Born to be a builder
This is a story about a board tracker unlike any you have ever seen before. Created by a genius, as far as we’re concerned, a new kid on the block if you will. His name is Luuc Muis, and he is the founder and owner of Luuc Muis Creations in the Netherlands. Luuc is a digital wizkid who knows how to handle a hammer. His father used to be a graphic designer, so Luuc learned using designing software at a young age. Heavily influenced by the Orange County Choppers tv-show, he started building his own chopper bicycles first, before turning his hands to motorcycles. Today he is an industrial product-design engineer by trade. Luuc decided to use the same product-design approach to building motorcycles, which is a completely different way of doing things compared to how most traditional bike builders go to work.
Modern over Classic
A true petrol-head at heart, Luuc got his license when he was 19 years old. His 1st bike was a Honda VT600 Shadow. Rest assured it never stayed stock. As a matter of fact, Luuc turned it into a bobber. None of all the 8 other motorcycles he has owned since have stayed stock for long. Once, he even won the bid during an auction on a Honda CX500, with a quirky transverse v-twin. The CX500 didn’t stay stock either, and got turned into a racer and got sold to a man in Sweden, who still owns it to date. Although Luuc doesn’t have a specific brand preference, he must admit that he likes modern machines the most. Basically, anything made after 2010 with EFI. However, he does have a tiny week spot for Indian and KTM/Husqvarna.
In 2019, Luuc participated in a design contest. The task was simple: design a marketing bike for Indian Motorcycles based on their Scout Bobber. He submitted his design and a panel of judges decided that Luuc and 2 other contenders won the assignment. A final poll online showed that the people loved his design, marking him the winner of the contest. This meant a nice trip to London, and while at it, he also went to visit the Bikeshed MC, which was great! This also meant that he now had to build his designed bike for real. No pressure…
The vision Luuc had for the bike’s overall design was based around a question: what would the Indian Scout look like if motorcycle design remained the same for 100 years, but technology didn’t? An interesting proposition indeed. It is clear that the original 1919 Indian Board tracker served as an inspiration for him. The first step of the design process was to create a digital sketch, followed by a detailed 3D render, in which each part of the bike was carefully measured and recorded. A time-consuming ordeal that required a ton of patience. As a matter of fact, this whole project took about 20 weeks to complete, while he was still working his day job! How does that look like? Work in the office from 9AM to 6PM, work on the build from 6PM till well over midnight, go to sleep, and repeat. Luckily his girlfriend, family and friends all supported him.
We have met with a number of bike builders, none of which have ever pulled off a build like this in a mere 20 weeks, let alone while working in the evenings and weekends alone. Luuc’s secret? Remember he designed this whole motorcycle in 3D, carefully measuring and recording all dimensions? This actually made all the difference. Since the entire project was recorded digitally, it was very easy for Luuc to outsource certain jobs such as frame components. This meant that most of the time could be spent on perfecting the welds and sticking the parts together like a giant LEGO. The gas tank posed a unique challenge on its own. Hard to see from the picture, but the tank actually houses the M-unit, a fuel cell, wiring, air intake, and is even a part of the frame. No digital wizkiddery here, but old school sheet metal shaping by hand.
The Indian is full of special parts. The front suspension, for instance, was made by CeraCarbon racing. CeraCarbon racing make some of the worlds lightest motorcycle parts, designed for performance. Then the electrics. Luuc made a completely new harness based around an MO-unit and Motogadget components and with the new racing Carrot C32 ECU replacing the old one, the Indian made more power and the electrics got a whole lot cleaner. Then there is of course the titanium exhaust. This was sponsored by Akrapovic themselves. Luuc and Bert Jan from Outsiders Motorcycles went on a trip to Slovenia with the bike in the back of a van to visit the Akrapovic factory. Together with the grandmasters themselves they built a one-of-a-kind titanium exhaust that is freaking loud! This also spurred the birth of the name of this wild machine: Hasty Flaming Buffalo. It’s fast, it’s red, and you better get out of the way if you see it coming at you!
A Piece of Art
We asked Luuc what he likes the most about this build. “It may sound a bit strange but actually finishing the bike in time, achieving the challenge set by the deadline, for filling the vision I had and firing the bike up for the first time. That just sounds like a lot of violence and must have come close to what the racers in 1919 must have heard and felt while riding the bike!” We can’t help but completely agree. We have seen and heard this piece of art in real life. It is truly something extraordinary, that rather belongs in a museum than in a shed.
A personal message from Luuc Muis:
“This project for me was the stepping stone to start my own business: engineering products & building custom motorcycles. While the Hasty Flaming Buffalo was a marketing project for Indian, I also build bikes for private clients and if you are interested in something unique based on a modern platform bike, you know where to find me.”
Photo Credits: Ronald Rink