Betty Blowtorch / Hell on Wheels

I didn't get to see Sharon (and her band Hells Belles) at Sturgis this year . . . but here she is back in the day with Betty (Bianca) Blowtorch sportin' her white tank  and rockin' rhythm guitar !  Go Sharon - she's a rocker !  It's Hell on Wheels - Have a great weekend - crank it and pop a top !

More ART (less words and war)

I once ate gigantic cheese burgers with Chase in Phoenix.
photo by: Narihiko Kumagae
paint by: Jody Perewitz
 . . . with glow-in-the-dark stripes.
Probably one of the most famous images of late . . .
photo by: Josh Kurpius
Watercolor Panhead
by: Claudia Liebenburg
Baja (ink drawing)
by: Cory Jarman
 Linocut (this was a very neat print)
by: Amy Hood


TECH: Clutch Basket Grease

If you run a dry clutch primary, you've probably noticed your grease doesn't last long (about 2000 miles in summer weather).  I run the individual, long roller bearings(no retainer) so it may be easier for the grease to liquefy and evaporate?  I found this Lucas X-TRA grease - good for 560 degrees
and "resists slinging out of fast moving parts." 

The test is officially in session . . . I'll let you know how it worked in the future . .  .
. . . it was only $10 bucks.

Storytime . . .

This guy was parked on Sturgis Main Street.  It was about 10:00pm.  He had a spark plug wrench in his hand, kneeling down near the front cylinder.  I said, "How's she runnin'?  and he replied with, "Well, right now it's not - on the front cylinder."  His gal was standing nearby, and she looked a bit concerned, but not really.  We talked for a minute, and I got my trusty flashlight to aid him with his work, trying to help, but not suggest.  He knew his bike.  They had a great ride all day through the Black Hills, and when he came into town at dusk, his shovelhead started running funny.  He replaced the front plug, put away the tools, and she fired on the first kick.  The motor had a healthy sound, and the throttle was blimped - the pipes had a sweet crack n' cackle.  They both thanked me for the assistance, he pulled his bike onto the street, she jumped on - they smiled - and away they went.  I hope I'm still goin' like they are in my years to come.  He was the genuine deal, with a sweet chopper and a sweeter gal . . . Nice folks out havin' some fun.

Chris Milanowski's '42 WLA

He runs an early model engine and stuffed it to an earlier (Model RL) frame.  Chris (at age 29) has succeeded in learning all aspects of custom motorcycle building.  Designing, metal smithing and forming, machining, pattern making, paint, upholstery . . . and marketing (hey, it's in the show with a great write up)
When I walked into the showroom area (very early on Monday) I was the 2nd visitor.  Sort of ironically, there just happened to be someone already looking at Chris's bike.  I had to wait, then I finally started talking to them about it, and said I knew the owner/builder.
The POSA (or originally promoted under the name "Positive Fuel" or something like that...?)  The carb has no-float-bowl, so fuel just keeps flowing to keep the engine fed.  The idle is a bit rough, and works best at mid to WFO throttle !
Snappy clutch pedal for rainy nights and slippery Vans. 
Czech da o' tank oak leaf bros . . .
I shot in Serpia and thought the photos added more character to the gloss and flat black, chrome, and brush aluminum.
I believe Kendal did the elegant gold leaf designs . . . ?   They're sharp.  Chris hand-formed all the sheet metal from patterns he designed and built.  This WL runs a little hand shifter (down low to the left).  I dig the comfy custom seat !
Early Sportster triple trees(smoothed and chromed) one-off risers . . . and he made the lower legs (complete with late 60s XL internals).  The bike looks almost too nice to ride . . . however, it's thin, lightweight and should be a quick urban assault weapon . . . "Here he comes now, slidin' sideways into the bike show!"

PS. I talked to Chris on the phone yesterday, and he said the bike made it to the show at Buffalo Chip (picked up by a shipping company for the event 2 weeks ago) and back to Milwaukee "without a scratch"  . . . so a deserving hats off to Michael Lichter's shipping and show crew for a job well done !

George Smith's - The TRAMP

When I walked into Michael's reception on Sunday night, there were so many people, I didn't notice The Tramp displayed in the entry-way.  I came back on Monday morning to take some pics when nobody was around (and I still didn't notice it, until I was leaving).  I couldn't believe my eyes.  There it was - to myself - the most historical racing motorcycle (besides the 1970 Manning streamliner) that I consider to be the ultimate for any collection.
Do you know what's going on here ? Those aren't stock cylinders?
Not a lot of "stock" here . . .

It's hard to comprehend the amount of time George spent thinking about this motorcycle and how to make it go faster - it totally consumed his time for a few years.  He put his knowledge and findings to good use . . . S&S Cycle
Get on and Lets' GO !
 1954 = 152mph

Hangin' with THE LOCUST


A few of the best engines . . .

 I like a well done mill.  or something different? 
A few more that might catch your eye?

One Eye'd Jacks Saloon

Sturgis Main Street is for '52 panhead choppers that rode 650+miles packed with shit to go see some races, ride the hills, see friends, talk bikes, eat gyros, drink beer & shots . . . and at the end of the day rock out to Guild of Ages and watch hot chics jump around and shake their stuff.  1:30am

. . . one for Hux

Super Hooligan Buffalo Chip

The rider's meeting was simple and to-the-point.  "Jump the start and your transponder will register it and you won't know until the race is over (that you've been bumped to the back) Don't Jump !
 Roland Sands #10 dealing with turn 1 chaos . . .
Jake Zemke's Ducati was professionally built.
Dave (#105) Kilkenny got me a pit pass so I could enjoy the fun and help out with ice water, carrying stands and rider support (thanks Dave).  He actually ran the last-chance and came from the back to finish second, and they only took 1st to the final.  Dave was definitely one of the fastest guys on the track - but couldn't run the main - that sucked.
Terry (dad) and Jordan Baber.  Cool heads just before the Main Event.  They had the S&S entry running and handling sweet.  He pulled a solid 3rd place finish and moved up in points with just a few races left (all in California).
Jordan traditionally celebrates with a cold beer and cowboy hat . . .
Fun times with The Babers

