Thursday, December 31, 2009

A rare occasion........

Because we're scattered to the "four corners", finding 3 Nomad Sinners together at the same event is a rare occasion. It happened at the David Mann Chop Fest. Enormous L,L, & R for these 2 guys.
L to R: Irish Rich, Jason Jesse, Cole Foster
Photo courtesy of Kristina Pamias/Glitterfist Productions

Ring out the old, ring in the new........

.........ring out the songs, ring in the truth.

We got knocked on our asses in 2008, we struggled thru 2009 as best we could, but we're all still standing here going into 2010. Hey, what more can you really ask for? Hope springs eternal.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Way OT, but I gotta say it......

You tell me......
Are all the world's airport security workers too busy taking away tweezers, nail clippers, little tiny eyeglass screwdrivers, and 2 ounces too much toothpaste away from people, while you walk around in your goddamn socks, to miss a guy with explosives tied to his nutsack????? And, the explosives were easily detectable with today's "puffer" screening machines?????

Thank God for people like Dutch tourist Jasper Schuringa, who had the guts and the spine to jump this POS "terrorist", and stop him before he could take out a whole plane of innocent holiday travelers, going home to see their families.

Like I said when I heard about how they commandeered the planes during 9/11 "They used WHAT? Jesus Christ, box cutters ain't shit!" The people on the plane that went down in PA on 9/11 did what they could to defend themselves, and they were right to do so, which resulted in preventing even more tragedy from occuring that day. This world is so fucked up on what's right, and what's wrong anymore.
A standing ovation for this hero guy - Jasper Schuringa. God bless you!

Von Dutch Monday XIV

You have probably seen pictures of Stan Betz's '82 El Camino before, but this is the feature article on it that appeared in the April '83 issue of Truckin' magazine. Coincidentally, this is also the issue that Arlen Ness' chopped, sectioned, and lowered '77 Ford E100 van was featured, too. I'll save that one for another time, OK?

Betz took the Elco to Dutch when it was a very new truck, and it's supposed to be the very last full-on job like this that Dutch did for anybody. So, we can assume that this was also the last Betz shop truck that Von Dutch did as well. I'm going to take you into some trivia on this paintjob that wasn't in the Truckin' article, and you probably don't know about. Let's look at the B&W page first. I've put A, B, and
C on the photos to guide you.......

On the top Photo A, you see what looks like a flamed panel, with Betz's shop name, with a lot of flame licks. If you look really close, right near/between the flame licks of the panel itself, you'll see some red and yellow shapes, that have EYES. Those are SPERM swimming!

In Photo B, you see the "head sperm" on the Lt. front fender, and he's turned around, and he's saying something to the other sperm swimming towards him. You can't make it out, but if you look right by his mouth (?) there's some lettering. What he's saying is "TURN BACK, IT'S A BLOWJOB!"

Now, in Photo C, you can read the description of the "3D effect", and the "real" look that the spider on the top of the Lt. front fender has. This wasn't planned by Dutch. Evidently, right before he turned the truck back over to Betz, Dutch somehow took a big chip out of the fender there. To cover up and fix the chip without repainting it,(Dutch did a lot of covering up fuckups like this, on his work), he mixed up a blob of fiberglass resin, put it over the chip, and then painted the blob to look like a spider after it dried. That's how he got the "3D" look to it.

Now, let's look at the color page. In the upper R/H corner, we see the 3D spider that was referred to on the B&W page, in Photo C. In the bottom photo here, I've circled the approximate location on the top of the Lt. front fender where it was located. You can also see a little clearer the red and yellow sperms swimming in this picture, too.
Here's what Betz said about the paintjob (from The Art Of Von Dutch) :
" In 1982, I took my El Camino to Von Dutch for painting. It only took 10 days for Von Dutch to completely custom paint, stripe, and letter the pickup. In those days, that just wasn't heard of. There weren't too many painters who could do that......Two months after the truck was done, it got in an accident and was never repaired. Since the truck was unfixable I ended up cutting the truck into pieces to save Dutch's artwork".

