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Tuesday, 9 September 2014

'Minibike 74' by Alchemy Cycles

The name of the motorcycle entered in the Freestyle class at the 2013 World Championship of Custom Bike Building by Maik Morató Güell describes the machine perfectly – Minibike 74. For Minibike 74 is about as minimal and small as it is possible to make a Sportster
MAIK Morató Güell is no stranger to modifying Harley-Davidson Sportsters, but for his latest build he decided to go for a full custom build. The result was Minibike 74, which he then entered in the 2013 World Championship of Custom Bike Building.
With Minibike 74 Maik has built what must be one of the most minimal, not to mention smallest custom Sportsters ever seen. The build only includes the bare minimum needed to make the bike rideable; there’s no front suspension, no front brake, no lights and no fenders either. 

The starting point for Maik’s build was the acquisition of the motor from an ’88 883 Sportster. This engine was chosen rather than a Big Twin because not only of its more compact size but also its unit construction with the transmission included. The motor itself was basically untouched with the only changes being basically cosmetic with the exception of an S&S Cycle Shorty card and a pair of one-off exhaust pipes. One area where there have been dramatic changes is the primary drive. The outer cover has been removed and the chain drive replaced with a custom open belt drive. 

Due to the minimal design of the bike, the foot controls on the left side of the bike share a mount with the outboard bearing carrier for the clutch pulley. The controls themselves are one-offs by Maik. On the other side of the bike there is just a simple lever to active the master cylinder for the single piston Brembo brake that grips a sprotor on the rear wheel. 

The motor and transmission package are housed in a one-off frame that features a gooseneck at the head tube as the down tubes follow the engine as closely as possible with the front wheel also being tucked in close, too. Following the example of the whole build the frame is as simple as Maik could make it. The twin down tubes run under the engine and kick up towards the axle plates, and then there is a single the back bone that splits as it goes to the axle plates. The only other aspects of the frame of note are the small spur that holds the Felt brand leather bicycle seat and the small oil tank housed between the frame rails underneath the transmission. 

In order to keep the bike as simple as possible the front end features a rigid fork. The unicrown design means there is no need for triple trees either, with only a set of simple custom handlebars mounted above the upper steering bearings. To keep the ‘bars free of clutter there’s an internal throttle and a matching internal twist throttle. Given the complete lack of lights there is no need for any switches.
With the oil tank hidden between the frame rails the only bodywork on Minibike 74 is the small gas tank that not only carries the gas but also houses the bike’s electrics in its left side.
Maik completed the build of Minibike 74 by mounting a pair of 17in Marchesini aluminum wheels that are shod with Dunlop race slicks; a 90-section at the front and a 120 at the rear. 

Despite the minimalist approach to the build Minibike 74 is actually a runner and was seen being ridden outside the show hall that played host to the 2013 World Championship of Custom Bike Building and this fact doubtlessly helped with the bike being placed 15th in the Freestyle class.

Cal Lleixà (Barcelona), SPAIN
Tel: +34 (0)3464 7354364