Friday, April 23, 2010

"......a 9mm fits."

Here's a segment from The Harbortown Bobber, in which Dennis Goodson, of Goodson Air Cleaner fame, goes over the "laundry list" of parts and modifications that he did in building "The Axe" Kucklehead for artist David Uhl.

This segment was shot outside Dennis' shop, in Denver, CO. You're listening to the real deal here......

"Oh man, I'm as tickled as a polecat eatin' briars...."

Well, you could have fooled me. I thought the first things this guy would've done, was to buy a NASCAR team, and then buy a '76 El Camino and get it painted one color.......

Aw, what the fuck, good for him! Usually it's some 89 year old lady who wants the annuity payment option.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A Missouri man who won a $258 million Powerball jackpot says he hasn't decided yet if he'll quit his minimum wage job at the convenience store where he bought the winning ticket. (my note: HUH?)

Shaw said he had just $28.96 in his bank account and recently bought a 1998 Ford Ranger from a friend who agreed to let him pay off the $1,000 price $100 at a time. Now, he said, he no longer has to worry about how he'll pay his friend — or his utility bills.

He plans to use some of the money to pay bills and take his children to Disney World.
Shaw said he bought the $5 ticket Wednesday at the Break Time convenience store where he works in Marshall, a central Missouri town about 80 miles east of Kansas City.

He accepted his ceremonial check at the Missouri Lottery headquarters in Jefferson City wearing a tan and red plaid shirt, a red hat and a huge grin — minus two front teeth he says he lost because he didn't take care of them but can now afford to have replaced.

Shaw said he needed a few days to decide whether he will keep his minimum-wage job at the store where he has worked for just three weeks.
He also plans to seek advice "from people who know about money" about whether to take the jackpot in 30 payments over 29 years or the lump-sum amount of $124,875,122.

Shaw said he looks forward to spending more time with his kids, who live with their mothers about 240 miles southeast of him in his hometown of Alton, as well as with his girlfriend's two sons — 13-year-old and 15-year-old boys Shaw says he considers his own. He plans to take them all to Disney World in Florida.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

? ? ? ? ? ?

Know what these stainless laser cutouts in the picture below are from? They come from the original Indian Larry "?" rotors. I have a whole bunch of them. Where did I get them? well, follow along......

In '03, I was up in Sturgis, and ran into a friend of mine, Pete Slactowicz. Pete owns Front Range Choppers, and still runs that on a limited basis today. Pete has a bike collection that runs the gamut from Jeffersons, to Indian and Harley board and flat track racers, Factory Works XR 750's, Knucks, Pans, and everything in between. He also likes to dabble in all kinds of other business ventures, too. In '03, Pete was involved in a company called Deep Cut Rotors, which made a line of laser cut stainless custom brake rotors, and could also cut rotors in any design you could think of.

Pete asked if I thought Indian Larry would be interested in a line of "signature" rotors for his shop. I told him that Larry was down in the Camel Roadhouse, and to just go down there and introduce himself. Pete gave me his business card, and said if I talked to Larry again, to give him the card.

Well, no sooner than Pete left, Larry came wandering down Main St. He stopped to talk for a bit, and I told him about Pete's idea. Larry was pretty interested, and told me that he was taking a break from the Roadhouse for about an hour, but to get ahold of Pete, and send him down. I got Pete on his cell, and told him to meet me in about an hour, and we'd talk to Larry then.

Pete and I walked down to the Roadhouse, and I introduced him to Larry, and left them to talk business. I saw Pete later, and he said they were going to get together a couple weeks after Sturgis, and it looked like Larry wanted some of his trademark "?" marks done in the rotors.

Well, Pete and Larry agreed on a deal, and from what Pete told me, they did it all on a handshake, no written contract. Pete got a few different design layouts off to Larry, and he picked the design you see in the photo below. Pete initially made a few dozen "?" rotors, and sent them off to Larry in NYC for his approval. Larry loved them.

If I remember correctly, the first time the Deep Cut-made "?" rotors appeared on an Indian Larry-built bike, was in '04, on his Mr. Tiki's Shop Droppings or the Bamboo bike. It toured the country that year as part of the Easyriders Centerfold Tour. Larry built Mr. Tiki out of mostly leftover shop parts, but he used 3 of Pete's 11 1/2" rotors on the build.

