Friday, May 29, 2009

Biker Radio Magazine - my interview

My interview with Biker Radio Magazine is up, and it turned out very well, I think.

If you'd like to hear it, go to:
Click on the Shows button in the menu, then on Edition 80.

I'd like to thank Biker Radio Magazine for the opportunity to do one of their shows. It's the first time I've ever done a "one-on-one" interview of any kind, and Ken, the host, made it all effortless. I hope you enjoy it as well. If you do, drop Ken an Email, and maybe I'll have the opportunity to do another segment sometime.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Old style Triumphs have undeniable soul........

Check out the fact that what you're seeing aren't braided control cables - they're actually regular cables that have had the black vinyl outer covering stripped off, and then the spirals were chrome plated. We're talking 1965 here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dick Allen wheel.......

So, one trip to Long Beach, I stop and see Pat Leahy, as I always do. As we're talking, I happen to glance down the "hall" that leads to the mills, and I see a solid wheel with an old Semperit radial tire mounted on it. I asked Pat where it came from, and Pat says: "I dunno....I forget who that wheel was for. I rolled it out when I was looking for something the other day. Dick made that one there, I know that....."

Now, when Pat says "Dick", he's talking about Dick Allen. Pat and Dick were longtime buddies, and hardy party partners together. Now, if Pat says this is one of Dick's wheels, it's one of Dick's wheels. I asked Pat what he wanted for it, and we struck up a deal.
It's a strange wheel for a Dick Allen wheel. For one thing, it's a Centerline, and it's a 15 x 3 1/2". The sealed bearings are gone (Pat couldn't remember if it ever had the bearings installed), and it had a full polish on it, vs the usual spun finish.

I've found some dual roller sealed bearings for it, and some additional machine work on the hubs will be necessary to fit them, but they're better bearings. I'll need to have some inner sleeves made to stack everything up right in the hub, and then I'm going to give everything a super polish job.

I'm thinking that it will make a pretty nice rear wheel to use with the VL frame.

Like the sprocket, the rotor has never been used. It's an original iron Grimica with an aluminum center carrier. Strange part is the Grimica rotor is 10 1/4" in dia. The rotor surface has slight pitting in some areas of the face, but is completely run-able. Eventually I'll look around for another Grimica rotor, to replace this one, and keep this one for a spare.

The Circle Industries aluminum 51t sprocket has never had a chain on it. It does have a few nicks in the face from kicking around Pat's shop all those years - minor stuff. I plan on engine turning this sprocket, and looking for a 48t in this bolt pattern.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hey Andy.....I'm working on them

Now I gotta transfer the pattern for the left foot clutch mounting plate to steel, bend the clutch pedal, and I'm finished.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Skinny-minnie fatbobs

Milwaukee Tommy Gun wanted a super skinny set of fatbobs, so that's exactly what I fabbed up for him. Tommy also wanted to use his catseye dash panel, so I had to watch the new filler neck placement, so there was room between them to mount up the dash when they were finished. I jussssst made it!

Don't worry, no OEM 3 1/2 gallon tank halves were harmed or molested in any way for this project. The parts are all new tank stampings that I narrowed, and the filler necks, gas caps, and mounting brackets are all OEM-style repop pieces.

They kinda remind me of WR tanks a little bit If you know the width and length of a Harley catseye dash panel, then you can really visualize from the above photos, the width and length of these tank halves in relation to the dash dimensions.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hey, I'm still here!

You'll have to excuse my lack of posts lately. I've been up to my eyeballs in three major ground-up projects, and a myriad of smaller one's. And, to top it off, Part-timer Steve has been working a lot of hours at his main place of employment to make up for our trip out to SoCal last month, so he's been a little scarce around here, too. I've been putting in a lot of long hours in every day on the projects, and it's left little time to do much else, which is fine with me. Last year was pretty dry, and I'm thankfull for the work again.

