Photo Above:

I sent this photo to Jeff at Church of Choppers years ago before I had my own blog.  That's Lil' Joe's pre-unit Triumph (and himself sitting on the curb) back when he lived in Long Beach, Calif. (Joe's home town) 

May 1960

(click for full photo) This looks like a brand new 1960 XLCH.  The windshield and all-white buddy seat added as accessories.  The stock, black, 6v horn still on it.  A very proud owner. 

Pants Grabber

Every part considered.  Stock, but not.

Best Buys

Yellow Club Racer

H tank with low bars.

Best Valve Timing Chart Explained: Not for Low Attention Spans

If you can visualize this?  Start with IVO (Intake Valve Opens) It's barely opening just BEFORE your piston gets to Top Dead Center.  The reason for this, is 'cause the piston is traveling so fast on it's way up, it takes a bit for the air to get moving and the gas to get into the cylinder.  After the piston passes TDC, it starts sucking the gas and air in there to fill up the cylinder with some flammable material, so when the piston starts coming back up, and compresses the gas - we get a good explosion to push down this piston.  The (IS) Ignition Starts early for this same reason, since it takes a bit to get the fire started.
Now follow that line all the way around and visualize when the valves are opening and closing, and where the piston is . . .  You'll notice there's a small time when both valves are open at the same time(35 + 10 = 45 degrees of rotation) and this is called "Overlap."  If you run straight pipes, or big pipes and open exhaust, the more degrees of overlap you have, the more chance of your engine babbling and stumbling due to low backpressure. 
Now you can look at your current cam specs. and maybe understand what's happening in there by looking at your numbers and comparing.  You may need to choose a different cam based on your cubic inches, exhaust type and carburetor size - or change one or a combination for best performance?

My problem is:  I get one of my motorcycles running just perfect.  It starts great.  It runs great.  It's fast for what I've got done to it.  Everything is working perfectly, a perfect combination of valve timing, ignition timing, carb and pipes.  BUT, I don't know this !  I think that I could change one thing and make it just a wee bit better.  Then it runs worse.  I go backwards.  Since it was a lot of work to change this one thing - I just ride it the way it is, until I get totally sick of the bike running like this, and change it back - or change something else.  If it's not broke - Don't fix it.

Sportster H

This fella looks like Jack McClain . . .

Shovelhead Custom

This is(was) a popular style I still like best for Shovelheads.


Leon's Old Bike

Years ago, this was quite a motorcycle.  Still is really.  It was built and owned by Leon "Kevin" Hendricks of Newton, Iowa.  Leon was a flamboyant character to say the least.  He owned all types of crazy cars and gadgets. He built his own Batmobile and drove around as Batman.  You can see the tank has a unique "Stroker" logo after the oem Sportster font.  The engine was modified by the great Leo Payne himself.  After Leon's untimely death years ago, the motorcycle stayed with his family for more years .....and now it's owned by a 3rd party collector.  I feel once an original-owner-built motorcycle leaves it's original owner, the mystique is lost.  The halo that surrounds the bike never shines as bright with the proud, new owner - no matter what is done.  You can see the old Stroker's side covers are in need of polish, the blued exhaust pipes, the leaky primary cover . . . the spec. sheet hanging on the handlebar is reminiscent of a tombstone grave marker, a brief description of what once was . . . and is, spiritually, no more.  The actual motorcycle, but not.  May Leon's pride and joy of a bygone time Rest in Peace.  Amen.

Bad Weather

The weatherman said it would be cold today, but he didn't say a damn thing about snow !  It just kept coming down and got worse and worse.  I had to ride home for lunch, it was slippery as shit.  At first I was bitchin' and nervous . . . but later . . . I was having fun !

High Pipe

, , , high pants, high sleeves, high haircut, low gators.

Triumph Preunit

If I had a Trumpet . . .

The Cedar River is Frozen

Get out your Sportster
(I'll bet this sounded awesome?)

Less Than 21 Days 'Til Christmas

My 1st viewing of 21 Days Under The Sky, I really enjoyed the vintage club movies from the El Forasteros M/C.  The segment was in the "Extras."  I liked the movie itself, but that was about it.

The 2nd time I watched this, it just got better.  You notice more.  It reaches you a bit more.
(You notice Drew's garage hasn't changed much .. .)

The 3rd time I watched the movie, it started to become much more (I guess a good word would be, "developed" with me . . . (Hey, It's Drew's Garage !) 

The 4th and 5th time I watched the movie - it's starting to become a classic.  It is a classic.

