Friday, February 27, 2009

"The world by the ass......"

A Galloping Goose cruises Griffith Park with his ol' lady in the Summer of 1972. From the pack roll on the front end, it looks like they were either headed out somewhere, or just coming in. What else could be better?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Killer big Flattie

This photograph is a little faded, because it was tacked up in my garage (along with Rooster's Shovel) for over 15 years. I always thought this was a killer bike. This picture came from the June '73 issue of Choppers magazine. It was part of an article called "The Bikes of The Northern California Hells Angels". I kept this picture and Rooster's bike picture from his Choppers feature tacked up for inspiration.

It had all the trad stuff for the day - wishbone frame with a 1/2" rake, Wassell tank, 8over 'glide forks, Sporty fork boots, Flanders #1 bars, 21" front wheel, and shotgun pipes. Seating was a Bates solo with p-pad. There were some different parts on this bike, too. There were the sidecar triple clamps, the 5 qt. oil tank, and a Bates ribbed fender that was cut so it hinged up to change the tire. It also mentioned that Pete Knell (former pres. of the Frisco Charter) had done the tranny.

I found another article that had this bike featured in it, along with a K Model that the owner had talked about building as his next project in the Choppers article. It was a feature on the Richmond Show from the Feb. '77 issue of Street Chopper. In the SC article, it said the bikes were owned by "Angelo", and so did his show cards. In the earlier Choppers article, they said the bike was owned by "Tony". I just assumed that for the show, Tony took the name "ANGELo" to stay anonymous for his own reasons. Probably never know for sure.

Here's a picture taken of "Angelo's" Flattie in the Richmond show article from the Feb. 77 issue of Street Chopper. His K Model is visable in the background.

The K Model that "Angelo" talked about building in the Choppers Magazine feature. From the Street Chopper Richmond Show article. Check the Super Glide gas tank, and rectangular Ciebie headlamp.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Rick LaBriola's "Knuckleator"

Rick LaBriola (LaBriola Machine/L.A. Suicide Jockey Shift) put this together in '89-'90. It's still crankin' out the miles. Rick got around the front pushrod angles by machining the lifter block, then he had Andrews grind a camshaft to his specs. It's 97 ci, and has dual plugged '47 heads.

Rick I've known for a long time, and I think he's one of the best machinists out there. Almost every bike I build has Rick's work in it somewhere. I've had him do some really oddball stuff for me, and he's always comes thru.

A 45 Magnum looks kinda girly........

How's about an 80 Magnum? Ok, 88 ci to be exact. A '42 UL bottom end, and an '83 Shovel top end. I've always wanted to do one of these, and they're a pretty straight forward deal, except for one little trick.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stan Dishong's Panhead - converted to OHC

One of my favorite late '50's engine conversions, right up there with MC Supply's V-4 Panhead (I have a really crappy pic of the V-4, I'll post it up later for you).

Bored and stroked to 96 ci., with shop-cast flywheels, shop-cast cylinders, shop built overhead cam setup, with one-off 1/4 speed cams ground by (who else?) Chet Herbert. Herbert also set the cams up to trigger a set of points for each cylinder, that were mounted exposed on the L/H side of the heads, right by the spark plugs. Whew!

Here's a top view of the OHC's, and the induction system. You can clearly see the individual sets of points for each spark plug, mounted to the ends of the cams in this shot.

Check out this "fogger' setup. Not quite a carb, not quite fuel injection, but it worked. The fuel was force-fed by a war surplus aircraft fuel pump, thru aircraft fuel nozzles mounted in the venturi, controlled by a big butterfly.

Dishong campaigned this engine thru the late '50's-early '60's at the strip, recording a best time in the 1/4 mile of 10.50 seconds @ 132.65 MPH. I don't know if I'd want to ride this thing bent over that chain whipping along at 130 mph, right below my ribcage. But, that's how they did it!

Remember Arlen Ness' chain-driven Evo OHC conversion, done in the late '90's? Remember how everybody went ga-ga over it? Think it looked a lot like this setup?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Greasy Kulture #9

Greasy Kulture #9 is going out, and it should be on sale on the GK website soon. Good issue, and I did my usual column. Not the last issue ever, but the last issue from Australia, as Guy is headed back to take up residence in Great Britain again. Guy's still going to do the magazine, so "No worries, mate!".

Buy it on the stands & online, subscribe to it, and get the back issues while you can.

Historical document.....

