Monday, June 29, 2009

on my way out the door

Hey guys it is 9:30 pm, I am flying to Milwaukee at 5:30 this morning. I have to drive two hours to get to my plane, but I just couldn't bear the thought of not posting something for your viewing pleasure. I should be back in a few days, have a fun tuesday and humpday.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Motorcycles jumping through flaming hoops

I was thinking about how cool this is while I was working today. I am going to build a flaming hoop and a ramp and try it on my 36 next summer. I am pretty excited, it will make a great picture and youtube video. If anybody reading this has experience with driving knuckleheads through flaming hoops and has some advice or input on the subject, please fill me in.

The only thing wrong with this photo is the bike. It would be so much better if the bike was a pre war knucklehead. What do you guys think?

Edmund and his azure blue 48 FL

This is a great pic that my friend Monte Rougemont took of my dad and I with Edmund Nielson and his 48 panhead. He owned this bike since 1952ish. He lived in Roslyn South Dakota. Edmund had a ton of neat mechanical stuff-neat cars, trucks, this bike and even an airplane. He was a cool old bachelor and lived in a house with no hot water or electricity. All of his possessions kind of doubled as his social life, because a lot of people would come and try and buy them from him. I never tried to buy his bike, I just liked hanging out with him and talking about mechanical stuff, and his life through the years. I really was amazed at the level that somebody could function at with out electricity and running water, I can't even imagine my life without my blackberry, and Edmund didn't even have running water. Edmund passed away a couple years ago, and all of his stuff was sold at an estate sale.

I think that I am probably 19 or 20 in this pic. It just seems like yesterday. I helped Edmund fix some oil leaks on his bike and get it running for the Vinegar festival that Roslyn has every year. He let me ride the 48 in the parade. He always had a huge smile even though he had three teeth. I miss him. My buddy John bought his bike at the estate sale, so at least I still get to see the motorcycle a couple of times a year.
Here is a pic of Edmund and I with our 48s.

Oil tank sight guage progress

This morning I checked my email and was pleasantly surprised to see some pictures of the trial run of our new oil gauges. The mold shop is having some difficulties with the center pin coming out of the mold and making a concentric hole. You can see the irregularities in these trial samples.. I know they will get it perfected. It makes me so happy to see a project like this progressing along.

Here is the revised box, I had our shop's website and my blog's address put on the box. Shameless self promotion 101, take notes.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Chino's Bike in THE WILD ONE

What a great picture!!!! When I was in Colorado earlier this month Mike lichter asked if my dad and I could build a replica of Chino's bike for his annual Sturgis Display. This is a pretty rare opportunity, and I am happy that we get to be included in the event. This years theme is "Rebel Rousers" and it is filled with iconic bikes that inspired people to get involved with motorcycling. I accepted with out even knowing what type of bike Chino had. The bike is a 49 or 50 panhead and we will build a good replica of the movie bike, it will be kind of crusty and ratty just like the bike in these pictures. Although the bike won't be a good representation of our work, I am still excited to be involved with a neat project like this. Mike is flying into South Dakota in a couple of weeks and we are going to do a tech article on turning our 53 panhead or 49 panhead into a replica of the bike. My dad and I are not sure which bike to use yet, but we will figure it out.

In this scene you can see the car shift knob, 41 to 46 speedo, and Chino's cool belt.

Notice the lack of a dash bolt, kind of a neat little detail.

The panhead that they turned into the movie bike must have been pretty decked out look at all of the holes in the top of the fender. I am not going to drill an extra 16 holes in an oem rear fender for the display. This is the one detail that I will not copy. The display will be at the buffalo chip campground all week long at this years sturgis.

Chino's Bike part 2

Here is a pic of chino rolling into town with his gang
Front 3/4 shot. The bike is pretty much a stock 49 or 50 panhead with the front fender removed, custom exhaust tip, flanders bars, wla bags and some extra junk removed.

Here is a good pic, notice the full rear fender.

Another good pic, Here you can see the sergeant strips on the rear fender. Check out the toolbox and 16 inch front wheel. This bike was turned into a bobber with the absolute bare minimum of work. It should be pretty easy to recreate.

Here is the iconic pic. NLAMC is providing a chino jersey for the Sturgis display, check them out at


Thursday, June 25, 2009

some old pics and a new one!

This is some big piece of wood that my dad shellacked a bunch of photos on. He did it back in the seventies when he was a shitty mechanic and had a bunch of spare time lol. There are a ton of cool pics on this of mid 70s bikes in California.

Look at this vagrant, it's my dad, he is probably my age in this pic. geez get a haircut man

That hair do is party in the front and party in the back, must have been the time period.

This is a shovelhead that he built in his house, something fell on it right before he was going to fire it up and the right tank got smashed in. We still have the tank, Check out the pic below

Here is the 64 duoglide I am wiring up today, I was routing the switch to fork terminal wire and needed a gas tank, so I got this neat old dented red one off of the wall.

Departure Flyer from this past April

Here is the flyer for the open house that Brian Klock and I went to this past April. It was a fun of time spending time with Brian and Lee Clemmons, and all the guys at Departure Bike works.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

1949 wiring part 1

In this pic you can see the asphalt loom that is covering the tail light and brake light wires coming out of the rear fender. I sent the o.g. chainguard to my friend Larry Medwig, so he could copy it and make some 40-57 chainguards.

Check out the asphalt loom that goes around the positive wire, and the two tail light wires.

This is a good pic of the relay wires. The circuit breaker control wire is original. It is the small diameter style, and it does NOT have a Farrel. The inner cable is sticking out the correct length.

