While CJ has been as "serious" as any person could be, there's another side of CJ that some people don't see. He likes to tell you "To know me is to love me", and that's true. Because, under that gruff exterior is, well.....a gruff interior! Nah, I'm just kidding (?). CJ has a heart as big as all get out, but don't spread that around. If you're his Brother, or his friend, there isn't anything he wouldn't do for you, and I love the guy dearly.
I thought it would be fun to get in the Wayback Machine, and take a look at a small sampling of what CJ has done over the years that made it into print. I've had these photos scanned into my computer for quite a while, and I had a little time this afternoon to put it all together. I hope you enjoy it....
CJ told me that after the shoot was over with at LBS, they wanted to get some road shots, so they took off down the PCH at about 100 mph, with Chris Bunch riding backwards on Tom Burke's (B&O Cycles) Honda 4 cylinder chop, with his feet hooked around the passenger pegs, shooting film. CJ says he's never seen those shots, though. That must have been quite the spectacle....
Here's CJ on the cover of the March '78 issue of Supercycle, with his then current version of his Knucklehead. This version is typical of the style of the era, and you'll note that this bike shares a lot of the same "look" and choice of components with other South Bay bikes like Dick Allen's Locomotion, and Joe Hurst's White Bear, for example.
Very cool assortment of parts on this build. The frame is stretched 3", and raked 1". Front end is 12" over, and sports Barney's slimline sliders (CJ still has the tooling for these). The seat came from SoCal Seats, and it sits on a CJ-manufactured fiberglass fender (the Maxi-Fender) and combination license plate mount/struts he marketed out of his shop Creative Cycle Engineering. The mufflers are XLCH tapers, and the rear wheel was a magnesium American 12 spoke equipped with a Performance Machine caliper and rotor. CJ did the setup on the American 12 spoke himself.
The other unusual aspect of this motor was the fact that CJ experimented with running "dry heads" on this engine. He blocked off the oilers to the heads, pruned out the rocker covers, and experimented with different alloys for the guides and seats to be self-lubricating. CJ was able to get a couple thousand miles out of these combinations, but it was just an experiment, and eventually he went back to the old oiling system again.
Pat Leahy has been the only person to ever work on CJ's engines and transmissions, and still does. And, speaking of Weber carbs on Harleys, here's an interesting sidenote. Not many people know that Pat Leahy and Dean Moon were good friends. It was Pat and Dean that worked together on finding the right combination of venturies and complex fuel metering circuits to allow the big two throat Webers to run successfully on Harleys. And, it was their friend Jerry Magnuson who cast up the Big Twin and Sporty manifolds for them.
This photo of CJ putting the final touches on some flames in the headpiece of one of his famous engraved Mag Lites. They're aren't too many of those big bodied Mag Lites out there with CJ's work on them. If you have one, consider yourself lucky. From an article in the April '90 issue of Easyriders magazine.
Not exactly American Gothic, but close enough! CJ, Robin, and his little daughter Jzena, at his spread in Devore, CA. These photos come from an article in the May '92 issue of Supercycle. If you look in the lower left, you'll see CJ still had the Knuckle, but it was supercharged by then, and sported a rear belt drive. CJ has promised me he'll send me the full photos of that version of his Knuck. CJ is seated on his main ride at the time - his Pat Leahy-built Shovel.