Monday, December 31, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
Another one of my very favorite bands from the '60's - Arthur Lee and Love. Considered by many to be the original "proto-punk" band, and a flash of things to come in the middle '70's. However, their 3rd album, Forever Changes is a musical masterpiece, but never quite got the respect of the music critics at the time. Now, Forever Changes is consistently ranked as one of the Top 10 musically and socially significant albums from the 1960's.
Here we have Arthur Lee as guest vocalist, with The Fuzztones, doing one of the two top 10 songs Love ever had - the classic 7 and 7 Is. It was filmed at the Coconut Teaser Club in L.A., in 1990. Jahluv should like this......
.....they were immersed in valiantly eviscerating Shawn's frame. Will the two halves ever be made whole again?
Fear not, for the forces of Irish Rich Custom Cycles, and Shamrock Fabrication have done what was demanded of them......
Shawn's frame is pretty much finished, save for a little touch-up here and there, and a relocation of the battery mount. The mount will have to wait until Shawn's fender gets her, so we're sure of the spacing.
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
I fucking love this group. I was first turned on to this project by my good friend Carlos, when I visited him down in Santa Fe, NM, a 1/2 dozen or so years ago.
Carlos explained that it was kind of a Robert Rodriguez side project, and the actual Chingon grew out of Rodriguez not being able to find a suitable existing group to interpret what he wanted to the screen, in the soundtrack for his '03 movie Once Upon A Time In Mexico (love that movie, too!).
So, Rodriguez put together a group of musicians, with himself as part of the group (on guitar), and did the soundtrack himself. The group Chingon (which is Spanish for "badass", or somebody you don't want to fuck with) grew out of this, and they recorded an album entitled Mexican Spaghetti Western in '04, and they and Rodriguez toured behind it.
The thing that blew me away with Chingon, is the combining of a lot of musical ingredients, using mariachi as the mixing bowel. Especially listen to how the guitars are used to "substitute" for the classic mariachi horn sections in this song. Beautiful!
You may recognize Malaguena Salerosa from the soundtrack of Kill Bil Vol. 2 - Robert Rodriguez did the soundtrack for his buddy Quentin Tarantino on that movie, for the sum of $1.00, as a favor. Tarantino repaid the favor by directing a scene in Rodriguez's Sin City for the same amount of pay. Chingon's version of Malaguena Salerosa was the one in Kill Bill Vol. 2.
Robert Rodriguez plays a pretty fair guitar in this clip, he ain't no slouch!
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
"Where did you get this piece of garbage....truck?"
And, the sad part is, some poor '39 Chevy has to go toothless tonight. Wadda scam. Glad I don't have cable.
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Cliff "Sonny" Vaughs, in 1974, on one of his choppers.
Photo coutersy of The Vintagent
Photo coutersy of The Vintagent
When Jesse James' History Of The Chopper first aired on The Discovery Channel, there wasn't a lot of discussion about it on most of the bigger message boards at the time. That was owed to the fact that Jesse and Discovery were in a beef, and Discovery showed the HOC exactly twice - both on the same night, back to back. The HOC was never shown after that on Discovery, it went straight to DVD, which was a shame I thought, because it was a pretty good show. I felt that Discovery was pretty chickenshit about the whole deal, and did its viewers a big disservice doing that.
Once the DVD's started to get around, and segments of the HOC started showing up on YouTube, there were a lot of discussion threads that appeared on the boards related to the Sugar Bear/Ben Hardy/ Sonny Vaughs/Easy Rider movie segments. Not too surprisingly, from the posts, it looked like over 80% of the people riding bikes today (and a lot of self-professed "long time riders") had no idea who built Captain America and Billy's bikes for Easy Rider, and the background behind the movie itself. People were somewhat shocked to discover that the bikes were actually built by two black bikers, those being "Brother Ben" Ben Hardy, and Cliff "Sonny" Vaughs.