Now, according to Pat Ganahl, in his book Von Dutch - The Art, The Myth, and The Legend, he says that there was an accident before the one Betz talks about, in which just the left front fender and hood needed to be replaced, but were never painted to match afterwards. Evidently, Betz is talking about another collision that involved the truck, and this was the one that I've heard totaled out the truck. Some vehicles are just like that. That also means that Betz's El Camino had ceased to exist long before this feature article even appeared in print, too!

Betz had the two quarter panels, the right fender, and the tailgate attached to his shop's storage racks for a long time, and then I remember a few years ago, seeing them all up on Ebay in separate auctions. They all sold, and god knows where they wound up today.


Dick Allen fires off a round into the trees at Sturgis in '77.

I'm going to take a couple guesses here. In the caption that went along with the photo, Larry Kumferman said Dick was firing a .44 cal. black powder pistol. I'm thinking it was probably a .36 cal. Navy Colt, from the short ramrod, and the diameter/length of the cylinder. The pistol looks a little short overall to be a .44 cal. Walker Colt, but it's really hard to see.

I'm also going to guess that Kumferman took the picture at a camp along Boulder Canyon (14 A), between Deadwood and Sturgis. They used to let you camp along 14 A because it was National Forest land, and there were, well, only 10-12,000 people and not many campgrounds back then. As the crowds got larger, they "rescinded" this privilege. Besides, all the M/C's used Deadwood as a party base then, and that would have fit just fine in Dick's agenda.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas everyone!

Ah, fond childhood memories of Christmas. When I was a kid, when people would ask my Dad what he got for Christmas, he'd always say "A pair of sox, and a piece of ass, and they were both too big!"

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fit!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"JD" John Cameron

Craftsmanship, skill, and dedication pretty much sums up John Cameron's work. There's a lot going on in this photo, right down to the battery. There isn't a part that hasn't been "touched".

Something you probably haven't seen.........

The year was 1977. Pretty handy, huh?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Von Dutch Monday XIII

Ok, how cool is this? A roller skate powered by a nitro- burning 2 stroke engine. Just your average '50's girl's steel wheeled sidewalk roller skate powered by a .23 ci. engine, that turned 13,000 RPM according to the letter Dutch sent Hot Rod magazine that showed up in their Nov. '55 issue. You'll notice that in the specs Dutch painted on the skate, it says 1,300 RPM. Dutch said the ignition was via glow plug, and the engine had a counterbalanced, double ended crankshaft mounted in ball bearings. The rear wheels mounted directly to the crankshaft ends. Holy cow.

This thing actually worked. Somewhere I have a photo of Von Dutch tearing down the street on the skates, with a teather string for a throttle. I can't find it right now, but when I do, I'll post it up for you to see.

Some people have said that both the pair of skates were powered, but Dutch only powered one of them. That was how you "stopped" yourself - when you had scared yourself silly on them, you raised the powered skate off the ground to "stop" yourself. Sidewalk cracks must have been a bitch!

Here's a drawing of a 2 stroke pogo stick that Dutch sent along with another photo of his roller skate to Hot Rod magazine, that they published in their Nov. '55 issue. Dutch said in part, in the acompaning letter, that the pogo stick " under construction now (pilot model), to be available in one, two, and three story hop models".

Now, I've never seen a photo of the finished pogo stick, and I've always read that Von Dutch never actually built one, but.......

I have a friend that I trust when he tells me something, and he told me that Dutch actually had this pogo stick almost finished, then he traded it off. Now, my friend says that a person he knew very well had possession of the pogo stick at one time, and he also saw the pogo stick himself. He said that person who had it was none other than Slave Lewie Roseberry. Take it for what it's worth....

Friday, December 18, 2009

WOW ! It's been a while, huh ?

