For Mikey Hill, aka Mikey Virus, this build challenge was a pretty new experience. You’d never guess it by seeing the final outcome: a hill-climbing, motocross-jumping, hooligan racing Softail. Seeing as Hill is pretty well-known on the old Instagram as the dude who does some pretty gnarly s—t on the moto-inspired Sportys he’s built over the years, he wanted to see what it would be like to adapt that style into a 2018 Harley-davidson Fat Bob.
“I pretty much knew what I wanted to do with it,” Hill says. “We played around with it in Photoshop, and I just wanted to make it a version of my moto-sporty to see if I could thrash it up some hills or jump it; basically a big-twin version of my Sportster.”
Seeing as this new Softail was a brand-new platform that had just been released a few months prior to when Hill received his bike, there were a few initial hiccups. “Being rushed with the timeline on a brand-new base model was a little frustrating at times, because with a Sportster, you can do anything you want and you can find anything anywhere, but I had some challenges designing and getting the trees made,” Hill says. “I needed a 1-inch drop, and they needed to be 1-1/4 inches narrower.” He also had to figure out how to equip some mid-controls on the new Softy, so he rang up The Speed Merchant for one of the company’s new mid-control setups for 2018 Softail models. But because of the new positioning of the mids, Virus had to ditch the exhaust he was originally planning on using altogether. “I tossed the pipe we had and made a new pipe in house with a Cone Engineering cone,” Hill says.
Virus enjoyed the overall experience and looks forward to other opportunities like this, and he says he’s definitely up for doing another build. “It was difficult, but I’d definitely do it again,” Hill says. HB