Here is a cool pic of the switch to Gen. wires, they are in clothe woven loom. The two relay wires and the relay wire on the generator go into some more clothe woven loom. This is a great pic, take notes. Check out the jam nut on the shift pivot bolt, the way the clutch pedal spider spring is, and the lack of a washer under the front case bolt. and lack of lock washers on the gen.

Here is another great pic showing the neck and the gen. to switch wires. 49 was the only year that used two clips on the steering neck. The wiring on this bike is basically the same through 53 until hd came out with the trumpet horn.

1949 wiring part 2

Here is a good pic of the three wire loom that is routed beneath the return line. These three wires are in braided clothe loom not asphalt loom. Notice the press on oil sending unit cap and the silver paint on the welch plug in the cam cover

In this pic you can see the wire running through a clip and up the seat post. Notice how the Circuit breaker to Coil wire is routed.

Here is the shot that everybody needs to see. The Dash to coil terminal loom has never been removed from the bike judging from the original friction tape on the back bone. I am a little unsure about the wire loom being run outside of the triangle in the frame. I would personally run it through the triangle and into the coil terminal junction. Notice that the dash to gen. wire is taped to the downside of the frame, knuckleheads are taped to the right side. This is a great pic.

Check out how tidy everything is, the speedo light has been removed.

Whoa, you guys will thank me for these pics some day.

Time to Comment guys. I really need your help and opinions

While I was on my 1200 mile 1936 EL trip this weekend, my mind started to wonder like it often does, and to no surprise the topic of old motorcycles snuck into my thoughts. There is nothing in the world that I would rather do than work on old bikes, ride old bikes or talk about old bikes. It is pretty obvious that I have tunnel vision in my life, sometimes it is difficult for me to understand why there are not more people in the world that are as crazy about old bikes as I am.

Somewhere in the middle of Ohio I started to think about the general motorcycling public's perception of old bikes. As the one sided conversation evolved in my head I started to wonder what the biggest problems with the public's perception of old bikes are? This is where I need your help, I know quite a few people check this site and I need your input, please comment below and let me know what you think the Antique Motorcycle Hobby's biggest public image problems are.

Do you think that people don't think the bikes are useable? Do you think that they are afraid to work on them? Or maybe it is the fact that people just don't know how to use them. I don't know, I am sure every motorcycle enthusiast has a different reason. Fill me in on what you think. Thanks in advance.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Two rivers meet

I just got back from an amazing 4 day trip on my EL. I rode to the Two rivers event in southern Iowa and put over 1200 miles on my bike. I broke my front brake cable 800 miles into the trip, so I had to re arrange my stopping style. Everything went amazingly well, I will post some pics in the next couple of days.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

How to ruin the looks of a 36 el by adding a couple of parts!

I spent today filling orders, packing boxes and making my 36 El look shitty. I put a luggage rack on it and a buddy seat and helper springs. I plan on riding to Iowa in the morning for the Two Rivers AMCA show in Des Moines as long as the weather holds up. If anybody else wants to hook up along the way call my cell 605-228-4334

Here is a pic of the storm that rolled in while I was finishing up my bike. It rained cats and dogs for an hour. The sun is shining now, and it is a beautiful day. Who knows what it will be like tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some cool pictures!!!

I found these pics that my buddy Joe Mielke took today, I figured you guys would enjoy seeing theme.

Here is a pic of me being held down by the man.

Lichter pics from last week.

Here is a pic of Steve, Mike and me from last week.

Here is a pic of Frankie, Mike and I with Bob's 47 knucklehead. Frankie helped me drive to boulder. He also helped me detail the bikes and get them looking nice and shiny. The trip would have been a lot more difficult with out him. Thank you Frankie.

AT47 toolbox strap fix.

The bracket on the left is an 80s reproduction toolbox strap that was welded onto a 47 frame. It is probably .25 wider than the original strap on the right.

Whoever welded the toolbox strap on welded it at every available section that the strap was touching the tube. Original toolbox straps were only welded on the outside edge. Here you can see where I cut into the strap to remove the funky repro bracket. I left as much weld on the frame as possible because it is easier to see when you've cut through the bracket as opposed to cutting through the weld.

I used a cutoff wheel to rough grind the weld off of the tube.

I filed the rest of the weld off, and sanded it with a roll loc 3M disc.

Here is a pic of an original toolbox strap on top of the 80s reproduction. Ted Doerring started making really nice reproduction toolbox straps that are the correct width, you still have to massage them a bit to get them to fit correctly. I remember when you could only get the wide repro straps.

ML 46 frame

Here are the original floorboard tabs that were on Mark's frame. I did this frame last winter, I just talked to Mark today and he has over 1000 miles on his bike. He says that it tracks straight and runs good. I thought I would post some pics for you guys to enjoy.

Here you can see the new tubes that were installed. It was a real hastle to get the messed up originals out of the frame.

Here you can see the new tube inside of the original sidecar loop. The hole is where the original plug weld was. Nothing has been welded in this picture.

Here you can see all of the tubes that were replaced. I never took any pics of this frame after it was finished, I didn't have a blog back when I did this. The frame was fixtured up when I welded everything together.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Common Fixes

Here is a tool box bracket that I welded onto a 46 frame.Notice how the weld is only on the outside edge. this is an original bracket that the second owner of the bike cut off back in the seventies. He saved the bracket all of these years, and now it is back on the frame. This is the ideal set up.

He also cut off the floorboard tabs, I ground, filed and sanded the original welds off of the frame tubes. Then I welded on some new cast mounts. I do a lot of these every year, this is a pretty common deal.

Check out the E 760 number on the tab.