Thursday, April 30, 2009

Big Damn Book Of Sheer Manliness

I bought this Big Damn Book Of Sheer Manliness, by the Von Hoffmann Bros. about 12 years ago. If you can't smell the sea breeze and the woodsmoke, or feel the grit and sweat as you read the book, well, you might as well put a bumper sticker on your vehicle that says "Hey fellas, I'm a homo".

It's a great book - everything from football, billiards, barbecuing, drinking, fireworks, B-17's, pinups, and even Von Dutch and the 100 top manly movies of all time, to just touch on a few of the chapters, which are all vividly illustrated. Have you ever seen a pickup-mounted potato cannon?? It's out of print, but Alibris and Amazon have it, but it's cheaper if you can find it in a used bookstore - and you should! Find it, buy it, and enjoy it.

The very first chapter in the book is What Guys Know - A Bombastic Manifesto. One of the sections in this chapter is "What Guys Know About Fighting", and it goes like this:
"A man will encounter from time to time a brother who isn't just asking, but begging, indeed, crying out to have his ass kicked. It is your honor bound duty to accommodate him, and at any given moment that brother may be you or me."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

We need a break.......

So, myself and Part-Timer Steve are out of here tomorrow morning, 7:00am.

We're headed for Kutty's Hippykiller Hoedown on Thursday, the Biltwell Bash for Friday and Saturday, and then up to Lakewood to see Joyrides Mark, and Burbank to see Frank Kaisler. Frank was kind enough to set up a meeting with Mike Parti on Sunday, and I'm really looking forward to talking to this man.

Looked at the weather down I-70 west to I-15 south, and it sucks all the way to Mesquite, NV. Going south down I-25 to Abq. and I-40 west looks sucky near Flagstaff, but not as bad. We'll just have to see tomorrow

We'll see you back here around the 21st........

Monday, April 13, 2009

By request......

A request from a follower of my blog in Italy. He originally saw these photos on the JJ, and asked if I'd post them here. My '54 KH/KR. The photos are from from 1975-76.

I put this together (literally) from several baskets, boxes, and milkcrates full of parts. It had a KR ball bearing bottom end, and a KH top. It originally had a WICO generator-mounted magneto. I couldn't find valve guides for it, so Jack Moss, the head mechanic for Harley of Denver (now Freedom H-D) took and cut down AMPCO Pan valve guides to work. The front frame section was K model, and the swingarm and shocks were '73 Sporty. The rear hub was a KR half spool laced to a 16" rim. The front was a K brake, with a 21" rim. Check the original K tail light!

This bike was a lot of fun - actually too much fun. I lost my license for two years on this bike for an "exhibition of speed/eluding a police officer/DWI" charge. It was all trumped up, I was innocent......

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A small dose of The Dutchman.....

If you go back a ways in my blog, you'll see where I mentioned that Von Dutch had done the bass drum face for Michael Clarke of the Byrds. Here's something that you might not have known, either.

These guitars were made by Semie Mosley, of Mosrite guitar fame. Mosley is credited with building the first triple neck guitar, and his custom-built guitars were used by the Ventures, Arthur Lee and John Echols from the band Love, and Mosley also made all of Johnny Ramone's guitars.

These three guitars above (bass, 6 string, and 12 string) were made by Mosley, and given to the band The Strawberry Alarm Clock. When Mosley was finished constructing them, he sent them to Von Dutch while he was set up in Reseda, sometime in '67, to paint and pinstripe them.

As far as anybody knows, The Strawberry Alarm Clock never played these guitars on stage, even though the guitars were said to play and sound extremely well. The only "public" appearance of the band seen playing them was in the '70 film Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls, and the band appeared as themselves, performing in a club doing (what else) Incense and Peppermint.

Semie Mosley got the guitars back from the group when they disbanded in '71, and when Mosley died, his estate sold them to a food suppliment magnate who was a guitar collector. When he died in the '90's, they went up on Ebay, and now reside with another famous guitar collector.

Monday, April 6, 2009

On the 8th day, God said...........

........." Here, lemme show you how to build a good lookin' fatbob, with timeless, classic lines".

And, then he rested, and all was right and good in the world.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Buchanans extends a springer.....

This is an article that appeared in the Feb. 1968 issue of Choppers Magazine. It was an article going thru the steps that Buchanans took to extend a Harley springer.

Before Buchanans moved from their location at 629 E. Garvey Ave. in Monterey Park, Ca. (located just east of where the interchange for the 10 and the 710 is), up to Azusa, Ca., they were one of the premere specialty shops in the L.A. Basin. They offered frame straightning, front fork repair and extending on glides, springers, and girders, and frame modifications like lengthening and raking for all makes and models. They also offered both automotive as well as motorcycle wheel rim straightning, relacing, truing, and blank rim dimpling services.

All the custom frame and front end work, and frame straightning/repairing ended when they made their move up north, and they divested themselves of all their equipment used in those operations before the move. After the relocation, they only offered the wheel and spoke services for the automotive/hot rod set, and motorcycles - and they still do to this day.
Pay close attention to the extension piece for the back leg he's holding here. We'll discuss this further down the post....

Hey, I told you guys we weren't fancy in the old days! An adjustable needle pointer, a lead deadblow mallet, a carpenter's adjustable tri-square, and a trained eye were used to fine tune the final alignment. Also notice that Buchanans is brazing the extensions in place.
Check out the labor prices from a page out of my 1970 Buchanans catalog. A Harley frame could be raked for $50.00! You'll also notice that the price of extending a springer had gone from the price of "..... about $75.00 for a 4" extension" in the Choppers Magazine article to $100.00 for the first 2 1/2" of extension, and $15.00 for each 2 1/2" extension increment after that. Still pretty cheap.
Here's another page out of my '70 catalog. You can see an employee sitting at one of the frame tables, and there's a springer in the process of being extended to the left on the table. Buchanans other frame tables are also pictured, along with their spoke manufacturing and wheel lacing services.
If you read the small text on the last page of the Choppers article, you saw where the author states that Buchanans had developed the extensions they used, and that they weren't for sale without installation. In reality, Buchanans was getting them from Custom Cycle Accessories, in Cleveland, OH. I thought it was pretty clever that Buchanans made out in the article like nobody else had the materials to do the job. I'm just wondering how many hundreds of springers were sent to Buchanans for extending from all over the country as a result of reading the article?

I bought this above pictured Cleveland Cycle Supply extension kit at a swap meet probably 35 years ago. It was a NOS 8" kit, and came wrapped in the original brown paper. I always planned on using it, but I haven't gotten around to that yet. One of these days........

You can see how the kit was made. For the back leg extension, a round piece of DOM tubing cut to length had a couple of pieces of matching tubing of the right ID slipped inside, and then the whole assembly was ovaled in a big press. You slipped the ID pieces out, and slipped them into place on the back yolk, and into the original rear leg, and welded them in place.

The front extensions were made out of DOM tube, and they were full extended length, and slipped into the front forks' sockets on the yolk. The other ends were swedged, and drilled for the rocker bolts. The front leg looks bent in this picture, but it's just from the camera lens.

Pretty fucking clever! I understand that Bill's Cycle in Butler, PA puts these original kits up on Ebay from time to time, so you might get lucky.