Friday, June 12, 2009

Sturgis, 1986

In 1986, the Evolution engine was 2 model years old. In Sturgis, Harley used to set their demo ride up in the area of where 14-A turned into Lazelle, across the street from Black Hills Texaco. I don't think they moved to The Rushmore Civic Auditorium in Rapid City until '90. You could go over there and ride a 5 mile stretch of the service road along I-90, make a U-turn at the barricade, and ride back again.

You could do this all day long - all you had to do was show your drivers license when you went into the demo area, get in line at the model you wanted to ride, and take it out. When you got back, you just went and stood in the next line for the model you wanted to ride next. You would wait maybe 5 min., Harley had about a dozen of each model they made, and every year they'd have the brand-new debut models for the coming year there to demo - in this case it was the '87's.

I was still riding my '79 ElectraGlide Classic, and I took out the Softail (didn't like it), the FXRSP (loved that bike!), the FXRT (ehhhhh....), and the Electraglide Classic (REALLY like this one!). That Evolution and the 5 speed, and the air suspension/anti-dive made my FLHC Shovel seem like an old tractor. Plus it had a KILLER (for the time) 40 watt AM/FM/cassette player.

Anyways, to make a short story long, when I got back in town, in front of Gunners, I ran into Guinea Colucci, who had just bought a red FXR right before he left for Sturgis. He had gone thru 2 ignition modules on the trip, and when I told him I was planning on trading in my Shovel on a new Evo, he told me to keep the Shovel, and wait a couple model years to"... let Harley sort the electrical shit out". I didn't wait, when I got home I went down and bought a new '86 FLHTC on a year end closeout. I put 96,000 relitively trouble-free miles on that bike.

Anyways, I just ran across these pictures from Sturgis '86, and I thought you'd like to see some of what the HAMC was riding in Sturgis that year. Guinea was kind enough to let me take these close-up shots, and I remember his warning: "Sure, shoot away, but you know.....NO LICENSE PLATES!"
Jim "Guinea" Colucci, Sturgis '86 - RIP
A couple things here.....2 of the 3 HAMC bikes in the picture are Evolution engines. The other thing of note is that of the 3 bikes, the one on the left is a Evo FXR, and the one on the right is a Softail. Again, this is 1986.
This bike was pretty interesting. It was an '86 FXSTC. The fatbobs are gone, and in their place is a king sporty tank. Also, the factory 21" spoked wheel is replaced with a 19" cast factory mag. My only guess was so the owner would have two tubeless rims on his road bike (the rear was still the original factory spun aluminum disc wheel). Check out the radar detector mounted above the speedo.

I really wish I knew who did the paint and lettering on this bike, as the owner wasn't around, and Guinea wasn't positive on who it was. Check out the shading and fine outline on the lettering.

Look behind the letters, and you'll see a Death Head, hand-striped behind them in dark grey.

A more perfect example of a Frisco gas filler relocation is hard to find. Whoever did this got it, right down to the "flat" area where the old filler was located, a style detail that makes or breaks this modification.

It's hard to see the intricate hand-painted details in the gold leaf feathers, and the subtle shading and color highlighting that the skull has from this now 23 year old photograph. You'd have to see it in person to appreciate it fully. Lots of pride and craftsmanship in this tank.

1 comment:

By Hand and By Brain said...

This is so cool Rich! My intor to bike was through my pops but indirectly. Larry Joe 'Sleeves' was the welder at my pops forklift shop in Oxnad CA. Laryy was proudly HAMC. He was like a big brother. really. kept me stoked on fast bikes, #1 his trike and brass knuckles. He had very similiar paint on his bike and I remember him getting additional work done to it off of Sturgis road in Hueneme at a truck stop by an old VietNam bvet who pinstriped tanks. It was incredible work that I appreciate in hind site. Larry Joe schooled me on the fine art of bike paint. R.I.P. LJ never forget.
Thanks Rich!!