You owe it to yourself to take this link over to The Vintagent blog. I couldn't have written this any better if I tried. A lot of people missed what's included in this Vintagent post, when Sonny Vaughs himself put down exactly what appears in this link almost verbatum over at the Jockey Journal, as his "intro" post during the height of the discussions, trying to personally set the record straight over there. Hardly anybody on the JJ realized it was actually Vaughs himself posting it:
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
On one of the message boards today, I used a quote from Jeff Leighton's article on Droopy's built and owned "...since '63 " Knuckle, from the April/May 2012 issue of Street Chopper, and some of my long-dormant brain cells clicked in, and I thought you'd enjoy this. First, the quote - now remember, this was in 1963:
"With the major parts purchased Droopy and his friend Paul Cerrato bought 2 pounds of hash (*my note: we ain't talkin' no Hormel brand here), and set out to build some choppers. Every time they would work on Droopy's Knucklehead, or Paul's 'four wheeler' (a trike with dual springer front ends) they would smoke out, and think up cool ways to build bikes.....".
I know you've seen countless photos of Droopy's purple Knuckle (if you haven't, search Droopy in any image search engine), but have you ever seen Paul's bike???
Well, you have now......Paul Cerrato's "Four Wheeler".
When I first saw Cerrato's bike feature in the July 1974 issue of Easyriders, I was totally taken away by it's sheer awsomeness. What would inspire somebody to build something like this....well, now you know!
Hey, did you catch the reefer plants embroidered on the back of the seat?
Illegal substance-directed engineering.........a Model T front axle mounted to the frame neck, which is located with long hot rod hairpin radius rods, with two more frame necks welded where the axle spindles would be, holding two 15 over springers, steered with a set of tiller bars, which move the springers via a set of tubular drag links. Fuckin' A!
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Day 2 on Shawn's frame. First thing I did was to make the spacer and internal sleeve to raise the backbone up another 1". It went in low, and way below the bend in the seatpost. This way it was more of a vertical lift. Putting it in the bent section of the seatpost would have raised the backbone, but it would have also moved the backbone back, which we didn't want to do.
Next, I cut the axle blocks from the upper section of the frame, and shortened the lower rails by 2". I mated the axle blocks with the lower rails, then cut the upper rails just in front of the seat crossover tube. I moved to the L/H axle block, and trimmed off the remaining upper rail section, leaving about 1/2" of the rail for a socket for the internal sleeve.
Next, I made sure the upper rail section stubs were ground square, and then cut a new upper L/H frame rail, with the corresponding internal sleeves. I heated the L/H rail stub by the backbone, and pulled it up about a 1/4"-3/8" until it aligned with the replacement frame rail's new angle, and presto!
I slipped the internal sleeves inside the new rail, and was just about to get them into position, when Part-timer Steve showed up. He helped me get the sleeves tapped into place, then I plug welded the sleeves and rail into place. Once Steve was here, he jumped in and did the prep work and sleeves for the R/H side, and bending the stub into alignment, and setting the rail/sleeves, was a breeze on the right. Here's the results, and we have a straight 9 1/4" between the rails all the way down, just like before we modified it.......
Here's the profile view, a nice, straight shot to the axle blocks down the backbone....bye, bye dropseat section, and Shawn has just shy of another 2" of ground clearance, and 15" of backbone height for his monster motor to slide in and out from. Compare the upper rails now, to how they looked in my previous post.
The arrow in this photo is pointing to where we heated the top rail stubs to re-align them, you have to look hard to see they ever moved.
That's where we left off today. Shawn was over, and after seeing the new rear section, decided to keep the stretch in the backbone, and we're leaving the 38 degree neck angle alone, too.
Tomorrow (yeah, no rest for the wicked, but we have a killer TV to watch football while we work!) we're going to tackle rejoining the front downtubes with the neck, which looks a lot easier than it'll be. CDC bent the wishbones, then they sliced of about a 3rd of the radiuses off the insides of both downtubes, then welded them together, forming sort of a single tube with them. It was OK when they welded it all into position in the jig, but when we cut the neck loose, the downtube assembly sprung about an 1/8" to the left up top. We'll have to deal with that before we can do anything else.
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Another frame for Shawn. He got a smokin' deal on a CDC/Bling Cycles frame, but on Shawn's initial mock-up, he ran into some running gear fitment roadblocks - and I stress not CDC's fault, they build a pretty nice frame.
