Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Sunday, January 23, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Gary's bike was always one of my favorites, and I came to find out that Grant Peterson and Harpoon had always liked the bike as well. What we all had was a mutual appreciation for the fact that Gary had virtually built the bike from the ground-up, and had made almost every single part on his custom. Hetrick's bike was Light Years ahead of everybody else's choppers at the time it was built.
Well, a little while ago, Grant was poking around at Garage Company in L.A. when out of the corner of his eye, he sees a familiar front end poking out of a lineup of bikes. He walked over, and sure enough, it's Gary Hetrick's old bike. Where did Garage Company get it? Who knows where Yoshi gets any of the bikes and parts he has. Grant was kind enough to snap some photos for me on his last trip down there, and he said it was OK if I posted up a couple for you here. Thank you Grant, we all appreciate it.
The bike is in remarkably intact condition. Bikes like this usually wind up get "cherry picked" for all the cool parts as they go from owner to owner, then the carcase sits out behind the garage for decades. The only things that aren't original on the bike - save for the nasty paintjob - is the seat, carb/air cleaner, the R/h foot control, and the handlebars. All of Gary's meticulous hand-machined, hand-built parts are still there, right down to the gold anodized Cragar Super Trick wheels.
Here you can see someone has replaced the R/H foot control with a Perf. Machine unit. Those yellow "scallops" are, uh.....oh boy......I'm amazed the gold anodizing on all the parts has held up so well over the years. I sure hope Yoshi plans on bringing this bike back to pristene original condition again.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Part-timer Steve came over today, and we tackled the rear crossmember/transmission mount for Wade's TC B Softail. By the time Steve got here, I had the crossmember cut, notched, and in place between the rails. We made our preliminary measurements for the uprights, and Steve cut them. We found the C/L for the pivot shaft, and marked the location on the plates. The pivot shaft is an oddball diameter - larger than 11/16", but not quite 3/4". I used an 11/16" hole saw to drill the shaft holes in the uprights, and with the kerf of the hole saw's teeth, was the perfect size for the shaft to slide right through.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
I'm not sure what year or magazine it came from, but from the photo itself, I'm guessing that George Barris shot it, because Barris used those two models in a lot of his photo features, and it looks like his style of photography.
Last time I was out at Four Aces, Wes still had the kart, stuck up in the storage racks, sans engine and transmission. Wes told me he stuck that engine and tranny in there to snap some photos of what it would look like. He also told me he had plans to actually power it and restore it eventually. I have no idea if he ever did, or if it's still in the rack, or if he sold it.....I'll have to ask him. I hope he still has it, because I was looking forward to taking it for a spin! Well, wouldn't you? Hell yes, you would!
It wasn't until years later that I found out that the whole thing was staged. On the exhibition run before McClure was supposed to run Ivo, he broke the turbine. Not wanting to waste the photo op, McClure's crew talked to Ivo, and asked if they could just line up with him on the start line, and shoot that. Ivo's crew thought if they put the kart out a couple lengths from the start, Tommy could really get the slicks smoking, then they could snap the photo when he got up next to the kart, and it'd look like a real run off the line.
Well, they put McClure out on the strip, and Tommy Ivo fired up the fueler, and smoked the tires pretty well. What Ivo didn't know, was that as soon as he started smoking the tires, they shot the photo! It looked like Capt. Jack had pulled a hole shot on Ivo, and was beating him off the line. Tommy Ivo never lived that photo down.
"Capt. Jack" consistently made 200+MPH 1/4 mile runs @ 6.00 sec. E.T.'s with that hydrogen peroxide-fueled kart. Wow. Remember, this was the '70's! McClure would slow this kart down at the end of the run with a parachute, until he could hit the 4 wheel disc brakes when he slowed to around 100 MPH. Capt. Jack also wore a personal parachute just in case things got out of hand during a run (?).
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Next, the rear mount for the transmission.......
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
We'll also have to locate and weld in new rear oil tank mounts, mount the rear fender, and fab up Wade's sissy bar, but that's a little ways off.........
Monday, January 10, 2011
Rudy Navarro's main body of work was used in Supercycle magazine, and more than likely his illustrations were used to open up, or set the mood for the magazine's fiction stories. Maybe Navarro isn't mentioned because his art was of the darker, grittier, surreal biker world than the others previously named. Always done in pen and ink, and more often than not dark and complex in their execution. Whenever I looked at one of his works, I often got the feeling that Navarro was sitting in the middle of an opium den as he sketched away. Here's a couple quick examples of Rudy Navarro's work for you.....
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Also notice that the Softail's frame rails are 1 1/4" OD, and the hardtail's rails are all 1" OD. So, we can either make the Softail's rails longer to match up, or make the hardtail's rails longer. I split the difference, and made mods to both of them, and they should be as strong as was the original structure.
Next, I cut an exterior sleeve to cover the splice points underneath it, and gave it a slash cut to give the transition from 1 1/4" frame tube to 1" hardtail tube more eye appeal. We'll do the same slash cut to the socket/sleeve that we'll need for the top rail junction of the hardtail, so it'll visually match the lowers.
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
The TC B counterbalanced-motored Softail doesn't have a seatpost, because of the "unit" engine and transmission. Well, it sorta has a seatpost, but it's just a C channel that bolts in with a couple of 5/16" bolts to the tranny case and backbone. It's mainly for looks, and it mounts the coil and the front of the oil tank. And, the rear mount for the transmission case is set up almost like the rubbermount case is - the pivot shaft for the "swingarm" section goes through the rear frame upright, through the swingarm, through the back of the trans case, and out the other side.
So, we're going to have to come up with a rear crossmember/trans mount that'll allow the transmission to mount solid, and still allow the trans to be removed without pulling the motor if necessary. Plus, we'll need to get the strength back into the mid section (no seatpost, remember?), to prevent flexing. Stress bars (ala Paughco's rubbermount rigids) would work, but I want to leave the lines of the hardtail section uninterrupted. We got it all figured out, and you'll see the finished frame, complete with engine and transmission mounted when we're finished. Should be interesting.....
People always ask if I can make and send them a sissy bar long distance. I don't have any jigs that I form my bars around, I free-hand bend each bar I make to fit the client's exact fender, frame, and wheel component combination. I figure out how high the bar needs to be, cut my material to length, make a soapstone center mark, fire up the torch, and go from there. That's something I can't do from 1,000 mi. away.
No two sissy bars are ever bent the same, or mount the same - they're all just a little bit different from each other, and that's what makes them unique.