Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thanks Paul

I am almost done with the 52. I got the rear wheel to spin freely and work the way that it should. I also filled it with fluids and checked for leaks, luckily everything is good. I will check it again for dripping in the morning, and fire it up tomorrow! woo hoo. My friend Paul sent me this neat letter with some pins today. His uncle was the famous Harry Molenaar of Hammond Indiana. Harry was a dealer from 1933 til sometime in the nineties, he was a racer, promoter, bike conservationist and above all a motorcycle enthusiast. One of the pins is a dealership pin and the others were ones that Harry wore on his suit coats. This is so cool! Check out the letter! The motor for the 1945 knucklehead that I built when I was 18 came out of Harry's old excess inventory. I always thought that it was cool to have been able to work on something that belonged to one of my heroes. I traded that 45 knucklehead for my 36 in pieces and have since put it together and ridden it all over the country, I think about harry every time i go on a big trip. He is legendary and has been someone that I looked up to for years. Here is a picture of my 1936 knucklehead tattoo that I got when I was 20. Harry is the fellow riding the bike. This picture was used in hds advertising literature for five or six years. I have a copy of the original photograph in my living room in my house. I will try to take a pic of it and post it in the future. I knew his nephew Paul through the m.c. business for a few years before I found out that he was related to Harry. I don't think that there are very many people that have somebodies uncle tattooed on their body. It is truly a small world.

Excelsior Project dreaming

Hi everyone, these pics are of a 13 or 14 excelsior motor that I am getting from a friend of mine in the middle of the country. IT seems to be in ok condition. It is missing the intake manifold, do any of you guys have one or can you point me in the right direction to get one? What other things should I look for on condition and wear. My friend originally told me that it was a 17 motor, but once i saw the pictures and did some research i realized that it was earlier. From what I am told 12 did not have the bumps on the bottom of the cylinders and tops of the cases. 15 is when excelsior went to the new style cases with the higher mag mount. I already make clutches and will have musselman hubs shortly, so the rest of the bike should be fairly easy to All kidding aside, this bike will be fun to ride around and use. I am not very hip to the original left grip clutch control set up that was used on stock excelsiors and would preferably like to have a lever operated clutch. Thankfully I have a lot of other bikes and projects to finish before I have to make a decision on such petty things. HEre is the carb that goes with it. It is similar to the carb that I used on my sears except it has a flange that bolts to a manifold. The sears carb screwed onto the manifold like a plumbing pipe.

dreams and drums

I found my old blueprint for my hoop of death stunt the other day. I think that this is a worthy cause, but I am a little gun shy of trying it after my cannonball crash. I think I will put it on the back burner for at least a few years. I had a dream the other night about how I am going to set my 36 up for the Alaska trip. I am going to put an xa fork on it, space up the transmission an inch for more ground clearance, make a higher volume oil tank that has a small battery spot, make up tubular framed saddlebag guards, install a round oil bath aircleaner, make up high pipes and put 19 inch wheels on front and back. It is going to be a super tough utilitarian looking knucklehead. I am so excited for this adventure. My dad told me that I was nuts and that he was not going to go, so I guess it will just be me and anyone else that is crazy enough to go with. Do any of you guys know where I could find an early wla oil bath aircleaner?
Todays battle is getting Randy's 52 back wheel to spin easily. I had an issue with the dust ring nog being concentric with the drum itself and rubbing on the brake backing plate. I will win, it is just a tedious process....


Here is a pic of bottom end stuff coming together. All of the wheels are balanced, now it is time to install sprocket shafts and pinion shafts. My dad will assemble and true the rotating assemblies over the weekend. I spent some time on the 45 bobber last night. Here is a pic of the wrtt seat laying over the top of a standard full pan seat. These are so cool and make bobbers look perfect. Dan pugens makes them and does an amazing job. Here it is mounted on the bike. I bolted and shimmed the motor, and installed the generator and relay. This bike has original header pipes, and they fit soooo nicely. I couldn't wait to see what the rear fender looked like on the bike so I put it on. IT is so cool. I want to lace up the other painted front rim this weekend and get it off to be trued. Here is the other side. 45s have such great proportions.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

castings and carbs

Here is a pic of ed's 55 motor with the carb installed. It is like the crown jewel in a detailed out motor. I love tricked out linkerts. hd started using this carb support in 55 after finding out how much the one with the big hole in it sucked. This is not much better, it is very difficult to tighten up the 3-8 24 nut on the bowl nut with this support. I guess that it is the price you have to pay when bolting on more goo gaw stuff on motorcycles. I got a box from the foundry today. I am so shocked that I had to do a second run of gen saddles. I didn't think that I would sell more than 5 of them. Anyways, if you have asked about buying one in the last month, hit me up and I will fill your order. ahhh and the aluminum squashed birds! I am going to put a set on my 36, they will look so cool all polished up.

dog tricks and bike pics

Today was a good day. I should have the 52 running tomorrow so that is very exciting. HEre is a pic of the tool that straightens out the gas valve on the tank. This is the first foot shift bike that I have ever worked on, and I am still adjusting to the lack of handshift parts on it. I do not know how many of you know about my dad's other hobby. He is into teaching dogs tricks. Here is a pic of him making his dog Daisy dance. Here is a pic of duke catching a treat in the air. HEre is the group of carbs that he is working on. He finished up quite a few, and now we are waiting on some parts that were ordered earlier in the week.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

dixie round up dice release party

Wish I was going to this

carbs and wiring

My dad is making good progress on the batch of carbs. Here is Don's 42 carb all finished up and ready for service. This is the only silver carb that we are doing in this batch. Check out all of the nickle plated hardware. this is so damn neat. Here are some more waiting for assembly. HEre is a pic of Randy's m74b installed and ready for action. I am putting the tanks on this bike today. I should fire it up in the next day or two. This stage is always very exciting. I spent the morning sorting out the tail light and brake light. All of the other wiring worked like it should.

