I wonder if the track will be worth a shit this year???

Branch Cylinder Heads

I've had numerous guys contact me lately about old ironhead cylinder heads they found...and they think they're old Branch heads...and they're not. 

All the Branch heads I've seen have very polished ports, razor thin seats, surface ground rocker and head gasket surfaces (to get them perfectly parallel) and these numbers stamped near the intake ports (on the bottom).

....otherwise they look stock from the outside.
The early 900 Sportster Branch heads are not as common as the 1000cc heads.

Pipe Diameter

These pipes are small diameter 1 1/2".... I guess back in the day, the factory felt the K Model 750cc side valves worked best with these smaller diameter headers?  Similar sized to the ports, etc.  I always like the big, free flowing straight pipes, but so far, this thing seems extra responsive and hopefully it will help bring back some low end to this thing . . ?  Factory stock early Sportster muffler.  It's got a set of -60R KR heads on it, and I resleeved the cylinders, new valves, guides, etc.  The Delorto PHM38 is my new carb-of-choice (if you don't want to run an M53 Linkert).  I haven't really rode it around yet, so I'm sure I'll have some tuning issues coming up.  Hopefully not - is always nice !  I added my set of -60 aluminum wheels (I'd been saving for who know what?) and figured I may as well start using some of this stuff.... One thing is for sure, H-D made some pretty neat bikes back with the Ks and early Sportsters.  Some of the neatest lookin' if done right.

Clapper Restoration

I took my friend Chad's rebuilt '65 panhead engine to him the other night . . . and the first thing you see when you pull up - is the lamp in the window.  Kinda hard to miss it...
His shop has many many projects in various states of repair....and dis-repair.  It's fun to check it all out.

Full scale auto projects, vintage 45s . . . GTOs with new, straight quarter panels.  Primer & paint.  Chad was welding up a frame for Zach's shovelhead chopper.

I had worked all day, then drove all the way over . . . and was too tired to really help out - so I just drank a couple beers with the boys instead.
Reid and Zach (above)

Lots of cool stuff to check out around here . . . This WLA is dubbed "Private Pile"

Both good investments . . .

1961 XLCH

Gak's on top . . . Mine on the bottom . . .

I sold my vintage MX Boots . . .

I bought these years ago outside, on a beautiful summer day in Anamosa at a vintage swap meet.  I just thought they were so cool.  I like to sell crap to fund my other projects, so I put 'em up for sale.  Now they're off to Japan !  I've sold more stuff to the Japanese.  Iron Sportster parts, panhead parts, entire motorcycles . . . It used to kinda piss me off they were buying all our American heritage...but after gettin' to know some guys that come to Davenport and chat on-line....I realize how much they dig these vintage Harleys(and Chevelles) as much as we do - and it's ok with me now.  It's going to a good place.  Sometimes guys are just weird. 

50 Wt Oil = Caramel

I took the drain plug out, and I thought it was empty???  Huh?  What the heck?  Oh, there it is - all 4 quarts of oil took about 6 hours to drain.  A small little string of oil just kept on and on near the end.  No lie !

Krusty Khrome

Now I got this thing for a "crusty" early ironhead swingarm bike - with a slightly over stock or springer front end.  Short rear fender (maybe with a steel tail-light hiked up?), peanut tank, flaking chrome, vintage seat, maybe a painted frame . . . A bike you wouldn't worry about leaving outside covered with tarp - with a log chain around it.  I've got all these gross looking parts, been hauling around to swap meet after swap meet - can't hardly give 'em away - let's put 'em all on the same motorcycle.  Never wash it (wouldn't want to rinse the grease out).
We've had this 1970 ironhead engine with peeling chrome that would make a good mill....

Tappet Weight

The LEFT tappet is lighter by about 1/2 oz. or almost 1 oz. total valve train weight(X 4ea) 5000 rpms, that's a difference...more weight for the valve spring to push down - to hold the tappet on the cam...

1953 Harley KK Model (and some KRs) had hollow tappet adjusters too,
with a hole right down the middle.
NOTE: The RIGHT tappet is stock in Harley WL engines, and what makes it so heavy is that it's thicker, and solid steel. The LEFT tappet is standard on early 900 Sportster engines.
You can run the lighter tappets in WLs, K Models, whatever...they're dimensionally interchangeable, same length, diameter, etc.  To most folks, ounces only matter at the post office, or your drug dealer, or the judge.


This motor is pretty much done.  A couple things to check over before I give it back to my friend Chad, who I've been riding to Sturgis with the last few years.  New lower end, dynamically balanced crankshaft, Kibblewhite valves, Rowe guides, bore job, pistons, lower Timken....all checked out.  It'd better be good, since I'll be riding with him - and if anything happens - fingers get pointed !

'52K Update

My 1952 Model K is receiving a "refresher."  I'm back to +.010 over pistons with these restored cylinders.  Chad fixed some cooling fins, Hawbaker repaired a base,  I did a new sleeve in one.  My late and great acquaintance Mr. John Penner made this KHRM high desert pipe which I'll try and run with a factory, early XLCH single muffler.  These K Models run sweet with Dellorto PHM38mm carburetors - so here's a new one for this thing.  I'll probably sell off my ol' CV carb, old cylinders, some other junk I don't need, to fund my addiction.  The magneto still throws a hot spark with little effort.  More updates later . . .

Please, No Parking

....on the sidewalk

Some Neat Bikes on Ebay Now . . .

This WLA.  Unrestored condition with original paint from Russia and the USA.... It's just got the rustic vibe goin' on. 

This knuckle is another one . . .

I really like this low Sportster . . .


Denzer !

This must be somewhere up above Milwaukee ?  Clyde is still around too . . . don't know about the 1960 XLCH ?  #highclearanceexhaust  #hifiblue  #shineyboots  #clydedenzer  #goodyeargrasshoppers #-60rims

One Fast Cookie

My inside cat, Elliott says, "Hey Rick, we gonna make your skillet cookie?"
He's a cool fella.  The fastest cat I've ever had !  He's damn fast !

Valves Overhead vs. Valves On-The-Side

A couple motors for Chad and Warren put to bed for the night.  The Panhead has been a typical build, and we'll get the auto advance timer installed before the front head goes on.  Make up a cloth covered hot wire.  I'm tired, worked all weekend on stuff....

Sunday Work

... line-lapping these KHK cases yesterday after replacing the mainshaft race.  Now it's nice and straight with the clutch gear(in the door).  Cases are show polished.

If she was on Instagram . . .

 . . . I'd give her a Like

Sailor's Morning . .

The calm before the blizzard.  We've had a funky winter this snow, very little ice, no ice riding, no snowmobiling, no ice fishing...kinda fartin' up the winter sports.
A couple small flurries....and a trip to the local coffee bar for a small one from Brazil. 
As I drink my cafe' . . . I like this exhaust pipe.  The KHRM came with this desert pipe.