Monday, January 26, 2009
Here's a Dick Allen ad from about the time period when the lady ran the boulevard stop, and punched the engine right out of Locomotion's frame, along with Dick's Leg. You can see he's offereng his springer still, along with his 15" spun aluminum rear wheel conversion. There's no mention of the matching 17" front wheel, which he was also doing at the time, too.
Dick didn't use the Crager spun wheels exclusively. He did similar earlier wheel conversions based on the Centerline 2pc spun wheels, too. It's my understanding that he went to the Cragar wheels when Performance Machine and Sifton/Star started making their "version" of his Centerline wheel. He wanted people to know the difference between the three, so he went to Cragars because their Quick Trik 2pc. spun wheels were visually different than Centerline's were, but would convert just as well. The Cragar wheel is the one that's shown in this ad.
Oh, did I mention that I scored one of Dick's rear wheels - intact, with unused Grimeca 10 1/4" vented iron rotor with aluminum carrier, and an unused Circle Ind. 51 tooth aluminum sprocket, just like the one's pictured in the ad? I got it from - who else - Pat Leahy.
They don't date the picture, but it's in the '60's era section of the book. It's funny, but they were saying that motorcycles at the time in the ORS didn't have their own class, but were classed in with the "special interest" entries - like mini bikes, go karts, etc. I can personally say from attending a couple ORS that the bikes also didn't usually have their own area, either. They were stuck inbetween the cars to fill the gaps on the floor, or they were all in an area that wouldn't display a car very well. Man, how times have changed, huh?
That aside, if you want a couple true examples of '60's Frisco/Oakland bikes, these two bikes are pretty good indicators. Too bad there wasn't a full shot of the Pan in the back, too.
Sunday, January 25, 2009
When you build bikes for people, there's always a few that you really remember. This bike was one of them. It was a 103 cu.in Accurate Knucklehead engine with a jockey-shifted 5 in a 4 speed transmission. I had to shoehorn all this into a repop Knuckle frame, along with an electric start to boot.
This bike was scary fast! And LOUD! I put 4 piston Tokico calipers on it, but the repop Coker Firestones that the original client wanted wouldn't handle/stop for shit. You could definately out ride those tires. I tried to talk him into some tires that would handle, but sometimes you win some, sometimes you loose. I also lost out on wanting to mount a bobbed springer fender on the front, and going with a black leather seat instead of the brown.
I know the current owner of the bike, and he's made some minor changes in it, but it still looks good, and it's still loud. He also had some really nice light blue/dark blue pinstriping done on it (another thing I wanted to do originally).
I always secretly coveted this bike for myself, I guess that's the sign you did a really good job on it.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
My good friend Mike Lichter shot this bike in his studio, and he spent hours and shot over a hundred pictures of myself and the bike. Mike is A RULER when it comes to photography, and he made my bike look absolutely fantastic. Mike has shot everyone - Jesse James, Billy Lane, Arlen Ness, Trevelen - you name them, he's photographed them. Thanks Mike, you went above and beyond on all this.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
I guess I never thought about how many people were actually reading and following them. It's fascinating to me that these blogs are read all over the world. With so many long-running, good blogs out there, it also surprises me to see many of those blogs linked to mine. I thank those bloggers for thinking that my blogs have enough good content that you feel others would find interest in them as well.
Not counting the good ol' USA, I've received Emails from France, Italy, Australia, Japan, Great Britain, Germany, Spain, Canada, Norway, Sweden, and The Netherlands just to name some of the countries. Wow.
Again, thanks, and I'll try my best to continue to give everybody something that will entertain and interest you, and keep you returning on a regular basis for more.
Monday, January 19, 2009
Rich also tells me that this is the bike that Choppers Magazine used for the lead-in photo shot, in their evaluation article on the Wayne Eng. girder. I know I have that magazine with the article in it somewhere in this firetrap, I'll have to dig it out.
I also wanted to tell you Tom Burke bought Von Dutch's XAVW from Randy Smith, and they used to display it in the front window of B&O. They also used to make Hessian Little Joe ride the XAVW to go get parts or whatnot, when he was just a kid.
Photos from Rich Ostrander's collection.
This picture is from a May '68 issue of Roth's Choppers Magazine, and it always cracks me up. Joe has a big grin on his mug, but he's missing one of his front teeth. And, if you look close, there's a big thumbprint in the middle of the picture. They even made mention of the print in the article!
