Messin' Around with My Front End

I don't have a Hydra Glide front end on anything, and I've never run one before.  (just on dad's '65)  I got all the correct pieces rounded up, and starting "fitting" everything.  When all the pieces have never been together before, they don't always fit . . . so modifications and adjustments have been necessary.  I've been trying to use original Harley-Davidson parts. 

Shea's Panhead

Everything on this has been kinda screwed up . . . but it's all fixable.  It has lightened flywheels.

Controlled Heat

It looks like the frames are all bolted in a certain position, then they light the torches and braze multiple sections at once?  Right?  Each guy with his own work station (but with no pictures of the kids, might catch fire !?!?)  What a nasty place to work . . .

Talkin' About Paint . . .

No masks, no respirators, no suits, no goggles and all that crap.  Hey, paint fumes ain't as bad as the state of California says it is . . . Here's Proof !  Shit, Bob Spina's got lead and all those chemicals in his blood for 60+ years and he's ok . . .

While You Were Out . . .

I've been really sick since last Tuesday (that's about when it started).  My life put-on-hold.  I sat under this light (sometimes off, sometimes on) for much of the time.  Not getting anything done.
I started reading these books I've had for awhile . . . My whole body ached.  My head throbbing.  I never felt so weak - and I lost about 6 lbs. in 6 days.  Not good.  The books both take place in California, in about the same county.  I bought Cannery Row on the suggestion of Max at 4Q - and I like the way Hunter S. Thompson writes.  I read Sonny's version (which is great), now I'm reading Hunter's version. 
Not one to lay around and do nothing, I made a few valiant attempts to do stuff.  I needed some sort of forward progress I could achieve inside the house without too much effort.  I was really sick and didn't feel like doing shit.
Maybe I could stripe my rims?  I'd been thinking about it - and I didn't want it too bright.  The One Shot paints are fine, but Fire Red is too orange, Bright Red is too bright when painted on black.  Their Maroon is too purplish.  I found this old can of Sherwin Williams - Carmine.  It's a very old can of enamel, but I shook it - and it sounds good?  A local sign painter named David Scrimger gave me all kinds of paint from his days of sign painting in Los Angeles, San Diego and here in Iowa. 
The can had the name Paul Pellner on it.  Who's Paul Pellner?  Maybe I should call Dave and ask him who he was?  So I called Scrimger, and asked him about Paul.  He told me Pellner was one of the best layout and sign painting artists he ever saw.  "You give him a sign job, or a banner to paint . . . and what you got back was a real advertisement !"  A beautiful piece of work."  Very detailed and perfect on proportion and style.  Paul was from right here in Charles City, and many of the signs throughout the city in the 50s and 60s were from Pellner. 
This old KEM Bulletin Color No. 106 Carmine is a beautiful shade of a classis evening lipstick red.  It striped great - and I didn't thin it or anything.  It flowed like genuine, old vintage enamel paint should . . . rims striped in the tradition, and with honor of Mr. Paul Pellner.

 

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'
Tach
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.