Yeah, I've been slackin' on the blog, but I had good reason....I was beat, and way behind on my Emails, phone messages, and work I couldn't get to before I left. I never thought a trip to SoCal would wear me out, but it did, and I had a good time all around.

Thursday I drove on snowpack on I-70 in Colorado near Vail Pass , and missed a 3 car accident on the Pass by about 15 minutes. I sat on I-70 for about 45 minutes while they dragged the upside-down SUV that was blocking both Westbound lanes out of the way, and I hit more snowpacked roads near Avon, Rifle, and Parachute. Once I got near Grand Jct., the roads were clear, but it was COLD! 10 to 5 degrees above at the gas stops.

Even when I got to Las Vegas Thursday night, the temperature was 31 degrees! I spent the night in Primm, NV, and when I went out to the truck the next morning, I still had snow in the pickup bed! Friday, just south of Primm, going up I-15 to the top of the Providence Mtns., they had 2" of snow up there, and I-15 was iced over at the summit.

In CA., it started raining as I went thru Victorville/Apple Valley, and when I got to Cajon Pass, the fog was about 3 feet off I-15, and you could only see 2-3 carlengths ahead. Once I dropped down to L.A, it was pouring, and didn't let up until early Sunday morning.

I got to everything I wanted to in Cali. I took in the reception For Thy Will Be Done (promoted by Big Iron Joe, and Tey Herrera) on Friday night, and the actual art show on Saturday night. We weren't sure if the Mooneyes Christmas Party at Irwindale Speedway was on, so Kristina (of Glitterfist Productions & Photography) and I did a drive-by Saturday morning. Our alternate plan was to get cheap tattoos if it was a bust, but it was in full swing in the rain. Who says SoCal people are pussies? We got lots of photos shot, and had a great time to boot. The tats will have to wait for another time, I guess, haha!

Sunday was a completely different deal. The sun was shining, and the drive up from L.A. to Ventura for the David Mann Chop Fest was beautiful. It was just like "Old Home Week" - I'd take a couple steps, and would run into somebody I knew. Kristina's head was spinning, she met so many perople that day she couldn't keep track of everybody, poor girl, but she didn't let anything or anybody stand in her way. She dove in and did some kick-ass photography work for us. Look for my articles (and Kristina's photography) in upcoming issues of The Horse on all 3 events.

Monday I went over to Kristina's place in Yucaipa, and picked up the upright metal bandsaw, the lathe, and a "gift" from Jesse James I hadn't planned on finding (see the history of the machinery in the post below). Jesse had told me Saturday night that he had found a bunch of the quick change lathe gears, and "some other stuff", and had put it by the lathe. Well, what he left me was this big-azz reciprocal hacksaw! Well, what could I do, it was a gift from Jesse, so I loaded it up.

The lathe is kick ass. It has a patent date cast into it's bed of Feb. 1880, and a revised patent date of Nov. 1890. Dennis Goodson seems to think it's actually WW I vintage, and he's a good judge of old machinery. Everything works well, it all needs to be cleaned and spiffed up a little, and hopefully I'll get some pictures up here as I do it. Actually, it's all gonna get the "Von Dutch" treatment, so keep checking here.

As far as the ride back, it was uneventfull, save for a 3 car accident East of Grand Jct., that I squeaked by, and didn't have to stop for.

One last thing - when Part-timer Steve and I unloaded everything, he was looking at it all, and he said, "You know what all this reminds me of? It reminds me of all the machinery we saw in Mike Parti's workshop, that he's still using today". I plan on using this machinery for a long time as well.
The "Appendage Mangler" as Part-timer Steve and I call it. It's a gigundo reciprocal hacksaw. Looks like it could cut I-beams and arms with equal aplomb. It was parked under the lathe when I got to Kristina's place. A gift courtesy of Jesse James. Thanks, Jesse! Dig the farmer (no offense to actual farmers, OK?) chain final drive adapted from a bicycle! Too cool.
Taking a break loading the goodies. Hey, this shit is heavy! This ain't no Harbor Fright tooling, this is gen-u-ine forged in the USfuckingA steel! This machinery has been in operation for the last 9 decades, and I'm gonna make sure it runs for a few more. No pictures of the bandsaw, though.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Von Dutch Monday XII

