Barn Find El Camino

. . . from the home of a lifetime cigarette smoker (gave it some patina).

Brandon's 1976 Ironhead

A couple more parts, and it will be hittin' the street . . . It's ready for the frame.

Armor All Quick Silver

Of all my cleaning products . . . The Quick Silver wheel cleaner worked best.  Warm water with a scrub brush. 

Rode Hard & "Put Away Soaked"

My dad (and maybe Hawbaker too) rebuilt this thing 20+ years ago.  The owner showed it no mercy.  It came back for a refresher. (it looked pretty rough)  Ready to go again.

Anchor Moto "Chopped XL"

Ricky (Anchor Moto of Kansas City) is building a chopper.  Not just any chopper.  The powerplant will run a chopped 1981 Sportster set of cases, with the transmission portion sawed off.  This modification was all done by Lehmann Performance (Pat Lehmann of Minnesota).  It will run a belt drive primary, and standard FLH 4 speed transmission. 
These '81 up Sportster flywheels take a different pinion shaft and crank pin.  I trued each 1/2 perpendicular to the shaft, then assembled and trued the rotating assembly to "almost perfect" and 0 run-out on the sprocket side, and barely a flicker of movement on the (S&S)pinion.  Very nice set of flywheels.
The Last Word indicator don't lie . . .

Pat did a really nice job on these cases.  They look like Four-Cam drag racing cases Ricky will build the rear motor mount into the frame to match the case assembly.  I'll remove the races and rollers and have them blasted by Gelner, then assemble the lower end, bore the cylinders, do a set of heads . . . and hopefully it will go go go . . . .

It's the little things . . .

1952 K Street Bike: Good Rear Brake, Poor Front Brake, Mushy Front End(little rebound), Stable handling at speed, Greasy rear tire, Sticky front tire, Good power band 20mph-55mph zone, lightweight, easy starting, low maintenance. Left Hand Clutch/Right Foot Shift, CV Carburetor

1952 K Flat Tracker: Good Rear Brake, No front brake, Mushy Front End(some rebound), Stable handling at any speed, Good tires, Good power, Very lightweight, ok starting, Left Hand Clutch with Right Foot Shift, Dellorto Carb.

1952WLA: Good Rear Brake, OK Front Brake, Bouncy front end(no rebound), Twitchy handling at speed, Solid, Sticky tires, Great low-speed torque, lightweight, easy starting, low maintenance, Left Foot Rocker Clutch/Left Hand Tank Shift, Linkert Carburetor

1952FL Chopper: Great Rear Brake(but it can lock up rear wheel), No front brake, Good front end, Stable handling at high speed (but wobbly at about 30mph if you take your hands off the bars), Solid tires, Great power band, Ok starting, Left Foot Rocker Clutch / Left Hand Jockey Shift, Super E.

1961XLCH: Good Rear Brake(touchy), OK Front Brake, Mushy Front End, Stable at all speeds, Great Tires, OK Starting(but it is an XLCH, so that can change), low maintenance, Left Hand Clutch and Right Foot Shift, DC Linkert Carb.

1964XLH: OK Rear Brake, Grabby Front Brake, Ok Front End, Stable at speed, Great tires, Good Starting, normal maintenance, Left Hand Clutch, Right Foot Clutch, Super E.

1965XLCH Stroker: Good Brakes (front and rear are good), Stable at all speeds, Good Tires, Hard Starting (you probably couldn't start it), some maintenance, Too fast for braking (but they're all a bit like this) Left Hand Clutch / Right Foot Shift, Super E Carb.

I guess if you ride old bikes (which you do) you adjust to the conditions of the motorcycle?  It's a sub-conscience ability to know what's happening under you.  If you have multiple machines, and you ride them all regularly, you can jump on one and not miss a beat.  The more you ride it, the more you get in-the-groove.  There's not a (new or old)motorcycle that you'll just jump on and everything will flow perfectly.  I'll let someone ride my bike, and they're like - "That was fun."  We didn't go real fast, and we just cruised around. 

