Sunday, November 23, 2014

Photo Above:

NOOT'S BLOG:  It all started for many of us with our first 20" bicycle.  This particular 1967 Schwinn Stingray has been around.  The wheels are special, custom built 120 gauge, with ACS hub, Araya rims, Bendix . . . right out of 1976.  This is where it started.

Sentimental Motorcycle Parts

Yesterday (Saturday Nov. 22nd, 2014) was an interesting day.  I started off at 7am driving towards Minnesota in heavy fog.  My destination was to my friend Pat's shop for aluminum welding on some parts for a motorcycle engine I'm restoring.   As I look around the shop, I see all kinds of "sentimental motorcycle parts."  All my own bikes are made up of these parts.  Parts that people gave me, or sold to me at very reasonable rates because they like me and want me to have it.  They know I'll fix it, and run it on my bike.  No such motorcycle I own has more of these "sentimental parts" then my '52 Panhead Chopper.  As I'm driving back from Pat's . . . I get a phone text message.  It's from my friend Willard who remembers this day - as the day 32 years ago he lost his dear friend Stumpa, a lifetime brother - and fellow member of the Nuggets Motorcycle Club.  Stumpa was from Cambridge, Iowa - and was in his 20s when he passed away.  Long gone, but never forgotten.  The front wheel on my chopper was sold to me (on easy payments) from Willard.  It's Stumpa's old wheel from his chopper.  It has guided me over 5000 miles so far.  I run Williard's old custom risers, Willard's Bates headlight, Critter's old fork brace, DAs fender, Bromie's sissybar . . . it goes on and on.  All the parts have some kind of history.  It's really cool.  Go to almost any shop - and look around.  You will see sentimental parts.  They are usually cool, unique, old . . . and they draw your eye to them.  When the owner reaches up and takes this part off their wall and hands it to you - it's quite an honor.  I take it seriously.  I will use it, or give it back.

As I got back into town, I called Willard (who was in Charles City today) and we went out and visited Critter's gravesite, had a drink for Stumpa, had a drink for Critter, talked about life, talked about bikes and parts and engine building and racing and choppers and everything motorcycles.  The sun was setting as I went home.  The fog came rolling in again.  We've lived a lot of life the last 32 years.  Seen a lot of sunsets.  Sentimental motorcycle parts are an important part of friendship - and the preservation of history.  For without history, what legacy do we leave behind - What proof?  Just to let the next generation know, that we were here, we rode hard, we partied, we existed.  Their spirit lives on.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

This race video - Is Totally Awesome

This video footage highlights a young Terry Poovey(#18) from Texas.  It begins with running practice sessions, then trying to make the Main from a semi . . . then the Main Event.  Sit back - crank your speakers and enjoy - Two Stroke Motorcycles.  You won't believe how it ends.  This is why I love flat track racing . . .

Jim Carroll's Diary . . .

We all know they made a movie after Jim Carroll's diary titled:
The Basketball Diaries.  
If you want to see the movie, it's playing on 
" this Network " on cable channels: 
Monday Nov 24th 11pm
Friday Dec 19th 1am
Friday Dec 26th 1am
DiCaprio is in it . . . and Mark Wahlberg
Carroll was a very talented artist, writer . . .
He kicked his heroin addiction.
Started a band: The Jim Carroll Band 
Cut one of the greatest records . . . 
Catholic Boy

Scott Parker - Houston TT

Scott Parker jumping his XR750.  Who says flat track racers can't catch air?  It was like Knievel on every lap of a 25 lap feature.  All 18 riders . . . wow !  ZOOM IN - Crazy air !

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Kenny Roberts Makin' a Living

To become the AMA National Champion, you needed to have the most total points from Dirt Track: Miles, Half-Miles, TTs and Road RacingIf you were employed by a manufacturer(Roberts was Team Yamaha), you rode what they had - your bike might be competitive, it might not.  Roberts had to ride a highly modified Yamaha 650(750) and try to keep up with the dominate Harley XR-750.  He's pushing it hard, harder, on the brink of crashing.  Trying to win with under-rated, underpowered equipment. It was bad for points - but great for honing his sliding skills, how to use power, how to negotiate with Yamaha and go road racing in Europe.  Roberts had been to school and was ready to take on Europe on the pavement.  It led to Roberts becoming World Champion.  A hard way to make a living.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Joe Leonard

His Harley KR is pulling away . . .