See, Shawn wants to put a monster motor in here, and the backbone was a tight fit with a stock motor over the rear rocker box area. Also, clearance between the oil tank and the top of the transmission was close, and ground clearance with a 160/70-17 rear tire was about 3", so.........
We're going to shorten up the tail section 2" to lift the bottom of the frame - there's plenty of stretch back there to do it. Next, we'll add in 1" to the seatpost, and that'll give Shawn about 15" of clearance for his back cylinder, and take care of the oil tank issues. Then, we'll re-align the upper back legs to match.
Once that's finished, Steve and I will move to the front of the frame. looks like we're taking 2" out of the backbone stretch, re-align the front downtubes, and possibly taking 3 degrees out of the neck rake - we'll have to see once we get the front end on it.
Yeah, it's a lot of work you say, and why doesn't Shawn have somebody build him a frame to match his dimensions? Well, even with the labor to modify his frame + his initial cost, he's actually bucks ahead on the whole deal, and he can work with me to get exactly what he needs as far as fit and final bike profile goes.
And, speaking of profile........
Back in the August '07 issue of Street Chopper I had a nice 5 page feature article by Justin Schilling on a traditional fatbob-style bike I built for a client, titled Bringing Back Bob.
In the article, Justin quoted me as saying:
"If someone were to ask you to name one style of custom motorcycle that you thought had been perfected over the years, your answer would have to be the timeless beauty and simplicity of the fatbob Harley. The combination of classic line and utilitarian road-ability of a fatbob-styled Harley-Davidson can't be denied."
I may have been a little ahead of the curve in '07, but I sure seem to see a lot of guys that are long distance road trippin' on their customs ditching their little peanut tanks (and all their extra fuel bottles) in favor of a set of fatbobs.
I know I've retro-fitted up quite a few 3.5, 4.2, and 5.0 gal. tanks for guys lately. It was inevitable, as everything that was old and time proven.....is new again to another generation of builders. During the gas crunch in the middle '70's, it seemed as if everyone was tossing their tiny tanks in the corner for a set of fatbobs. I'm seeing this style of bike coming full circle again.Yep, we're mounting a set of 4.2 Softail flatsides on Shawn's bike.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Wishing you, the faithful readers of Applied Machete, a bountiful Thanksgiving.
Oh, and if that actually was my family in this photo back in the early '60's......my Dad would be passed-out face first into that turkey, my Grandma would have already picked several fights with my Mom out in the kitchen, and my sister would have had the wheels of one of my friction-drive cars painfully wound into her hair by now.
People ask me if the drugs back in the '60's were that good......I rest my case.
It started out as a Pan frame, then somebody added those elongated new wishbone downtubes (actually, all the way to the bottom seatpost crossover), that swooped forward half-way up to a sketchy Knuck bullneck. For good measure, they decided that the backbone should be 1 1/4" tubing to tie everything together, then there's those "mounts" hanging on the backbone - I was told the lower one was the top motor mount, and the upper was a coil mount (?).
Everything over the years on the frame from the seatpost-forward has been cut, bent, and welded over numerous times, but actually, the frame wasn't bad structurally overall, it just needed a lil' rehab.
The client wanted to keep some of the original "flavor" behind the old mods, but he needed to keep the rake about the same, because he has a vintage long Denvers springer to use. All I have left on the frame is to do is the splice welds, and to make a nice triangulated top motor mount from 1" tubing for it.
I replaced the old downtubes with straight ones, went back to the 1 1/2" backbone, and slipped that over a short section of the old one at the seatpost, and ordered one of John's (Hardtail Choppers) OEM-style raked replacement necks for it. The client is thinking a set of OEM 3 1/2 gal. fatbobs on this, but that may change. Should be interesting......
Check out how sweet this neck is! John can do his OEM-style necks in any rake from 30 to 45 degrees. This one is a 40 degree. The raked necks take a little while longer to set up and cast, so keep that in mind if you order one.
The only difference between this casting and his standard 30 degree neck, is that there isn't any lock boss on the other side of the neck, both sides look the same as the photo above.