Sturgis 2017

Day 1 (Friday) I skipped outta work early afternoon and chased the sun across Iowa and into South Dakota on Hwy 18 . . . stopping in Fairview, Davis and camping in Tripp, SD.  I went and checked out the 4H Fair across the way . . .
Fairview, SD . . . a beautiful hidden jem.
Above/Below:  The Trading Post bar in Davis has ice cold High Life !  Old Hwy 18 is kinda sad through here, with broken down filling stations, closed storefronts and past greatness now just a memory.  But perfect for panheads !
PS. Dudes, I think sheep and goats are cool (but it was only Day 1 . . .  I wasn't that lonely)
The fair was fun, and the cute "farm moms" made me a delicious dinner and served up breakfast in the morning.  My tent spot was perfect.  (then rain in the morning kinda sucked)

Day 2 (Saturday) I met up with Chad, Angie and Zach for a run through the badlands.  Chad's bike wasn't charging, so we had a couple delays - but I made it for the BUSH concert Which freaking rocked by-the-way . . . it was largest crowd I ever saw jammed into the Ironhorse.

I had a VIP spot (thanks fellas) . . . .

Day 3 . . .  one of the first people I see at the Denver's Show is my good friend Irish Rich.  He welcomes me, then proceeds to chew-my-ass 'cause I don't have Instagram yet.  It was awesome.  He's one of my favorite people on earth, and he loves choppers and cats, just like me.  I need to get my shit together and go see him for a few. 
Above, Rich's view of his beautiful shovel chopper.  He cleaned ass with the Sturgis show circuit a couple years ago with this build - and I was stoked to see it again.

I talked to Mondo for quite awhile about Indian Larry, Bob Spina . . . and when he saw my frame, he commented how much he liked it.  I told him "Lil Joe" from Vegas molded it up, and my frame was from Vegas.  I would have entered, but I had Michael Lichter's invite for his show reception, and the Pro TT at Buffalo Chip . . . " Gotta Go Mondo !"

Cool bikes . . .  and when you see Rich . . . Part Timer Steve ain't far behind.  Love ya dude - Colorado's finest builders and riders . . .
The Pro TT was one of the best races I seen in a long time.  Chris Carr designed the track, and it really brought out the skill in all the pro riders.  I hadn't see "Twins" take a jump since Jay Springsteen at Peoria years ago . . . it really kicked ass !

The track had multiple "vantage points" inside The Chip, with all it's bridges and multi-story structures.  The long straight saw riders in the 70mph range . . . I sat on a bar stool with drink in hand as Henry Wiles and Kenny Coolbeth whizzed by . . . really fucking crazy !

This Hayden Gillim kid from Kentucky (relation to Haydens) was so fast, he just outclassed the field in the pro-am class.  His professional focus is on pavement racing, but this kid can sure ride a motorcycle !  He was just as fast as Henry Wiles (who out classed the pro field) until a blown water jacket ended his run giving Baumann the win.  All the riders were great - Thanks for a super show !
Day 4  I started hangin' with Lil' Chris and Sarah for a few days now.  Chris was chosen as a builder for the Michael Lichter Show this year.(see full feature later this week)  He brought Warren's (sorta rat bike) panhead for a loaner and us 3 proceeded to wander around Sturgis.  Kurpius joined in for moments of "regroup" & follow up.  With almost 400,000 people out there, we seemed to stumble on each other multiple occasions.  It was a really good time.  Thanks, love you all . . .

There are lots of incredible young women in this world, but Chris won the lottery with his wife Sarah.  So cool to meet all of you.  Never forget this trip.
 This shovel had a small break down  . . .
 Chris takes a nap . . ?  WTF ?
  . . . still fartin' with it . . . "Dudes, the cops are coming !"
Warren's panhead just keeps on chugging . . .
" Old Reliable"
 Zen moments on the hill above old City Park . . .
Josh finds us again.  A golden moment.
Now What Day is IT ????  All the days start to flow together - which is a good thing.  I took a run down to the AMCA, Antique Motorcycle Club of America bike show at The Ironhorse.  I'm welcomed by Carl Olsen.  Hey Carl !
It was nice to see John Graff and many others for this "yearly meeting."
If you like old iron, this was it . . .

 I've seen the vintage motorcycles coming back at Sturgis the last few years.  Jerry and Jack Raino rode their 1957 and 1969 Sportsters all over the place.  I saw knuckles, pans and Indian Chiefs and Scouts out in the hills.  If you want to bring your old bike out some year - do it !  There's plenty of shows and people who want to see your classic ride.  Don't be shy . . .

 The Indian (above) has the neatest "retractable" windshield.  I need one.
Gibson had his rolling "photo shop on wheels" - developing tin types on site.
I helped Gene unload his 1961XLR drag bike !

 After breakfast one morning, I went for a ride out to The Horse Backstreet Chopper Show with Danger Dan and Christian(Buffalo, NY) to check out some custom iron . . .

Dan's panhead is set-up for distance.  Bacon did some wrenchin' on it in the past, and she's runnin' fine - Nice to hang with you dude !
Zach Starkey rode out on his 1200 Evo Sporty Chop (built himself).  It was his first rally and he was havin' so much fun (and running out of money !)

This Cali Black Plate panhead was pretty damn bitchin'
Rhett blew my mind again on the wall - with his showman antics and riding skill.
He's the best !  Good to see you again !  -Noot