Thursday, February 26, 2009
It had all the trad stuff for the day - wishbone frame with a 1/2" rake, Wassell tank, 8over 'glide forks, Sporty fork boots, Flanders #1 bars, 21" front wheel, and shotgun pipes. Seating was a Bates solo with p-pad. There were some different parts on this bike, too. There were the sidecar triple clamps, the 5 qt. oil tank, and a Bates ribbed fender that was cut so it hinged up to change the tire. It also mentioned that Pete Knell (former pres. of the Frisco Charter) had done the tranny.
I found another article that had this bike featured in it, along with a K Model that the owner had talked about building as his next project in the Choppers article. It was a feature on the Richmond Show from the Feb. '77 issue of Street Chopper. In the SC article, it said the bikes were owned by "Angelo", and so did his show cards. In the earlier Choppers article, they said the bike was owned by "Tony". I just assumed that for the show, Tony took the name "ANGELo" to stay anonymous for his own reasons. Probably never know for sure.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Rick I've known for a long time, and I think he's one of the best machinists out there. Almost every bike I build has Rick's work in it somewhere. I've had him do some really oddball stuff for me, and he's always comes thru.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Bored and stroked to 96 ci., with shop-cast flywheels, shop-cast cylinders, shop built overhead cam setup, with one-off 1/4 speed cams ground by (who else?) Chet Herbert. Herbert also set the cams up to trigger a set of points for each cylinder, that were mounted exposed on the L/H side of the heads, right by the spark plugs. Whew!
Check out this "fogger' setup. Not quite a carb, not quite fuel injection, but it worked. The fuel was force-fed by a war surplus aircraft fuel pump, thru aircraft fuel nozzles mounted in the venturi, controlled by a big butterfly.
Dishong campaigned this engine thru the late '50's-early '60's at the strip, recording a best time in the 1/4 mile of 10.50 seconds @ 132.65 MPH. I don't know if I'd want to ride this thing bent over that chain whipping along at 130 mph, right below my ribcage. But, that's how they did it!
Remember Arlen Ness' chain-driven Evo OHC conversion, done in the late '90's? Remember how everybody went ga-ga over it? Think it looked a lot like this setup?
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Buy it on the stands & online, subscribe to it, and get the back issues while you can.
The guy I got it from was Joe Matt, an old Indian dealer that never actually went out of business, he still sold and repaired Indians (REAL Indians), and he had a HUGE supply of parts and bikes. I paid $750. for it, and everybody I hung around with thought I was crazy. "$750? That's dumb! You can get a good Pan for $500!". Yeah, well, I wanted an INDIAN! You have to remember too, $750. was a lot of money then. Minimum wage was $1.25/hr, and that added up to almost 4 month's wages back then. I had to work my ass off for that bike.
When I bought it, it had a completely rebuilt engine and tranny, and it always started right up and ran beautifully. OK, it had a habit of burning up points, so I always carried a couple sets with me. A piece of cigarette pack tinfoil would gap them just right. I learned how to ride the highways and interstates with this bike. This is the one I rode out to California on.
The other thing people don't believe is I have never owned, or even ridden on a Japanese motorcycle - ever. People who know me will also notice that the bike was green, and they will tell you I have this really powerful superstition regarding green bikes. That green paint lasted 2 months, I painted the whole bike GMC Omaha Orange. I wish I still had that Indian. Hard to believe that I bought my first motorcycle 41 years ago this March.
Seeing those stubs, I remembered what a thrill it was for a 14 year old kid living in Buffalo, NY to see the Byrds - an actual band from Los Angeles, California. The long hair, the cool clothes, the live music - they had a profound influence on my young life at the time. They were one of my favorite bands, but I remember hearing a lot of music at the concert I'd never heard before. The Byrds were changing their music, and they played a lot of material that they were working on for their milestone album 5th Dimension. I remember hearing 5D, Mr. Spaceman, and I See You at that concert.
The Rolling Stones? Well, they were the ROLLING STONES! They had just released Aftermath, and I definately remember them doing Paint It Black, Stupid Girl, and Lady Jane. Well actually, it was pretty hard to hear, between the endless screams from the girls (including my date), and the marginal sound system. There was an opening band for them, but I don't remember who it was.
Check out the ticket price for The Stones - FIVE FUCKING DOLLARS! FOR FLOOR SEATS! I remember the tickets were $3, $4, and $5, and I wanted to impress my date with the most expensive seats. It worked. When I said goodnight to her, I got not only a kiss, but I got to feel her tits through her blouse. What a dog I was! The Byrds tickets were cheaper, they were $2, $3, and $4. I got the $3 ones, but there were only about 1,800 seats I think, so I had a really good view.