Give John a call if you're interested in one of these OEM-style, pre-raked necks. Make sure you tell him you saw it on my blog:
Friday, November 16, 2012
Back in December of '72, the editorial staff of Big Bike magazine got a letter from the director of the California Men's Colony, inquiring if Big Bike would be interested in helping organize and sponsor an indoor motorcycle show at their facility. Larry Richardson, editor of Big Bike, thought it was a great idea, and after five months of planning by both Big Bike, and the inmates and staff of the C.M.C., on May 13, 1972, the show became a reality.
Dr. Sprocket, sitting centered with his trophy winning bike, posing with some of the C.M.C. inmate bike show crew. Doc is mentioned in the article as "Richard Hostrender", obviously one of his many aliases he's used over the years....
About 30 bikes participated in the show that day, the majority of them ridden the 200 miles to the C.M.C. . All the inmates that wanted to were allowed to freely mingle with the riders, and see the bikes up close. Everyone that day also enjoyed a chicken lunch, while they watched a screening of the movie Easyrider, arranged by Big Bike.
The inmates made all the trophys, and both the inmates, and the C.M.C. staff decided the winners of the show by popular vote. Our very own Dr. Sprocket was in attendance that day, and came away with the C.M.C. Staff Award for "Best Road Jammer".
A nice shot of the very cool inmates-made trophy awarded the Good Doctor that day. I wonder if he still has this?
Some of the people who were there told me that Doc came away with another award that day, the very prestigious "C.M.C. Hairy Bear Award".....whatever the hell that was for. Doc doesn't talk about that award, and says "It was a long time ago......". Haha! Kidding Doc, just kidding.........
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Here's something else I ran across. This is how Dick Allen's bike appeared in the "Wheeler Dealer" article in the Oct. '68 issue of Roth's Choppers Magazine, although Roth was trying out the name Custom Bike for the publication for a few issues (this issue included), returning to Choppers right after this.
And, here's the same photo, without the background removed from it. Pretty junky backdrop, and from the structures, I'd say they shot Dick's feature behind the "big building" of Roth's Studios.
Monday, November 12, 2012
I ran across this anomaly by accident the other day. I was looking through some of the old Choppers
Magazines, looking for photos of Tom Burke, Junior, Motor Mouse, and Pat Leahy - all alumni of Tom's shop, B&O Cycles in Long Beach, CA., for a couple future posts. Chris Bunch, the then-editor of Choppers, spent a lot of time hanging out at B&O back then, and Tom's shop was one of his "go-to" places if Bunch needed a tech article done/photographed for the magazine.
In the April, 1973 issue, Bunch did a feature on Motor Mouse's fresh build, with a '64 Pan/Shovel combo for power. As I was looking at the feature (and I've looked at this dozens of times over the years), I read the part of the article that said "Up front, Mouse chose an early (Note from me - notice it said early) Dick Allen 15 over springer, which runs on an 18 - inch tire and spool hub". Then I looked at the photo of Mouse's Dick Allen springer on his bike again.......do you notice what I did? Look at the distance separating the top springs.....it's a Dick Allen-built WIDE springer!
I pulled this photo out of Joe Hurst's article on his White Bear bike out of the July 1973 issue of Street Chopper. Joe's DA springer had been on his bike since '68, so if there was an early DA front end (besides Dick's), his would be a good example. The thing the early DA front ends were noted for, was narrow. So narrow that a Buchanons spool hub barely fit between the rockers. Take a look at the spacing between the upper springs, and the round bar (the most common) spring perch for the lower springs......
Now, look at the spacing of the upper springs on Mouse's DA front end. See how far apart they are? Dick built Mouse's front end just about as wide as an original springer was. Also note, that the lower spring perch bar is square - not round, and about as thick as the lower triple tree is.
I "borrowed", as you can see, part of this photo from the MC Art blog, to show how close the rockers actually came to the front wheel's hub on the DA springers.......
Now look at the spacing between Mouse's Buchanons spool hub, and the inside distance between the rockers on his DA front end. The spacing here is about what you's find on an original springer.
I've seen all kinds of Dick Allen springers, and sure, Dick was building these one at a time, and yeah, I'm sure if you asked, you could probably get one any width you wanted if Dick was in the mood to accommodate you. I've seen several DA springers that are a little wider than Joe Hurst's, but not much. This is the widest Dick Allen springer I can remember ever coming across, and also being referred to as being an early built DA springer to boot.