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Original Autographs of Flat Track Racing

Gary Scott #1  Factory H-D Team
When my dad went to the Indy Mile, Peoria TT, Springfield Mile, Sedalia 1/2 Mile, Des Moines 1/2 Mile, and Black Hills 1/2 Mile . . . he collected autographs from the sport.  I went to Indy a couple times as a youth and remember handing my program through (and over) the fence to Springsteen, Goss, Roberts, Romero, Beauchamp . . . these racers were my heros.  Still are my heros.  
Gene Romero #3
Ken Roberts #1
Rex Beauchamp #31 and Jay Springsteen #25(65X before his national number)
Steve Droste #92
Ted Boody #12
Mike Kidd #72

There's Randy Goss, Hank Scott, Scott Parker, Dave Aldana, Darrel Hurst, Steve Morehead . . . and later years of Ricky Graham, Bubba Shobert, Kevin Varnes, Kevin Atherton, Chris Carr, Joe Kopp . . . and I wouldn't trade any one of them for a Jordan or Rossi . . . maybe a Tarkington?  I got Ray Nitschke !

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I read obituaries . . .

I got this bad habit of reading obituaries about people I don't even know and evaluating their lives - and the value of their life.  What they did - how they lived it.  Now, I rate them with this (rather terrible) rating system as if they lived, "Shot from a Cannon" . . . or "Squeezed from a Tube."   I guess if you have a family, kids - you know what I'm talking about.  There's no other, greater feeling of life - the feeling you get from your own children, your wife, your life lived through them - with them.  Your offspring can "Shoot you far and away."  The workings of a family can give you the ultimate ride of your life.  Then you have the obits that didn't do much.  No rides.  No giving - No generosity.  No nothing.  All for naught.  They just existed (so it seems) with no legacy - they never dared to try - or go - or do.  Squeezed from a tube.  If you feel you are being squeezed - get out - Get in the cannon.  Try it.  Light the fuse.

No Paper - No Worries

I'm building a racer.(something like this)  An XLR, TT, old-time Class C racer that could hold it's own back in the day against any amateur racer.  A capable machine in the hands of a semi-pro.  All the builds you see are usually "titled" stuff that looks like a race bike, but it's not - and it has a license plate - all legal - and all that jazz.  No title kinda snuffs your plans if you can't hit the street - and that's too bad.  I've got an old Sportster "Scrambles" chassis that someone raced at local club events.  Parts cut off, stock parts missing.  I got a beaten and abused set of cases someone blew all to hell, with hot cams, hot heads, weird pistons . . . and ball bearings.  Why not build an outlaw?  A bike you sneak out of town and hit the gravel.  A bike you load in the back of your truck - and race around the fairgrounds.  Dirt on the tires.  Mud on the motor.  Maybe enter an "ol man's" scrambles event - or short track?  Exhibition.  Something to look at in the shop while sippin' a beverage.  Something to start up and let your friends take a ride.  A big cube mini-bike basically.  A waste of money and time for a few short minutes of fun.  
A complete bike-nut approved build.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Juice Brake Plate and Lever ($30) New
FLH Shift Arm - Spline Shaft ($15) New
Big Twin Riser Bushings ($20) New
Supertrapp Plates & Cover(some screws) ($20)
Big Twin Hidden Fork Stop Kit($50)
Yamaha TT Tune-Up Kit ($15) New
'68 Guide Tail Light ($50) with good
wiring, lamp, door (cracked license lens)
I'll work with you on shipping the best way . . . 

Friday, November 7, 2014


"Being shot from a cannon is always better than being squeezed from a tube."

Ol' Man Winter sent me a text message . . .

He texts: Polar Vortex
I text: 5w30
He texts: Dead battery
I text: Magneto !
He texts: Fogged shield
I text: Super Seer Anti-Fog Spray
He texts: 20 degrees
He don't like me ever since I sold my ice bike and my sled.
But, I rode today
Out of the garage at 7:00am and down for coffee, 
stop at the post office, stop at the local car garage hang-out . . . 
and all the talk is the weather . . . 
"Why are you still riding your motorcycle?"

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Snake River Jump: Re-Creation

I heard Scott Truax (son of Robert Truax who originally engineered the X-2) is trying to recreate the Snake River Jump . . . and we got Big Ed Beckley(stuntman, promoter, etc) will pilot the new-redesigned unit to fly over the canyon, pretty much in the same area as the gone-but-never-forgotten Evel Knievel.  Why can't we just let history remain the glorious history it is?  The fact that is was done.  A daring feat of courage, technology, money, heart and soul . . . it really was a monumental true daredevil stunt that can never ever be repeated, make it or not.  Let's re-create Washington crossing the Delaware, Neil Armstrong on the Moon, the first 200mph quarter mile with a period correct vintage dragster.  Scott and Ed are brave, industrious men who want to do it . . . I just wish they'd come up with a truly unique stunt of their own - and make their own history - and let Knievel keep his alive as it ever was.

Rad Shovelheads from JAPAN

Hey Wiley . . . if I have to have a shovel, how about one like this?  I just have to have a place for my tent, sleepin' bag, camping pillow . . . hell - I'll just look for a Holiday Inn.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


From the top . . 
Neato Panhead
Chevy Barn Find (model car)
 Joey's Grand-Daughter
Neato Paint
TJ doin' a lost art . . .

