38th time in Sturgis . . .

I think it's been like 38 years Noot has been going to Sturgis. He usually rides straight out - but, when the bikes weren't as good - 2 days was the plan. One year they stopped for gas and some young kid came screamin' up on his Sporty - "Hey, you guys goin' out to the rally?" Can I go with you . . .? Sure kid, go get your stuff. That night they camped and drank whiskey . . . the sun rose - it was time to go. This young dude was still in his tent - so they fired up a bike and he came tumbling out with his pajamas on - huh? WTF? Funny story. I guess they rode lil' harder on day two - and the kid's headlight just kept getting smaller and smaller in the mirrors. See you all at the 69th !


Sweet Corn is ready !

Ricky Graham

As long as I'm on this big flat-track kick lately . . . I'd better say somethin' about Ricky 'G'. He was a big rival to all the top riders. He rode a Harley, then Honda, then Harley, then Honda . . . whoever would pay the bills - Graham was there. A California rider all the way. Graham was aggressive, and like Chris Carr once said, "When Ricky was at his best, he was the best that's ever been." Cool quote. I'd watch the great one, Scott Parker, get so frustrated when he couldn't beat Graham. On a mile watching Graham race will always stick in my mind - and the full straightaway wheelies ! He was a multiple National Champion No.1, holds records for most wins in a season, and most wins in a row . . . and many other individual records. He tragically died in a house fire, but every flat track fan will never forget
the legend of Ricky Graham.

Black Hills 1/2 Mile

If you're in Sturgis next week - get your ass over to Rapid City for the National on Tuesday Night. Rapid has a neat old salvage yard with old cars and bikes (with an auto museum in the middle of the junk yard) The 2010 Harleys are at the Civic Center. Make a day of it - races at night on old Hwy 44 (like you're goin' to the badlands) . . . See you there - Noot

Chi Town Hustler

Fire in Cedar Falls

The "Night of Fire" is always a good time to go check out the local strip. They've got one of everything. A wide range of Jets, Top Fuel, Vintage, Wheel Standers, Harleys, Sleds . . . hell, a guy even tried to blow himself up. The Chevy Rebellion - a VW truck was pretty cool - sparks all the way at 130mph. The night air brought moisture up and made the track a little greasy . . . making it hard for the drivers - except this dude in the jet car that went 270mph. On the way back at midnight - I didn't hit one single bug . . . Weird????

Rex Beauchamp

Another fast motorcycle flat track racer from Michigan - Rex Beauchamp. I was fortunate enough to see him race the Indy Mile in '77 or '78 when it was a double national. He was the only rider ever on the Harley factory team before he
was an expert - or achieved much fame (but Dick O'Brien, race team manager, saw the potential). Beauchamp beat Springsteen, Goss, Scott and Roberts. Rex won the prestigious San Jose Mile - and Terre Haute 1/2 Mile. He was a huge fan favorite - loved by many. Unfortunately, Beauchamp was killed is a street riding accident. Gone, but not forgotten - his legend lives on. National #31 is now in the AMA Hall of Fame. (and Metro Racing has neat Rex Beauchamp t-shirts) Check 'em out at metroracing.com

Where is it?

This BSA was cool. I think it's in So. Dakota somewhere? Some bikes just disappear and are lost forever until someone finds it beaten and broken - usually in a shed or barn. Hidden from society. The spark of it's owner that motivated them to build, customize and fabricate - fizz'd out. The motorcycle's new owner likes what he sees . . . but he too loses the spark - loses the drive. Then the machine suffers. It's a vicious circle. I see many cool motorcycles that I like to say had "one bad owner" along the line. Hope this isn't one of them.

Weekend Activities

I went and checked out the local Truck & Tractor Pull this weekend at the fairgrounds. Drank beer and watched farmers with big money run their toys. Sunday, I attended the family picnic and brought my skateboard (which I've been practicing on) to try out the local skatepark. After 15 mintues I was beaten and bruised. Shoulder is in pretty bad shape. Cousin Levi showed me how it's done. Old age sucks.

Almost . . . .

My seat should be comin' in today - and I have to get the dash, speedo and all that jazz figured out . . . I had it running last night - Started on the 1st kick after it got fuel. Purrs like a kitty !

Jake, Roth, Spina & Pete

This is one of my most prized photos in all of my collection. It shows "Jake" Jacobs (of Pete & Jake's), Big Daddy Ed Roth himself, Bob Spina and Pete Chapouris (So. Cal Speed Shop). We're talkin' heavy duty here. Legendary men in their fields of expertise. Photo is in Arcadia, CA just before heading out to the Oklahoma City Hot Rod Nats. Pete did the video and Spina did the interview. Roth and Spina were the best of friends. I consider Bob one of my best friends - he's helped me with so many things, besides teaching me how to stripe. I talked with him the other day and we plan on meeting up in Sturgis again this year. I can't fuckin' wait. (that's the original "California Kid" - '34 coupe on the left from the movie) PS. I wish Bob would reprint those custom shirts like the one he's wearing !

