Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Holy snowpack, Batman, it's still coming down!

This was 9:00am when I went out to clean off the truck, and shovel 2 ft. of snow out of the driveway. Roads are very clear for the most part, and they've plowed my street. I got smokes and coffee, so I'm set!

That's fine, tomorrow is supposed to be a high of 35, 50 on Sunday, and 59 by Tuesday. My mail orders may be a little "delayed".

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Well, it's finally here.......

We've only gotten a couple dustings so far this fall in the North Metro area of Denver, and down South they've gotten a little more, but the "real stuff" is here. Damn.

It's our annual Halloween-time snowstorm. They say we could get 14" of this stuff before it blows out to Nebraska and Kansas. Fuck El Nino.

Oh, and Frank Kaisler, don't you dare call or Email me, and tell me how balmy it is in Burbank after you watch the weather tonight!

Elective surgery.....

So, my client says "Gimmie lots of air between my backbone and my rocker boxes......", so I did. 3" stretch in the downtubes, and relocated backbone to the top of the seatpost forging.

Then he says "You wanna build the complete bike?" Does Pinochio have wooden yarbels? Ok - Shovel powered, 5 in a 4 speed tranny, 3" belt drive, keep the swingarm w/ 11" air shocks, and raise the trans 1" for starters. More pictures as we go along........

More Indian Oddity goodness.......

In January of '67, Floyd Clymer ( became aquainted with Friedel Munch of Germany. Munch was the designer and builder of the famous Munch Mammoth - once the largest displacement, and fastest production bike in the world. Munch utilized an 1100CC NSU Prinz inline 4 cylinder to power his Mammoths. Soon after their meeting, Clymer became the sole world-wide distributor of the Munch Mammoth.

Clymer was also one of a handfull of people who were dedicated to bringing back the Indian Motorcycle. Clymer at that time already owned the name "Indian", he just needed a special motorcycle to go with it. Munch and Clymer entered into an agreement to produce a prototype that would tie everything together - the result was the Indian "Super Scout".
Clymer went to Germany in early '67, and he took four Indian greats with him to consult with Munch on the prototype design. Also with Clymer were Frank Christian, Dick Gross, Art Hafer, and Max Bubeck. Each man was a wizard in his own right - Christian was the guru of stroker Scouts and Chiefs, Gross was the designer and tuner on Bobby Hill's 4 cam Sport Scout racer, and Bubeck was the co-builder/rider of the world's fastest unstreamlined Indian "Chout" (an Indian Chief engine in a Scout frame).

Working with this team on the prototype, Munch used stock Scout cylinders, heads, flywheel assembly, a Chief transmission gearset, and had Elecktron in Germany cast up a new inner/outer primary, transmission case, and a new right engine case to utilize four camshafts vs. the original two. The bike was electric start-only, incorporated an alternator charging system, and featured a frame prototyped by Tartarini of Italy, hence the definitely Euro flavor of the whole package. Braking was supplied by large leading shoe brakes, front and rear.

Top speed of the prototype "Super Scout" was a reported 110 mph on it's initial test runs, and was supposed to be a very nice handling bike. The Super Scout was supposedly a big hit when it was unveiled at the Anaheim, Ca Motorcycle Show in late '67, but for some reason, Clymer never went ahead with production on his Super Scouts.

These photos are of the only prototype Super Scout in existence, and it still survives today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cycle Source's Year in Review

I was surfing around on Chop Cult, and found out that someone had turned in a nomination for me, for Man Of The Year, in Cycle Source's annual Year In Review.

That's quite an illustrious list of nominees for Man Of The Year over there to be included with. So, to whoever turned in my nomination, that was a pretty nice gesture on your part, thinking I deserved a place on that voting list. I appreciate that very much, and thank you, whoever you are.

Always the mentor......

The L.A. Oddesy, Santa Monica, Harbortown Bobber premier

Part-timer Steve finally got some of his 100-odd pictures downloaded, and sent some off to me. These are some of his Santa Monica, CA pictures, I'll have others from the trip as he gets them filed and organized.
Dennis Goodson (yes, of Goodson Air Cleaners fame) chills and takes in the view.
The view from my second floor room window, a block from Santa Monica Beach. The Santa Monica Pier is in the lower left of the picture

Steve and I on the veranda, in front of our rooms, on the 2nd floor, at the Traveloge.
Sunset over the Pacific, from Ocean St.
What can I say? Simply beautiful to see.Steve and I on Friday morning, after the premier and after party. I think somebody slipped us some bad ice cubes late Thursday night........