Here's how Von Dutch was photographed as he painted flames, as part of an article on himself for True Magazine's 1958 Automotive Annual. The actual article was done sometime in '57. Follow along, and pick up some pointers..........
First, you get yourself "artistically up to the task", by drinking a little wine, smoking a little reefer, and mellowing yourself out by playing a little jazz flute.

Next, you take off your shirt, go over to your architect's board, and you freehand out your flame pattern on brown butcher paper. No self-adhering computer generated masks back then.

Here Von Dutch has masked off the area of the hood he's going to flame, and he's done it completely in tape - no spray mask back then. Now comes the pattern tracing, and the cutout for the flames.

I know what this is like, I prepped and masked off a bunch of flame jobs just like this on cars and bikes.
Dutch doing the color blending. Notice he's doing his color blending across the hood in bands, not in the usual front to back blend.

Also note he isn't wearing a paint respirator. I remember the old timers telling me when I first started painting in '66 "Nah, you don't need a respirator, that lacquer won't hurt ya...". Also, you long time painters will recognize Dutch is using a Binks touchup gun with the old glass jar, vs. the aluminum cup. I still have one of those!

Dutch pulling the masking off, and.........

Voila! One "Dutched" flame job. Man, I wish this picture was in color!

This coming weekend will be busy...........

I won't be set up at these events, but I'm going to attend all three. Yeah, I gotta get out of here, it's 3 degrees above Zero here in Denver as I type this, and it's supposed to hit -18 tonight! The "shrinkage factor" alert is definitely out here, haha!

I also have to make a stop in Yucaipa on the way home, to pick up a 6' lathe and an upright bandsaw from Kristina Marie on my way back home. They were both her Dad's (Rip Rose, of Easyriders Ridin' With Rip fame), so I'm stoked to have these particular two machines in my shop, and they'll definitely go right to work when I get them home.

So, if you see me wandering around at these events, come up and say hello. I'm easy to spot, I'm the pasty white guy with the dirty blue jeans, long hair, tats, beat-up engineer boots, and I'll have a really cute photographer with me shooting the events. You can't miss me.

December 7th


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Von Dutch Monday XI

OK, it's Tuesday, so shoot me! I was busy, thank God.

From Von Dutch's scrapbook, with his personal annotations added to the photos.........

Saturday, November 28, 2009

The FXRDG and the FXDG

After I mentioned the FXRDG, and the FXDG in my post below on the solid wheel equipped FXB Sturgis, I recieved a bunch of Emails asking for more info on them, and photos if I had any. I told everybody it would be easier if I did a post here on the blog with the requests. I hope you find this interesting as well.
A great photo of the '84 FXRDG Disc Glide. Total production for the FXRDG was 863 units, including 10 FXRSDG's with the longer Sport front ends.

The '84 FXRDG is a pretty interesting link in the development and history of the FXR. By '84, the Evolution engine was ready to go into production, and from the beginning of the FXR program, the FXR (and the FLT) frames were constructed for Evo power, with the Shovelhead filling the interim. Harley wanted a Factory "custom" FXR platform for the Evo, and the FXRDG Disc Glide was designed to fill the bill.

The Disc Glide got it's name from it's unique 2pc. 16" spun aluminum rear rim, something that had been around in the custom bike world for a few years, but in the form of an adapted automotive 15" rim. Along with the rim, the Disc Glide received the first chrome and silver engine package available from the Factory.