See what else I found? What is it? It's the bill of sale for the very first motorcycle I bought - my '41 Indian Sport Scout. It was 1968, and I was 16 years old. You can see my mom had to sign it was OK for me to buy it, because I was too young to sign a contract! I was surprised that she did, because she HATED motorcycles ("You'll get killed!"), but I talked her into it. Notice the BOS says it's a 1942, but the engine ID says GDA (1941).

The guy I got it from was Joe Matt, an old Indian dealer that never actually went out of business, he still sold and repaired Indians (REAL Indians), and he had a HUGE supply of parts and bikes. I paid $750. for it, and everybody I hung around with thought I was crazy. "$750? That's dumb! You can get a good Pan for $500!". Yeah, well, I wanted an INDIAN! You have to remember too, $750. was a lot of money then. Minimum wage was $1.25/hr, and that added up to almost 4 month's wages back then. I had to work my ass off for that bike.

When I bought it, it had a completely rebuilt engine and tranny, and it always started right up and ran beautifully. OK, it had a habit of burning up points, so I always carried a couple sets with me. A piece of cigarette pack tinfoil would gap them just right.
I learned how to ride the highways and interstates with this bike. This is the one I rode out to California on.

Everybody always asks me " How'd you learn how to ride, on a bike with a foot clutch and a handshift?". Well, I didn't know any better, that's how! I was just a kid, I just did it, it didn't matter to me. Hand or foot clutch, it was all the same.

The other thing people don't believe is I have never owned, or even ridden on a Japanese motorcycle - ever. People who know me will also notice that the bike was green, and they will tell you I have this really powerful superstition regarding green bikes. That green paint lasted 2 months, I painted the whole bike GMC Omaha Orange. I wish I still had that Indian. Hard to believe that I bought my first motorcycle 41 years ago this March.

Found these...........

I found these stuck in my 1967 high school yearbook. Why I saved these I don't know (maybe my mom stuck them in there), but they're the ticket stubs from the first two concerts I ever went to - both in 1966.

Seeing those stubs, I remembered what a thrill it was for a 14 year old kid living in Buffalo, NY to see the Byrds - an actual band from Los Angeles, California. The long hair, the cool clothes, the live music - they had a profound influence on my young life at the time. They were one of my favorite bands, but I remember hearing a lot of music at the concert I'd never heard before. The Byrds were changing their music, and they played a lot of material that they were working on for their milestone album 5th Dimension. I remember hearing 5D, Mr. Spaceman, and I See You at that concert.

The Rolling Stones? Well, they were the ROLLING STONES! They had just released Aftermath, and I definately remember them doing Paint It Black, Stupid Girl, and Lady Jane. Well actually, it was pretty hard to hear, between the endless screams from the girls (including my date), and the marginal sound system. There was an opening band for them, but I don't remember who it was.

Check out the ticket price for The Stones - FIVE FUCKING DOLLARS! FOR FLOOR SEATS! I remember the tickets were $3, $4, and $5, and I wanted to impress my date with the most expensive seats. It worked. When I said goodnight to her, I got not only a kiss, but I got to feel her tits through her blouse. What a dog I was! The Byrds tickets were cheaper, they were $2, $3, and $4. I got the $3 ones, but there were only about 1,800 seats I think, so I had a really good view.

It's funny, but back then a band's record sales sold out the band's tour dates, and now the band's tour dates sells the band's latest CD.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Looks like I have a feature coming.........

They have a teaser photo up over at Keith's site. From the teaser, I know they're photographs that Mark Shubin shot at The Next 100 Years of Motorcycles, in Spokane, WA., and here at the shop of my White Heat bike. Keith's putting the feature all together right now, he told me he should have everything he needs from Mark on Tuesday, so I'm guessing it might be ready by Thursday?

I love a photographer that gets just the right "exposure" setting when he takes his picture!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Uhl dig this bike, and I do, too....

Steve Uhl's '52 Pan. Classic lines, classic parts, classic chopper styling. Best part? It's an everyday ride for Steve. No goofy header wrap on goofy pipes, no flat black paint, no GE toster oven for an air cleaner.

Let me say this right here - this bike would have been a cool ride 45 years ago, it's still cool today, and it'll still be a cool ride 45 years from now. That's what seperates a bike like this from all the other "wizz-bang flavor of the month club" bikes out there today.

You can see a good feature article of Steve's bike in the issue #3, Sept. '07 Greasy Kulture magazine. Steve gives the story on his bike in his own words, and Frank Kaisler did some killer photography work. Better hurry if you want that issue, because the back issues are going fast - #1 is already sold out.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

We're getting there.........