Friday, November 9, 2012
Cindy Rutherford passed away today. Owner of Century Motorcycles in San Pedro CA., long-time companion of Von Dutch, a great all-around person, and a friend. She will be missed by many.
Here's one of my favorite photos - Cindy and I at the premiere of the Harbortown Bobber documentary, that we were both in, back in October of 2009, in Santa Monica CA. I'll tell you, Cindy's segment in the HB just flat-out stole the whole show. I'll leave you with this video......
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Nazi gold, SS loot, and German and stolen artworks. Some of this gold from the Merkers Mine is still in the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City.
A detailed, but fascinating read, well worth your time:
Sunday, October 21, 2012
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
I got an Email the other day, and in part, it went "I met Part-timer Steve in Texas a couple years ago. He passed me in the mountains at about 85 MPH, filming with a camera in his left hand......". The bike Steve was riding was this one, and it's now for sale. Steve has decided to sell his beloved chopper, to finance his new build.
Not so sad, Steve can ride the FXR he has, that he hasn't ridden in like 4 years. We just can't keep Steve off this bike. He's been to the four corners of the United States on this bike. Full details and sale contact info is available here:
I am kinda concerned about Steve and this new build, though. He started smoking bidi cigarettes, and he's dying his hair black now..........
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Ok, I really don't know where to start on this, but we've fallen into what I'm 99% sure is an original Dick Allen-built frame. I'm still trying to fill in some holes, and I'm still not sure I have the whole story here, so you'll have to bear with me, and I'll be as accurate as I can in telling the story. Follow along.....
Is this frame light? Does Pinocchio have wooden yarbles? Part-timer Steve and I can both do arm curls with this frame!
About 3 years ago, I ran into Bill Mize at the 1/2 mile flat track races in Sturgis. We hadn't seen each other in a long time, so we spent a good deal of time catching up. In the course of conversation, Bill was talking of selling 2 or 3 of his choppers, and thinning the heard down to just one, and possibly selling some of his parts stash. Offhandedly Bill said "Hey, Rich, I have something you might really be interested in....a Dick Allen frame. Well, I'm pretty sure it one of Dick's frames, but I can't say for sure, I can't prove it. But, (El Forastero) Moose says it is, that's who I got it from". Well, that's all I had to hear. I told Bill if he did want to sell it, to give me first crack at it, and he agreed.
Profile shot of the frame. It has about 2" of stretch in the rear section, and the front downtubes are about the same length as stock are. The tubing is 1" dia., with the backbone at 1 1/2" dia. We're positive it's chrome moly (see above).
So, about another year went by, and I hadn't heard from Bill, so I gave him a call, and yes, he still had the frame. I told him that I still wanted it, and Bill assured me any time I wanted to buy it, it was mine. He said Moose had no qualms about him selling it to me, as long as it didn't wind up in Japan, and I built something with it.
Fast forward to this Summer, and Part-timer Steve and I were talking about Steve wanting to build another bike. I said "You know what would be cool? If you built a bike with that Dick Allen frame that Bill Mize has." Steve told me to call Bill, which I did, and we told him we'd take the frame, if he was still going to sell it. Bill agreed, and he and Steve worked out a price. I'm not going to tell you what Steve gave for it, but it was a good price....a very, very good price.
Stamped under the front motor mount "003". 003 of what - the 3rd frame Dick built? The 3rd of 3 frames in this style? Are there 2 more frames like this out there somewhere? Questions, questions......
Here's what we know, and I hope I've got this story right, because part of this was relayed to me by Steve, and part is what Bill has told me in the past - Bill got it from Moose. Moose had a Shovel in this frame, and he had it on the road for a while in the way distant past. Moose didn't like the way it rode - "Too flexy..." Moose said. But, then again, Moose is a pretty big guy. Moose said he got the frame from Crazy Frank - yes - the Crazy Frank of Crazy Frank Fenders. But, Moose says he can't remember when he got it from Frank. Crazy Frank said he got the frame from Dick Allen, and that Dick built it. Right there, on the word of those two men, I'd say Dick built it. Bill also told Steve that Tator Gilmore was pretty positive Dick built it as well.
