Many companies back then tried to supply frames suitable to take a stock Buell, cannibalize the choice bits and bolt them onto a custom frame. It was one of the quickest and least expensive ways to get a chop of your own back during motorcycle’s custom gold rush. One of the most successful offerings and a personal favorite of my boss, Mark Barnett, were the Mutant frame kits from Redneck Engineering in Liberty, South Carolina. Ol’ Redneck would supply you with a pretty radical frame kit and body work that allowed you to remove the good (and expensive) bits like the high performance engine, wheels, tires, , brakes, suspension and some other necessary Buell parts give you a nice head start on building your own chopper.
Oh there’s always more involved than just bolting it all together like an Erector Set (if you know what that even is), but it was a hell of a start and a fairly inexpensive one at that. At first all the frames were rigids which left some potential builders looking for a slightly more comfortable alternative, but they didn’t have to wait too long. Redneck stepped up to the plate and took a big swing with a good looking monoshock frame that utilized the stock Buell rear shock. If that’s not enough, Redneck is now making a Softail-style frame too for the traditionalists among us.
For about $4500 for the complete Undertaker kit used in this build including new bodywork (fuel tank, oil tank and fenders) and the cost of a steel-frame Buell (at the time they were literally giving them away secondhand!) you were on your way. If that’s not enough, Redneck is now making a Softail-style frame too for the traditionalists among us.
That’s exactly what’s going on here with this Redneck Mutant Undertaker frame that’s something you’d ever mistake for a Buell if someone didn’t tell you. Built from a 1999 Buell X1 Lightning, this bike even incorporates not only the whole Buell front end, but the complete instrument panel, headlight and mini fairing too. That’s gotta help even if it’s just making the electricals a bit easier to manage.
Obviously there’s a bit more involved to successfully complete one of these Redneck kits and that includes finishing off all the body pieces that come in a raw/finished stage. Caps and bungs and the like need to be installed, but little things that can turn out to be BIG things like steering stops, engine mounts and tank mounting have all been taken care of by Redneck. Now it’s just up to the owner/builder to take it all to the next level in finish.
Here the builder did some nest things disguising some stock bits like stock Buell three-spoke wheels that have taken a deep dip in a chrome bath. Nothing says custom like show chrome. Balancing that bright work off is a complete slathering of bright green paint on the frame and bodywork. The fuel tank may not hold a lot of fuel, but it looks pretty cool floating under the top tube. Meanwhile, the oil tank goes its own way as a stylistic point of interest floating behind the engine with seemingly not a care in the world. Every step leads it further away from its Buell roots and into the “What’s that?” category.
And, yes, that’s a pretty damn stock 1200cc Buell engine whose stock looks are only disrupted by the shorty velocity stack and the equally short chromed twin headers sweeping the street. Making around 90horse at the rear wheel should be more than enough to easily shove this bike around if need be or if you just feel like it. Buells have always had a bit of hooligan in them and that hooligan spirit seems to still go in a radically different bike. For what little it’s worth, anybody I knew that had one of these was a hooligan at heart.
If your inner hooligan is calling out to you, maybe you should look into something as crazy cool as this build. For more info just punch up Redneck at http://www.redneckengineering.com/.