I now give it a perfect 10 rating(after 5 watches)
Get a copy for yourself (or a friend) today . . .
DVD: 21 Days Under The Sky

The Guy Is Cool As F#CK !

I should find this cat . . . we'd have a couple things in common.  Awesome !

What bike ?

The one in the white top is . . . well, smokin' !

Definitions Change

In conversation with a certain "dude" he uses the word Biker Chick(or Chic) quite a bit.  Last night, I was real bored, messin' with my fancy phone on-line(which really isn't a phone, 'cause I just use it for Instagram) . . . searching some Instagram sites.  Then touching off various hashtags to view other subject matter.  Under a photo, there it was !  The term again !  I clicked #bikerchic . . . and I didn't see a single photo that aligned with what, to me, is the definition of a Biker Chic.  Nothing.  All the photos were scant clad, women on sportbikes, yada yada, girls posed on motorcycles (but not dressed for riding).  Gals that are sitting on a bike, but they wouldn't know how to check the oil, or start the engine, or basic maintenance.  The definition of "Biker Chic" to all these Instagram users and posters, who hashtag'd their photo, just didn't register the meaning, or definition to me.  They were just fashion models, pose strikers, girlfriends of dudes, or pretending women sitting on motorcycles. (and I'm sorry if I offended any women - calling them a chic - which is kinda a slang term)  I looked around on the internet, and after hundreds of photos, I finally found what (to myself) is the type of gal I think of when someone says, Biker Chick.
. . .  and I must say, she's a perfect example. 
And her bike is tough, cool vest, kerchief, the real deal.

Sand Cast Don't Always Last

Problem solved !  (and use less aspirin)

Prestone & Water

Drivin' my '66 Chevy . . . and I get a coolant leak !  What the hell?  A cracked hose?  Nope.  Where's it coming from?  My water outlet was so corroded under the hose, it was spitting out.  The coolant corrosion resembled trails army ants leave in wood.  Nothing lasts forever.  My friend Jim still had the 230cu in straight six he pulled from his Biscayne back in high school (1977) out in the grove, so he stole the outlet off it for me.  It was almost perfect condition.  I'll be running again soon !

DC Choppers for: Roll The Bones Montreal

Check out the killer motor Dan is building at dcchoppers instagram.

NOTE: This photo I took when ol' Bacon was workin' at the FTS(Sturgis) trying to make some cash and pay for his trip.  The place was kinda a fart job, and we cut out early . . .

Equal Length

For Stephen . . .

You can run your feed line (and return line) to the top, or bottom.  Whichever is most convenient (for clearance or vanity).  It will function the same either way.
This photo is just for fun !

One of My Favorite Photos . . .

Careful, don't crack the lacquer on that fender !

1968 XLR (on Ebay now)

Sounds like they did a pretty good job building the motor, but then they state "Never been fired yet" or something like that?   Wouldn't if you did all that work, and spent all that money, you'd want to get it running?  Hear it run?  Maybe take some short rides and scuff it in a bit?  Have we no soul?  Have we no feeling for a vintage racing aura?  Have we no spirit?  What's going on here?  Live a little !  Jeeez !  (but then then are running the Brillo Pad air filter . . . What the hell ?)  Let's suck some loose copper strands in the motor . . . we have come a little ways in air filter technology this century, complete with hi-flo petcock(need 2 or 3 of 'em)

Fast and Loud

. . . but he'll need a chain guard to race it. (pass tech insp.)

4y Chris Carr

Here's Carr back before he got his national number. (he picked #20) 
He's leading Bubba Shobert who's sayin'
"Holy crap . . . who is this kid?"


This type of work (and restoration) obviously is of interest to me - but, I don't do these operations myself.  I let the experts do it.  Most require special equipment and fixtures. 
Cam Regrinding:
We leave that to the Leineweber's.  I see Jim is trying to keep the business in-the-family and continue the traditions of quality products - and performance !
Head Surfacing:
The guy I have do this for me uses a Bridgeport Mill with the head indicated in on the table, cylinder head facing up.  This other method (above on a lathe) works too, but may requires more fixtures, and that weight spinning around might be a bit more dangerous !
Indicating and Measuring:

Here's a photo (from Lee Wickstrom) indicating in a cam bushing(or needle bearing) hole for boring.  When this area gets cracked (common on early bushing motors) and welded - it tends to warp.  It's very subtle - not much.  But when you go to install your cam and it binds, and you've measured your pinion gear mesh . . . and all your figures seem correct - you'll be scratching your head.  WTF?  Reaming or matching to your gear cover bushing will be in order.  Nothing worse than a binding cam.

