Packed for Minnesota

Nathan's Vintage Drag Bike

Full Moon Nathan picked up this vintage drag bike a couple years ago . . . and he keeps messin' with it, kinda restoring it, and upgrading a little.  It runs an original KR loop, small stroker motor, and some other little goodies . . . but it's fairly stock - and was run in Indiana or Ohio back in the early 70s.  He's planning on makin' a pass at the upcoming Meltdown Drags in Byron, Illinois in July.

Marty Again . . .

Tripes teamed with Rex Staten
 . . . to try and win one for H-D !

Hydrogen and Oxygen

I guess it wasn't cost effective to design the water jacket around the port?  Wouldn't you have a more consistent temperature?  It must not take much coolant to make a difference, since the passages look rather small?
A lot of extra weight (and crap) just to cool that damn cylinder head . . . I guess they call this progress?  I don't know why I care, since I'll keep going places on my 50s and 60s machinery anyway . . .
The proto-type liquid cooled Harley-Davidson MX (above).  I guess if all these marketing ideas would have hit on all (or at least 1) cylinder(s) . . . and these protos sold . . . sales could have been through the roof !  I guess that's why these companies keep trying new things, and implementing new ideas into their products. (Is that Larry Roeseler in the air ? . . . or Bruce?)

K and WL Cylinder Work

I got my cylinder back from Chad after he tig'd on my new cooling fin.  Nice job !  Now I have a decent set of K cylinders, ready to be bored and fitted to +.010 pop-up pistons.  I have some new cast iron guides, new nitrite valves and a nice set of '52-'53 valve covers.  These will eventually replace the worn out set on my black, "Street K" . . .
Above:  These K cylinders have a bit of core-shift here and there . . . so I'll true up these exhaust ports and make them even all the way around.  I also use a carbide burr to relieve any steps, rat tails and bumps inside each port.  I visualize which way the air is flowing, and give it a smooth path to (or away from) each valve, without changing the port shape. 
Above:  I'm also working on John Hove's WL cylinders.  I'll probably go in and smooth out these ports too - maybe make it run a bit more efficiently?  I'll grind the valves and seats, and check out his spring travel for his cams.  These are aftermarket, and not bolt-on by any means.  I'll check the piston clearance, ring gap and fitment.  9 times out of 10 they're too tight and need honed.
The cylinders are kinda rusty anyway . . . It's good that aftermarket parts are still available (better than no parts) but the quality isn't always up to par.  I'll make 'em a nice set, set up to specs - good for many miles of enjoyable riding.  Motorcycling is the best sport of all !

Positively Crazy

How the hell do these Triumph guys make it anywhere on these things ?  This is just crazy.  I can just see somebody who's new at this - trying to rewire their Trumpet.  Sparks flyin' everywhere, shit getting welded together.  Throw a switch . . . then loud pops and fire and more sparks ! 
I'd better stick with my magneto XLCH with 2 wires !

It's Summer - Start Acting Like It

I hang out with these guys above (at the AMCA Viking Chapter Swap Meet) in St. Paul, MN.  It's a good meet, lots of nice bikes . . . and it's pretty laid back.  Prices are reasonable and the vendors have great coffee and ice cream.  There's a steak dinner at night if you want too.
There's bathrooms and showers in the bottom of the water tower.  You'd think the water pressure would be better - but it's the same.  This year I'm taking my chopper (no storage) so I don't buy a bunch of stuff I don't really need. 
I saved a pic of this Sportster from a few years ago. 
I'm sure it's still running around someplace?
Egeberg's was a big dealer back-in-the-day up in the Twin Cities. 
The weatherman said it's gonna be nice, so it's me and dad riding up !
Camping . . . drinking a beer, having a bratwurst.
. . . and there's the cool car show in North St. Paul Friday nite !
Come on up !

Marty Tripes

Now here was a BIG guy, who kicked ass on a motocross bike.  Big dudes don't usually make the best motorcycle racers . . . but don't tell that to Marty . . . or Brad Morgan from Waterloo, Iowa.

