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Rick Dozer’s 1916 Harley-Davidson J Model Board Tracker

Would you believe us if we told you this custom bike weighs only 174 pounds? Rick Dozer's Board Tracker build is made of almost entirely aluminum parts encasing the 100+ year old Harley-Davidson J model engine. Check it out!

Harley-Davidson’s 1916 J model motorcycle was one of the largest leaps forward for the brand at the time. The fuel tank had rounded rather than square-cut corners, and the motorcycle took on a longer, lower appearance. This would also be the first year that the company got rid of bicycle pedals in favor of a kickstarter.

The kickstarter was the biggest change, but there were few other mechanical changes of note. The 61-cubic-inch intake-over-exhaust V-twin received a curved intake manifold to smooth the airflow into the cylinders, and forks remained a leading-link design with enclosed coil springs.

The engine might be 100-years-old, but its specifications were rather impressive for the time. The 4-stroke V-twin engine was rated at 17 horsepower and could reach speeds of around 85 mph.

We were lucky enough to meet Rick Dozer at Fuel Cleveland this summer, a custom motorcycle builder who brought along his newest creation, a custom-built 1916 Harley-Davidson Model J Board Tracker.

“There’s a lot of people who are into doing vintage race bikes, so I wanted to take a sort of modern approach and incorporate some aerospace elements to it,” Dozer told us.

The almost fully aluminum frame definitely elicitcs the image of a spacecraft, which Dozer was aiming for. The frame, front end and gas tank were all handmade. He also wanted to keep it as light as possible to make it a functional race bike. Remarkably, it only weighs 174 lbs.

While Dozer is an avid Harley-Davidson builder and restorer, this particular project was a new undertaking for him due to the age of the bike. Experts like Michael Lange were instrumental in the build, especially in regards to getting the engine up and running with some newly crafted parts.

Thanks to the help, Dozer was able to completely finish the build in only a few months, prior to another motorcycle show he was invited to.

“This bike has a special place in my heart because the engine originally came from my friend, Chicago, who bought it at a yard sale,” he says. “It was being used for a water pump on a farm and he paid $150 for it. He’s since passed, but he sold it to me beforehand and now the bike is a sort of tribute to him.”

If you have a motorcycle, ATV, UTV, snowmobile or jet ski you’d like to feature in MPN’s Ride of the Week series, please email MPN Content Director Greg Jones at [email protected].

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