Photography by James Brown
When the first handmade production Alligator motorcycles hit the streets, they included elements of a true American heritage. Dan Gurney’s Alligator Motorcycles Inc. built and sold 36 Limited Edition ‘Grand Prix’ ALLIGATORS that combined nostalgia with 21st century technology.
The number 36 is significant as it was the number that donned the Formula 1 Eagle which won the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa, a first for an American built car and driver/constructor and an achievement that has not been duplicated yet.
Justin Gurney is updating the Alligator design by adding another cylinder and then presenting it to the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building.
Gurney says that the recumbent motorcycle is part cruiser and part sport bike. It’s low to the road and offers great handling. Some of the motorbike components include:
- Carbon fiber body
- Upside down Baker transmission (for tighter packaging)
- S&S 124 Engine
- Downdraft heads
- S&S Clutch
- Beringer Brakes
- Radial mount calipers
- Chrome Molly frame
The twin cylinder Alligator will make its at Sturgis in the production class.
More About the Alligator
It has a very low center of gravity. Unlike other motorcycles, the rider sits below the top of the tires with the feet in a forward position.
The fuel tank is mounted below the seat and behind the engine. Gurney originally moved in this design direction because he is tall and many bikes made him feel as if he were pitching forward when going downhill.
The Alligator is this concept taken to its logical extreme. What works so well for tall people works equally well for people with shorter legs. They do not have any trouble getting on or off the bike, and are no longer worried about falling over at a standstill.
Being closer to the ground, riders feel much more comfortable and safe.
This low CG concept has been developed and refined over the years into something quite extraordinary: A motorcycle with a comfortable riding position, an overall safer, confidence-inspiring riding feel, obvious and significant aerodynamic benefits, and most important of all, a fun factor to match.
About the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building
The Official World Championship of Custom Bike Building program encompasses some 18 events in total, in 16 different countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden, The Netherlands, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Russia, Canada, Mexico and the United States.
Total public attendances at events involved in the program regularly top 1 million motorcycle enthusiasts a year, in markets worth some 20 million motorcyclists and nearly 1 billion consumers in general.
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