Hooligan Racing

Hooligan Offroad Racing @ The Mint 400

Posted by mark atkins on

One day I got a call from my buddy Doug who happens to co-own Heatwave Visual sunglasses. He told me he had this idea for us to race Harleys off-road at this race called the Mint 400. I didn't really know too much on this race at the time let alone have ANY off-road desert racing experience so as usual I agreed to built a bike and race this sucker! haha Mikey Virus, Barry nobles, Doug & myself took on this stupid idea to try to race this gnarly off-road race. At the time this was the first year the Mint 400 has had motorcycles in years so it was a special one to attend. We all built bikes of what we "thought" was a good idea and things we needed. Boy were we wrong about so much.


We lined up and the first mile my bags that I had stuffed with EVERYTHING to rebuild everything for some reason (apparently thought I would be out there rebuilding my entire bike?) were so heavy they broke my fender off and ripped out some wiring I had. Once I figured this out I was battling wiring gremlins the entire race. I only finished one lap this year which at the time was a 80 mile loop and the longest I've ever ridden a harley off-road at one time. 

 Barry came home with the win after Mikey took a gnarly digger that year and dragged his corpse in for 2nd. I remember Mikey showing up looking like Jason from halloween and his headlight busted off and hanging from the bike. haha

Before & after the destruction. Minus the wiring issues the bike at this time still ran decent! My awesome fairing I had my buddy josh lasted as well and helped me plow thru bushes with ease. 
The following year I made some changes to the bike... good & bad. At the time we were running somewhat race motors. 1250 kits with race heads and decent cams. We didn't learn til later we needed these to be very mild motors to last thru these long off-road races! I made it about 60 miles in before my temp gauge said my bike was about 340 degrees and the motor said no more. haha I ended up toasting this motor completely for this year. Mikey virus won this year! 
2020 rolls around and I took a more "hands on" approach with the Hooligan class and the Mint 400 let me come up with some new rules to get this class to a more level playing field. I separated some faster and more purpose built bikes into "scrambler" class and hooligan was just sportsters now. Although I did this with the help of a few rad dudes advice that are racing in this class there was some push back but in the end it is what was needed to keep this trend going in a upward direction! Below are the simple rules we came up. Hooligan racing is meant to suck. It should not be "easy" because you picked a bike that was built for it. It's meant for not purpose bought bikes. If you simply want to go faster and have a bad ass functioning bike then scrambler class is perfect for you. If you want to be a hooligan you have to shop for your bike in the dumpster and not the dealership.
  • Hooligan
  • Harley sportster ONLY
  • Riders in this class must be sixteen(16) years old minimum.
  • Bikes must have been built as street legal by the manufacturer. 
  • No mono shock
  • No past or present pro card holders.
  • Minimum weight of 400lbs
  • Scrambler
  • 750cc or larger production twin. 
  • Riders in this class must be sixteen(16) years old minimum.
  • Class fits these bikes- Ducati & triumph scrambler & HD pan America
  • No dirt bikes/ ADV bikes allowed.
  • All past or present pro card holders welcome.
  • Minimum weight of 400lbs
I built a new bike from scratch that honestly is the best build I have ever built myself. This bike handled beautiful the entire 90 miles I made it before a swinger bolt backed itself out. I pulled over a few times thinking I had a flat but it was just my swinger moving back and forth about 7 inches. I had some big zip ties and zip tied the frame to the swinger and made it about 2 more miles to another pit with some workers. While they were making tacos in the middle of the desert I asked if any of them had baling wire and they did! I ended up using bailing wire to make it another 6-7 miles in the worst and hardest part of the course to the next pit where some awesome off-road truck dudes supplied me with a fine thread bolt and a oversized nut to use as a spacer. I ended up finishing the toughest race I have ever entered in 4th place. Below are the pics of the wild solutions I did out there to finish this race. I was going to drag this damn thing across the finish if I had to.
Lastly we made it to 2023 and finally brought home the win! Bike felt amazing and me not so much. I really need to train before these damn races haha. This was a long road to get here but I'm glad I finally handled it!
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Harley Hooligan History V.1