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The devil is in the details.......

Copulating the Canine *

( * fucking the dog)
OK, I suck. I've been slacking on my blog ever since the trip out to SoCal. Actually, I've been trying to catch up on all the Emails, phonecalls, and everything I stopped working on that needs to be finished up for clients, that's still here in the shop.

Also, when I went out to L.A., I left my camera here on the charger. Fuck lotta good a fully charged camera did me 1000 mi. away from where I needed to take photos. I'm waiting on Part-timer Steve's pictures, along with Dennis Goodson's and Kristina's shots. When I get them, I'll post them up here and there. In the meantime, here's a good shot from the trip, of me catching some rays on Ocean St., right near the Santa Monica Pier.

"Looks like another perfect day, I love L. A. .........."

Monday, October 19, 2009

How lucky.........

.........does one guy get in life? Two of the prettiest girls in SoCal - Kristina Marie (lt. Glitterfist Productions), and Cindy Rutherford (rt. Century Motorcycles) allow an old BUB (that's Beat Up Bastard) to have his picture taken between them at the Harbortown Bobber premier in Santa Monica, CA last Thursday night.

See, this proves that even blind men know when the sun is shining!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"..........the bloody red sun of fantastic L.A."

We're out of here for some good fun, and some needed R&R. Myself, Part-timer Steve, and Dennis Goodson are headed out to the Land Of Fruits And Nuts tomorrow. Can't wait.

We'll be in Santa Monica on Thurs. and Thurs. evening, then up for breakfast, and off to the Peterson Automotive Museum on Fri. Friday afternoon we're stopping off to see Superco Trevelen, and then up to Burbank to meet Frank Kaisler, and then we're all off to Bob's Big Boy in Toluca on Fri. night.

Saturday we're moving down to Long Beach, see as many Sinners brothers as I can down there, and over to the Bikernet Compound in Wilmington Sat. night. Keith Ball and Nyla have invited us to spend the night there. I wonder if we get to sleep inside? We'll hit some of the LBC gin joints, then call it a night.

Looks like we'll be out of L.A. by Sunday afternoon, and on the road back to Denver. See you all back here after the 19th. The drive is long, and the time in L.A. is always too short, but I'm looking forward to it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Harbortown Bobber premier, Santa Monica, CA

One World Studios is having a premier screening of their latest work, The Harbortown Bobber, on Oct. 15, 2009 - this coming Thursday night. Click the flyer below for all the details.

I have a segment in the film, along with Part-timer Steve. Another special feature in it, is the trip over to Dennis Goodson's shop, and a nice interview with him, and a close look at the Knucklehead Dennis built for artist and fellow Denverite David Uhl. So, along with everything else, you'll get a taste of the Denver bike scene, and some of the people I have contact with, when I build bikes.

Myself, Steve, and Dennis Goodson are all making the trip out for the premier, so we all hope to see a lot of you either at the screening, or at the after party. So, please come up and introduce yourselves during the evening, we'd really like to meet you, and say hello. We're planning on having a good time!

Oh, did I mention that ALL of this is FREE, and OPEN to whoever shows up Thursday night? Plus, check out the free shirt giveaway from one of the sponsors Dickies that night, too!

Von Dutch Monday VI

From Von Dutch's scrapbook. Striping a girl in his Rattlesnake Gulch (Tempe) AZ shop, 1973. Dutch added the word bubbles, naturally!
How cool is this? Von Dutch-built JAP speedway bike, from 1967

Tommy's pipes II........

Here's how the final layout for Tommy's pipes came out. Like I said a couple posts below, the object on this exhaust system was to complete it with just using what came in Biltwell's pipe kit, and no other tubing or bends. OK, we did use the Biltwell tips, and a/m pipe retainers, but that doesn't count.

I still have both narrow radius mandral bend sections intact, and the straight sections with the Shovel and Pan flanges left over, too. Tommy's pipes were carefully cut, fitted, and tacked together from just the straight sections with the Evo flanges, plus the large radius mandral sections only. And, like I thought, I have enough tubing left from the kit to get a really good start on either another Pan or Shovel exhaust system, all I'd have to add would be some bulk straight tubing.

How would I rate this kit? Well, like they used to say on the old American Bandstand "It's got a great beat, easy to dance to, I'll give it a 90...." and that's only because I think they should have some 45 degree bends in the kit instead of the little fishtails.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Here's why I like working with Fab Kevin.......