Jay Springsteen

 . . . in Garage 58


Anyone remember this contest?  With matched Sportster and Corvette (at the time) to me, just seemed like something too good to be true.  To a kid, it was the best prize imaginable.  To win this would make you the richest person on earth - the ultimate car and the ultimate bike !  Wonder where they are today . . . ?   Those gold wheels were so cool.  Maybe Roth still owns it?  I know he doesn't sell anything.  He probably never did actually own it - just for the photo shoot. 
Styles change, and parts & accessories end up in the garbage.

What's all this got to do with Harry Ricardo?

Years ago this guy designed a flathead(sidevalve) combustion chamber which created a turbulence suitable for improved mixing of gasoline and air.  It's referred to as the "Ricardo" head design . . . and it's basic design was used by all the manufacturers - and it works. 

Last night I was talking to a friend on the phone about the new 2017-18 Harley-Davidson motorcycles.  Their sales are down, etc.

I got this idea:
It appears H-D kinda missed their chance a bit on a market for sales to these "new kid" riders I call 'em.  The big FXR craze is back, and they dropped the Dynas (which is ok) but maybe design your new bike to be FXR like, and promote handling !   Design a model of XG similar to Brawny Built's flat track bike.  Why can't they build a new "rigid frame" chopper-type model?  Sounds funny, but I think they'd sell.  Willie G. did a lot of these same things, and his models are now prized and still popular.  No matter what the reason the buyer has for choosing the new H-D Rigid (HDR), or the XGFT "Flat Track" or possibly a FXRCH (Competition Handling) model . . . Sales would be directed to the (35% and growing) hard-working "new kids" who work for America, in America, and ride AMERICAN !  

The baby boomers will get a new "hot rod" trike - The "T", The Double T and/or The Triple T (all based on performance upgrades . . . and for a small, around town, fuel efficient, lower cost ride - the Side Valve Returns !  An air cooled miniature flat head with about 20 cubic inches, low compression - can run on 20% ethanol fuel, so easy your grandma can start it . . .
The HDFH "Flat Head" . . . with the Ricardo head.

Maybe take a step back to what worked in the past?

What would Harry do ?

They probably don't need me working in their Marketing Dept. . . . ?


Harley-Davidson Plant: INDIA
This has to be a real gut shot to the US employees? 
Now another plant in Thailand?
 . . . and Kansas City closes.
Well, shit.

He's Come A Long Way . . .

Continuous Improvement.  Never Give Up.
Jeffrey Carver wins the Springfield Mile.
It was great to watch him take the win from Mees and Coolbeth. 
He got away from the veterans and they couldn't catch him . . .
Carver owned The Mile on this day !
(wish I could have been there)

Springfield MILE this Sunday

I couldn't make it this time, but I hope everyone has some fun.  Looks like a hot one (95 degrees) where the track dries out and gets slick, creating possible low-sides.  Tire wear will be a huge factor, so look for the veterans to hold back a bit 'til the 5 lap sign.  Another problem is with all the liquid cooled bikes now.  They'll be blowin' their corks (if they sit on the line too long idling) and spewing during the race too.  Tiny radiators for less wind drag, but they don't cool as well either.  The older air-cooled motors never had that problem.  It should be interesting.  I always hate seeing a newby with a good run for the win, get sidelined for a overheating engine or a bald rear tire.  Experience is the key - so look for Coolbeth, Smith (and of coarse Mees) . . . but I'll take Ronnie Jones just for the fun of it !  Go Ronnie Go !  Show em' some flashes of brilliance !  My predictions (except for the obvious) Look for a good run from Chad Cose, and maybe a win from Jeffrey Carver (who I always root for).  I'd like to see Bickerton make a pro main again too !

Let's see, Hmmmm, if we left at 4am ish Sunday - I'd be there for the race, home by 11pm . . . long day - but it could be done !

Joe Smith

How'd you like to try and hang on to this SOB ????
AND get it stopped on the other end !