The Disc Glide also received one of the first paint packages that were developed by H-D in unison with PPG's Custom Paints Division. The color was a black powdercoated frame, with a killer candy Blackberry and Brandywine two-tone for the sheetmetal, applied over a gold 'flake base. The "blackberry" was accomplished by applying a coat of candy red with a slight hint of red pearl over Harley's Vivid Black as a base. The result was a very deep black, until you had it at the right angle, and then you could see bright, almost burgundy highlights on the rounded surfaces.

Finishing off the Factory custom paint was a single hand-painted gold pinstripe to seperate the panels, and the old "Genuine Harley-Davidson" decal for the tank panels. The whole paintjob was then overcleared to remove the "steps" in the decal and the pinstripes. Overall, it was probably Harley's best finish they had applied up to this time, and set the Factory standard in this department for all their bike from there on out.

The FXR Disc Glide's 2pc. spun aluminum rim by Centerline, and final chain drive. Note the riveted construction to join the wheel halves, and the factory .750" offset rear sprocket that was unique to the chain driven FXR's.

Factory photo of the '84 FXDG Disc Glide, or the "Willie G." or "Willie Glide", as it was more popularly known. Total production on the FXDG model was 810 bikes. Willie G. and Louie Netz rode a pair of prototype belt driven Wide Glide FX's VERY similar to this FXDG, from the Factory in Milwaukee to Sturgis in '82. I saw them both parked on Main St. by Gunner's Bar that year, and Willie G. was taking everybody's comments on them, and putting them in his mental notepad.

H-D refered to this model as their "ultimate Wide Glide". It was a Harley Factory custom in every sense of the word. The bike's sheetmetal was painted a dark oxblood (along with the dash and outer primary cover), with the frame being black powdercoated.

The complete Shovelhead engine, transmission, and the inner primary were done in both black wrinkle, and gloss black powdercoat. The exhaust received a matt black ceramic coat, and the lower sliders received the gloss black treatment, as well as most of the rest of the parts on the bike that would be traditionally chrome.

The big news in the styling department though, was the addition of the 2pc. spun aluminum 16" disc wheel out back, which it shared in '84 with the FXRDG that you saw above. Along with the wheel, the back of the Disc Glide got an 11 1/2" rotor, and the front end sported two 10" rotors, which were on their way out by '85. A piece of trivia for you - the front end on the FXDG was 3 1/2" longer than stock, vs. the standard Factory Wide glide extension of 2" over.

Also part of the package was a custom 2up seat, sissy bar, and two hand stitched and laced leather bags, which Harley referred to as "Stash Bags" - one on the front fork, and a larger one on the sissy bar. Can you imagine Harley calling those bags by that name today? In my opinion, the FXDG was one of Harley's best early factory custom efforts ever rolled out of the factory.

Harley gave the FXB Sturgis' primary and secondary belt drives one more encore performance, and included both of them in the Disc Glide's drivetrain - the last appearance of the primary belt drive on any production bike from H-D. Also getting one more hurrah was the inclusion of both kick and electric starters
The L/H side shot of the FXDG. Unfortunately, this bike is missing the factory sissy bar, and rear "stash bag", but still has the front fork bag. This color picture almost makes the paint look brown, it was really a darker oxblood color.

In a way, both these bikes mark a passing of one era, and the beginning of another. Both the big twin chain final drive, and the old 4 speed swingarm frame (and the 4 speed itself) were on the way out. In '84, the FXR Lowrider already had a secondary belt, with the FXR Superglide II, and the Disc Glide having a chain drive. By '85, all the FXR line had a secondary belt. And, in '85 the only big twin models to have a rear chain (aside from the FLT line, with enclosed rear chain) were the Electraglide Classic, the FX Fatbob, and the Softail.

In '85, the last vestage of the old style 4 speed swingarm frame (along with the 4 speed transmission) was available, and it wasn't exactly the same frame, either. With their gas tanks on, you would be hard pressed to see the difference. To retain the old look of the 4 speed frame, and allow the Evo motor to mount in it, the factory took the rear section of the old 4 speed frame, and added it to the front section of the '85 Softail frame. Harley used this frame on the chain driven Electraglide Classic and the FX Fatbob, the FX Low Rider, and the FX Wide Glide - the last two being secondary belt driven.