Vintage motorcycles, it's just a great way to spend your day.

Shinko Flat Track

Don't go buy 'em all . . . it'll drive the price up !

Front Runner

Rebuilt Star Hub
Kelsey Hays Rim
Cadmium oem Spokes
Tire "Made in South Korea" (fuck)
H-D oem Brake Drum and oem Bolts
Zeke mounted and balanced it . . .
Old Harley Parts on 100 yr. old flooring . . .

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

It's a lot easier to just go buy an aftermarket part.  As my friend Nathan explained, "Noot, don't buy that import crap . . . it's like a slap in the face to the American worker that busted his ass to make you a good part.  So wait until you find one, even if you have to fix it up."  I had to fix all this stuff up a bit, now that I'm done, they're damn nice parts.  Some parts you just can't get here anymore, but I try my best.

Stealing Ideas for a Build . . .

ABOVE: I like the rear fender (stock) without the hinged tail section.  Leave the hinge on, with stainless trim strips.  I don't really care for his license plate mount.  This whole style and look is what I'm after . . . with a Hydra-Glide front end.
Trent's build is neat.  I like the paint scheme - simple 50's look.  I'll have to run the bottom pipe lower so I can use a tool box (my dad has an original one) - then I'll have room for tools too !
I like the dash the same color as the tanks (Clapper's suggestion). 
This bike kicks serious ass.
These rear fender strips are kinda short? 
I like this black SU Eliminator.  It looks vintage.  Maybe powdercoat the air cleaner parts and just paint the carb slide bowl so you could keep the inside clean?  The whole motorcycle a stripped stocker, small mods the more you look.  Functional.  Ride the sucker.

John Surtees

The son of a London cycle dealer, John Surtees is the only person to win a Grand Prix World Championship on 2 and 4 wheels.  A four-time GP Motorcycle Champion 1956, 1958, 1959 and 1960 racing the Mv Agusta brand . . . he then went on to drive Formula One cars and captured the World Championship in 1964 driving a Ferrari.  The Italians had a name for him which translated to; Son-of-the-Wind.  Surtees was known as a fast (but very calculated) racer.  The best kind I feel.  I'm sure his racing performance helped bring about the saying, "Don't (expletive) with British road racers."

Press On - Pull It Off

Before you get in a big hurry and assemble your flywheels, always (always) be certain your drive gear(belt or chain) fits the splines of your sprocket shaft.  I've seen a lot that didn't fit, or were very tight.  It's a bitch to be messin' with this after your motor's all assembled.  You just might have to service this thing out-on-the-road somewhere - and you'll be screwed if you can't get it off (on back on) with no air tools or fancy pullers.  Upon initial inspection, it started on the splines(barely) and I supported the shaft and pressed it on(carefully) and pulled it off.  Then deburred the burrs.  I did this a few times until I have a nice press fit - and I can remove it with my "tool kit" puller.

Jeremiah Knows: FULL SCREEN and Crank It !

Probably shoulda kept that one? ! 
Arizona is Love Cycles - No other place like it.

The Panhead / Sidevalve Advantage

These motors may be directionally rotated to observe valve actuation and tappet movement at varies positions throughout a full 360 degree rotation.  Yuk. 

4 Speed Stand

Our friend Allen made us this neat stand.  Maybe you can see kinda how he did it, and make yourself one if you feel so inclined? 

Buy It ? or Walk Away ?

As I wash up Toby's cases, I'm admiring how perfect they are . . . no bad threads, no cracks, no welds, no repairs.  A real nice set of 1967 crank cases.  You see a lot of cases (knucklehead, panhead, etc) that are big money - and they're junk.  Some are cheap, but sketchy and require mega repairs.  I used to buy these cheaps 'cause I have the ability to fix 'em - but, if you really want to build a vintage motor, walk away from all the junk, spend a bit more - and get yourself a good set of cases.
Ready for measuring and assembly !

