Maybe we should all just get rid of every Harley, Honda, Yammy, Kaw, Susie . . . every bike we own and just all - everyone - get a Triumph. And not a new one - an old one, like 1970 or older. You can do whatever you want with a Triumph. Drag race, dirt track, road race, hill climb, tour (well maybe not tour). They make great chops. Then we'd all be in the same boat. Wouldn't that be wonderful? The motorcycle above is Scott's (official contributor to churchofchoppers.com) It's the most bitchin'est Triumph I've ever seen and exactly the way I like mine!
I sold my Iver Johnson today. It was purchased by a bicycle artist from Colorado who has something to do with New Belgium Brewing Co. (Fat Tire Ale) Iver Johnson was an arms, motorcycle and bicycle manufacturer in Fitchburg, MA. A good ol' USA bicycle plant ! This bike is so cool. Skirt guard(still intact), chain-link treads, Mesenger No.1 saddle, stainless fenders, golden ring bell, wise-lock, Iver truss frame. There is a men's version in the National Bicycle Museum in Sparta, WI that matches this one. I purchased it about 15 years ago in Mercer, WI. They said it was from a wealthy family around Milwaukee. Iver Johnson made quality arms. An Iver Johnson pistol shot William McKinley and Robert Kennedy. Maybe we'll see it someday in a Fat Tire Advertisement? I'll miss her. But I'll always have the photos and the memories. Sad day . . . money isn't everything - but I need it for the military bike !!!!!
I traveled to the University of Iowa on Saturday to see my son Eric in a fencing tournament. He took a bronze medal in foil and the silver in sabre. The competition was fairly tough. The sport of Fencing appears easy . . . however, there's quite a bit of technique involved. It's fast paced (everyone was sweating after 3 minute bouts). There seems to be no real advantage of size or arm length. It's all about the ability to perry(block) and score on your opponent. Last week in Des Moines, he qualified for the national tournament in San Antonio. I watched about 60 bouts, and never once did I see any unsportsmanlike conduct from any competitor. . . . . and nobody lost an eye either. Amen.
We had some pretty large hail come tumbling down Friday early evening. Bang, bang, bop, bop, bop on the glass and my new roof(1 week old). The shingles look ok - but, it left a few dents in my new aluminum roof vents. When it was all over - it left behind the brightest rainbow I'd ever seen. Surely a pot of gold somewhere below.
Today's posting is a special one. It pays tribute to McNeese Motorcycles in Britt, Iowa. Royal McNeese was a Harley-Davidson Dealer when my father(Noot Sr.) first started working on his '62 CH. Noot and Carter would go over to Britt to see Royal. When dad had B&N Cycle, they went and traded Royal a truckload of parts for cash and more parts in return. I bought an original, new, still in the package, trip return cable for my speedo from Royal in about 1990 (see it on my speedo above). I still have the package with Royal's hand written price on it. In his final years, we went to buy some parts - we also wanted a price on all the Sportster inventory. Royal still had his "Grey Ghost", Indian Chief, KHK, Panhead, 80" Flathead and a 1971 Sportster(pink) in the window. A JD was parked in the back(Royal said that was the best bike Harley ever made). A Schwinn Cycle-Truck sat next to the wall with "McNeese Cycle" on the frame. Orange & black boxes everywhere. Fuel tanks of all shapes surrounded the walls. It was awesome. When the Harley big wigs came around with marketing plans and big ideas . . . Royal said "Nope" and closed her up for awhile. He later reopened with a plethra of "New Old Stock." Royal passed away a few years back, however his legend will live on and on. I stopped by on my way back from Sturgis last year. You can see the history, maybe hear the bikes - and definitely feel the aura of McNeese.