The S&S Degree Wheel Kit

Most of the time, the only occasion this tool is removed from the tool drawer is when there's a problem.  Your camshaft, pinion gears, timer gear, breather gear . . . all the marks on the teeth line right up and your cam timing is done correctly?  Right?  Wrong?  The fact is: You most likely have 4 to 5 parts, manufactured by 4 to 5 different manufacturers.  A mark could be off a tooth?  Throwing everything off . . .  Different gear pitches.  New parts meshing with used parts.  Are your valves really opening and closing at the precise time they should? 
This is the best way to do it.  Using dial indicators.  That needle will indicate movement (what the human eye can't see)  You'll know exactly where you're at.  It's best to check your valve movement directly off the valve itself (unless you have a 1:1 ratio like a knucklehead or 45, then the lifter is ok too).  The clearances between the pushrod ends, rocker arm to valve, all take up space.  Correcting cam timing is done by moving the cam gear on the camshaft (not easy).  Also done by changing pinion gears, changing cam gears, moving the cam (+ or -) 1 or 2 teeth . . . or modifying keys and ways.  It's a learning experience every time this tool comes out.  Think about it....You did all this work and research choosing the perfect cam for your rebuild - but usually this step gets skipped.  You don't have any idea if your aftermarket cam is doing what you want, unless you take the time and check your cam timing.  It's one reason some engines just run better than others. 
(pic of degree wheel on engine from: Lee (Lee's Speed Shop)

Me & Morty (The Official Shop Cat)

 . . . workin' on choppers before work this morning. 
Last night we watched our local gal Maddie Poppe win American Idol
I hang out with Mort a lot - he's my best bud for sure.

Evel Ad


No Bike Shit

My world is so packed with motorcycle related stuff 24/7 . . . it was nice to just drive with no radio, hang out with my bro . . . and party like a rock star.  Tired (and broke) - but I feel better now.
Mos Generator's Tony Reed

King of The Road

Fu Manchu

Way back when... my friend Doug (who's mom lived in California) would come back, and we'd meet in Cedar Falls for a beer.  His Honda Prelude always had this terrible band called Fu Manchu in the deck.  I soon learned to love them (after buying Daredevil) and currently, Fu is the only band (except for Hanoi Rocks/Michael Monroe) I have yet to cross off my list to see LIVE !  That is after this Saturday nite . . . See ya soon Scotty !

HD Part No. 16070-98R

I guess the "Engine KIT" includes everything but the cases ! ? 
I think you actually get the cases in the kit . . .

Cast Iron Sportster Tappets

From 1957 to early 1962, all Sportsters had these cast-iron tappet guides.  I run them in a couple engines.  They last much longer than the aluminum version.  I have over 35,000 miles on a (used set when I got them) - and they are still straight and perfect.

K to coffee . . .

The last few days in Iowa have been about as perfect weather as you can get.  The best part of my day usually is riding a vintage Harley along the river, making a short loop to Aromas, talk with the boys, then off to work.  Got her dialed in . . . Have a great week !

Champion Sparks Champions

Messin' with lights & switches . . .

My headlight is an FXLR factory headlight.  I welded tabs on it(upside down) and utilized the stock wiring hole to mount my switch.  I welded a block on the lower tree, and mounted the headlight.  I smoothed out all the mounts, and shaved the lower tree.  My own pinstripes.  When did I have time to do all this? 
The small hole in the frame is fed my headlight wire. (I wrapped the wire around a pencil, telephone cord style)  Kleen is what I want . . . Ness hardhead frame.  It's a 1965(hence the Manetti Gold Leaf "65" on the head tube).  Also 65 cu in. 
New kill switch in the top motor mount.  Heads by Jerry Branch. 

John's Car

Someday, you'll own a Yamaha.

KR Mudrunner

Favorite Fat Cars

 I just have a thing for fat Chevys with windshield visors.  Chrome reverse rims too.  I should have bought some different reverse rims just to have them around, maybe mount some whitewalls to give your Chev a different look . . ?