Christian had just told Chris and me about his survival story, getting lost in the Sahara during the Atlas Rally of 1987. Christian had raced over 400 enduro races and built several bikes in his life including the unique V-Rex with Travertson Inc., and a helicopter turbine powered motorcycle for Jay Leno. He was still looking to build the one bike that made him truly happy3, the bike that allowed him to get back to the true freedom he experienced when he raced the Moroccan rally.
Chris was once the youngest aircraft pilot in France and a die hard Harley guy with a few cross country trip under his belt. For him riding was like flying a Piper Super Cub, it was all about enjoying the noise and the ride while keeping an eye out on the horizon. Chris was also developing a healthy dose of curiosity about the pavement's end.
I had been riding adventure bikes like the BMW GS 650 and the Triumph Tiger 800 XC for the past eight years, messing around on dirt roads out west and in the Georgia mountains. Still, I had not found the perfect machine that was as good on the dirt as it was on the road while doing it in style without looking like a robot bug from the future.
All of us were in fact after the same motorcycle: a capable machine with continuous torque, easy to work on with parts that could be found all over the world. We settled on the proven Harley Davidson Sportster, or Sporty 1200 as we call it. Most importantly, this dirty Sporty would enable us to reach the elusive, but definitely attainable, perpetual smile in the helmet. After tinkering for months in the shop to find the right balance in between weight and power ratio, I think we might have created just the machine we were after. We named it the World Tour and decided to share it with all of you day dreamers.
The kit is designed for the HD sportster 883 or 1200 (1998 to present)
The transformed Sportster looses quite a bit of weight int the process . At 489 pounds on the scale, with 21" wheel front and 18" back and almost a foot of ground clearance it becomes a much more agile beast on dirt roads and trails. Its real off-road capabilities comes from the many month of research and development we spent with EMC France and EMC USA to come up with a custom solution. Don't get us wrong; the bike is also capable of roaming the great American highways for thousands of miles. We turned a proven Harley Davidson motorcycle into an adventure machine ready to explore the world. When came the time to name it, the obvious choice was also the right one "World Tour" defined the machine and opened an invitation to exploration.