Larry also used one of the "?" rotors on the rear of his last Biker build-off bike, the now-famous Chain Of Mystery bike, which also featured what I think was the finest engraving work that CJ Allan has ever done. Pete was really stoked about Larry using his rotor on that bike.

Shortly after Larry died, Pete (as he is wont to do) tired of the rotor business, and sold his share of Deep Cut to his partner in the operation, James, and concentrated on his shop and antique bikes. James continued to make rotors for Indian Larry Legacy, and Paul and Keino used them on Zarathustra's Revenge, Brooklyn Beatnik, and Tempting Fate, along with other ILL-built bikes, and also sold them in their online catalog. One "?" rotor was also used on the Love Zombe tribute bike built by Paul, Keino, Billy Lane, and Kendall Johnson

I'm not sure what exactly happened to Deep Cut, or James for that matter, but Deep Cut ceased to exist. Pete still had a good supply of rotors, but when the ILL supply was finished, and Pete's backstock sold out, they were nowhere to be had. I used to get calls all the time on them, but I didn't have anybody to send them to for the rotors. I even got a call from Keino one time, wanting to know if I knew where any were stashed, but I couldn't help him, either.

I talked to Bobby Seeger in Sturgis this year, and he told me that he had a manufacturer that was making him the "?" mark rotors again, and I see they are for sale again on the ILL website.

The original Deep Cut Indian Larry "?" rotors were available in 10", 11 1/2", and 13". They were available for the early 2 3/8" , 2", and 2 1/4" center hole H-D hubs, and also in front and rear applications. There were also a few 8 1/2" mini-rotors that were done as part of a springer brake kit by Pete, but very few.

Few people know that Pete also did Indian Larry "?" sprockets, too. They were done on a very limited run, and there aren't a lot of them out there. They are extremely rare.

And, that's the story behind the story.......

Sunday, April 18, 2010

It'll save......

Mel brought me this '49 wishbone frame awhile ago, to see if I could get it in shape for a period bobber project he's been collecting parts for. I sent it out to the blaster before I began, to see what was really there, and how many cracks the frame had hiding under the paint.

It, along with Part-timer Steves VL frame, and a set of handlebars spent THREE FUCKING WEEKS at the blasters. Here's what I got back, and we'll save Steve's VL frame for another post, because he's fucking off in Vegas right now......

A common malady with old Knuck and Pan frames - a lot of owners, a lot of tank, fender, and seat swapping over 50 years, and a lot of misshapen holes. These are lulus! If you look thru the bottom hole, you can see the remnants of newspaper that they stuck in the holes before they bondo-ed over them. The neck lock mortise was stuffed with newspaper, and given the same treatment.

Notice the "agricultural grade" stick welding they did replacing the top fatbob/dash mount...then they cut it again, and then welded the dash pad back on cockeyed.

I burnt most of the bondo/newspaper filler out of this area before it went to the blasters. Nice work, eh?

The underside of the backbone. One thing people have too many of in their toolboxes - screwdrivers and drill bits.

I don't know what would be more work - welding up these 12 (?) holes, or just cutting the crosstube out, and bending another one to fit....

Evidently, somebody wanted to add the front crashbar back on when they added the fatbob mounts back. More "agricultural grade" welding here, too. What the hell was that hole in the downtube for????

So...time to get the Sawzall and the cutoff wheel out, and remove the the old backbone. One thing I found interesting was right in the center of the neck, was a "9", with a "C" about a 1/2" below it, in Factory character stamps. I don't know if I've ever seen that before on a Pan frame.

If you take your time, and peel the old backbone out the right way, this is the fit-up you'll have on the new backbone, and the lug on the seatpost will stay intact to slide the new backbone over again - just like factory. That's it for today, I'm tired, and it's Sunday.

To be continued............

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I'm doing two bikes, one has a 4 speed, one is a 5 in a 4 with the early 5 speed tapered mainshaft. I needed a couple clutch hub Woodruff keys (both mainshafts take the same key and hub nut), and everybody was out (?), so I stopped by the Harley Dealer. The dealer I use usually has a good selection of "obsolete" Harley parts, and usually has all the OEM 4 speed stuff on the shelves.

Well, I never noticed this before, because I never bought a bag of Woodruffs. Check out the part # 37523-15A. Yes, that's right, this same little Woodruff located Harley's clutch hubs on their tapered mainshafts for 74 years of production, with one change in that entire period. From the '15's hub, to the 10 stud hub, and thru the first wet diaphram clutch hub, right up to the '90 hub, when they switched to the splined mainshaftshaft. And, it's still in their parts inventory! Plus, it's MADE IN AMERICA! You just have to love/hate H-D.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Don't forget - this Saturday!