I'd like to thank everybody who've sent me Emails (another thing I'm behind on) asking if I've quit the blogs, and if I had, to please reconsider. No, I'm still going to keep this blog going, and I'll try to be a little more timely on it's content. Things are loostening up a little around here spare time-wise, and I've got some good stuff to put up. I really appreciate the words of encouragement, thank you very much. In the meantime, check this out.......
Jeff Holt, the Associate Editor for Street Chopper, has asked me to do a piece for the second issue of their 40th Anniversary year celebration. The first installment of their 40th anniversary issues is on the stands now, and the second installment is due out in Oct. this year.

It was Jeff's idea to do the two issues - the first highlights the current state of choppers today, and the second issue to salute the roots, bikes, and people from Street Chopper's past. The first issue is a killer no filler one, and features a great selection of chops - including my Brother John Edward and Eric Webb's bikes. I'm really looking forward to the second issue, and pretty stoked that Jeff asked me to contribute to it. And.....
Ken, from Biker Radio Magazine called me, and asked if I'd like to do an interview. We're in the preliminaries of setting everything up, and getting the interview date set. Ken would like to do this pretty soon, so it should be up and running in not too long a time. When it goes online, I'll let you all know. If you find my blog interesting, you should enjoy this as well. Besides, you'll get to actually hear the stories, and I gotta admit, I have a voice like a silver sparrow. I've never done anything like this before, so I'm looking forward to it!

In the meantime, check out some of Ken's previous interview programs and videos:

Plus, Guy looks like he's all settled in back in the UK, and ready to go on assembling issue #10 of Greasy Kulture. Wow, issue #10! So, I'm sure he'll be sending a plea for another installment of my column pretty soon. Be sure to Email Guy, and tell him my photo in GK is too small.

Larry takes a peek........

Indian Larry, always the joker. This business needs more Indian Larrys.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Mickey's jacket

In '96, I needed a new leather jacket for riding. I couldn't find anything I liked, so just to see what it would cost for a custom-made jacket, I sent for the Bates Leathers catalog. Well, they sent me all kinds of information, including a baggy full of 1" square leather samples in all of their 42 available colors.

The above flyer came with the catalog. You could still get a "duplicate" of Mickey Rourke's Harley Davidson And The Marlboro Man's jacket, custom-sized and patched to fit you for only $770.00 . Also, you could get the "duplicate" pants for $465.00. What I thought was cool about this insert, was that Bates had stapled two 1" squares of the actual leather they used to make the jackets and pants from, onto the sheet.

Garage Magazine #18, and Nomad Aaron......

Sinners reunion at the THBC Smokeout East in N.C., '06. L to R: Rico, Brandon, Aaron, Danny, and Eric.
Aaron's Shovel, last version I have a picture of. It's changed a little.
Four Sinners Nomads in the same place, at the same time - a rare occurance. Taken in '05. The last July 4th party at Dustin's place, in Long Beach, before the LBPD told us we weren't having any more parties there. I guess the City thought over 250 people were a few too many "guests" in his neighborhood. L to R: Brandon, me, Aaron, and Jason. If Cole, Job, and Decker would've been there, we'd have had a full set.

So, I'm looking thru the magazines at my local newsstand about a week and a half ago, and while the owner of the store is checking in new mags, he comes over to me and says "Hey, look, a new Garage came in!". I buy all my magazines there instead of by subscription, or at the chain bookstores, because I feel that you need to support the smaller independent outlets like his.

Anyways, I was as surprised as he was, because the last issue of Garage came out almost a year ago. I stuck it in with the other mags I was buying, and took them all home to read later. Well, I got busy around here, and didn't read Garage untill yesterday.

It's actually a pretty solid issue especially the articles on Spade George, Shawn Kerri, and Andy's Hydraulics. But you could have knocked me over when I Got to the article on my Nomad Brother Aaron Strickland. See, Aaron is the furthest away Sinner from SoCal, as in N. Carolina furthest out.

