Updated: Dec 12, 2019
Picture yourself a Medieval Knight and a Damsel in Distress and to save the damsel you must slay a mighty Dragon and the 6 foot 6 Black Knight. You hear the mighty roar through from the distance and with that roar you see the dragon’s tail raise and start thrashing and the moist ground starts shaking as the beast and rider storm down at great speed upon you (the good knight). As the beast gets closer the sound gets greater, the earth moves below you and the beast gets quicker as the tail gets higher and longer to the extent ear wax is shaking from your ears and you are showered with mud as the beast lashes out and at great speed the beast and rider make their way past you and disappearing in the woods. (No! I’m not a nerd, war craft addict or even a Harry Potter fan and yes I may be getting flashbacks from my days as a teen experimenting with hallucinogenic drugs but it did remind me of a Dragon!) Now throw away the good knight’s sword and replace it with a Canon (Camera) and put his lilywhite legs in some camo shorts and a t-shirt two sizes too small and a belly that flares the guards - that’s me! The White Knight!
No, seriously this little prelude was probably the best way (or maybe not) I could describe the sight and sound of Brian (Hoss) Cartwright’s and Hossstyle Cycles newest addition to its V8 stable, the Dirt Drag bike.
Whilst the sport (sand drag) has been embraced in SA, WA and QLD the sport has not yet been introduced to NSW and this is where Hoss and the Dragon come in. A member of Highway 61 MC Hoss is one of the members who bring us the premier custom motorcycling event The Bankstown Custom Motorcycle Show. It’s through this year’s show (falls on Good Friday each year) he wants to launch his new range with up to four of his Drag Bikes on show and Hoss in the burnout pit to introduce Sydney to the sport by way of a dirt/sand drag demo on the venue’s trotting tracks - centre track.
Hoss is one of those blokes when he puts his mind to something there is no stopping him. By day he runs a business Custom Alloy and Marine from his farm at the foot of the Blue Mountains in Sydney’s South West outskirts - Oakdale. His large sheds, workshops and open fields mean Hoss can build everything from pool fences and glass balustrades to custom alloy boats and of course the Hossstyle range of V8 motorcycles. The farm is perfect with plenty of open space to test and develop as well as room to keep everything in house.
So looking back at what’s on his plate is it any wonder you find yourself questioning where does he find the time to take on yet another project?
What was to be a bike feature turned out to be Hoss talking about exactly that, yet another project - a NSW Dirt Drag competition. At the time we caught up with him had already submitted all the necessary paper work the NWW government’s Parks and Recreation department to the event sanctioned in NSW. The sanction would mean insurance giants Lloyds of London could then insure the event. All going well Hoss hopes to announce a date and venue at this year’s Bankstown Show.
The idea would be that everyone would pay a $75 license fee on the day to get coverage.
There is also to be a Test and Tune day, a month before the event so people can bring their bikes out to be scrutineered and make sure all is up to scratch. With the test and tune day a full month before the event it gives competitors the time to make any repairs and ensure the bike is safe.
Here’s a heads up for any of you punters wanting to give it a go. Scrutineers will be looking for the following:
• All bikes must have a lanyard, kill switch to the main power and connected to wrist.
• Rear tyre must be paddle tyre not bolt ons.
• Adequate guard/s over primary chains and drives.
• If you haven’t raced or ridden the bike you will have to do a couple of slow passes until scrutineers are comfortable you can handle the bike and make sure the bike goes straight, brakes straight and are adequate.
• All riders need to wear adequate footwear/boots. Dot and Aus standards approved full-face helmet with visor (sunglasses and open face helmets won’t be accepted) and a long sleeve shirt and pants.
Scrutineers in Hoss’s words will be looking for common sense things when looking over the bike. Things such as exhaust pipes which run too close to fuel tanks, wiring is correct and leaking fuel.