Remembering Ted Boody

At 6' 2" . . . Ted Boody was a little too tall to be a successful flat track racer. Wrong. Boody was one of the most versatile riders to ever participate in the sport. He won on TTs, Short Tracks, Miles, everything. He came back from injuries. He had long time spans between victories - but he still won. Boody won Ascot, Louisville and he won the Springfield Mile - and many other prestigious races throughout his career. He was killed many years ago in a freak last lap accident at Ascot Park at age 29. Ted was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Knuckle Rods

This set of early connecting rods will be used in the upcoming '46 Knucklehead engine restoration. They've been checked for straightness, bead blasted, cleaned in solvent, washed in hot soap and water, blown dry and treated. The wrist pin bushings will be replaced. The forked rod needs a couple honed out to clean up - and the single end - maybe a tenth? Genuine Harley-Davidson Parts !


If done correctly, the ass-end of a motorcycle is a beautiful thing.

Vintage Stroker Power !

I've been playing around with my jetting and ignition timing for power - and so I can start the SOB. It looks clean in the photos, but I need to get detailing if I'm entering any bike shows in Sturgis this year. It's starting better due to
increased carbon build-up. However, when I get in the hills - I'll probably have to rejet, or play around with the fuel screw since I'll need less fuel (with less air). Carbs are cool - Fuel injection sucks ass - too easy!

M. Smith / Husqvarna

He's going so fast his rubber front fender flapper is folded under. Check out the vintage motocross gloves and flat sack on his back (maybe extra tools or water?).

Vintage Crash

Striping by Spina

Rikki Rockett's Triumph Thruxton fuel tank - paint, striping and leaf by Bob Spina of Las Vegas. Rikki is touring this summer with Poison, Cheap Trick and Def Leppard. I like Poison in concert. Leppard seem to be getting worse. I dug the old Def Leppard better. But, if you've never seen Cheap Trick, they're damn cool. There's a certian aura about Robin Zander - the guy is a superstar and a hell-of-a-singer. Now playin' at a city near you !

The Horse Show - Sturgis

The last few years, the Horse Backstreet Chopper Show has been pretty cool. The real grass roots, home-builts show for this event. Stock stuff that's been modified or customized. A guy can relate to the motorcycle ideas that come from the participants. Many of the customs you'll see have been assembled on a tight budget. You'll see a Harley, Honda, BSA, Triumph . . . and there's plenty of neat ol' stock & vintage iron too. They always have celebrity judges and give out damn good prizes. I think the band that night is Molly Hatchet - hell yeah !


Every time I see Sam Halbert race - he just keeps getting better. He's a little guy. About 5' 4" - maybe 130 lbs? But this dude can handle a bike. He goes like hell on a short track, TT, cushion track, mile - you name it. He won the last national at Bull's Gap - and I'm sure he'll be at Sturgis. There's a pro national on Tuesday night in Rapid and plenty of Jackpine Gypsie action at the 1/2 mile and short track throughout the week. You got less than a month.

Priest : Live on Harriet Island !

Let's face it - as far as metal goes, big hair bands - 80s rock, head bangin' . . . I had pretty much seen them all. However, one particular band has always eluded me. One of the greatest, if not the pioneers of "metal" themselves JUDAS PRIEST. All original, but the drums - and he kicked ass. The whole band kicked ass. Rob Halford can sing like a mofo . . . great showman. KK and GT were loud, tight and in sync. If you ever get a chance to go see them - don't miss it. They shared the stage with Whitesnake. . . and Coverdale, Aldrich and Reb Beach can rip it up. David Coverdale is a true rock god in his own right. The bottom line is: Don't mess with British Rock - they are the best !

The Most Famous Motorcycle ?

What is the world's most famous motorcycle? To all us motorcycle enthusiasts, it depends on a number of factors. Then you have the people that know almost nothing about motorcycles - their vote counts too. From the mouth of a racer . . . the Rollie Free Vincent (where he set numerous speed records - and his infamous run to 150mph where he stripped to nothing but his shorts) The Vincent is now owned by a Texas collector. How about Mike "The Bike" Hailwood's Honda 250 six cylinder? Then we have "The Fonz" and his preunit Triumph. Even through he had a couple different bikes on Happy Days - this is the one that stuck. Elvis and his '56 KH - on the cover of the Enthusiast (now on display at the new HD Museum in Milwaukee). But, when all is said and done - I'll give it to the Sparkling Red, White and Blue of Captain America. Nothing but an old police panhead, modified and used in a movie. Stolen, then supposedly found again - who knows? But, John Parham says his is real. Whatever. What about Billy's bike? "We're headliners baby!" He gets a little respect too. Others for arguments sake could be: Anything from Evel Knievel, Robert's Indy Mile Yamaha, Brando's "Wild One", The World's Fastest Indian, The Silent Grey Fellow. . . .
I still don't believe any motorcycle is as famous - as Captain America