Shot of the front neck section, and unusual top motor mount. The diagonal frame braces are 3/4" dia., and the rake on the neck is 38 degrees.
I purloined (fancy way of saying I stole) this photograph from Chris Kallas' MC Art blog. It's a photograph of Bruce Parrish, prepping Dick Allen's Blueprint frame. You can read Chris' original blog post here:
Dick was going to build rigid frames, and it was called, according to what Chris put down, the Blueprint Bike, because it was painted blue, and it was the model of frames to come. See if you don't agree with me on some of the features of the frame we have, and the Blueprint frame.......
First, I zoomed in on the axle plates. I know the axle plates are pointed, but look at the location/shape of the brake backing plate stud slot, the shape of the axle slots, and the way the back legs attach to the plates........
Now, look at the location of this backing plate anchor slot, and the shape of the axle slots - same "H" shape to the slots, and same location of the backing plate slot. Also notice that the frame rails where they attach to the axle plates are "swedged" to them in the same style, and the plates are welded in the same way as the Blueprint frame is. Moose also said that Dick didn't duplicate the overall shape of the axle plates on the frames he built, they were all cut in different shapes.
Ok, now look at the front motor mount, the plates for the forward controls, and the shape of the engine and transmission mounts on the Blueprint frame........
The top plate shape on the frame we have is very similar, and the holes for the front engine mounting bolts aren't 3/8" holes drilled through, they're tapped into the plate........
......and check out the shape of the forward control mounts, and the style of boxing that was used on both this frame, and the Blueprint frame. They are virtually identical in shape and construction.
Now, if that wasn't enough for everybody, I forwarded some more photos on to Joe Hurst, and asked for his opinion. Joe wrote back that what we have here is most likely a Dick Allen frame. Joe went into some construction details for me that Dick used on the frames he built, and some of the work on frames that Dick did for Joe and others, and the fact that it was a cro-mo frame, and it had the 1 1/2"-2" rear frame stretch that Dick liked to do. Joe was pretty sure that we do, indeed have an unusually rare Dick Allen-built frame. Joe Hurst's opinion was just the cherry on top of the sundae for me!
I'm still digging, and I'm still trying to find all I can on this frame. Whatever I turn on this, I'll pass along to everybody as I can. Feel free to Email me with ANYTHING pertaining to this frame PLEASE!
Is this frame for sale? FUCK NO! Don't even ask! This is going back on the road, right where it belongs. That's what Dick built this frame for, and that's what's going to happen. We already have a few lines out on a Dick Allen springer, and a set of Dick's 12 spoke American wheels. I think Dick Allen will be pretty proud when he sees this bike finished. We're gonna try and get as close as we possibly can to a bike Dick might have built with this frame.
Monday, October 15, 2012
........and we're down to the dozens, and this is why.
Big-Eyed beans from Venus, oh my, oh my.....
Zoot Horn Rollo, hit that long lunar note, and let it float......
Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band:
Zoot Horn Rollo, hit that long lunar note, and let it float......
Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band:
Friday, October 12, 2012
I remember Ronnie Paugh (of Paughco fame) telling me one time when he (Ron) was a young guy, he and his family would stop at Norm's parents house in The Valley, and buy eggs from them, from a little roadside stand they had. That's the Grabowski chicken ranch property where the famous photo of Norm laying under the "Kookie T", with that huge wooden A-frame engine hoist behind it, was taken.....
Just about every link you'd want on Norm Grabowski:
Norm on his red metalflaked Pan chopper with the jugs and heads painted white, at the drags. Check out the sissy bar - it's a combination beer can holder/"church key" beer can opener....too fucking much! Now everybody will have one by Born Free 5.....
Norm's monster, The Corvair-powered "Six Pack". Neil East (another rodding icon), owned AutoBooks in Burbank, CA, and Colorado Carbooks here in Denver told me that Norm used to come to L.A. Roadster club meetings on the Six Pack, and he said Norm had no problem kick starting this bike, when it was time to leave. It had no electric starter!
2/5/33 - 11/12/12