TrackerDie Extended Dampers) Race Tech Springs w/ gold valve emulators, Lowbrow Customs Fork Caps/Stem Bolt
On the front a 19" Stock HD 9 spoke mag wheel with a 19" Dunlop K180F tire.
On the rear a 19" stock HD 9 spoke mag wheel with 19" Shinko SR267 Tire.
Front Size: 19” Harley-Davidson 9 Spoke Mag Wheel - 19" Dunlop K180F tire.
Rear Size: 19” Harley-Davidson 9 Spoke Mag Wheel (with TrackerDie 19” Front to Rear Mag Wheel Conversion) - 19" Shinko SR267 tire.
Paint by: Bondo (HD Vivid Black/ Twisted Cherry & Smoked Clear under tank & rear fender
Plating/Polishing: New Year Metal Finishing
Powdercoating: 8Zero Powdercoating
Some custom bars with internal throttle, 1 finger short throw clutch and Vans / Cult ODI Grips
Front Fender: Nada
Rear Fender: Lowbrow Customs Manta Ray
Gas Tank: Lowbrow Customs Frisco Mount Super Narrow 1.6 Gal
Handlebars: Custom built with LA County Choprods Internal Throttle
Grips: ODI x Vans Cult 1" Black
Mirrors: What are those?
Hand Controls: Modified 1Fngr Short Throw Clutch Lever
Foot Controls: Custom Machined “Stomp Pad” on Open Primary Guard/ High and Tight Custom Right Side Mini Floorboard with Mini Brake Pedal
Headlight: Standard Top Mount with Trackerdie Barebones Headlight Mount (Custom Bend for Rake)
Taillight: Prism Supply Co. Box Chopper Taillight (Anodized Black)
Turn Signals: Nope!
License Mount: Prism Supply Co. mounted to Open Primary
Single Seat: 90’s Scorpion Solo
Just the perfect solo ripper.
MORE PHOTOS AND CLOSE UPS OF "THE BWACK WIDOW"
Doom and gloom in Delmar made for some really nice lighting.
S&S Stealth air cleaner on a Mikuni carb, yeah she's dialed.
Standard top mount headlight utilizing the TrackerDie Headlight mount.
Prism Supply tail light customized black.
Custom rounded off oil tank with filler under the seat.
Another look at that crazy foot control brake setup.
Stainless custom blend 2 into 1 exhaust.
TrackerDie Chain conversion rear sprocket.
Custom fork stabalizer.
tight fit with the oil tank, anti gravity batter and license plate.
Through the bars.
90's scorpion seat.
Stance check, yup still killa.
B-side never looked so good.
Criss cross will make ya Jump Jump.
Curly q's with Lowbrow 16 gauge wire.
One spike for the punks.
Another look at the TrackerDie Headlight mount and Lowbrow Customs fork and stem caps.
Bwack Widow, peace out!