Twin-Engine Harley Drag Bike Looks like Pure Lunacy
As if drag racing a Harley isn't crazy enough, strapping onto this two-wheeled rocket is borderline insane.
Between Tree and Trap
Drag racing holds a special place in the hearts of many Americans. And honestly, that's not really surprising. After all, what's more distinctly American than flooring it from a dig and violently accelerating to insane speeds as quickly as possible? Well, how about this twin-engine Harley dragster we spotted at Bike EXIF, a bike built to dominate between the tree and the trap?
Double the Fun
As we've seen in the past, one engine is typically more than enough when it comes to motor vehicles, whether they be dragsters or not. But as far back as the '70s, more than one Harley drag racer realized that by doubling the number of powerplants in their bikes, they could also achieve insane quarter-mile times.
American Ingenuity, Japanese Construction
But make no mistake - this distinctly American bike wasn't built here in America. In fact, it is the very first twin-engine Harley constructed in Japan, by a man named Kentaro Nakano. But just because it's the first doesn't mean that the build quality on this groundbreaking ride isn't at or near the top of the heap.
Best of the Bunch
Of course, Nakano isn't just some average Joe who builds bikes in his garage. He owns and operates Hot Chop Speed Shop in Kyoto, a prominent custom outfit that cranks out many high-quality Harleys. But his latest build might just be his best one yet.
Nakano's inspiration for his twin-engine Harley should come as no surprise, however. “I started the project in December 2017,” he explained to Bike EXIF. “It’s a tribute to the drag racers of the 1970s, using Sportster XLCH engines.”
Those twin engines are obviously the centerpiece of this rolling art - one a 1969 Ironhead and the other a couple of years older. Both engines were completely rebuilt and fitted with S&S carbs and custom-built intake funnels. The two V-Twins are connected by a special plate, with a new Sportster output shaft joining forces with one from a Big-Twin tourer to make it all work together.
There are obviously tons of cool details to pour over with a build like this, but the sound it makes might just be the coolest. Nakano purposely adjusted the timing on both engines so that they sound like Harley powerplants at idle, but at higher rpms they emit a sound more reminiscent of multi-cylinder Japanese engines.
As you might imagine, Nakano had to build the frame for this beastly ride from scratch. Acres of steel pipes combine with forks from a '70s vintage Ducati to form one unique look. And surprisingly, the bike has been painted, even if it doesn't really look like it. But that was the intention all along, of course.
Keeping It Vintage (Mostly)
No vintage build would be complete without wire wheels, so Nakano went with an aluminum set to complement the look. As you might expect, they're also wrapped in drag slicks for maximum traction. The brakes on this Harley are no joke, thankfully, consisting of Wilwood components in the rear and Airheart pieces up front.
When you're running a twin-engine Harley, you obviously don't need to overdo everything else. And that's exactly what Nakano has achieved here - a minimalist, purpose-built motorcycle that pays tribute to its past. And even though the concept is distinctly American, we certainly couldn't have executed it any better.
For help with your maintenance and repair projects, please visit our How-to section right here in the forum.