Monday, March 28, 2011

1938 big twin frame

This is the 38 frame that we bought last week. The neck, fat bob mounts, foot board tabs and tool box mount have been trimmed on it. There are a lot of nice parts about it, I am glad that we were able to pick it up. Nice early loops and front motor mount. Check out the welded tab on the brake stay, this is a late 37 to early 39 feature. It is kind of tough to make out, but there is a number stamped in the seat t casting. The factory stamped a number in every frame that they straightened at the factory. You don't see factory straightened frames that often, but they are out there when you look for them.

misc parts

This morning UPS brought us the parts that we bought in PA last week. A lot of the parts are for Jason's 65, which I am very excited about. With this stuff we can finish pre fitting all of the chrome and sheet metal for that bike and get the plating in progress. woo hoo HEre is an offset for that we bought, One of the front legs needs to be replaced, and it needs the fender tabs welded on, but forunately I have some original ones, so I can repair it with all oem stuff. Check out the awesome license plate frame! This is going to look so cool all chromed and lit up. Two of the lenses are broken and need to be replaced, but I have some.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

panheads and pancakes

I got the tail light on the 52 installed yesterday. Riveting the tail light bracket back onto the body is very stressful. You have to listen to the rivet, they sound a lot different when they are fully expanded. If you hit it after the rivet is squished out it will break the tail light.

My dad and I went out to breakfast at perkins and got duke some pancakes. Here is a side profile pic of him. He never chews them, they just kind of slide down his throat.

Wheel installed. I should have this bike done this week. I am so excited to take it for a spin.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Delmars snow mobile

Here is a cool picture that delmar sent me of his new bike. I guess he got cabin fever and needed to go for a ride. I can't believe that it is still snowing in the dakotas.

Thank you HD

A couple of neat boxes showed up from the York factory today. We saw these last week when we went on our super cool nine hour tour. Ed tracked down the oldest nos tank that he could find and mounted it to a neat piece of wood with a bunch of engraving ont it, then had everyone that went on the trip sign it. Ed said he wanted to use a knucklehead tank, but couldnt find one in the dealer network, I guess it took a month or so to find it. It is probably a good thing that it isn't a knucklehead tank, because i would have ended up using it on a bike. I am not sure what year it is, it is rubber mounted and has a low profile gas cap and is still an amf tank. Do any of you guys have an idea? Whatever year tank it is, it is cool and a super nice gesture.

They also sent this cool group photo of the crew with my dad's 48 and Neil's 48. Check out my dad and Rays Vanna White pose.

more work!

Our friend Pete dropped off the chassis for his 46 today. It is in pretty rough shape. We did his motor last winter, and now we have some more work to do. He bought this stuff from his neighbor that he had known for forty years. part of the frame needs to be retubed from sitting in the dirt for the last sixty years. The fork is not correct for the engine number, so I will find an off set for it. This will be a fun project.

And here is a pic of Dave's 45. I put the trans in. I will bolt the motor and trans down for good this weekend. I love the proportions of wls. the frames are sooo nice.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

45 and a 55

Delmar and Gerald came down to hang out for the afternoon. Gerald borough his 25 jd motor to get in the mix. It is pretty nice, but has a few issues that need to be addressed. Delmar brought down a gas shut off rod that he made. These are so nice. The three of us have been working on figuring out how to make old bikes from the thirties through sixty five gas tight, and are on our way. There is still some work that needs to be done on this, but we are getting there.

G is so cool. These look just like oems.

While Gerald and Delmar were here, I took advantage of their strength and had them install the motor in Ed's 55 panhead. This looks so nice. I still can't lift anything over 15 pounds with my left arm.

Gerald asked if I needed any other motors installed, so I had him put Dave's 45 motor in. HEre it is. THis bike is going to be so cool.


I took this picture to show that the shoes are parallel with the backing plate. A lot of times the hole that the brake arm goes in gets twisted or warped and needs to be straightened out. This is something that is done before parkerizing and paint, but it is always good to check things out during assembly. This is a good thing to check out on your brakes

OOOO AAAAAA. Check out the correct nut on the centering pin, it is the same as a buddy seat foot peg nut. The 3/8 lock washer under the jam nut on the brake cam is a special brake only part as well.

I found these number plates today. I bought the one with arabic writing on it when I was 15, it was on a hydra glide front fender. I loaned it to a friend in Kansas to copy, so he set me up with a repro one in return. He has since passed away. I think that I will have to put it on one of our bikes.

and we also found out that quarters are a perfect fit for pocket flash lights. This is pretty cool.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I spent yesterday organizing the monster batch of parkerizing. It turned out well and has a nice color to it. Now that it is done, I can finish up the three bikes that we have been working on. Here is a pic of Randy's foot board and brake pedal set up.

HEre are some drums that I am prepping.

Ray is making some good progress on Ed's 55. The front end is set up, and the fender is almost fit for good. Pretty soon we can put this on the lift and install the motor and trans!!

We got another batch of proto type site gauges. We had the red line added, and the u clamp sorted out. We are approving them for production, and now all we have to do is print up instructions, order the 10-32 screw and shake proof washers. This has been a two year project, and i am so happy to see the light at the end of the tunnel.