Every Sunday night I've been watching Donald Trump's Celebrity Apprentice. Jesse James is still in it - hasn't been fired yet. I think he's doing a great job. Most of the time, Jesse is the only one who's making any sense on the show. He was the winning "project manager" on the last task - and the bottom line is - he raised $20,000 for the Long Beach youth industrial arts programs. Pictured is the Trump Hotel in Vegas. When I walk to Spina's shop from the strip - this is the way I go. I've watched this area evolve from the New Frontier parking lot - construction and completion of this big, tall gold bar of Trump's wealth. I stepped inside the entry way (but I was way underdressed for the occasion). So, don't forget to watch Jesse on TV . . . cool dude. Next Sunday night - Be there.
Jay Springsteen (shown as National No. 25, orange & black helmet behind #31 Beauchamp) in 1976. On his way to winning the San Jose Mile. Now retired, he qualified for almost 400 nationals (a record) and won the title in '76, '77 and '78 - and would have won a lot more, but he had some health problems which hurt him for a few years. I saw him first race at the Indy Mile in '76 or '77. In his last race at Springfield a little over a year ago - his bike broke (it totally sucked). I miss seeing Springsteen race - he was a class act. He'd get busted up and always come back. A true legend of motorcycle racing. Hell of a road racer too . . . Other rides shown that I can remember are #44 "Jorgy", #2 King Kenny, #3 Burrito, #46 Crabbe, who's #84x ? ___________________.
Top Photo: Airbrush art from Dennis Mathewson (owner of Comic Airbrush of Hawaii). Dennis is a longtime friend of Bob Spina of Las Vegas. Depicted is a "Spina Tiki" rendition of "Uncle Bob" . . . very cool and very Dennis. Nobody does a tiki like DM. Bottom Photo: Original airbrush art by Fonzy. Fonzy is known heavily in the lowrider scene and his art is easily distinguished. He has a style all his own. Both original artworks were hangin' in Spina's office for only the priviliged to enjoy. I musta been priviliged that day???? Huh?
Once upon a time, a racer proudly picked up his new 1952 Harley-Davidson KR race bike. His hopes of countless wins and the glory that comes with it were his goal. The history of this motorcycle and it's rider are unknown to me. But, here are the original engines cases. Badly burned from fire. Aluminum melts at 1200 degrees F. You can see the cases are now ruined. Hopefully this engine got to see the winner's circle at least once. It would be a shame if it didn't - KRs are beautiful machines. A few parts may be salvageable - maybe not. It's for sale now on ebay. If you want it, you'd better get it while it's hot ! (Note: Did you remember that '52 and '53 had no tranny trap door?)
Since about 80,000 Harley-Davidson WLAs were manufactured between 1941 and 1952, they are found in almost every country of the world. This photo shows a group of bikes destined for Greece. My brother was just in Australia on business and saw a WLA proudly displayed in museum. The British and Soviet government used WLAs extensively during the war. The 1950-1952 WLAs were manufactured for the Korean War and military police. The Lend-Lease program basically had the US Gov't giving motorcycles to other countries (for cash and other services). The Greeks must have sent a ship full of gyros for this shipment!
No matter what age you are - 5 to 95 . . . if you like motorcycles - you like mini bikes. The top photo is from Brat of Japan. The lower photo(Super Brute) is from Mason City, Iowa. The "Brute" is the only motorcycle I really liked at the MC Show. Not much there - but the Super Brute was worth the price of admission (I got in Free !)
Every night around 9:30-10:30pm . . . and then in the morning about 6am - we hear this hooty hoot, hooty hoot . . . then a cap cap cap cap. I searched the net and found a website that had the calls of owls. What we have in our neighborhood are Great Horned Owls. I believe a pair of them - possibly more? They've never been here before. I looked out the other morning - and it looked like a small boy sitting in the tree in the backyard. Then he took off in flight. The branch he was on bowed - and bent as he flew away. A big sucker. When they hoot - you can hear it though the entire neighborhood - kinda neat - kinda spooky. They eat rabbits, squirrels, rats, mice, bats, birds, chickens(they walk right in the chicken coop and grab 'em) fish, ducks, crows and small dogs and cats ! (Look Out Morty !) The owl might be sorry trying to tangle with Morty. The Great Horned Owl has 500 lbs of crushing power in it's talons. Whoa. Since I like all animals, it's neat to have them around.