It’s the extreme that turns heads, but the average is what sales. Just take 2.
Creating new styles has its pros and cons, some love it, some hate it. There is a German saying, “Wer am Weg baut, hat viele Meister”, which roughly translates to “He who builds by the road has many masters”, meaning if you do something under the eye of the public, there are many who can do it better, at least talk about how they would do it. Maybe, one day….
If you make your living with Custombikes and their parts (yes indeed, all that sacing just cost money), you need to make the people talk. This Buell XB called MissingLink is a good example for that kind. More than 10 years after the launch of the XB platform, most patterns are already done, nearly all styles got tried.
But you always need to try something new, even if there are none or little spin-offs with new parts out of that, because it’s too extreme, too special and too different from what the most customers are willing to ask from their friends or the audience at Sunday morning Bike & Coffee. But luckily we do it anyhow because there are products featured on these bikes which are sold on a regular base, like suspension, controls, exhaust and many more.
So in reality, the idea is to drag attention and make the people talk. For that you need a good story, in this case we discussed if it might be possible to cross bread the legendary S1 with an XB and give it the madness of the Hellbender.
Oh yes, did I mention, we love monocoques, in order for the tank (cover) and the seat area to be one piece. What we also love is generating new views, on the MissingLink project you can see the rear valve cover through the opening at the frame, cool isn’t it? And we love Twins, what means two and that’s why there are 2 head lights, 2 exhausts and also 2 air cleaners.
Most Buellers remember the Forcewinder aircleaner for the Tubers with that front pointing conical K&N filter, let’s take two and let’s find out if you can still steer the bike if they are positioned right beside the front fork and the iconic BKG triples.
Luckily the early frame provides us with an opening and it plays an amazing soundtrack in concert with the 2 exhaust cans of the blacked out Deep Thunder Exhaust made by Exan.
They’re both a must-have in order to keep that 1430cc M-TeK Motor breathing, so it can double with its output the big grin on your face when you ride that bike.
Riders can make themselves comfortable on a set of multi-adjustable Gilles foot pegs, whose prototypes we developed in Plywood at the old Hillbilly-Motors times ages ago. Like so many other, a part what would has never happened to exist without our input and engagement.
ABM Multiclip clip-on handlebars in combination with the unfortunately these days discontinued ABM Isaac 4 brake and clutch pumps give another
million of adjustment possibilities. We developed the hydraulic fully integrated clutch slave cylinder together with ISR, but it never made it to a production as it was getting too expensive and the assembly was too tricky for the general market.
On this bike, you can also see an experimental ZTL 6 pod brake calliper, which worked great in combination with the EBR 1190 brake rotor and the race mounting kit.
The bike is heavily cleaned up to put the powertrain into the middle, no air scoops, no oil cooler blocking the view to the motor, even the subframe is cleaned up and and the voltage regulator rerouted.
All air cooled Buell and H-D usually have a cool side (expensive side in case of a crash) which is the right with the push rod covers, the exhaust header and, until the fuel framers came up, the air cleaner. And they all have a boring left side where not much is happening. To change that and to give it a more balanced asymmetry, we placed that double S&S marked air filter assembly there. The upper monocoque got a wasp waist where it goes from the XB airbox cover to the the S1 seat style. There is a plate subframe under to gain a light look, in the tail is beside the voltage regulator just the taillight. Registration plate with LED illumination is mounted to a side bracket which is combined with the hidden rear brake calliper.
Other lighting components are the 2 ellipsoid front projector lamps with LED angle eye ring around and the indicator lights integrated in the mirror stems, all road legal approved e-marked solutions.
Talking electric, here comes the tricky part. The bike carries a full Motogadget electric with touchless RFID ignition lock, Pro cockpit and m-unit with 6 micro pushbuttons on the left handlebar side. All that and a lithium-ion battery are together with the ECM and fuse box arranged under the tank cover.
So, if you ask if it is worth to build a one-off bike like this from time to time, the answer is yes, absolutely. It sharpens your senses and it lets you step to new grounds. Our original intention to sell the monocoque, we skipped as it turned out too complicated for the average customer to do all the necessary modifications. But we think all-over the result got much more than just another black Buell XB.