Motorcycle News - HooliGhana: A Super Hooligan racer builds a KTM drift bike
Based in Tualatin, Oregon, Andy’s an experienced motocross, flat track and road racer. He’s also a two-time Super Hooligan AMA National flat track champion. But there hasn’t been much racing this year, so Andy discovered a new pastime: drifting at his local go-kart track.
Andy had been toying with the idea of creating a gymkhana-like motorcycle video for years—but now, the idea of combining the car and bike was appealing. “I had seen it done before with the ICON videos, but not with the gymkhana format. And definitely not with a single person doing both the driving and riding.”
Andy has a lot of bikes in his garage, including a couple of motocross bikes and Kawasaki ZX-10Rs. But he opted to use his 2019-model KTM 790 Duke flat tracker—because he’s used to getting it sideways on dirt.
“I was the first guy to build a KTM hooligan bike,” Andy tells us. “I knew this bike could be a game changer, because of how light it is compared to the other brands racing like Harley-Davidson and Indian. The goal was to add a third consecutive Super Hooligan title to my belt, but I came up just shy in the runner-up spot. But not without a successful season though, with three race wins and five podiums on the KTM”
Super Hooligan rules dictate that your race bike must be a twin with a displacement of at least 750 cc, and that its frame must remain stock. Harley-Davidson Sportsters and XG750 ‘Street’ models are popular, and relatively easy to modify. (Andy won both his titles on the XG750.)
“It was a lot of fun pioneering the KTM, and now he has built at least five other identical 790 Dukes for hooligan racers all over the country.”
Up front, a set of S&S Cycle Indian FTR750 triples holds 43 mm Öhlins forks. Out back, a custom-built Öhlins shock is hooked up to a specially designed flat track swingarm from C&J.
EDR Performance built and tuned the Duke’s 799 cc motor, adding a DynoJet Power Commander in the process. Tucked behind the bike’s right-side number board is a Competition Werkes muffler, and the exhaust’s catalytic convertor’s been eliminated too. There are less noticeable upgrades too—like a set of Samco hoses, and a MotionPro catch can.
The only mod he added for drifting was a set of axle sliders for crash protection. And he removed the custom steel skid plate and accompanying lead piece, that add weight to the bike to bring it within the rules for Super Hooligan racing. (Race bikes can’t weigh less than 400 lbs, but the KTM comes in at 340 lbs in this trim.)
“Purpose-built drift-bikes usually have much longer wheelbases and extended swingarms,” he explains. “My 790 Duke has a custom flat track swingarm that allows me to run the same wheelbase as a XR750 and FTR750, in the 54-55” range.”
“It took some adapting to, but I was able to make it work without making any modifications.”
And looking at the HooliGhana video, he seems to be having more than enough fun with it. If only we had a fraction of this skill.
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November 13, 2020 at 11:34AM