Wednesday, January 25, 2012

trimmed out tanks!

Last night Miss Brittney and I trimmed out Vern's tanks for his 46. The emblems are new old stock and fit the tank perfectly. The emblems are just a shade lighter than the sky way blue. Which gives it a really nice contrast. When I was 15, I bought every color of new old stock war time emblem from Frank Fritz at Davenport. I bought one at a time over the course of the weekend. I still have them in my tool box.

This is probably my least favorite part of restoring a bike.

And the other side!!!! Man oh man this bike is slick.

Miss Brittney bought these old card organizers for the shop last week, so we made up a angle iron cage to hold them together. I welded some tabs with holes on it, so it can be bolted to the bottom of the work bench. SPACE MANAGEMENT!!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

snow pictures and misc. pics

It finally looks like winter in south Dakota. We got four inches of snow and it feels great. We had unusually high temperatures in December and most of January. There was even a day when the temperature was 60 degrees in January, my dad was able to take his o.p. 41 for a ride. This is unheard of for most everyone that calls the Midwest home.

I am working away on Vern's primaries.

My dad has been working on this 47 bottom end this week. It was put together previously with big intake valves and a few issues. We took it apart and checked it all out.

Here is the bk 47 motor almost finished. It is coming together nicely and should be done soon.

Here is a picture of a clutch pedal that is worn down. I built it up with weld and re staked it, but didn't take any pictures. whoops

Monday, January 23, 2012

chino bike almost switched over and 1946 knucklehead wiring detail shots

WHOA look at this bike mechanic.

Miss Brittney did a good job on this project. Go check it out at the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis from March till August along with a bunch of other great bikes.

here are all the wires going up to the switch. I should get the handlebars back from powder paint later this week or next week, then I can move onto cables and the h bar switches.

Almost all hooked up.

The wires on the relay are just for show. The relay is not necessary when you are running a cycle electric 12 volt generator with a built in regulator.

Brake light switch wires.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Miss brittney prepping the Chino bike for the Eiteljorg Museum in Indy

About a month or so ago we got a call asking us if we would loan the Chino bobber to the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis for six months. My dad said it was no problem. We put together the chino bobber recreation a couple years ago for a show in sturgis, It was based around my dad's 53 panhead with some dulled down parts. It had a cool superior muffler, wla bags and a 49 and 50 rear fender. We never fired the bike up in that configuration. After the show, we put the pepper red sheet metal on it and the backwards facing seat so my dad could haul Mike Lichter across the country on the cannonball run.

This was and is the perfect project for miss Brittney to take on. Here is a picture of the bike about half done.

Here she is taking off the goo gaw stuff.

She found this butterfly inside of the left tank.

Tanks are off

Here she is putting the 48 to 50 tanks on the bike. There are still a few things left to do on the project, but it should be done in about an hours worth of work. Good job Brittney.

Vern's 1946 FL knucklehead

I got a lot of stuff done on Vern's 46 since the last update. The rear fender is on for good as is the rear crash bar.

The front fender and lower horn mount went on very easily. I love final assembly. Pre fitting all of the parts makes this a breeze.

Vern wanted to go with 12 volt electrics because he plans on riding this bike a lot. That means that batteries are more common, the lights are brighter which makes the bike safer. This also solves the problem of finding coils, batteries and light bulbs out in the middle of nowhere if they happen to fail. Plus it only takes three or four hours to switch a bike from 6 volts to 12 volts and the conversion does not damage any original parts. I trimmed the coil cover down and will have it powder painted gloss black next week.

The wiring under the seat is almost done, I just have to make a ground wire and put an end on the positive wire.This is very nice and tidy. all of the wires are shellacked with model airplane dope and the correct 46 47 wiring flags are installed.

I took this picture to show the oil lines. They fit up very nicely, because they are all re cad plated originals that have been with the bike since it was new. Check out the parkerized fitting nuts on the overhead oil line. This is standard practice for 43, 44, 45 and 46 knuckleheads. 42 overhead oil lines were nickle plated and 47 overhead oil lines were cad plated.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I spent the morning working on loose ends on Wayne's black 46. My dad went out for lunch and picked up the sheet metal for Vern's 46. The paint is so nice. Mike did a great job on it as always. The color is Skyway blue which was used in 41, 42, 46 and 47. These pictures make it look lighter than it actually is.

Check out how crisp and clean the rivet and hinge definition is. This is one of the first things that I look at on bikes.

Here is Vern's 46 up on the lift. The bars are just for pushing the bike around, The bars that will be on the bike for good are in getting painted.

Oil Tank and coil mounts installed. You always want to put the ubolts for the coil in before you tighten up the front oil tank mounting bolts.

And rear fender!!!! I still have to put the fender clamps and rear crash bar on, but you get the idea. 46s are so damn cool.

Monday, January 16, 2012

52 motor pics and misc

Here is Bob's 52 bottom end going together. We did his frame and transmission a while back and he sent us the motor to check out and make sure everything was ok.

Just need to put the heads on and then it is off to the west coast. Thanks Bob!

Here is a 28 jd that we have to go through the motor on. It is a nice original bike, but the motor is stuck.

I spent the morning sorting out the dash wiring on the 46. I had to replace the socket insulators on the dash. It is a bit of work, but I got it sorted out and working!

Friday, January 13, 2012


Here is a 57 motor that my dad is putting together.

This is a pile of frames that the tubes are getting ground out of. Some guys try to heat up the castings and pull the tubes, we like to grind them out, It is a lot less invasive and doesn't damage the precious original parts.

I spent some time pressure testing heads and luckily only one of them leaked. these large port heads are for a 46, there was only one missing fin, I welded it up, but it still needs to be ground.

Here are the holes that had to be welded up in the exhaust ports. This is a pretty common issue with old heads. The exhaust pipes and ports get a little worn out and somebody drills a hole in them for a screw. This is not a good fix.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

back from a 2600 mile trip and a week on the road

Miss Brittney and I went to Minneapolis to build a custom frame, pick up a batch of parts, drop off a paint job and pick one up, then we went to Indiana, then Illinois then back to Minneapolis, and back home. It was a whirl wind adventure and it feels good to be back home working in the shop. I took a couple hundred pictures, and will post some over the coming months. Here is a picture of miss Brittney by the Ohio river in Indiana.

Here is the frame before we put it together.

We worked on it with our good friend Chad Pearson from Pearson Customs. it is quite a bit different from a stock frame, so we used his adjustable custom jig for building chopper frames. The frame we built has pretty much stock dimensions, but all of the tubing and other pieces were different.

After Chads, we went down south to a surprise birthday party for our friend Doug. Scott and Brooke came up from Kentucky to hang out. I got to ride the 29 jd and the blue 46, they were both really nice running bikes. Scott rode one of Doug's 36s. I took this picture of him leaving the garage.

Here is number 5. I love seeing this bike whenever I am in town.

After the surprise birthday we went up to the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa Iowa to pick up a 28 jd. The museum is truly overwhelming. I went to the grand opening two years ago and it was awesome then. In the year and a half since I last visited, the place has filled up with bikes, memorabilia and tons of stuff. You could get lost in that place. John has a motor wall with all sorts of motors from the teens all the way through the mid fifties. This was the only one that really caught my eye because I had no idea what it was. It looks European, but I have no idea, can any of you guys fill me in?

Here is a cool comet bike next to some other wild teens and pre teens motorcycles. John has so many off brand bikes, whenever I leave that place, I walk away with some cool tid bit of information about old motorcycles. Go there and check it out if you are ever in the Midwest.