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Ironhead Breather Timing

Once that piston starts moving down after TDC(about 20-25 degrees) - Your breather might as well start opening.  At 5/16" after TDC it should be opening for sure. It should stay open all the way to BDC.  Get that air out of the crank and create some suction on the way back up to get the oil out of the top end.  Oil is friction.  The ability to reduce friction and drag in an engine is important when trying to make adequate power, eliminate oil consumption - and calm down internal pressures.  I don't have a lot of performance mods on any of my bikes.  Everything is kinda stock - or mild performance.  But, I try to get the most I can out of what I got - so my shit starts and runs halfway decent.  It's fun knowing this stuff, reading manuals, trying to understand how everything works will help you diagnose potential failures, etc . . . and always listen to your elders.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Rebel Ride

I did a few mods to the K the last few days.  The back jug always smoked a bit - those rings just never seated.  So I pulled the back cylinder, measured (straight with .0035) gave it some ball hone 60 degree - checked my gap, re-ringed it, ground the valves, lapped 'em in (almost took too much off since I barely had enough to get my valve clearance.  I guess you should always take a bit off the stem too when you grind the valves? (I'm learning).  My rear plug always runs kinda moist - and it puffs a little out the pipe (just like John Tibben's ol' KR the last time I saw it run).  Hopefully this will cure it?  I got the CV carb back on, dropped the needle, and installed a couple small washers on the top of the needle to keep it from bouncing around.  If you ever notice on a CV carb, once you drop the little plastic crown down in there(hold down on the crown simulating the spring pressure) - and you'll notice the needle can still move up and down a little, possible changing your intermediate jetting from vibration.  Anyway - this thing runs smoother now, starts a bit better - and has more bottom-end power.  I jacked up the timing a little more too.  I went with 5-30 oil for easy 40 degree starts - and short trips around town.  It's all K-Model now 'til the snow flies . . . and maybe a couple days of clear streets with snow in the yards . . . dress up, fire it up and hit the streets.
Official: Carb-On-The-Left-Club Member

' 72 Pump Body

I'm running the later 1972 up pump on a earlier set of cases.  I drilled the breather plate and the case, so now I have "the big drains" to feed those big gears . . . get that oil out of the bottom dude !

Friday, October 31, 2014

We made The Horse . . .

Me & Joey in the latest issue . . . 
That was a fun day

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Tulum & Isla Mujeres - Yucatan

I stayed in Tulum pueblo(city population-no resort) in a palapa roof, mosquito netted dwelling.  We traveled around on biciclatas(bicycles).  Many people live in makeshift shacks constructed with tar paper, particle board, blue tarps and palapa leaves for roofing.  Poor - but everyone seems quite happy.  
Below: I'm pictured at Tulum near a ruins that was used to torture and punish adulterers (men or women who mess around with someone other than their spouse) Those Mayans are short and small, but they reconquered the Spanish (after losing the first time) - and they don't mess around with lawbreakers.  The Mayans are fierce fighters.  Everything down here is beautiful, but fierce.  Their demise was believed to be a virus brought from Europe . . . hmmmmm, sound familiar with what's happening now?

Each morning we'd take off on bikes and ride to ruins or cenotes (large fresh water fed caverns) and we'd snorkel and swim to beat the heat.  One particular cenote had caves that you swim into - and once inside the ceiling opened up to reveal hundreds of bats flying around your head.  Depths of 30 to 100 feet under you at any moment - water clear as a bell - so it was nervous seeing the sudden depths beneath you.

Ropes at many times were strung to help lead you through tunnels.

We traveled by boat and floated by life jacket through the Sian Ka'an biosphere which is a 1.9 million acre wildlife refuge located near the Muyil ruins.  We had to hole-up in this Mayan pueblo during a heavy shower.  It was also infested with "baby bats."

Mexico is beautiful, but it has many things big and small that can kill you.  With just our feet and small backpack, we traveled,  hiked, walked and explored a lot of places while in Mexico.  On the go most of the day and night.  Stray dogs, scorpions(in our room) geckos, iguanas, snakes and the mosquito.  The sights, smells and vibes of the Yucatan are spiritual - and get your nerves and mind racing.  It's a trip.  A beautiful place, but pay attention !

After all that energy expired . . . we ate and drank like kings.  Mayans know how to eat, drink and celebrate life. This land is . . . "Where the Sky is Born."

We will be back.  If someday I just disappear - you may come find me (if you're brave enough) near the jungles of Coba (pronounced Co Baaa) Isla Mujeres, Isla Holbox (Hole Bosh) or just riding up and down the coast on my (now very rusty) Harley WLA stopping to eat fish and drink rum.  Day after Day.