Check out Joe's sissy bar. It's a variation of the double loop bars Dick used to make. Instead of two bars right behind each other, Dick built this one with the second bar sweeping forward to the rear frame legs, for support of heavy loads when they traveled. Also, the SU carb conversion is an early version of the one's Randy Smith was working on.
Respect the trivia - The layout and art (a takeoff of Jackie Gleason's character from the movie of the same name) for this article was done by a young Suzanne Williams.
I wonder if Joe ever got his front tooth replaced?
And another trivia bit for you - "Bender Bob" Olson was CJ Allan's father-in-law. Yes, that CJ Allan.
It's a pretty unique design, as it's actually composed of two seperate bars - the main bar is 5/8" round cold rolled, with a second shorter bar made of 1/2" round cold rolled. Dick came up with that design because he was tired of having his sissy bars snap when he hit the road. If you've ever seen a picture of Dick's bikes loaded for a long trip, you immediately understand where he was coming from on this setup.
This picture isn't one of the outtakes from the feature article on Dick's bike for Roth's Oct. '68 issue of Choppers Magazine. In that article, Dick has a set of birdshooter pipes running up the bar, and this shot doesn't. Randy may have taken this picture pre-or post birdshooters. Randy used it in his article for the July '72 issue of Custom Chopper "Have A Safe Sissy Bar" under the pen name Jake Littlejohn, to illustrate a solid, safe sissy bar.
Also, if you look at the picture of Dick's bar again, you'll notice a Custom Cycle Engineering decal on Dick's back fender, right between the two bars.
A sidenote on the sidehack - I have an Easyriders full feature article on the rig, and in it it gives the manufacturer of the sidecar. I can't locate that issue of EZ, somebody probably stuck it in the wrong year in the bookcase. When I locate it, I'll do a post on just Illean for you.
The sidehack functions just like a Flxible sidecar does - it's hinged so you can either run with it straight up, or you can pull the pins, and the whole sidecar will pivot to follow the lean angle of the bike itself thru left and right hand turns. Hence the name Illean. Also notice the license plate says WE LEAN. Very cool rig!
Monday, January 12, 2009
Photos from Rich Ostrander's collection.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Friday, January 9, 2009
I know the frame looks like it's stretched up and out, but it's not. I used a neck/old backbone section that Dennis Goodson had given me a few years ago. The neck is welded lower on the backbone section Dennis gave me than the position of the neck on the VL forging . The neck height is only a 1/4" higher than the VL was, and the distance from the seatpost to the neck is exactly the same distance as the old VL backbone. I put the donor neck/backbone in the chop saw, and cut it to length, with a 45 degree angle on it's end.
After I trimmed the new 1 1/4" OD backbone to length, I slipped the donor neck section over it, and got the angle I needed for the new 1 1/4" OD downtube. I bent this to 15 degrees, and it was perfect. I layed the downtube up against the neck, and got the angle for the fishmouth joint on the neck. After cutting the fishmouth, it was just a matter of making sure all the new sections aligned and fit tight. Done!
Also, if you look right below the tranny plate, you'll see the sleeve for the downtube fishmouthed and cut on a 45 degree angle. That will slip over the downtube to give it the original look of the old VL downtube. The backbone and the downtube will both get shorter sections with 45 degree cuts added to those end cuts, to resemble the original double VL frame sleeves.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Photos Courtesy of Rich Ostrander
From Rich Ostrander:
"Irish, Loved the piece on the Electric Chair. Enclosed you will find color photos of it, and Roth's 3 wheeler w/Crosley motor, that I took in '69 at the L.A. Custom Car and Motorcycle Show in Downtown L.A. just before I left for 'Nam. When you walked in the show, one was on each side of the doorway".
The pictures were a little faded - the color inks weren't the best 40 years ago, so I did a color correction on them, and they came out killer. Rich had sent me a bunch of pictures a little over a year ago from "way back when", and I scanned them all. I was trying to decide the best way to present them, and I think I'll scatter them in from time to time here. Rich even included a short description to go along with each picture, and I'll be including those notes just as Rich wrote them, too.
I didn't color correct any of those pictures, so they'll all have that "old timey" feel to them. A very special thanks to Rich for trusting somebody to copy all those irreplaceable photographs like the above. I appreciate it very much!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
It took a little work, but it's finished. I needed to get this repaired first, so I'd have a solid, square foundation to work from. I wound up replacing a 3 1/2" section of the seatpost tubing.
Whenever I replace or add a section, I'm going to duplicate the double tube sleeves, like the "double 45's" right above the rear motor mount, for example. Those will be on the backbone near the seatpost, the backbone at the neck, and on the new downtube from the neck.