By the 1986 model year, all of Harley's big twins were 5 speeds and secondary belt driven, and only three big twin frame configurations were available - the FLT, and FXR (both designed by Eric Buell back in 1975), and the

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I have never seen this photo before.......

Like I said, I've never seen this photo before, and you probably haven't, either. What it is, is a H-D Factory studio portrait of a 1980 double-belt drive Sturgis, resplendent in it's blacked-out glory, with a couple of additions that never hit production.

From looking at the photo, you all ready know what they are. "They", are a pair of 2 piece, bolt-together aluminum rims, in 19", and 16" respectively. Click on the photo, and you'll see that the blacked-out centers have chrome Allen bolts fastening the wheel halves together.

It looked like Harley was comtemplating offering these wheels for the '81 Sturgis model, and passed. The 19" solid front was never offered for a production bike, but Harley did offer a true 2pc. spun aluminum rear wheel on their '84 FXRDG Disc Glide, the all blacked-out '84 FXDG Willie Glide, and on the FXSTC Softail Custom in '86-'87.

The 2pc. rear wheels on the above later models weren' the same as the wheels on the Sturgis pictured below. Those wheels offered were made by Centerline Wheel, and they were just like the automotive Centerlines, 2 spun halves, with the halves rivited together with rivits, that have washers on their "clincher" side.

I'm going to take an educated guess here, and say that Motor Wheel & Rim was tapped by H-D to prototype the wheels that we see on this Sturgis. MW&R did a lot of wheel prototyping and initial run manufacturing on Harley's 9 spoke and 16 spoke aluminum wheels in the '70's-'80's, until Harley had them cast at the Winters Foundry (which, by the way, was owned by GM!). The 2pc. wheel halves below appear to be a machined casting, not a spun wheel.

"Dick Allen?? No, can't say we've ever heard of this guy........."

Was there ever a doubt?????

For Hammer's editorial column in the latest issue of The Horse-Backstreet Choppers (#94, Dec/Jan '10), he picked what he felt were the "Top 5" editors of all time in the custom bike world.
From the bottom up, they were:
#5 - David Snow
#4 - Keith "Bandit" Ball
#3 - Ed "Big Daddy" Roth
#2 - Lou Kimzey
And, the #1 editor of all time was (drumrolls, horns blaring, and people cheering)........

Frank Kaisler

Was there ever a doubt about this? Frank's a good friend of mine, but more than that, Frank has helped me out too many times to count when I had journalistic questions. Mr. Kaisler has never been too busy to spend a 1/2 hour on the phone, getting me lined out.

Frank taught me how to deal with magazines and editors, what magazines wanted for content in my articles, how to compose my articles intelligently, lay my stories out, and how and what to photograph to supplement my verbiage. If you like what I've written in the magazines, there's a lot of Frank in those articles.

I still sit here and wonder why the fuck Frank is not the editor of of a custom bike magazine today. The custom bike magazine world needs a Frank Kaisler for an editor, like a fat kid loves cake.

I cut and pasted Frank's part of the editorial here, and you can read it for yourself. Whatever Ralph said, it goes double for me.......

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I got this picture from Bikernet, but I'm sure Keith snagged it from someplace else.

Here's hoping that everybody has a good Thanksgiving. I know I have plenty to be thankfull for again this year.

Oh, and anybody that's going out shopping for Christmas this Friday - I take a large in most everything, 42 for jackets, 9 1/2 for shoes/boots, 7 3/8 for hats, 34/32 for pants, and a size 10 for rings.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Von Dutch Monday X

George Barris had a '50 Ford woody wagon that was bought to use as a "gofer wagon" for parts and supplies. After everyone in the shop banged it around for several years, Barris had the shop repaint it, and add some flames. Barris doesn't remember who actually did the flames, but he says they were done in-house.

