Monday, February 28, 2011

south america motorcycle picture

This is Jorge, he is one of the local mechanics that I met on my trip. this bike is very cool. it is a 74 inch knucklehead with el cylinders. the rear one was a 36-37 and the front one was a five fin. He used some crazy Russian pistons that made this combination possible. I took over a thousand pictures, and it is too much to post in a row, so I will do some random posts in the future about different bikes, and different things I saw on my trip

The roads in Cuba are miserable and a lot of people convert their bikes to swing arms in order to handle the rough roads. Parts are almost impossible to get in cuba, so they make their own. Here is a pic of a new swing arm casting and the pattern that is made in order to make them. They are cast in steel, I asked him what grade and he laughed. I guess things are not as technical as they are here in the states.

misc. patterns and castings.

and the band plays on

I had an amazing trip down south. I met a lot of new friends, saw a lot of nice scenary and architecture and was submerged into a new culture that I knew nothing about. While I was on a whirlwind vacation, the shop kept moving. My dad and ray went to Fremont and jesse held the fort down. Here is a pic of Randy's 52 fender that Mike finished up. This turned out really well.

We got our cad plating and chrome back for the 65 shocks. They look really nice all detailed out and ready to mount. This bike is going to be so nice.

Here is the motor mount for the 50 wr case that I still have to machine.

These are wheel rings that I got from Kevin Baas for my daddy's 53. This bike is going to be so neat with chrome sheet metal and wheel covers!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why 1936 and 1937 Stepped Hub internals are your enemy

I tore apart the wheels for Doug's 39 yesterday and was surprised to find that both of the hubs were from a 35 to 37. The center sleeve is different, and the hub does not have the top hat spacer under large bearing cage. This is a terrible design and causes big problems. If you have this set up and ride your bike at all you may get hurt.

The sleeve wears into the back of the small bearing cage and the rollers do not have contact with the right spot on the sleeve. 38 and later hubs have a thrust washer between the cage and the sleeve to prevent this from happening.

rising tides

I have been making the best out of my few extra days in South Dakota. I worked till 11 last night and prepped and ground a bunch of castings and welding. Here are the squashed birds that we are going to use on Don's bike. These are for 41 and 42 deluxe sport solo bikes and impossible to find. My dad's op 41 had a mint one on the front that I pulled a mold off of to make some for my bike.

I spent this morning installing the steering dampener on Dons bike and putting the front fender on. This bike is soooo beautiful The pictures do not do it justice.

I set up the holes for the lower horn bracket and drilled the wire for the fender light terminal. This is all very tedious work. Lots of fun though. I am kind of on the fence about using this hub cap, I think that I might end up putting a cms one on. They are smaller and make the wheel look a lot bigger. What do you guys think?

Here is a pic of Dave's wl motor finished up and ready to install. WOW!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

charter flight tips and 45 motors

So I have some mixed news and a life lesson to share with you guys. I was supposed to fly to South america to hang out with friends on Sunday Morning. I booked a charter flight, but I missed it due to extreme blizzard conditions. 18 inches of snow fell in Aberdeen On sunday. The thing that I did not know is that charter companies do not refund or transfer the money that you spend with them to other trips. The next available flight that I could get on was four days after the one that I missed due to weather. I am still going on my trip, but instead of having 7 days in the sun, I will have two and a half. The lesson that I learned and the mistake that I made that hopefully some of you will learn from too--is to not book charter flights during winter. The good news is, that I get an extra two days in the shop to build cool bikes and work on neat projects :)

Here is Dave's Bottom end. It is a 45 WL, it is sooo nice

Top end installed

Heads installed! I have to put the manifold on to align the cylinders, then we can torque everything down, adjust the valves and GO! I love detailed out 45 motors, they are so nice looking

turning junk into diamonds

This case is for a panhead motor that my dad got in to rebuild. It is pretty common for oil pump shafts to get stuck in the case. I welded a 3=8-24 nut onto it and hooked on the slide hammer. After heating the shaft up, I pulled the old drive shaft out with a few tugs. This case is pretty tough and will need a lot of repair work, but we will turn it into a good usable running motor.

Here is a neat before pic of Paul's 37ULH Exhaust port, There was a pretty big chunk missing out of it

This is it after welding in a piece, grinding it and re boring it.