The Same, but Different

The motors will interchange in the frames.  But that's pretty much where it ends . . . and I don't mean just performance wise.  I mean the actual engine parts will NOT interchange.  The pipes are different, the crank is different, the cams are different and the intake manifold is different.  The pushrods are different.  The cylinders are different.  The rods are different.  The cam and crank bearings are different.  The spark plugs are different.  The top motor mount is different.  The pushrod clips are different.  The gear cover is different.  The breather is different.  The engine sprocket and primary chain is different.  The pistons are the same !  When you talk to the "race guys" that know these motors, if you really want to ruffle their feathers, and get their dander flingin' . . . tell them "Oh heck, all they are is a K Model with different heads."
Zing !

Chris Carr

I like that Carr helps announce and commentary at the Grand National Flat Track Series.  Many times I hear Chris refer to certain races of the past (and I was at that race !)  You can see on this version of Carr's XR....the oil tank is as low as Kenny Tolbert can get it . . . low weight/better handling.  Wind tunnel tests show his left hand at the perfect air/draft position.  Tucked in - Skinny reverse forks - Probably CD8 rubber - Steering damper - Magnesium (or titanium) primary cover - He shows the No. 4 (so he's already won the title at least once for a single digit). 
Tucked in . . . out of turn 4 the revs build - so does the mph +110, 120, 125, 130 - down the front shoot past the stands, pushin' air, the smell of race gas, the roar of all 45 cubic inches of air-cooled XR750 . . . a flash of orange and black - a dirt clog rolls - a candy wrapper flies through the air . . . and I can still smell the race gas.  Wow.  The thrill of standing on the fence at Springfield.

Ready for Delivery

I guess I'll deliver this to my friend Randy.  I've known him for years, done swaps with him . . . and he always invites me to his home(and garage) to check out all his stuff - and I've never been there yet.  Sometimes it's a nice gesture to just see other dude's collections, hear the tales - and just hang out and talk old bikes . . .  Let's go ! 

I Hate Crap In My Pockets

For a guy who hates shit in his pockets,
I just had to get the crap out of there !
Big Twin Timer Gaskets(2ea)
Idler Gear Gasket
Early Points Set
Cam Specs. Comparison
Blue Post-It
X-Mas Ideas (for Cheryl)
Papermate Pen
$9 cash
Coffee Stir Stick (works good for One-Shot paint)
$1 corner ?
For some reason, my new panhead doesn't start very good.  It pops through the carb a lot, and only likes "way advanced" ignition timing????  Hmmm?  The timing (valves and ignition) is spot on, and has been adjusted to many different combinations, but it's the same story.  My cam seems to be correct, but I thought I'd make a cam chart, and see where the intakes are closing, and compare.  I have the Andrews AB grind in it now.  Once the engine is running, it sounds perfects and runs/idles perfect.  I have a magneto in it now, but I'm gonna slip a points timer and coil on to see what happens. Updates later . . . 

Low Attention Span . . . or ADD?

After I framed and displayed my print, I noticed my SU Carb . . . so I finished it up.
 . . . then when I put my carb back on the shelf, I grabbed my Bell Moto 3 and put it on . . . . then decided to go for a ride.
I fired up the Harley 45, and rode around . . . down by the river, where I saw some thin ice forming along the water's edge . . .
So I went back and switched my wheels (on my flat-track bike) to ice tires.  Talk about Attention Deficit Disorder !  Stay on task dammit !  There goes a squirrel . . .

$3.55 (Yesterday's Prices)

I never heard of Whites.  There's White Brothers (of coarse), but this is just Whites.  I decided to use an NOS set of Delco Remy points (and leave these Whites in the package)  The points have Made-In-USA stamped on them (but no Delco)  I like buying new, aftermarket products still in the package at swap meets and sales.(who doesn't?)  Most aftermarket parts(of yesterday) are still better quality than the aftermarket parts(of today). 


It's all these "little things" at the end of an engine build that just takes time.  In your mind all you have to do is . . .  throw the pushrods in, adjust, set the timing, done.  But it's the leftover box of parts that always gets hoarded and rummaged through to find the small screws, clips, washers and nuts that you need to get this thing done right. 
So we kept working on this motor in-between leftover turkey sandwiches.  The pushrod covers were clotted with old oil from years and years of leaking - baked on like hard grease.  I used a plastic razor blade, solvent, brass brush and hot water with Ivory Liquid, and it still left a few spots. 
The reproduction pushrods will work just fine I guess?  They just look weird.