After driving it around for a couple months, Barris had Von Dutch come in to do the pinstripe outline on the flames, some other "simple" striping, and letter the doors and tailgate with the shop name, address, and phone number. But, as with all things Von Dutch, nothing was ever a "simple job"......

Here's George Barris' account of Von Dutch striping the wagon:

" Von Dutch came in one afternoon to do a little striping on our flamed Ford woody wagon. It was supposed to be a simple small striping job. He opened up a bottle of wine, and started striping away, while we worked on other projects. The next thing we knew, it was Midnight and he wasn't finished, so I left him in the shop, and went home.

"When I came in the next morning, he was still striping. He had written a story into the pinstriping about the shop, and in doing so had turned a simple job into an art project that worked its way around the wagon. It was pretty wild, but typical of Dutch".

Here's the less common completed R/H mural shot, although there is a pretty good, more straight-on shot of this side in the Feb. '56 issue of Car Craft. In that article, done by "Jack Baldwin" - which I've heard was a pen name for Bob D'Olivo, who shot the photos, told his readers Dutch said this mural told the story of "....a man who eats a bowl of chop suey, while walking through a valley of mountains, contemplating a terrible suicide plot".
Here's the more common shot, the L/H side mural, but this time around, it's in color. In the previously mentioned Car Craft article, they said they didn't ".....want to go into the meaning of this mural at this time". I think that was a little editorial "fluffing" to add to the Von Dutch mystique for CC's readers. Barris says that there are caricatures of all the Barris employees in both murals, including Barris himself.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I got a note......

I got a note from Part-timer Steve's Dad on the photos of his '71 Superglide that I ran here a couple posts down, and I thought you'd all like to read what his Dad shared with me. This is straight from the source, and thanks Gary, for filling in the story, and I'm glad I provided you an opportunity to stroll down memory lane again:

Rich, Just a note to tell you that I had no idea that Steve got hold of those old '71 Superglide photos. Yea, back in my younger days I had alot of energy. Tore that Superglide apart the first winter and went to work. Threw out the boat tail rear end (what a mistake!), traded the fat bobs and other items with a friend, Dennis Crowns, who had a custom motorcycle parts license, for custom parts that were needed. (Dennis had his chopper featured in Easy Riders Magazine back in the early 70's).

My wife's younger brother, Mark, was about 11 years old at the time and what a worker he turned out to be. He helped me grind all of the welds, sand, body-fill and mould all imperfections in the frame. I sent the sheetmetal and frame down to Madison, Wisconsin to a friend, John Carden, who did all of my paint jobs. John also hooked me up with a chrome plater in the Madison area for my shiny stuff. We had to make do with local welding shops, home-made tools and ingenuity in order to get it finished.
In all, I tore that Superglide down 3 times during the early 70's.
Yes, Rich - that was a Minestroni seat - man, you know your stuff!
My wife, Sandy and I had a great time on that bike.
Thanks for the memories...
Gary Glennon

Greasy Kulture #12

Greasy Kulture #12 is on it's way out, time to order your copy if you don't have a subscription. Check out my column on Dave Strociek and Strociek Engineering, plus first print coverage of the Born Free Show, and the usual quality features that make GK a must-have each issue.

And, another killer cover shot by Mark Kawakami/Joyrides Art Co., of John Edwards' Panhead, with some new, not yet seen changes to his bike.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hey, how cool is this?

If you've followed my blog, you know all about Part-timer Steve, who helps me out here. You've seen Steve's custom in this blog, and in Street Chopper last fall. What you might not know is that Steve comes from a long family line of motorcycle riders.

When Steve came over today, he handed me these photos, and said "Hey look, my Mom finally sent me pictures of my Dad's bike that he built in '71". I had to scan them, and put them up here for everybody.
Steve's Dad's bike in 1971 - 6 over front end, no rake, no front brake, spool hub, cobra seat, and a Sporty tank.

