The Double: The bike that changed the game
By Dakota Anderson, Public Relations & Content Intern
March 29, 2017

With the record to prove it, Jim Preisler has quite the history of building high performance drag bikes.

The concept to design and build a twin engine bike came to Jim after seeing that no matter how much he modified his 1530 cc single engine Sportster, it just was not as competitive in the races as the twin engine Nortons and Triumphs.

So when Jim finally found the time to build this custom racer, he knew he needed to keep the weight low and the wheelbase as short as possible. The idea of a twin engine Harley was a novel idea that not everybody thought was possible – Harley-Davidsons race chief Dick O’Brien advised Jim that the combination would never work, but still supplied him with gas money and some parts anyway.

After countless overnight work sessions during the winter of ’72-’73, he finally completed his twin engine, high gear only, top fuel ¼ mile drag bike at the shop of Smith Brothers and Fetrow.

Due to its car slick, slipper clutch plates, and a wide open throttle, it launched from the starting line hard. But as a high gear only machine, it didn’t reach its full potential until the 1/8th mile – where it would pull so hard straightening Jim’s arms and never letting up until the throttle was closed.

This great bike only ran for the ’73 season. Jim’s day job of managing and engineering performance products for Drag Specialties took the front seat. This wouldn’t be the last bike Jim built though.

After seeing the potential of this combination, Jim was flooded with ideas to make it even greater. He was inspired to build a whole new bike. He contemplated building a new frame with the additions of a full slipper clutch, a two speed underdrive transmission, and a fuel injection. He also wanted it to accommodate a wider tire.