It turned out good and will last a long time.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I cant sleep

I am too excited about my vacation. It is 12:30 in the morning and I leave in five hours. I was checking out some links and I ran across my friend Joe Mielkes old photograph site. Here is a link for you guys to check out. This is a 52 wr that I did for my friend Dave. It is soo nice. We are building a couple ofneat 45s right now, one of them is a bobber, one is a stocker, and once those two are done I get to do a 42 wrtt, which is going to be soooo nice. Anyways, I will miss you guys while I am hanging out with old bike nuts south of the border. Have fun and be safe with your projects.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

some neat red bike pictures

Here is a neat pic from this summer of our op 41 el, op 46 el, and our friends op 48 fl. These bikes came from all different corners of the country. They were all stored in different climates and conditions and they all faded out differently. They all started out flight red and went different directions.

This bike is so nice. check out everything on this picture

the spark cable is trimmed back 3 inches from the end.

chrome pans still, later 48 pans were stainless. check out the cad plated flex nut on the top motor mount stud

Neat 46 pics

I wheeled out Jim and Vern's 46s to take some pictures. This is a pretty neat pic of them together. They are less than 1000 numbers apart and were probably made the same week back in 1945. Jim's bike is for sale due to unforeseen circumstances, call the shop if you are interested.

Pancakes are for dogs

My dad and I got a neat package from Sweden in the mail. It had some stickers and a couple of neat pins in it. Check out magneto zoo at

I got duke some pancakes for breakfast this morning. I love taking pictures of him eating them. We throw them like frisbees and he catches them in mid air and swallows them in one bite.

My dad got a Rally Mirror Chrome fender from HD yesterday. This thing is sooo cool. I figured I would post a pic of the part number so all of you guys reading this can rush to your dealer ship and get one for you bike

Here it is on his kitchen table.

OOOO AAAAAa His 53 is going to be so cool when it is all chromed up and trimmed out.

Vern"s 46 update

This is apic of vern's motor hanging out with other knucklehead motors in our show room.

Here it is in his chassis. This bike is going to be sooo nice. We are waiting on the fenders and other misc pieces. Should be coming together soon.

I love the way these bikes look outside in the snow. The handlebars are original standard bars which are more comfortable that speedster bars. Somebody bent them up during the last 70 years, I will have to bend them down and repaint them. My dad has the factory tool that was sold to dealers in the thirties and forties for moving crashbars and handle bars. I will post pics when we do it, because it is so damn neat.

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I will bolt the motor and transmission down for good when I come back from vacation.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Little things

I spent most of the day keeping Jesse, my dad and ray moving and tonight I finished mounting the rear fender and crash bar on Don's bike I don"t think that i have ever posted pictures of the wing nuts that i made up five years ago. Early wing nuts have rounded edges and look a lot more finished when compared to modern wing nuts. I think that modern ones look cheap and blocky

Here you can see the difference. the modern wing nut has straight sides and the early style has convex sides. Pre war ones are made out of brass and post war ones are steel. I only make bronze ones, but will probably re cast them in steel when I run out of these. You can't tell the difference once they are cad plated.

Here is a pic of Don's 42 tail light base.

And here is the nos gasket that I scored for it. 42 was the first year for the gasket felt material gasket, 1939 to 1941 gaskets were made out of thick rubber

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

fixing stuff up

Here is a 1941 rocker box that i got from my friend Dale, He needed it welded up and repaired. I have had to fix these up before, I don't know what causes this, I would guess somebody dropping a complete head on the ground. Who knows really? Have any of you guys ever busted one of these up?

Here it is all welded up and ready to machine. It turned out well and will be very difficult to notice once my dad is done machining it.

I fit the s pipe and front header pipe on Andy's 47 tonight after everyone had left the shop. It turned out well, I should have the exhaust for this bike, Don's 42 and my dual exhaust pipes at the painters by the time i leave.

grinding shirts and paint.

I roughed in doug's 36 case this morning. This is about as close as i can get it with out the weld being milled down flush with the case.

I am going to south america for a week on sunday to hang out with some harlistas, I called up my good friend Ed from York PA and asked if I could have some shirts to give to the guys that are taking Mike and I around site seeing. As always he hooked me up. I love the motor company

I spent the morning laying out oil tank decals with mike. I was also able to pick up some nice black paint. Here are the fork legs for Jim's 39. This bike is in the next batch of bikes.

Here is the frame. It looks like candy, he does such a good job.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Here is a neat pic i found of my sears getting worked on at my friend Doug's place in Indiana. We were having problems with my magneto and rear hub. I loved building and riding this bike and am looking forward to rebuilding it again and riding it all over the place.

Here is a picture of the guard dog Daisey may.

I mounted a ton of tires today. These are the 16 inch ones, now i have to do a few 18s. Lots of neat stuff going on lately and some really cool bikes will be coming together.

My dad is working on more knuckleheads. He is doing another seven sets. These are the three that he cut the seats on this morning. These things just find their way to us.