Dirty Bird Concepts Scout Racers

John Shope builds 2 killer flat trackers

Here's a great way to gauge how popular flat track racing is in the motorcycle world right now. When one of the leading custom bagger shops in the U.S. up and dives into starting a flat track team with a couple of Indian Scouts, that's how.

dirty bird indian scout

Shope did up one of his racers in blue...

Photos: Paul Morton

dirty bird indian scout

...the other in red.

Photos: Paul Morton

After years of being one of the leaders in the custom bagger genre, John Shope has gone to the race track. The Dirty Bird Concepts boss has gone full Hooligan on us with these two 2016 Indian Scout tracker bikes. Not only are they excellent race bikes, they're also textbook examples of what smart bike builders do: when a fad dies, branch out and make parts for all kinds of scoots.

dirty bird indian scout

The Scout motors were left stock.

Photos: Paul Morton

dirty bird indian scout

Progressive Suspension shocks and forks were teamed with PM wheels front and rear.

Photos: Paul Morton

Racing and customizing are both very competitive animals, often teaming hand-in-hand to make customers take notice. It's a routine as old as motorcycling itself, with both Harley and Indian leading the way in the early days. You race, you get noticed, people buy your parts for their bikes. That's why Indian was eager to get involved when one of the best and brightest in the custom bike game got into racing.

dirty bird indian scout

Color accents added throughout the sides of both bikes.

Photos: Paul Morton

dirty bird indian scout

Just like you'd expect on a racer, the mirrors and lights are gone.

Photos: Paul Morton

John had already lined up Kuryakyn's sponsorship for his racing effort when Indian reached out to get involved. Kuryakyn had told the folks at Indian what was up and the story progressed from there. John Shope already had a good relationship with the factory due to his line of custom Scout parts. Moving ahead with a new line of tracker stuff was win-win for everybody. “I saw those other guys doing it, and figured, you know what? I can do this,” John says. “I've done motocross. It's a good promotion. I want to make the parts for Scout owners. If I have to beat my body up to get them to notice them, so be it.”

dirty bird indian scout

Team Shope

Photos: Paul Morton

dirty bird indian scout

We'd be remiss in not giving you an action shot, now wouldn't we?

Photos: Paul Morton

John Shope's finished racers are what you see here. His shop, Dirty Bird Concepts, made the top trees, mid controls, the fork brace, and pipe, among other things: “We made that whole ass end for it. It's pretty crazy. It took forever. You gotta set these bikes up. There's no front brake. A lot of changes have to be made to make them race ready. You can't just take a Scout and go out there. Well, you can but not if you want to be competitive.” Just look at the footpegs. The right one sits low while the left is positioned higher. It makes the continuous left turns on the flat track easier. Also, Dirty Bird Concepts is actually making and selling said ass end for those who want the tracker look on their own Indians.

Indian kicked over two 2016 Scouts for the job. That way, when one is away or offline, Shope can still run the other for practice. Jeff Reynolds helped Shope put these machines together and races the other for the team. The Hooligan game has changed since it heated up a few years ago, though. “It's tougher than I thought it would be,” John says. “Those guys are crazy, they're pros. Hopefully I didn't bite off more than I can chew.” Given Shope's previous experience racing motocross and his wealth of experience designing and fabricating parts, I'm sure he'll work it out.

Or maybe his son will pilot one of these Scouts for the team someday. John likes watching the other classes race and his son is getting into it too. “I have a vintage 500 I race and my son is starting to race. It's evolving into a cool family deal.”

Specifications
Owner John Shope, Dirty Bird Concepts
Shop Dirty Bird Concepts
Shop Phone (623) 465-5263
Website dirtybirdconcepts.com
Year/Make/Model 2016 Indian Scout
Fabrication Dirty Bird Concepts
Build Time 3 months
Engine
Year/Type/Size 2016Indian V-Twin / Stock
Builder Indian
Cases Indian
Carb EFI
Air Cleaner Trask
Exhaust Dirty Bird Concepts
Transmission
Year/Type 2016 Indian
Clutch Indian
Frame
Year/Type 2016 Indian Scout
Rake/Stretch Stock/None
Suspension
Front End Progressive Suspension
Length stock
Triple Trees Dirty Bird ConceptsIndianProgressive Suspsension
Swingarm Indian
Rear Shocks Progressive Suspsension
Wheels, Tires, and Brakes
Front
Builder/Size Performance Machine 19-inch
Tire/Size Dunlop Tires 19-inch
Calipers Indian
Rear
Builder/Size Performance Machine 19-inch
Tire/Size Dunlop 19-inch
Caliper Indian
Finish/Paint
Colors Red and Blue
Paint/Graphics Sinthium/Epic
Accessories
Front Fender Front Fork Brace
Rear Fender Dirty Bird Concepts
Gas Tank Indian
Handlebars Dirty Bird Concepts
Hand Controls Indian
Foot Controls Dirty Bird Concepts
Pegs Dirty Bird Concepts
Seat Mustang
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