Posted by mark atkins on

 its crazy to think back on how far this Hooligan thing ended up going in our industry. From not being wanted at the local tracks to million view live streams at X games. We ( Rusty Butcher, SMCO, Speed Merchant & some other awesome companies/friends ) started out this whole thing with a few dudes who just wanted to take a not so smart bike onto the flat tracks. Back then it wasn't the most popular idea to show up to the tracks and a bunch of tattooed idiots would invade the pits to crash and spill oil all over the track. We had the wrong tires, bars, suspension, bike.... literally everything. Shit I even put on trials knobbies one time and ate shit bad because the knobs were too soft, haha. A while after this happened eventually some of the real flat trackers took us under their wings and show us the ropes so we would piss less people off at the track learning. This all started around 2015 and my first race I personally did was a Harley night at OC Speedway around that time. It was a short race for me as I got the hole shot to high side in the first corner to a broken collar bone. haha
The Hooligan movement at the time was "Run what you brung" class as we didn't get dubbed "Hooligan" til later in the year at our first race series that popped up in Del Mar, CA. By the time this series rolled around we dialed in our bikes more and started to get the hang of things. The day I put on real flat track tires and used a hot shoe ( metal slipper on your left foot used to slide into corners) I was pretty dominate of the series. That first year for Del Mar I won everything and ended up the #1 plate for "run what you brung" and "Hooligan". Unfortunately for me the next year people started to get the hang of it and I started getting my ass kicked, haha. Looking back at that Del Mar series we had the best time. The pits were like a giant drunk family that was having a great time. 
 Over the years we have had tons of "team" members under RB Racing. I would always invite my buddies out to build bikes and tag along in the fun... Sometimes not so much fun that would end them coming to the tracks with us like the photo on the right. Hooligan racing aint for the weak that's for damn sure!

Above is a photo of the last race at Del Mar for us. Tensions were high a few years deep into the hooligan movement as everyone wanted to show their skills and win. This was the main event and my front wheel got taken out and it started a 6-7 bike pile up. The race was called after this since so many of us got hurt. haha I think I walked away with a fractured wrist after get slammed like a rag doll and ran over. This I believe was the end of that race series but didn't slow down the Hooligan movement but was only the start.


I will keep updating these Hooligan History emails more and more to give you all an insight on how this whole thing started. 

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Born Free 9

Posted by Rusty Butcher on

BORN FREE 9!! Always our favorite event.. Mike & Grant put on a amazing show. This year they even added a rad race at Costa Mesa Speedway. The race went off without a hitch, awesome team and even more amazing track. Probably one of the nicest tracks we have encountered. Born free shenanigans always as usual, no reception, hot as hell, thousands of amazing bikes and smiles as far as the eyes could see. We sold out of almost everything we bring and people loved our new "Street Reaper" build. I appreciate everyone who came out and supported us at the races as well as the show!

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Flat Out Friday Hooligan Race

Posted by Rusty Butcher on

We got the opportunity from rad dudes who put on a GREAT show/race to once again invade Milwaukee. Jonathan Griffith (A.K.A. Hot jon, the photo guy) and I started off the trip with Harley Davidson gracing us all with some 2017 Milwaukee Eight baggers to rip around to a local drag strip! Probably my first ride on a bagger and secretly, I'm hooked. haha Next day we had our first "Harley Hooligans" photo shoot at the HD HQ and got to fart around and have fun shooting our "glamour" shots as you would say. Later on in the day we ended up at the panther arena for some good ol' fashioned Dr. pepper syrup racing. What the hell is Dr. pepper syrup racing you say? Well, you get Dr. pepper syrup and put it in pesticide spraying bottles and spray it all over concrete, let it dry and boom, you have a sticky ass track thats the best to ride. I started off my day on that Street XG750 with a 1st place in my heat race that landed me straight to the main event. In the main I had a fire lit under my ass and came home with the 1st place win! Our own Hunter Klee took a digger in the main when his primary slid on the ground, he got right up like a champ and finished the race! Probably the most proud I have been of myself racing. Definitely was a great feeling to win on a HD in the hometown of where they are born. So much history comes from Milwaukee and I was proud to bring their new Street 750 to the winners circle. 

Link to the race that Harley Davidson broadcasted LIVE! Skip to about 35 minutes in to see the Hooligan Main. 



Want to say thank you to:

  • Harley Davidson
  • Flat out friday
  • Mama tried
  • Ryan Shway aka Vanilla Cycles
  • Gino at the HD museum  
  • Jonathan griffith 
  • Speed Merchant
  • ALL to all the dudes who bought me shots and beers and got me drunk!


Mark Atkins 

A.K.A. "The Butcher"




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IV Leage Flattrack Del Mar 2016 Series

Posted by Rusty Butcher on


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