The 1960s mean different things to different people, even riders. For bikers it's about choppers, for racers it's the dirt track, Daytona, and drag racing. Drag racing is was what inspired this hot rod from Jeff and Jason Tiedeken at Metal Morphosis Cycles. Well, drag bikes and a tire. The two brothers had a shop in Minnesota with so much extra space they lent it out to friends. One buddy had a drag car and left his Mickey Thompson slicks there. It seems the local fuzz didn't like him raising hell on the streets and constantly bugged him about his racing tires.
Time passed until the five month rule went into effect-if it's been at someone's place five months, it's theirs. Jeff and Jason now had two drag tires. What they needed was a project.
Or two. The first slick went to a Suzuki GS550 with a single sided swingarm. "We had the tire and had the shop bike, so why not?" Jeff told us. "But for the other we thought, 'how cool would it be to do a `60s style drag bike?'"
The answer to that is this bike. It's an Ironhead Sportster with a magneto and done up like the old drag racers in HOT Rod Magazine. The boys even based it on bikes from old photos (of which they had plenty).
It's based around a 1984 Sporty mill. Yes, we know that's a little later than the `60s but the only other motor they had in hand pulled the old self-destruct trick, so they had to go with what was available. "Eighty four was the last year of the generator Ironhead," said Jeff. "They were only available that way for the beginning of the year, too. Ours is one of those."
When Metal Morphosis started this project, they wanted it to be a street bike that was fun to drag at the track. The operative word here being, "fun." That meant upgrading the motor but you can't just buy an Ironhead kit on the cheap, install it, and call it a day. So Jeff and Jason went to Dave and Matt at D&M Customs. Turning to them was a good choice for Metal Morphosis; the D&M guys are hardcore Ironhead motor guys with extensive knowledge of all kinds of Sporty-based race machines, from XR flat trackers to hill climbers.
While the boys had a motor worked out, the frame was another matter. Old Sportster drag frames are pretty hard to find nowadays, but a call to Paughco yielded a suitable candidate. It wasn't exactly made for a 10.5-inch car slick, though. "The front half of the frame's a Paughco but we fabricated the back to fit the tire, chain, and so on," Jeff continued. "We originally wanted a telescopic front end for it but then we thought a springer would be cooler." Not only that, they gave it adjustable rake. How? Heim joints between the forks and the bottom of the frame neck. They used more Heim joints at the back, too, in order to prevent the wheel from moving in the frame while coming off the line at the strip.