Here's the new neck configuration completed. The sleeves were slid down the new downtube, then the downtube itself was welded to the neck. Then, the sleeves were slid up, and welded to the neck also. Then the gusset, the socket for the lower tanktube, and the lower tanktube itself were welded. After that, the webbing strip was added to the back of the gusset.

Like I said before, I wanted a more "stock" looking neck area. I think we came pretty close in that idea. I still have to finish detail the neck, but I'm burnt, and there are customer's paying jobs that need my attention more than this right now.
Here's where we're at right now. The neck is gusseted and welded, the lower tank bar is welded in, and the seatpost forging area is boxed in, and all completed.

Next, we'll drop a set of cases in the frame, and do the front case mounting pad mods. Then, we'll repair/redo the transmission frame area, and the last thing I'll tackle is the 1/16" dia. HOLE and 1/4" long CRACK I found in the upper right rear frame leg, right on the side of the tube at the rear seat crossover forging. I thought it was just a spot of bondo the sandblaster didn't get out of a pit, silly me! Because it's right at the furnace brazed lug, I'm going to have to take the TIG, and silicon bronze repair it. Not fun!
The seatpost forging - plated on the bottom, boxed in on the side, and blended to the backbone sleeves. I don't usually box in the sides, but the forging web area was so far gone underneath, there wouldn't have been any support or strength if I hadn't.
Hooo le Fuck! You don't know how much hand work is in this area to blend everything in. Just go back down the blog, and see what this area looked like if you haven't seen it previously.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Remember Phil's black dual carb Pan......

......engine shot, with the original S&S dual-carb heads on it, from back down the blog? Well, here it is, be-boppin' right along.

Phil's a good friend, and he owns Black Magic Customs in Sandwich, IL, and builds some pretty nice bikes. He's the little feller on the left. Turn up them speakers!:

Monday, February 9, 2009

And, speaking of Droopy.......

Here's Droopy's Knucklehead, still almost exactly as he built it in 1963, and it's still rollin' today. Droopy is an old SFV 1%er, and he isn't one to just roll this bike out on "special occasions". This bike has seen thousands of miles over the years, and so has the owner. Big respect for Droopy.

Viva Las Vegas 2002

I was going thru some old picture envelopes, and found a bunch of pictures from VLV '02. I was supposed to meet ChopperDave there, but he had some type of illness or something - I can't remember, and didn't make it. His then-girlfriend did because she was vending, so I just hung out with her, Kutty, and John and Jenny Parker all weekend. I also got to meet Coop and Von Franco for the first time, and I enjoyed hanging out for awhile and talking with Von Franco in his booth as well.
John Parker's '46 Bonneville Chief, that he's had for fuckin' ever. He must have close to 95,000 miles on this bike now. The tips of those pruned trike mufflers are sharp, and they've caught more than one person in the hand casually walking by them, drawing blood. It was just in DicE! magazine a few issues ago.

John at one time worked in Bud Ekins' shop in the Valley, at the same time Von Dutch was there. He was also there when Dutch was drunk, took off all his clothes, jumped up on Ekins' front counter, and shot the place up on a very busy Saturday afternoon.

OG Satans Slave Dave Arthur's bike. Very cool engine - a slabside Shovelhead bottom end, S&S Evo top end, and a recoil Morris magneto. Nowadays, Dave is an Early Rider member, along with guys like Mike Parti, Droopy, Buzzard, and Dougie Poo from San Berdoo, to name a few. Dave is a very cool guy, always has good stories to tell from "back then". You can usually catch Dave up at Bob's Big Boy in Toluca Lake on a Friday night.

This is the first version (and the first time out) of what finally became the NorCal Widow. This is when it had the 3 1/2 gal. fatbobs, a '47 Indian Chief dash, the low shotgun pipes, dual discs, banana rear caliper, 6qt. aluminum oil tank, and the Knuck footboards and seat.

I had originally made that Knuck seat into a "roll-around" for the shop. I rolled around on that working on bikes for 32 years before I cut it off it's wheels for this bike, and had the pan black powdercoated, and upholstered in black leather. I still have that seat - 39 years now!

I went back to VLV the next year, but I never went back after that. Too many Orcabillies, and Fatty Paiges for my liking, I guess. Plus, they've never really liked bikes showing up there anyways.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

I dunno, because my mind works this way

Seeing the '65 Chevy Impala (In '65, the Impala had three tail lights on each side, the Bel Air and Biscayne had two) in the background of Rich's photo below made me think of a stupid song lyric my little sisters used to sing back then. They sang them to the tune of the Beatles Yesterday:

"Yesterday, someone stole my Chevrolet

They just got right in and drove away
Oh, someone stole my Cheverolet."

