If you have a motorcycle and maybe a pulse, you’re probably familiar with the work of Roland Sands. He sets himself apart from the other bike builders by maintaining a certain quality in his builds that escapes most who seek a unique design. That quality is function. Maybe the functionality in his builds comes from his racing background. Or maybe it’s from growing up in the Performance Machine shop. Or maybe he just wants to ride them.
The latest offering from the crew at Roland Sand Designs reflects this fundamental for function, but what’s different this time is the platform they chose for the build and the goal they set for themselves. We were fortunate enough have Roland answer some questions regarding his latest project, and here’s what he had to say:
Roland Sands: The 2011 Vegas 8 Ball.
PG: Was there any particular reason for choosing that model?
RS: This is Victory’s new model and they wanted to see what we would do with it.
RS: It’s a great bike — simple with good clean lines and easy to build around. Most people are clouded by the cool factor of HD, but Victory really gives you a lot for the money in horsepower and handling.
RS: It was basically stock with a custom exhaust, dyno-tuned and taller gearing. This was before the bike went to Lloydz Motorworkz to have all of the internals re-worked.
PG: Obviously the bike has an extensive list of modifications. Can you give us an overview of what was done to the bike — other than the motor mods?
RS: We worked with Progressive Suspension to lower the bike as much as possible to reduce wind drag. We used a Suzuki GSX-R front fork with narrower-than-stock triples and clip-on handlebars. Believe it or not, we actually used our 450 Super Single bodywork, which ended up working great and looking perfect with the shape of the Victory tank. We also cut out a section in the tank to allow me to tuck in behind the windscreen better. Custom tail section, ’Busa front fender, custom drag-racing style rear sets, RSD Slam Contrast cut wheels in 17 inch, PM radial mount brakes, Dunlop Sportmax GP (ZR-rated) tires and we converted it to chain drive using D.I.D. chain and AFAM sprockets.
RS: We were shooting for more than 200 hp, but after Lloydz Motorworkz got a hold of it, we were well over 200 hp (214 hp and 243 lb.ft. torque)! Now we’re hoping for a pass in the 210 mph area. We’ll see. It’s a lofty goal and we’re hoping she stays in one piece. Lloyd worked his magic and dug into some new areas of the 2011 motor.
But 320 hours of labor and tuning later, the major motor mods are: 105.28mm big bore (116 cu. in.) w/ custom turbo pistons and cams; Garrett 2860 full-roller turbo; intercooler; balanced and blueprinted stock crank and rods; re-worked oiling system for better lubrication; custom PCU re-programming; Power Commander 5 w/ boost control; two secondary direct-injection fuel-injectors that come on above 5 psi turbo boost; and a prototype PMRT/Barnett flyweight lock-up clutch.
PG: 200 mph has been an elusive goal to a lot of racers. Is there something about that mark that seems to take the right combination of aerodynamics and big horsepower? Is this something that you’ve been thinking of trying for a while?
RS: Yes and yes. I’ve been close on a ZX10 — 192 mph in the rain on asphalt.
PG: This is — without doubt — a purpose-built bike, but it still has that unmistakable RSD look. Trends have come and gone throughout the bike-building market, but your bikes have always maintained functionality as a constant. Is function always at the forefront when you design a bike or do you tend to find the design through the function?
RS: It happens both ways, but we always maintain function as a goal in any build. This was obviously purpose-built and the function really got us to something that is visually pretty striking. I love this bike. We are all pretty stoked on how it turned out.
RS: There’s some stuff coming, but not with the RSD brand.
PG: Will the bike be making an appearance at any certain event — Bonneville, Maxton, Texas Mile, El Mirage? And if so, what class?
RS: Still trying to lock down which events we will make. We were shooting for Maxton a few weeks ago, but the timeline go too tight. Bonneville in 2011 is a for sure. El Mirage sometime between now and then would be great. We had some rains out here a couple weeks ago that turned El Mirage to mud, so we’re hoping it dries up soon so we can take some real passes. We’ll be updating our blog with our testing videos and details so stay tuned @ www.rolandsands.com
PG: Thank you so much for taking the time with us. We look forward to following Mission 200 and best of luck.