Fasteners are designed and machined in-house, along with oil fittings, banjo bolts, shock mounts, engine mounts and even the countershaft sprocket. They even create the tooling used to mold urethane chain guides, vibration dampers and seals. Fasteners in more critical areas come from Automotive Racing Products. "You can buy a socket-head cap screw for 10 cents," Atchison says. "The cheapest thing we get from ARP is about $3."
But there's a method to all this madness. "We didn't do all that just to be different," Atchinson continues. "We just let the idea evolve from an American V-twin engine, and there were certain things that had to be done to make the thing work."
The right-front downtube carries and cools engine oil that lives in the frame's 3-inch bac
Before you get to see how the Heretic works, you need to know the starting drill: fuel tap on, ignition switch on, compression releases-one per cylinder-set, choke on, then push that big, red button on the dash that doubles as an oil-pressure light. The engine comes to life like a Kodiak bear with a Yukon Jack hangover. It's loud, and it's not kidding around. Upright ergonomics are comfortably neutral. And with its three-position rear ride-height in the middle slot, the Heretic sits fairly close to the pavement. Steering lock is limited. But with more torque than Triumph's 2.3-liter Rocket III and about half the weight, acceleration is not. The spec sheet says there's enough to go from 0-60 in 2.8 seconds, and that seems just about right. It's like being shot out of a big, billet cannon.
It's loud, long, difficult to Christmas-wrap, too big for your stocking and very, very expensive. Everyone should have something in their life that is as close to perfect as they can afford. Most mortals can't. But for someone with an eye for functional art forms, painstaking execution and the means to end up with an $80,000 motorcycle, this is one of them.