ANYBODY BUYING himself a new FXRS-SP Low Rider Sport Edition back in 1988 would have found himself sitting atop a surging 55 horsepower, quite a respectable figure all those years ago. Not all that special today, but, still, the FXRS is still a popular motorcycle ripe for a bit of fine tuning.
The first time Lips and George rebuilt this particular bike, the improvements to the 80 cube included such staples as roller rockers, S&S carburettor, cams and flowed heads. That kept everybody satisfied for a while, until the second time around, when the improvements were more substantial. They reckon they’ve “probably doubled its performance now.”
How did they manage that? Mainly via the substitution of an S&S 124 cubic inch motor, as well as Ignition Systems Technology, a new front-end, Jim’s gears, with Arlen Ness brakes front and rear to provide some beefed up stopping capacity.
There’s nothing wrong with Harley stuff, but Lips and George firmly believe that S&S is just a cut above.
…138 brake horsepower straight out of the crate
“They claimed 138 brake horsepower straight out of the crate. It’s easily that with a carburettor and if you put the S&S fuel injection on it, they guarantee 150 horsepower and they still give you two years warranty on it. To produce that sort of horsepower and give you a warranty like that, they know their stuff.
Although there’s a lot of fun to be had with that much brute power, it’s something you have to treat with respect and just a little caution unless you really like hospital food.
“…This amount of horsepower just wants to throw me straight off the back.”
As Lips says, “Probably half throttle going through the gears it black lines, there’s a gap and it black lines again right at the top gear and it leaves a black line all the way to about 200 km/h. Then it just keeps accelerating after that—it’s ridiculous! It’s still capable round the city, but you’ve got to be really careful with the throttle—cough or anything and it can go sideways on you. This amount of horsepower just wants to throw me straight off the back.”
Traction’s been a bit of a problem at times, with Lips and George thinking about fixing up a wider back-end to ensure more rubber on the road, but besides that, the only other modifications in mind at the moment are a two-into-one exhaust and a customised seat. Everything else is pretty right as it is.
The front wheel was changed to a 19-inch billet Maltese Cross, while the rear’s a solid 16-incher.
Raz Art claim credit for the paintwork.
Of course, any motorcycle worth owning has to be more than just a collection of big name parts and heavy duty horsepower. It’s got to be something that suits the owner, something he can enjoy riding, something he can test himself on, that offers what he wants by way of looks, performance and handling.
Lip’s reckons he can’t go wrong. “It’s beautiful to ride, totally beautiful. Especially with the 124 in it. It’s smooth as anything and it just takes off—fucking awesome. Being rubber mounted too, it’s smooth as fuck. Coming from Bendigo we do a lot of country riding: up to the middle of NSW and back, all over the place. We’ll go anywhere, we don’t need an excuse to ride.”
words & photos by Chris Randells