I haven't seen Aaron in close to four years, and I thought it was way cool to see him in print like that. I don't know if Aaron reads this blog or not, but I guess it doesn't matter. Hey, brother, I'm thinking about you, and I guess that's what's really important here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

On the way to Sturgis, 1982

A keepsake I picked up in Sturgis, from '82
Notice how clean my jeans are in this picture. The guy I was with had a '79 Sporty that broke down constantly on the way up and back - go figure!

Happened to find this shot going thru a bunch of old pictures. It's a picture taken in '82 on the way up to Sturgis, my first trip up there.

I'm pretty sure the photo was taken on 16, right at the Wyoming/South Dakota line. I'm the dashing figure second from the left. I was 30 years old. I still have that jacket! I can't wear it anymore, because I guess the humidity in my closet was high, and the fucker shrunk. Well, at least that's what I'd like to think happened. Notice the buckshot holes in the sign.

I remember pulling off of Junction Ave., and on to Main St. I'd never seen anything like Downtown Sturgis ever. Even though I'd been riding all over the country for 14 years, I remember saying to myself "You know what? You're here in Sturgis, you finally can say you're a motorcycle rider".

1982 was probably the beginning of the end of the old rough and tumble Black Hills Motorcycle Classics. I refuse to call it the Sturgis Rally and Races. How fucking generic is that name? It stayed pretty cool until around '86 or so, then it went kinda pussified by the time the 50th anniversary rolled around in '90. Don't get me wrong, I still ride up there, and Sturgis is still about the only rally left where the majority of people still ride to get there. It might seem that that isn't true anymore, but that's because of the sheer numbers of people that attend. It's also still a place where if you're bound and determined to get your ass kicked, and you're in the right bar, somebody will make that a reality for you

'82 was a crazy year in Sturgis. They "officially" had 32,000 people attending, and the town and the cops were freaking out. More than a couple M/C's were looking to settle things once and for all, and every cop was right on the edge. I wasn't even riding with a club at that time, but I remember getting a $50.00 ticket in Deadwood for wearing a Buck knife - $25.00 for the knife, and $25.00 for telling the cop "Are you shitting me?".

We camped in City Park, and were right in the middle of what came to be known as the "riots", that ended camping there forever. I gotta admit, it was pretty crazy in there. People were drag racing up and down the blacktopped pathways, and more than a few guys wadded themselves up. I remember one guy losing it, and he slid thru a bunch of tents, and a couple caught fire, and melted themselves to the guy's bike. Lucky there wasn't anybody in the tents. They had brought in these flatbeds for the bands to play on, and inbetween the bands, they had tittie shows, pussy shows, and cucumber contests. All this could be seen from the Park if you were on Lazelle (34) going by. I guess I should mention the guys who printed up pussy raffle tickets, and you won their OL for a night if they drew your number. That's how they were financing their Sturgis trip!

It got so crazy, that the porta-potty people refused to come in and pump the pottys out, and they started to get overfull, and a little ripe. So, the people just pushed them over and burned them.

I've only missed four Sturgis' since '82. I still love to ride the Black Hills. I still see people up there that I'll only see once a year. Yeah, I've seen it go thru a lot of changes. Gone are the times where AMA-types, 1%ers, and independent riders all freely mixed and were genuinely friendly with each other on Main St. I've seen the attendence just explode over the years, and I've seen the increase of tourists that would have never thought of dragging their families down Main St. in the past. But, I still think it's the greatest Rally in the country, maybe the world. You just have to look harder for it now.

See you up there this year.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Found on Flickr....

Over on Flickr, one of the guys from the JJ found these photos of some very cool motorcycle engines that a fellow named Gordon Calder has photoshopped out of other photos, and put them on a black background for maximum detail and effect.

The engines range from a Slabside Shovel, to an Indian Chief, Villocette, and Crocker. There are two pages (with 26 engines in all) over there. Once you click on the thumbnail, you are able to bring them up in four sizes (look for the tab that says "all sizes" in the upper L/H), two sizes being perfect for wallpaper. Do yourself a favor, and go check them out: