Tuesday, November 27, 2012

HA! It all klicked in.......

On one of the message boards today, I used a quote from Jeff Leighton's article on Droopy's built and owned "...since '63 " Knuckle, from the April/May 2012 issue of Street Chopper, and some of my long-dormant brain cells clicked in, and I thought you'd enjoy this. First, the quote - now remember, this was in 1963:

"With the major parts purchased Droopy and his friend Paul Cerrato bought 2 pounds of hash (*my note: we ain't talkin' no Hormel brand here), and set out to build some choppers. Every time they would work on Droopy's Knucklehead, or Paul's 'four wheeler' (a trike with dual springer front ends) they would smoke out, and think up cool ways to build bikes.....".

I know you've seen countless photos of Droopy's purple Knuckle (if you haven't, search Droopy in any image search engine), but have you ever seen Paul's bike???
Well, you have now......Paul Cerrato's "Four Wheeler".
When I first saw Cerrato's bike feature in the July 1974 issue of Easyriders, I was totally taken away by it's sheer awsomeness. What would inspire somebody to build something like this....well, now you know!

Hey, did you catch the reefer plants embroidered on the back of the seat? 
Illegal substance-directed engineering.........a Model T front axle mounted to the frame neck, which is located with long hot rod hairpin radius rods, with two more frame necks welded where the axle spindles would be, holding two 15 over springers, steered with a set of tiller bars, which move the springers via a set of tubular drag links. Fuckin' A!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Derriere augmentation......

Day 2 on Shawn's frame. First thing I did was to make the spacer and internal sleeve to raise the backbone up another 1". It went in low, and way below the bend in the seatpost. This way it was more of a vertical lift. Putting it in the bent section of the seatpost would have raised the backbone, but it would have also moved the backbone back, which we didn't want to do.

Next, I cut the axle blocks from the upper section of  the frame, and shortened the lower rails by 2". I mated the axle blocks with the lower rails, then cut the upper rails just in front of the seat crossover tube. I moved to the L/H axle block, and trimmed off the remaining upper rail section, leaving about 1/2" of the rail for a socket for the internal sleeve.

Next, I made sure the upper rail section stubs were ground square, and then cut a new upper L/H frame rail, with the corresponding internal sleeves. I heated the L/H rail stub by the backbone, and pulled it up about a 1/4"-3/8" until it aligned with the replacement frame rail's new angle, and presto!

I slipped the internal sleeves inside the new rail, and was just about to get them into position, when Part-timer Steve showed up. He helped me get the sleeves tapped into place, then I plug welded the sleeves and rail into place. Once Steve was here, he jumped in and did the prep work and sleeves for the R/H side, and bending the stub into alignment, and setting the rail/sleeves, was a breeze on the right. Here's the results, and we have a straight 9 1/4" between the rails all the way down, just like before we modified it.......

Here's the profile view, a nice, straight shot to the axle blocks down the backbone....bye, bye dropseat section, and Shawn has just shy of another 2" of ground clearance, and 15" of backbone height for his monster motor to slide in and out from. Compare the upper rails now, to how they looked in my previous post.

The arrow in this photo is pointing to where we heated the top rail stubs to re-align them, you have to look hard to see they ever moved.
That's where we left off today. Shawn was over, and after seeing the new rear section, decided to keep the stretch in the backbone, and we're leaving the 38 degree neck angle alone, too.

Tomorrow (yeah, no rest for the wicked, but we have a killer TV to watch football while we work!) we're going to tackle rejoining the front downtubes with the neck, which looks a lot easier than it'll be. CDC bent the wishbones, then they sliced of about a 3rd of the radiuses off the insides of both downtubes, then welded them together, forming sort of a single tube with them. It was OK when they welded it all into position in the jig, but when we cut the neck loose, the downtube assembly sprung about an 1/8" to the left up top. We'll have to deal with that before we can do anything else.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

One step beyond.......

Another frame for Shawn. He got a smokin' deal on a CDC/Bling Cycles frame, but on Shawn's initial mock-up, he ran into some running gear fitment roadblocks - and I stress not CDC's fault, they build a pretty nice frame.

See, Shawn wants to put a monster motor in here, and the backbone was a tight fit with a stock motor over the rear rocker box area. Also, clearance between the oil tank and the top of the transmission was close, and ground clearance with a 160/70-17 rear tire was about 3", so.........

We're going to shorten up the tail section 2" to lift the bottom of the frame - there's plenty of stretch back there to do it. Next, we'll add in 1" to the seatpost, and that'll give Shawn about 15" of clearance for his back cylinder, and take care of the oil tank issues. Then, we'll re-align the upper back legs to match.

Once that's finished, Steve and I will move to the front of the frame. looks like we're taking 2" out of the backbone stretch, re-align the front downtubes, and possibly taking 3 degrees out of the neck rake - we'll have to see once we get the front end on it.

Yeah, it's a lot of work you say, and why doesn't Shawn have somebody build him a frame to match his dimensions? Well, even with the labor to modify his frame + his initial cost, he's actually bucks ahead on the whole deal, and he can work with me to get exactly what he needs as far as fit and final bike profile goes.

And, speaking of profile........
Back in the August '07 issue of Street Chopper I had a nice 5 page feature article by Justin Schilling on a traditional fatbob-style bike I built for a client, titled Bringing Back Bob
In the article, Justin quoted me as saying:
"If someone were to ask you to name one style of custom motorcycle that you thought had been perfected over the years, your answer would have to be the timeless beauty and simplicity of the fatbob Harley. The combination of classic line and utilitarian road-ability of a fatbob-styled Harley-Davidson can't be denied."

I may have been a little ahead of the curve in '07, but I sure seem to see a lot of  guys that are long distance road trippin' on their customs ditching their little peanut tanks (and all their extra fuel bottles) in favor of a set of  fatbobs.

I know I've retro-fitted up quite a few 3.5, 4.2, and 5.0 gal. tanks for guys lately. It was inevitable, as everything that was old and time proven.....is new again to another generation of builders. During the gas crunch in the middle '70's, it seemed as if everyone was tossing their tiny tanks in the corner for a set of fatbobs. I'm seeing this style of bike coming full circle again.Yep, we're mounting a set of 4.2 Softail flatsides on Shawn's bike.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Kodachrome Thanksgiving.......

Wishing you, the faithful readers of Applied Machete, a bountiful Thanksgiving.

Oh, and if that actually was my family in this photo back in the early '60's......my Dad would be passed-out face first into that turkey, my Grandma would have already picked several fights with my Mom out in the kitchen, and my sister would have had the wheels of one of my friction-drive cars painfully wound into her hair by now.

Remember this goofy frame?

People ask me if the drugs back in the '60's were that good......I rest my case.
It started out as a Pan frame, then somebody added those elongated new wishbone downtubes (actually, all the way to the bottom seatpost crossover), that swooped forward half-way up to a sketchy Knuck bullneck. For good measure, they decided that the backbone should be 1 1/4" tubing to tie everything together, then there's those "mounts" hanging on the backbone - I was told the lower one was the top motor mount, and the upper was a coil mount (?).

Everything over the years on the frame from the seatpost-forward has been cut, bent, and welded over numerous times, but actually, the frame wasn't bad structurally overall, it just needed a lil' rehab.
The client wanted to keep some of the original "flavor" behind the old mods, but he needed to keep the rake about the same, because he has a vintage long Denvers springer to use. All I have left on the frame is to do is the splice welds, and to make a nice triangulated top motor mount from 1" tubing for it.

I replaced the old downtubes with straight ones, went back to the 1 1/2" backbone, and slipped that over a short section of the old one at the seatpost, and ordered one of John's (Hardtail Choppers) OEM-style raked replacement necks for it. The client is thinking a set of OEM 3 1/2 gal. fatbobs on this, but that may change. Should be interesting......
Check out how sweet this neck is! John can do his OEM-style necks in any rake from 30 to 45 degrees. This one is a 40 degree. The raked necks take a little while longer to set up and cast, so keep that in mind if you order one.

The only difference between this casting and his standard 30 degree neck, is that there isn't any lock boss on the other side of the neck, both sides look the same as the photo above. 
Give John a call if you're interested in one of these OEM-style, pre-raked necks. Make sure you tell him you saw it on my blog:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dr. Sprocket in The Big House.......

Back in December of '72, the editorial staff of Big Bike magazine got a letter from the director of the California Men's Colony, inquiring if Big Bike would be interested in helping organize and sponsor an indoor motorcycle show at their facility. Larry Richardson, editor of Big Bike, thought it was a great idea, and after five months of planning by both Big Bike, and the inmates and staff of the C.M.C., on May 13, 1972, the show became a reality.

Dr. Sprocket, sitting centered with his trophy winning bike, posing with some of the C.M.C. inmate bike show crew. Doc is mentioned in the article as "Richard Hostrender", obviously one of his many aliases he's used over the years....

About 30 bikes participated in the show that day, the majority of them ridden the 200 miles to the C.M.C. . All the inmates that wanted to were allowed to freely mingle with the riders, and see the bikes up close. Everyone that day also enjoyed a chicken lunch, while they watched a screening of the movie Easyrider, arranged by Big Bike.

The inmates made all the trophys, and both the inmates, and the C.M.C. staff decided the winners of the show by popular vote. Our very own Dr. Sprocket was in attendance that day, and came away with the C.M.C. Staff Award for "Best Road Jammer". 
A nice shot of the very cool inmates-made trophy awarded the Good Doctor that day. I wonder if he still has this?

Some of the people who were there told me that Doc came away with another award that day, the very prestigious  "C.M.C. Hairy Bear Award".....whatever the hell that was for. Doc doesn't talk about that award, and says "It was a long time ago......". Haha! Kidding Doc, just kidding.........

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Now you don't......now you see it.......

Here's something else I ran across. This is how Dick Allen's bike appeared in the "Wheeler Dealer" article  in the Oct. '68 issue of Roth's Choppers Magazine, although Roth was trying out the name Custom Bike for the publication for a few issues (this issue included), returning to Choppers right after this.
And, here's the same photo, without the background removed from it. Pretty junky backdrop, and from the structures, I'd say they shot Dick's feature behind the "big building" of Roth's Studios.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I found this by accident........

I ran across this anomaly by accident the other day. I was looking through some of the old Choppers 
Magazines, looking for photos of Tom Burke, Junior, Motor Mouse, and Pat Leahy - all alumni of Tom's shop, B&O Cycles in Long Beach, CA., for a couple future posts. Chris Bunch, the then-editor of Choppers, spent a lot of time hanging out at B&O back then, and Tom's shop was one of his "go-to" places if Bunch needed a tech article done/photographed for the magazine.

In the April, 1973 issue, Bunch did a feature on Motor Mouse's fresh build, with a '64 Pan/Shovel combo for power. As I was looking at the feature (and I've looked at this dozens of times over the years), I read the part of the article that said "Up front, Mouse chose an early (Note from me - notice it said early) Dick Allen 15 over springer, which runs on an 18 - inch tire and spool hub". Then I looked at the photo of Mouse's Dick Allen springer on his bike again.......do you notice what I did? Look at the distance separating the top springs.....it's a Dick Allen-built WIDE springer!
I pulled this photo out of Joe Hurst's article on his White Bear bike out of the July 1973 issue of Street Chopper. Joe's DA springer had been on his bike since '68, so if there was an early DA front end (besides Dick's), his would be a good example. The thing the early DA front ends were noted for, was narrow. So narrow that a Buchanons spool hub barely fit between the rockers. Take a look at the spacing between the upper springs, and the round bar (the most common) spring perch for the lower springs......
Now, look at the spacing of the upper springs on Mouse's DA front end. See how far apart they are? Dick built Mouse's front end just about as wide as an original springer was. Also note, that the lower spring perch bar is square - not round, and about as thick as the lower triple tree is.
I "borrowed", as you can see, part of this photo from the MC Art blog, to show how close the rockers actually came to the front wheel's hub on the DA springers.......
Now look at the spacing between Mouse's Buchanons spool hub, and the inside distance between the rockers on his DA front end. The spacing here is about what you's find on an original springer.

I've seen all kinds of Dick Allen springers, and sure, Dick was building these one at a time, and yeah, I'm sure if you asked, you could probably get one any width you wanted if Dick was in the mood to accommodate you. I've seen several DA springers that are a little wider than Joe Hurst's, but not much. This is the widest Dick Allen springer I can remember ever coming across, and also being referred to as being an early built DA springer to boot.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thinking about a windshield......

......or a full face helmet? This should take care of both those needs!
I stole this picture from Jesse James'  Tumblr 

Such a great Lady.....

Cindy Rutherford passed away today. Owner of Century Motorcycles in San Pedro CA., long-time companion of Von Dutch, a great all-around person, and a friend. She will be missed by many.
Here's one of my favorite photos - Cindy and I at the premiere of the Harbortown Bobber documentary, that we were both in, back in October of 2009, in Santa Monica CA. I'll tell you, Cindy's segment in the HB just flat-out stole the whole show. I'll leave you with this video......