Moto GP Propulsion

ABOVE: The sprocket is up high, is that for the rear wheel?  How can a tiny gear like that get you 175mph?  It's a two-stroke, so it can't be for overhead cams.  Different sized expansion chambers?  Carbs in the front.

. . . an understanding(or lack of thereof).  The power supply in the highest form of motorcycle road racing.  I feel like a simpleton. 

Dirt Work

Off with the ice tires . . . on with the dirt tires.  Sign the waiver, strap on the shoe, and do some laps (probably scared shitless).  Build a bike yourself, go around the dirt track.  The booming "vintage scene" and groups of dudes my age who want the same thing make it possible.
Morty says, " Our race team depends on Motion Pro Products. "
Ask for it from your dealer . . .

44 on the floor . . .

Jake, Ed, Bob & Pete

. . . on their way to Oklahoma Nationals 
(with the California Kid)

XLH Street Racer / Custom

This guy likes to get out and play . . .
S&S L-Series Carburetor
Velocity Stack
XLR Exhaust Pipes
Short Pegs
Shifter hiked up for speed shiftin'
Fender Pad
Chromed parts, smoothed gear cover . . . Show-N-Go
Ready for Action !

DC Linkert

Johnny, that bike will tear you up . . .

Maybe you better stick with your moped?

Early Days of Arlen Ness

I see frames listed for sale (or add-on hard-heads) on craig's list and chopper swapper, that list them as " an Arlen Ness Frame " and I know it's not a Ness frame 'cause the gusset is ugly shaped, the tubes are huge . . . and Arlen would never made anything that looked like that My frame (above) has a genuine Ness hard-head, since Donnie Smith looked at it and told me it was real, since Arlen was meticulous about that front gusset, and it had to look a certain way and be a certain shape.

Swap Meet Scores

This guy was well prepared.  I hope he restores it to all it's ironhead glory. 
I traded labor for some XLCH Speedster Bars, a dirty white Guiliari Seat, New Old Stock MCM chopper pipe upsweep extensions, and I bought a weird Saturn-type gas cap cover, a pitted chrome panhead footshift lever(for smooth shaft), a tiny leather 50s flat track fender pad, a chrome Trock Cycle ironhead brake drum cover, a gold plated generator end cover - and a crusty (non chromed) SU Eliminator carburetor (with no air cleaner) and a Made-In-Japan dash ignition switch -  What a score, Eh ?

Young Upstarts

I saw Michael Geltz(Flying Weasel), Panhead Steve and Sheazilla this past Sunday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa . . . still doin' it.

Young Upstarts

I'll see Dave Perewitz and Donnie Smith at the end of this month in St. Paul.

Knuckle, Shovel, Shovel

In the old days, there were knuckleheads, panheads and shovelheads. Our shop just called them Shovelheads.  Period.  Or maybe a generator shovelhead?  Now I get corrected if I call dude's shovelhead (" A Shovelhead") instead of a "Cone Shovel."  What the hell?  I want to say, "Look you skinny little turd shithead - it's a freakin' Shovelhead - or better yet "A troublehead" and you probably couldn't even set the valves on the thing.  I don't know why it bugs me, but it does obviously.  One day a guy was telling me about his Ironhead Sportster (and he called that a Shovelhead Sportster) and I know what he meant, and it didn't matter, 'cause some old timers call them Shovelhead Sportsters since they were actually alive when Harley-Davidson went from the flathead K-Model - to the Shovelhead Sportster overhead valve (which just may be the first actually named Shovelhead?) and not the Shovelhead the shit-kid calls a Conehead.  So take that, shit-kid ! 

Tire Tread Progressions

( . . . those poor factory workers ! )

I like these early Goodyear Dirt Track Tires . . .(below)
It's an art form - these vintage treads.