It's funny, but back then a band's record sales sold out the band's tour dates, and now the band's tour dates sells the band's latest CD.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
I love a photographer that gets just the right "exposure" setting when he takes his picture!
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Let me say this right here - this bike would have been a cool ride 45 years ago, it's still cool today, and it'll still be a cool ride 45 years from now. That's what seperates a bike like this from all the other "wizz-bang flavor of the month club" bikes out there today.
You can see a good feature article of Steve's bike in the issue #3, Sept. '07 Greasy Kulture magazine. Steve gives the story on his bike in his own words, and Frank Kaisler did some killer photography work. Better hurry if you want that issue, because the back issues are going fast - #1 is already sold out.
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Like I said before, I wanted a more "stock" looking neck area. I think we came pretty close in that idea. I still have to finish detail the neck, but I'm burnt, and there are customer's paying jobs that need my attention more than this right now.
Next, we'll drop a set of cases in the frame, and do the front case mounting pad mods. Then, we'll repair/redo the transmission frame area, and the last thing I'll tackle is the 1/16" dia. HOLE and 1/4" long CRACK I found in the upper right rear frame leg, right on the side of the tube at the rear seat crossover forging. I thought it was just a spot of bondo the sandblaster didn't get out of a pit, silly me! Because it's right at the furnace brazed lug, I'm going to have to take the TIG, and silicon bronze repair it. Not fun!
Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Phil's a good friend, and he owns Black Magic Customs in Sandwich, IL, and builds some pretty nice bikes. He's the little feller on the left. Turn up them speakers!:
Monday, February 9, 2009
John at one time worked in Bud Ekins' shop in the Valley, at the same time Von Dutch was there. He was also there when Dutch was drunk, took off all his clothes, jumped up on Ekins' front counter, and shot the place up on a very busy Saturday afternoon.
This is the first version (and the first time out) of what finally became the NorCal Widow. This is when it had the 3 1/2 gal. fatbobs, a '47 Indian Chief dash, the low shotgun pipes, dual discs, banana rear caliper, 6qt. aluminum oil tank, and the Knuck footboards and seat.
I had originally made that Knuck seat into a "roll-around" for the shop. I rolled around on that working on bikes for 32 years before I cut it off it's wheels for this bike, and had the pan black powdercoated, and upholstered in black leather. I still have that seat - 39 years now!
I went back to VLV the next year, but I never went back after that. Too many Orcabillies, and Fatty Paiges for my liking, I guess. Plus, they've never really liked bikes showing up there anyways.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
"Yesterday, someone stole my Chevrolet
They just got right in and drove away
Oh, someone stole my Cheverolet."
"Suddenly, going to work's not what it used to be
It looks like it's the bus for me
Oh, someone stole my Chevrolet......."
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Part-timer Steve and I got some work out of the way on a couple projects, then we moved over to the VL framework. What we were after was the familiar classic style of double sleeving on the tubing junctions that the VL, and RL frames came with from the factory. I think it's coming out pretty nice........
Monday, February 2, 2009
I did manage to cut and fishmouth the lower sleeve for the front downtube and the socket for the lower tank bar, and I cut and bent the lower tank bar itself, but then I ran into a snag. I searched all over the Metro Denver area for some 1 3/8" OD x 1 1/4" ID x .065 wall DOM tubing. Nada, none in town at my usual suppliers. I needed this tubing to make the double sleeves on the new tubes. So, I went to Online Metals, and found what I needed, and ordered it.
The evening after I ordered, I got an Email from Online Metals, telling me I was backordered until the 29th. I just got another Email, telling me it'll deliver here tomorrow. Cool! Part-timer Steve is coming over tomorrow to pitch in, so we should have some new progress pictures for you tomorrow night. Maybe......
I also went into my "secret bunker", and came out with one of my 40 year old NOS Wassell peanut tanks (in the original box, eat your heart out!). I think I'll be using it on this frame. I'll be frisco-ing the tunnel, moving the filler up, and relocating the petcock on this one, so you'll get pictures of this surgery as we go along on that, too.
Zach and Scott filmed the build-up from start to finish, also incorporating a cross-country adventure of the work into the mix to boot. It'll all be chronicled their next film called (Duh!) The Harbortown Bobber, due out pretty soon as I understand it. It'll have some interesting scenes in it, and you'll get to see some people you wouldn't normally see - like Dennis Goodson (and his shop), for one. Even Part-timer Steve and I have some footage in it as well.
I haven't seen it yet, but I'll let you know when they release it.