When it came to Tommy's oil tank, he wanted to mount one up front, right at the downtubes/front engine mount area. I knew who to call for the exact components I needed to pull it off. Who else, other than Fabricator Kevin?
I asked Kevin if he could send me one of his round stainless oil tank kits, but not punch any holes in the body, so I could locate all the bungs where I needed them. Kevin said no problem. Then I asked Kevin if he could modify his program for his world famous Moon tank brackets so they would fit his larger stainless tank, and not bend the mounting tabs on the brackets as he usually does. He said he'd never done a bracket set for his stainless tanks before like that, but to give him about a week to get it done. A little over a week passed by, and the components showed up, exactly as I had asked for them. What a guy!
When the kit showed up, I TIG welded the body together with ER308 rod, then assembled the brackets, and slid the tank inside them. The brackets fit the tank perfectly, and as a bonus, Kevin had cut them out of stainless! I trimmed the brackets to shape, TIG'd them to the frame rails, then laid out the bung locations, and welded them in place. This is what it looks like finished. Everything should polish out beautifully.
Thanks, Kevin.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Tommy's pipes....

Usually when I set out to do an exhaust system, I go thru all my old exhaust pipes for bends to add to straight sections of new material, or I order mandral bends and use all new pipe. If it's all new pipe, it usually goes pretty well, but if there are used sections to weld in, no matter how clean you think you get the pipes, the carbon in the pipes always fucks with your welding, especially if you are TIG-ing everything together. Plus, you have to run around or order your materials, and wait for it to come in.

I thought this time, for the pipes we're doing for Tommy's 113 ci S&S Evo, that I'd try one of Biltwell's exhaust pipe kits, and see exactly how much time, money, and materials I could save over the way I usually do it, and how well a kit with "pre-selected" sections would "fit in" in a strictly custom designed system.

Also, I'm going to show you a little of what I did to Tommy's frame, too. Tommy had a softail-style RHD frame for a 300 tire, and he didn't want a tire that wide anymore. He was going to buy a new frame, but I talked him into letting me narrow his frame down so he could run a 180/200 tire with LH chain drive.
Here's what you'll get in kit for $165.00 - you'll get a lot of tubing for the money. Tommy also wanted to use a set of the Biltwell aluminum bell tips to finish the ends of the pipes (check out the Biltwell site for a full description on their pipe kits).

The kit is filled with some quality tubing, very little seam on the inside, and a true 16ga wall - no thick and thin sections. Also, the mandral bends are very uniform thru the radius, and the radiuses and the straight sections match up great. No real difference in tubing diameter between the straight sections and the bends, and that makes for a nice visual run when you're finished.
So, here's the rear pipe run we finally came up with. Tommy wanted something similar in looks to the rear pipe on a set of Panhead "in front of the trans" drag pipes. By judicious measuring, and carefully cutting, I was able to get both these bends out of one of the kit's larger radius pipe sections. As it looks now (and I don't fuck up!), there will be enough pipe left over to get a really good start on another set of pipes out of what'll be left over when I'm finished. We'll see.

Also, in this picture, you can see from the arrows where I had to splice in new frame tubing to mate up the right axle block to the swing section, to get rid of the RHD offsets. The rear swingarm section now fits a 180/200 tire with LHD chain. And, in the circle, you can see where I cut out the big RHD offset out of the upright, and spliced in a 1 1/2" high x 1/2" thick flat filler plate to take it's place.

In this picture, you can see how nicely the OD of the tubing sections mate up. The arrows show where I had to take the 4" dogleg out of the frame where the offset was for the RHD. When we get the front run finished, I'll post a photo with both pipes in their final layout

What did I find that I didn't like about the kit? Well.....if I was designing the kit, I'd drop the little fishtail ends out, and come up on that straight section of tubing 5", and put a 45 degree bend in each pipe instead. Why? Because there aren't any 45 degree bends in the kit, and I think people would rather have a couple 45's than the fishtails, especially if you were doing a pair of upsweeps. For example, a 45 degree bend section would be the perfect angle for bottom upsweep runs. Also, if you used the 45's in the headpipes, you could tuck them closer into the lower frame if you wanted, as another example.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Remember this......

" It's not the critic that counts - not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms; the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause.