Scrutineering was essential for insurance. Hoss warns scrutineering is standard at the moment but will get more intense as the sport grows. Unlike the other states at the moment the NSW event will not field a Pee Wee or Juniors bracket and won’t be running quads or trike at first (due to a grey area with insurance) opting to get the event up and running with the larger brackets.
Harley Super modified
The NSW event will be the first in Australia to have the V8 unlimited class insured. Happy with the coverage Hoss makes the point “If you invest money into an event and the coppers close it down then you have lost your money! You have to make sure you cover everything, cross the T’s and dot the I’s then get insurance, advertise it and then run the event and all will be sweet!”
Hoss isn’t giving away much about where the event will be held other than it will be held at a motoring complex.
Hoss’s Dragon which is featured in this piece is Hossstyle Cycles Dirt Drag Bikes and frames first of four all ready built and is only (to use Hoss’s exact words and an insight into the man) 440-450 BHP and running 150 Nitrous. There is a button on the bars you get it straight off the line hit the button and way you go! Events in Victoria and NSW will be raced on 110-120 metre tracks, Mackay tracks are 190 metre with the longest being WA which are 200 metre runs which means you have to change gearing. Nitrous gives you a second gear! If you think big Hoss is keen he tells me of other blokes who are driving BJ Fluid drive 2-3 speed 900bhp bikes that wheel stands through gear changes and makes the point that he is only starting off with the smaller 450 bhp. Hossstyle has built a couple of 500bhp and the owners have said they will be nosing them up shortly.
As you could imagine Dirt Drags are described as a spectator sport and support say the sport will offer a new frontier in motorsports in NSW as with my lead in suggests Drag spectators are treated to both sight and sound with the larger V8’s getting off 40-70 foot rooster tails and sounding like Top Fuel drag cars. To put it the Hoss way “They sound like top fuellers, they fuckin’ hammer and are fuckin’ awesome and they are cheap!” referring to cost, Hoss says this form of racing is (excuse the pun?) dirt cheap!
Hossstyle can build you a frame (once you supplied the motor and front end) and put it together for around $25-30,000 making it by many standards a cheap sport to get into. Many customers are opting for the 5.7 General Motors SS alloy V8 and the traditional cast iron 350 Chev because they have a good rev range and plenty of torque. The front ends are those used by Japanese road bikes 1000cc and up with twin disc, the Jappa front ends are nice and short and with bikes hitting 100 mph stop to go over 120 meters need the extra stopping power. As for any timeframe to building a bike Hoss says “If someone has the cash we can jump on it pretty quick!” Everything is made from polished alloy, aluminium and stainless steel and steel, much of the fabrication is spent machining which takes time and has to be right. Hoss says it’s not too hard to get parts with only a few parts coming from the US such as the Fun Runner tyres and Crower Clutch. Paint and body are done on site and all sandblasting and powder coating done locally in Oakdale. The cooling is by way of a Japanese radiator with an 8ltr electric water pump so the rider can run the cooling system whilst the motor is stopped and be able to cool the engine after each run. All chains used are Super Heavy Duty Combine Harvester chains in which Hoss picks up at a bargain basement price saving around $110 a box. All sprockets are laser cut for a quarter the price anyone else can get them for, keen to get others into the sport Hoss says “Any savings made are passed on to the customer and we aren’t here to load them up!” He also has a cheaper alternative for the would-be bike builder wanting to build a bike in kit form. The customer would once again supply a motor and a front end so they can make the stem and frame up the motor and mount the front end - the customer can finish it up. Hossstyle will also supply a list of everything they will need for around $4,500, the customer would then need to invest around $1,500 more to get the bike on the track.
The bikes thus far have been reliable with only the one problem! At the Dragon’s first meet the Hossstyle crew had to return home having not competed, the problem was the boys ran with a button clutch from a car, there wasn’t enough play with the thrust bearing, once they returned home the button clutch was replaced by a tractor pull clutch. With 30km’s of racing at two events under their belt since replacing the clutch, they have reaped the rewards taking out third place at each of the events.