"Suddenly, going to work's not what it used to be

It looks like it's the bus for me
Oh, someone stole my Chevrolet......."

A more simple time.....

"My high school friend Rock, on my buddy Paul Stokes' Knuckle, at Artesia and Long Beach Blvd. Circa 1967"
Photos from The Rich Ostrander Collection

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Almost ready to weld.......

As you see, the 1 3/8" DOM tubing showed up from Online Metals this AM so we could finish off the double sleeves we needed. The UPS guy also dropped off one of Fab Kevin's stainless steel oil tank kits with the modified components I asked for. Kevin also cut me a one-off set of his hoop "Moon tank" style mounts - the first set he's done like that to fit his 5 1/2" dia. stainless tank. Wadda guy, and, his hair is still perfect! Should look killer, but they're for another project I have here. I'll post it up when I get everything finished

Part-timer Steve and I got some work out of the way on a couple projects, then we moved over to the VL framework. What we were after was the familiar classic style of double sleeving on the tubing junctions that the VL, and RL frames came with from the factory. I think it's coming out pretty nice........

Here's how the double sleeve came out by the seatpost forging.
Here you can see the double sleeve finial at the end of the downtube sleeve, and how the socket for the lower tank tube is fishmouthed to fit the downtube.
Here's how the neck will look, minus the neck gusset, and the lower tank tube. The neck gusset will have to go in before the lower tank tube does. Like I said in previous posts, I'm trying to get a neck that will look somewhat "stock" , more than "custom". There will be a 1" wide x 1/4" thick plate flat along the backside edge of the final gusset shape to give more of a "neck forging" look to it. You'll see when we get there.
And, this is approximately how the lower tank tube will fit into place. The upper motor mount will go off of this lower tube. I'm not sure if I'll do a triangulated tubular mount, or if I'll do a boxed and tapered mount yet.

Monday, February 2, 2009

"What happened to your VL frame rehab, Rich?"

Welllll.........nothing, over the last couple weeks. I had to go back to Buffalo the beginning of Jan. for a funeral, and then when I got back here, I had some jobs to catch up on, so, no work on the frame.

I did manage to cut and fishmouth the lower sleeve for the front downtube and the socket for the lower tank bar, and I cut and bent the lower tank bar itself, but then I ran into a snag. I searched all over the Metro Denver area for some 1 3/8" OD x 1 1/4" ID x .065 wall DOM tubing. Nada, none in town at my usual suppliers. I needed this tubing to make the double sleeves on the new tubes. So, I went to Online Metals, and found what I needed, and ordered it.

The evening after I ordered, I got an Email from Online Metals, telling me I was backordered until the 29th. I just got another Email, telling me it'll deliver here tomorrow. Cool! Part-timer Steve is coming over tomorrow to pitch in, so we should have some new progress pictures for you tomorrow night. Maybe......

I also went into my "secret bunker", and came out with one of my 40 year old NOS Wassell peanut tanks (in the original box, eat your heart out!). I think I'll be using it on this frame. I'll be frisco-ing the tunnel, moving the filler up, and relocating the petcock on this one, so you'll get pictures of this surgery as we go along on that, too.

The Harbortown Bobber........

Scott, half of the Zach and Scott of One World Studios (Choppertown, BrittTown) did pretty well at the Grand National Roadster Show, recently held in Pomona. Scott took a 2nd Place trophy in his class with his Harbortown Bobber Triumph. And look, I got showcard credit on the GNRS sign, and Part-Timer Steve and I even got a picture on the card too!

Zach and Scott filmed the build-up from start to finish, also incorporating a cross-country adventure of the work into the mix to boot. It'll all be chronicled their next film called (Duh!) The Harbortown Bobber, due out pretty soon as I understand it. It'll have some interesting scenes in it, and you'll get to see some people you wouldn't normally see - like Dennis Goodson (and his shop), for one. Even Part-timer Steve and I have some footage in it as well.

I haven't seen it yet, but I'll let you know when they release it.

"Should I turn on the Way-back Machine now, Mr. Ostrander?"

"Tom Burke, with the H-D cap on, and red beard, right by the white helmet. We rode up to Florence, OR for a Brothers Speed club wedding".
"On the way up to Oregon. 'Almost twin....' Knuckleheads. Tom's on the left, mine's on the right"

From The Rich Ostrander photo collection