If I got the story right from Steve, his dad took a brand-new(!) '71 Superglide apart to give it the treatment. He didn't have a place to do the work, so he dis-assembled the bike at his now wife/then girlfriend's house, and did the work in her basement.

The bike is period perfect for a swingarm bike in '71. I also want you to note that the frame is painted to match the sheetmetal, this was no half-way project. Steve also told me that when his Mom and Dad got married, they took their honeymoon aboard this bike!
Same bike, 1974 - new paint, rear fender, and the Superglide's OEM fender is on the front. Check out the Paughco electric start diamond outer primary, and the Minestrone king & queen seat!

Steve's dad still rides from his home in Wisconsin to Sturgis every year (on a later model H-D, the Superglide is loooong gone) and still camps out when he gets there. Steve and his brother ride up and stay with him in Sturgis - all three of them have a group of friends that they reunite with in the campground, and have a great time every year. I've met Steve's Mom and Dad, and they are really genuinely nice people.

Like they say, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree........

Monday, November 16, 2009

Von Dutch Monday IX

Von Dutch wandering around Lance Reventlow's Scarab racing sports car pits at Riverside in '58. Dutch did all the scalloping, lettering, striping and the "Scarab" emblem on all of Reventlow's cars.

Quotes from Von Dutch:

On striping and painting, in 1958: "Too much of the same thing, and nothing new in sight. It was interesting to go from cycles to rods, then to Detroit cars, then to sports cars. Now where? About the only new things for me are bicycles, and there aren't enough of them".

On changing his name to Von Dutch: "Who'd ever remember a name like Kennith Howard? I needed something unusual - a tag the customer would only have to hear once to remember".

On what he charged, and why: " There's a struggle you have to go thru, and if you make a lot of money it doesn't make the struggle go away. It just makes it more complicated. If you keep poor, the struggle is simple".

"That's why I never overcharge anybody, and never made this thing commercial. You can't do good work if you're thinking about the money angle all the time. To me, the work is important, that's the number one".

And finally, Von Dutch just being Von Dutch: "The easy thing in life is realizing that everybody else is full of bullshit. The hard thing in life is realizing you might be full of bullshit, too".

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Benji Rabanal....

Benji Rabanal (circled above) then, around '67-'68......

So, who is Benji Rabanal? Benji has been a boxer, a surfer and a shaper of boards for Bing, Stoner, and Noll, a motorcycle flatrack racer with the likes of Savage, Tetter, and Mann at the old Ascot track, a bare knuckle brawler, and a builder of rods and custom bikes. He's also the father of Superco Trevelen, who Trev affectionately refers to as "Pops".

I've spent more than a couple hours talking with Benji, when Trev had his shop in Downtown L.A., and Benji is one of the most facasinating guys I've ever run across. Although not in the best of health these days, the guy is still hard as nails, works along with Trev on his projects, and can come up with an old story to match any topic you can think of.

Benji Rabanal today....

You need to do yourself a favor and get ahold of Garage Magazine # 16 while you can, and read Eddie Jolly's excellent article he wrote on Benji. Plus, there are some priceless Rabanal family photos you'll only see in the article anymore, unless Trev decides to put them back up on his website/blog. There's a really cute photo of Trev when he was a tiny guy (in a diaper!), sitting on the gas tank of one of Benji's custom Triumphs.

The Bikro - wave !

I don't exactly remember which year in Sturgis I took these pictures of the "Bikro - wave" , I think it was in the mid-'90's.

It was on one of the entries in the rat bike class, when The Rat's Hole Show was still held in City Park. I talked to the guy who owned the bike, and he claimed it worked great. I didn't bother to ask how his garden tractor tire saddlebags worked, though......

Check out the "cooking times" on the front of the Bikro - wave: burrito - 5 mi., hot dog - 2 mi., beans - 8mi

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Does everybody know..........

........that Jeff Decker has a blog?
Why am I the last guy who knows this stuff?