Monday, January 19, 2009

Ruth is stranger than friction.....

Check the bar on the back of Dick Allen's bike Wheeler Dealer, his '68 slabside Shovel-powered predecessor to Locomotion.

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.

OK, now check out the sissy bar on the back of Randy Smith's sidehack rig called "Illean". I know that Dick and Randy were close friends, so either Dick made that sissy bar for Randy, or Randy repoped the design from Dick,'s the same sissy bar that Dick ran on his Wheeler Dealer bike. We might never know, unless I run into somebody by chance that remembers.

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!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ileen is sitting in my moms garage. My dad was Randy Smith. I can find out about the sissy bar and get back to you if interested.