Who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory, nor defeat. "

Teddy Roosevelt, 1858 - 1919

Von Dutch Monday V

I thought you'd enjoy how Von Dutch built his XAVW in his own words. This article comes out of a Modern Cycle, and I'm not sure what issue it was in. I bought these two pages off of Ebay about 5 years ago, and I'm guessing it was an issue from '67. I say that because Dutch did the peliminary sketch for it over coffee with Dick Betts one morning in early '66, at Dutch's place in Tarzana.

Von Dutch bet Betts that he could build the XAVW in a year's time, and Betts bet Dutch he could build an Indy car in the same time period. They both completed their projects in a year, and they both threw a joint party to celebrate their accomplishments, and that party lasted for a complete non-stop weekend.
You'll notice in the text that Von Dutch says that his sidecar for the XAVW is under construction. This is the sidecar that he built when he was in Calabasas. This sidecar was the one he built with the idea of having his horse ride around in it. Well, it didn't work, and that's when Dutch got so pissed off that he took the XAVW and completely disassembled it, and piled it in a corner of his shop.

Ed Roth wound up with the XAVW - Blackwell says Roth gave Dutch $1,500.00 for it, but Randy Smith told me that Roth's deal was a couple antique outboard motors for it. I tend to believe Randy, because he told me he got the XAVW from Roth for 15 sets of his finned aluminum Panhead covers. The whole story Randy related to me I recounted in GK # 2. (BTW-the GK # 2's are almost sold out, better grab one while you can!)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Wednesday I got this phone call......

.....and the voice on the other end said "Hey Rich, this is Stogie, I'm in Wyoming - a couple hours from you, can I stop by?" I told him to come on by, and stay as long as he wanted to.

See, last May Stogie was "involuntarily separated" from his job at a Toyota subcontractor near Detroit. He thought it was a good opportunity to see some sights, so he loaded up his Dyna Superglide, and set off on a journey most people can only dream of.

Stogie has been all thru most of the Canadian Provinces (save for two), up thru Alaska, the Artic Circle, down on the West Coast, over on the East Coast, and all places in between. Since May, Stogie has put just shy of 22,000 miles on his bike.

He only has a handfull of States to ride in to have done all 49, and when he left here Friday, he was headed for Nebraska, S. Dakota, N. Dakota, and Minnesota. After a stopover in Minnesota, he was headed back to Michigan to see his dad that has just gone thru his 5th hip replacement,

I gave him a couple nights lodging, some square meals, and some R&R. We went thru his pictures of his trip on his laptop - but not all of them. He's shot over 9,000 images so far.

If you see Stogie on the road, give him a big wave - or better yet, give him a good nights sleep. He's trying to get in all 49 States this year, but the weather and time I'm afraid are against him. I'm pulling for him to do it.

Good luck, and safe journey, buddy!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Street Chopper 40th Anniversary issue, and a cool inclusion for me......

Any time an anniversary occurs, it's an important occasion. This issue just showed up at my favorite newsstand, and let me say, congratulations to Street Chopper magazine on their 40th Anniversary!

I remember perusing the newsstand, and seeing my first issue of SC on the rack. It was the March, '70 issue, and I was a senior in high school. It wasn't hard to miss- it had a bright yellow cover, and featured Rose McMullen on her custom sidehack, with Tom McMullen's pet lion posed in front of the hack. I grabbed it without even looking inside first. I thought, how cool is this? Another magazine along with Ed Roth's Choppers to read. I immediately sent off for the back issues I missed, and an AEE catalog. I still have all those early SC's, but sadly, the AEE catalog has long since disappeared over the years.

It's a very nostalgic issue, starting with the cover, which features a collage of 40 years worth of SC covers themselves (here's one for you trivia buffs - the cover featuring Jack Nicholson riding his metallic rootbeer colored chopper appears twice in the top row!). Moving to the tabel of contents page, there is a collection of AEE's trading cards as the background.

Inside, you'll find SC's full history (and AEE's as well), and personal recollections from all the magazine staff members, and a bunch of personal memories from a veritable who's who in the industry, as they recall what SC has been to them over the last 4 decades. It's a good read, and well worth the cover price. Go grab one while you can.
There's also an article entitled "Four Decades Of Photos". It's a 7 page review of feature bikes that have appeared in SC over the last 40 years. I was pretty surprised when I saw that not only one, but TWO of the bikes I've built were included in the collection. Pretty fucking cool.
Here's a photo from my feature article on the bike I built named BOB.......
.....and a photo from the feature article on my White Heat bike. Thanks to Street Chopper for including me in this 40th Anniversary issue, I think it's an honor, and a very cool recognition of what I do.