Hoss puts his reliability down to his time spent travelling to WA and checking out the Coffin Cheater and Gypsy Joker Sand Drag meets being around the motorcycling industry and being a fabricator. Hoss has been able to take the good things and avoid the bad. For example, with the bikes primary, Hoss uses a marine grade high tensile alloy because the riders knee sits on the back of the primary when racing. Hoss puts several slits at the bottom to a depth deep enough as a safe guard creating weak spots so as if the chain was to give the slits would brake through and doesn’t come back towards the rider.
Hoss uses 3.2 heavy wall pipe in his frames because as like Hoss says “Weight isn’t really an issue when you are running a car motor or when you are going to save 10kg on a frame which is going to cost another $1,000 what’s the point?” As mentioned, to keep weight down where they can Hoss uses hi grade marine quality aluminium on the guards and primary - Hoss likes the metal because he says “Its strong and polishes up nice!”
It wasn’t long and we were back to his new pet event pointing out the comradeship in the sport saying “They are a great mob of blokes, it doesn’t cost much to set up, about a 10th of a drag bike and when you come off in foot deep sand you just get up and walk away. We spend half the time welding up other people’s bikes. There was a bloke in Mackay who won on Sunday after we spent three hours welding up his rear on Saturday – he went on to win the event, that’s what its all about, its not about putting shit on people its about going for a blurt, having a few drinks and a laugh!”
The bigger picture for Hoss is too maybe get at least a couple if not around four rounds of the comp each year in NSW and the other states to do the same, cultivating into a round robin event with finals being contested and hosted in each state in alternative years. Much of Hoss’s inspiration for the event came from his late mate Christopher James Steele “Drains” who like Hoss always wanted to get into it and now Hoss is doing it, sadly Drains has passed away. Hoss has made the vow to do it in his name and keep doing it “Highway”. Hoss couldn’t handle anyone else to have his bike so he made good his word by buying Drains’bike throwing knobbie tyres and nitro on the Harley and running it in the modified categories. Hoss says “You run the V8’s and sit around and wait for the little pricks to finish, this will give me something to save me from getting bored and keep me revved up!
The Hossstyle Dirt Drag bike featured is fitted with a 590bhp 350 Chev with Kinetic cam, Dart heads and a Holley 700 and NOS, a duel fuel pump with duel fuel lines (1/4 turn of the throttle turns 7/8). Gear box is single speed with ¾ Dual Plex 19-19 primary drive, 11/2” Jack shaft and a 8” 3 Disc Crower centrifugal tractor pull/swamp racing clutch, 10 spline 1 5/8” short shaft spline, 14” sprocket 90 tooth drive sprocket with ¾ super heavy duty combine harvester chain. The rear hub is made in house by Hossstyle Cycles , rear tyre Pad Trak 1650 15”x16” 30” 18 paddle on a Max Dumsley Hoosier double locker rim. Front end is Japanese with Harley coil over Progressive shocks and twin discs. Body is made from 2mm alloy fabricated and shaped by Hossstyle and has a top speed of over 100 mph over 200 meters.
Hoss is pleased to take any enquiries about the bikes or give any advice. You can contact the big fella on 0428 415 849 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also read up on this and other bikes and events at www.hardnfast.com.
It’s at this time and only right we give mention of our fair maiden Bianca.
20 year old, Bianca Light best sums herself up as ‘Unique’. She is an outgoing girl who enjoys extreme sports and partying hard. Her ambition is to be a full time model or a Playboy Bunny (nice!) and though she has been modelling for a short time Bianca has made her mark in the Bikini modelling circuit and was runner up for Miss Parramatta competition earlier this year. Bianca divides the rest of her time as a beauty therapist and doing promotional work and says she loves life! May I say we love Bianca! Just one more thing before we go, if you haven’t already subscribed to this quality magazine make sure you do so cause after all we have already shown you the Light! Ha I crack me up! Where did I leave that stash?