A childhood growing up close to a motocross track in southern Germany meant Michl Betz, now 43, developed a lifelong love of two-stroke motocross bikes. Combine that with a passion for Harley-Davidson and a select group of motorcycles remains.
The first bike to scratch the H-D two-stroke itch for Michl was a rare Harley-Davidson® X90, a motorcycle from the ’70s, produced when the company was looking to draw in new riders with entry level two-stroke bikes. This bike proved to be a hit wherever it appeared and the quality of the restoration meant that the little X90 took a coveted first place in the Antique category at the European Bike Week® custom bike show.
The X90 was followed up with the acquisition of an even rarer Harley off-road two-stroke – a 1972 Baja 100, designed to compete in gruelling desert races such as the Baja 500 –and then a Harley-Davidson SX250, a purely off-road competition bike. Competing on the SX250 at Harley & Snow in the south Tyrol, where riders have to complete a speed hill climb up a snow slope on spiked tyres, soon showed the SX250 didn’t have the power to compete with bigger bikes, even when fitted with a larger 350cc engine.