Steve and I went to Kutty's event last year, but I can't make it out for this year's. Too bad, because last year was a great time! Maybe the next one. Don' t you miss it!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

"...takin' what their givin', cus' I'm workin' for a livin'....."

Working on a tank for Tim's WCC Dominator. The frenched-in filler is done, and the bottom and tunnel are piecing together just fine. "Hidden" tank mounts are in the plans as well......

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Iron Mistress

This bike has always been among my favorite bikes of all time. Named the Iron Mistress, and built by Sean Coulford and his wife, it was a cover and a feature bike for the Sept. '80 issue of Supercycle.
The first obvious thing you are going to notice (and I always liked it) is the the earliest example of a "taildragger" rear fender that I can remember seeing. Sean built this fender way before Ness, Perewitz, or Sumax did them, and was probably the inspiration for those later versions. Sean made this fender by cutting and splicing 4 FL rear fenders together, and adding a 5/16" bead around the edge.

The bike started out as a "loose" Knuckle basket case. The bottom end is a '41, and Sean added a '48 Pan top end to it. Why? because he had the Pan top, and he wanted a Pan, plain and simple.

The frame is totally owner-fabbed. Sean started out with the Knuck seatpost section and part of the backbone from what he got with the basket . To that, he added a swingarm bottom cradle from the transmission area, to just below the tanks. From the downtubes up, he built a killer gooseneck section 3" out over stock, and in the rear he built his own hardtail, moving the rear axle back 2" further than stock, and added his own lowered axle plates.

A little better lit, more clear view - this time the R/H side. One of my favorite touches is the full Pan hubcap. As with the rear fender, to get the exhaust proportions right for the bike, Sean cut up 2 sets of Paughco fishtail mufflers to get the exact length he needed, and added those to a set of stretched Paughco upswept Pan pipes.

This photo gives you a feeling of just how long and stretched out this bike was. But, with the rider and passenger mounted on it, it looked perfectly proportioned. Definitely custom, with a capitol "C".

Nice stuff here - check out the 24 carat fasteners and scattered bits, the 2" Phase III belt drive, and the hand-formed red plexiglass belt guard that Sean and his wife did, by heating the plexi in the oven, and then forming it over wooden bucks to get the final shape, then adding stainless door trim for edging, and finishing it off with a gold leaf "Iron Mistress" moniker.

What's really a nice touch is the 5 gallon gate shift tanks. What's that you say, Dr. Sprocket - Harley never made 5 gal. tank shift tanks? You're right, but Sean did! He adapted the Knuckle shifter gate to the later tanks, and the job looks almost Factory. Also, we get a look at the goosenecking. Nice.

Fast forward 5 years, and like we've seen many times over, a guy just can't help himself when it comes to changing things around "just a little". Now the Iron Mistress has morphed into a very cool dresser! This is how the Iron Mistress was featured in the Aug. '84 issue of Supercycle. Hard to believe this is the same motorcycle.

Gone are the apes, the upsweeps, and the tall sissy bar - but the frame, tanks, and the taildragger rear fender are still there. The front end was taken back down to stock length, and Sean again took three FL front fenders and made a matching 'dragger front fender, complete with the 5/16" full bead around the edge. Sean also kept the fishtail mufflers from before, but added them to a custom set of dual crossover pipes. Man, talk about your 180 degree styling turns!

A good shot of the new catseye dash, and FLH-adapted radio caddy, complete with the Stewart-Warner vendor supplied Factory oil pressure and amp gauges - all behind a cut down, red tinted FL windshield, and the caddy top emblazoned with the name of the bike. Too cool.

Here's a nice shot of the L/H side of the bike. Check the ruby red 'flake paint, and the beautiful job of polishing and plating that El Monte Plating did. Quality work like El Monte did was easy to find in '84, try finding this type of dedication and skill today. If you do, it'll cost you an arm and a leg, and a left nut to get it!

Also, we get another good look at the hand-formed red plexi belt guard, and the Knuck shifter gate adapted to the 5 gallon tanks . And, if you look below the clutch basket, you can see part of the swingarm frame's lower cradle splice into the Knuck seatpost.

Again, pure owner-built beauty and detail, just as the first version was crafted.