The Epic Moto Co Dirt Tracker
THE EPIC DIRT TRACKER
Hold On—You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet!
Byline: Wayne Scraba
Photo Credits: Don Kates/Shooters Images
“Crossed Wires: Missed Communication & Misaligned Planets”
In issue #357 of American Iron, we presented a feature on one of Epic Moto’s new dirt tracker bikes based upon Harley-Davidson baggers. Without question, they’re wicked cool motorcycles, and we actually have another feature in the bank on another similar dirt tracker built by Epic Moto. But in the process, we messed up. Tech sheets from both bikes were mixed up. Information was transposed. There was some missed communication and mistakes were made along the way (obviously!)—all the way out to printing the magazine. The truth is, we got the wires crossed, somehow the planets became misaligned, and we goofed up big time. Whip us. Here’s the correction.
Brace yourself. Sometimes things aren’t exactly what they appear. Case in point is our feature motorcycle laid out in the pages in front of you. That dirt-tracking Big Twin with the café racer nose on it began life as—get ready—a Road King! As the story goes, the man behind the build, Chris Eder, took note that Harley-Davidson has produced over one million FLH baggers of all shapes and sizes from 2009 through 2013. (Chris doesn’t have data handy for later model years; the available kits, however, fit everything from 2009 to the present.) Eder questioned what would happen if you stripped off all of the unnecessary stuff and tuned the chassis to handle? The answer came pretty quickly, too. When the Jenny Craig plan cuts the flab on the machine by almost half, performance definitely improves. So does the fun factor—so much so, it’s almost impossible to wipe the grin off your face when you take it for a rip.
Now as it turns out, Chris was onto something. He figured if a conversion such as this worked, he could build the components and sell it either in a kit or in piecemeal format. He’d make that kit easy to assemble. In fact, you don’t need any fabrications skills, a lift, or anything special to build this machine. Essentially, if you have hand tools and an automotive floor jack in your garage, you can build it. Even the electrical bits are all plug and play.
The other part of Eder’s plan was to make it affordable. The complete kit (which doesn’t include wheels, tires, exhausts, or air cleaner) costs less than $5,000 and consists of approximately 50 separate parts. The economy of scale works out something like this: depending upon what shape the donor bike is, you could conceivably have $3,000-$5,000-plus in parts you take off. Obviously, selling those components should certainly help offset the cost for the kit. But let’s back up a bit.
Who is Chris Eder? Where did he come from? Chris is a motorcycle junkie. He tells us that from an early age, he felt the call of the open road. He felt a connection to both the mechanics and the freedom of expression a bike represented. In 2007, Chris notes that he turned his passion for motorcycles into a profitable business by starting and growing Misfit Industries into a leading custom shop and parts distributor. While he was at Misfit, he had his hand in dozens and dozens of builds—some of which were featured on the Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel, and Fast ‘N Loud along with a movie, Code of Honor. Chris and Misfit eventually parted ways. And that led to the idea of establishing Epic Moto Co with friends Kelly Hedgepeth and Earl Warrick.
So far so good, but how did this build go down? Actually, the build involved more than one bike (Ed. note: hence the confusion mentioned above). One bike was a 2010 Road King; the other was a brand-new 2017 Road King. The white bike you see here and in the pages of AIM issue #357 the pages in front of you is the 2017 model. For the new bike, Chris kept the Milwaukee-Eight totally stock, aside from a tuner, air cleaner assembly, and pipes (Trask supplied the air cleaner along with an Assault Series 2-into-1 pipe).
Backing the Big Twin is a stock six-speed gearbox along with a stock primary. For this bike, Chris maintained the belt drive, too. The back shocks are in-house Epic Moto 510 piggyback reservoir jobs. Up front, the fork has been lowered 1″. The dirt-tracking FL rolls on a set of Epic Moto EP5 billet wheels, a 21″ x 3-1/2″ job on the nose along with a 17″ x 6-1/4″ example on the rear. As you can see, the bike wears knobbies (well…sort of). They’re actually adventure bike skins, and Chris reports that they work fabulously, particularly after they’ve seen 500 or so miles of use. By the way, the skins are from Continental, and they’re sized 90/90-21″ and 180/55-17″, front and rear respectively. The brakes are stock FL components.
What about other chassis mods? There aren’t any. Yikes. What makes a huge difference, though, is the plastic. Chris came up with the slick solo tail section and seat along with a bobbed front fender. The tank is stock, but it wears a simple Epic Moto dash segment. There’s no speedo, gauges, or, particularly, no stereo (who needs tunes when you can roll on the wick with a piece like this?). Down below the side panels are kit items; ditto with the fairing. There’s also a slick chin fairing. These components (all included in the kit) were painted by Jeremy Fogleman of Gibsonville, North Carolina. And if you haven’t noticed, the paint is White Flamboyance Pearl Base, Turquoise Candy, Wild Berry Candy, Black, and Ditzler Custom Clear (the paint was sponsored by PPG).
Out back, the license tag bracket is axle mounted. The headlamp and taillight are Epic components. The same with the pegs, while the foot controls are Epic Mid jobs. Chris came up with a dirt track inspired handlebar, which incorporates a mix of stock Harley-Davidson and PSR pieces. The saddle is a Hix Design item.
And that, folks, is pretty much all the hardware it takes to put this bike together. No frame mods. No structural mods. No cutting, welding, or heavy lifting. At least from our perspective, it’s hard to believe this machine began life as a loaded-for-bear touring bike. And that brings us to the final question: what’s it like to ride? It’s an absolute riot, according to the select few who have swung a leg over it. If you have a 2009 and up bagger and want one of these Epic Moto kits, it’s best to get in line (Epic has a website: www.epicmotoco.com). We have a feeling business could be brisk.
Owner Epic Moto Co
Builder Epic Moto Co
Year/model 2017 Road King
Cost to build $50,000
Time to build Four weeks
Powdercoater Cross Link Powder Coating
Painter Jeremy Fogleman
Color White Flamboyance Pearl Base, Turquoise Candy, Wild berry Candy, Black, Ditzler Custom Clear Paint (Sponsored by PPG)
Engine 2017 Milwaukee-Eight
Flywheels H-D 4.374″
Carb Stock EFI (with Tuner)
Air cleaner Trask Assault Series
Exhaust Trask Assault Series
Transmission 2017 six speed
Frame 2017 Harley-Davidson Touring
Front forks Stock, lowered 1″
Rear suspension Epic Moto 510 Series Piggy Back
Front wheel 21″ x 3.5″ Epic Moto Co EP5
Rear wheel 17″ x 6.25″ Epic Moto Co EP5
Front tire Continental TKC80 180/55-17
Rear tire Continental TKC80 90/90-21
Front fender Epic Café Front Fender
Rear fender Epic Café Tail
Headlight Epic Café
Taillight Epic all in one
Fuel tank Stock with Epic Café Dash
Handlebars Epic XXX Moto Bars
Risers Epic XXX 3″ Solid Rise
Seat HIX Designs
Pegs EpicMid Controls
Chain guard Epic XXX Stainless Steel
Dash Epic Café
License bracket Epic
Foot controls Epic Mid Controls