S&S Cycle Supplies Its Best for the Legends Ride
The Power and The Glory
Text by Stephen Long
Photos courtesy of S&S Cycle
The cast is no doubt familiar. It’s a collaboration of world-renowned actors joining together for a wholly unique project, two titans of the American motorcycle landscape managing to incorporate the many aspects of our community that we cherish under one umbrella (it’s Sturgis, ya might need one). Yes, you know S&S Cycle, a brand synonymous with pure power, sheer speed, and the furious ferocity of piston-pounding thrashes; it’s recognizable from Bozeman, Montana, to Gothenburg, Sweden. Ever ask a guy what he’s running, and when he mentions the S&S piece, a smirk and a raise of the eyebrows hasn’t followed? Didn’t think so.
Starring opposite our gallant, gasser-inspired custom is the Buffalo Chip, Sturgis’ premium purveyor of parties and all-out rally fun. Rod Woodruff’s Buffalo Chip is the spot to be during the rally, and moto-travelers from around the world (yeah, even fellas from Sweden) set all points to the Midwestern party capital at least once in during their lifetime. Rod also founded the Legends Ride 10 years ago, a charitable affair that has raised over $500,000 for local charities and often attracts celebrities and major motorcycle personalities. This further entrenches the Chip’s significance and importance to both Sturgis and the greater South Dakota area.
“The South Dakota Special Olympics generally come out and participate,” says Nyla Griffith, head of PR for the Buffalo Chip. “Rod pledged $100,000 of Legends Ride funds to help renovate an old gym in Rapid City for the team. They have no place to practice now. The Legends Ride previously bought the South Dakota Special Olympics a van to transport athletes to and from games. The Ride also supports the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and funds are earmarked for expansion.”
This kind of exceptional work and dedication is what makes Rod and the Buffalo Chip a noteworthy business in South Dakota. It’s also why the Legends Ride has powered into its 10th anniversary with as much support and local backing as ever. The partnership between the Buffalo Chip and S&S Cycle makes all the more sense when considering the magnitude of both outfits.
The 2017 Low Rider spread out here is the result of a full-team effort, with groups from each of S&S’ departments heavily involved in the design, construction, testing, and promoting of the custom ripper. And it can be yours: the joint-effort between the Chip and the Legends Ride leads up to an auction of the bike on Monday, August 7. Rest assured—the money raised at the auction will go straight toward benefitting local charities.
But what is it, exactly, you’d be bidding on? Much of the bike took shape as the project evolved, though one source of inspiration remained a similar machine, albeit a four wheeler. “The Dyna Low Rider is probably the most powerful of the smaller Harleys,” says Dave Zemla, vice president of marketing for S&S Cycle. “The Shelby Cobra is also a smaller car with a large motor.” The Cobra, you’ll remember, featured various big block Ford V8s during the ’60s and ’70s; a racy roadster most recognizable with its top down and a racing stripe down the middle of the hood and rear. Underground Art Studio, based out of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, laid down the cobalt base complete with the silver stripe down the middle, which truly evokes the spirit of the Shelby.
Now that we have your undivided attention, see that S&S Stealth High Flow air filter? You’re reading that correctly. It’s equipped to one of S&S’ premier motors, 143″ of full-fledged, chiseled, rock-solid muscle. The motor, available to the public through S&S, fit right into the Low Rider’s stock frame. The heads are S&S’ very own CNC-machined B3, the cams are 635 Easy Start Gear Drive, and the 1.725:1 S&S rocker arms provide for a total lift of .674″. To compensate for the supreme size of the motor, the team opted for an S&S 66mm throttle-by-wire throttle body. And what about that wicked 2-into-2 exhaust? That’s a prototype stainless steel system that S&S developed while working on the Low Rider. We’d bet the winning auction bid that those sound even better than they look—badass. But what does all this add up to? 140 ponies? Nope. 150? Keep going—try over 165 hp when S&S hooked up this big dog to the dyno.
Tranny remained stock, S&S sticking with the factory drive belt, but a Rekluse clutch upgrade handles the stock drivetrain with comfort and ease, with an increase in torque capacity. The winner of this bike is going to have a helluva time opening the throttle wide—with that kind of power, any of us would—but with that speed, short of taking the wall with you and hoping the weight of the bricks slow you down, S&S wanted to ensure you had the right rotor clinchers strapped on. Up front, two Roland Sands Design (RSD) four-piston calipers ease the bike to a halt, with ABS also equipped for added peace of mind.
What are those brakes stopping, anyway? Both wheels come by way of RSD, the Judge model, with a 19 incher up front and a 17 incher out back. The rims are coated with a wrinkle finish and the outer rim is a spun finish. The team stuck with the stock Michelin Scorcher tires, front and rear.
When the hopped-up Low Rider is finally moving (and, oh, we hear it not surprisingly really moves), S&S didn’t want its proud new owner to take a ride on the rear fender and eventually be taken with the wind. Saddleman stitched together its Step Up seat, which provides the necessary failsafe for when—no, not if—the rider feels the tug on his pants. The kickback handlebar and risers are from Big Al’s Cycles, as is the fork brace, though bar underwent a slight modification in order to be compatible with the Russ Wernimont FXRP fairing, a snazzy piece that will help slice through the wind like an icebreaker in the Arctic—speed and power, the S&S way. That’s a Klock Werks flare windshield, your pretty reflection is brought to you by Biltwell, and darkness is rendered ineffective when faced with the LED bulb from Bike Master.
To get to where the bike stands now, it took the S&S team two months. The first public showing of the bike was at the Donnie Smith Bike & Car show back in March, where reps from both S&S and the Buffalo Chip were on hand to promote the bike and the Legends Ride, even fielding questions and suggestions from customers and fellow builders. “S&S was chosen because they are a leader in the industry and they have innovative ideas and products,” says Nyla. “They have been great to work with. These guys are all about creating the best bike, one that really stands out in a crowd.” Dave is equally as effusive in his admiration and respect for the Legends Ride and the Buffalo Chip. “They were great to work with. We’re usually busy building our own bikes, we don’t actively seek out other builds of this nature. But working with the Legends Ride was a great, fun opportunity. It’s absolutely a good cause to be involved with.”
The Legends Ride is scheduled for August 7, 2017, in Historic Deadwood, South Dakota. As a registered rider, you will be treated to free parking on Main Street. The S&S Low Rider custom will be ridden down Main Street as part of the Legends Ride, and you might want to be there to see what you could end up bidding on in action (just don’t let those S&S guys go burning up your rubber!). The auction will begin at 2 pm on Main Street, and then the ride of your dreams begins at 3, winding through the Black Hills on the way back to the Buffalo Chip, where you will still be treated as a VIP, including free food, drinks, and music. All the while, you’re supporting local charities! Doin’ good always feels good.
Congratulations to S&S Cycle for building a ridiculously rad Dyna. It’s clean, it shines, it’s fast, and it’s modern. Dave says that this project incorporated the entire team, and for that he’s grateful to every person that had a hand in making this possible, especially the R&D team who “absolutely crushed it.” Now get your checkbooks ready and sharpen up on your auctioneer’s listening skills—the gavel is about to drop.
Owner Some lucky guy!
Builder S&S Cycle
Year/model 2017 HD Dyna Lowrider S
Time to build 60 Days
Powder coater S&S Cycle
Painter Underground Art Studios
Color Blue with silver racing stripe
Engine S&S Cycle T143
Builder S&S Cycle
Cases S&S Cycle
Flywheels S&S Cycle
Balancing S&S Cycle
Connecting rods S&S Cycle
Cylinders (make & bore) S&S Cycle
Pistons (make & comp. ratio)
Heads S&S Cycle B3
Cam (make & lift) &S 635 Easy Start Gear Drive Cams
Valves S&S Cycle
Rockers S&S 1.75:1 rocker arms
Lifters S&S Cycle
Push rods S&S Cycle
Carb S&S 66mm Throttle by wire Throttle Body
Air cleaner S&S Stealth with High Flow Filter
Exhaust Prototype S&S 2-into-2 All Stainless System
Frame 2017 Dyna Low Rider
Front wheel 19″ RSD Judge
Rear wheel 17″ RSD Judge
Front brake (make and style) RSD four-piston calipers on ABS system
Headlight Bike Master LED with integrated signals
Handlebars Big Al’s Cycle
Risers Big Al’s Cycle
Seat Saddleman Step Up
Pegs Burly Moto Pegs
Saddlebags Factory Dyna Defender Police saddlebags
Bag mounts IMZZ Elite Bag Mounts
Fairing Russ Wernimont FXRP
Windshield Klock Werks Flare
Fork Brace Big Als fork brace