Harley XLCH 43008-60

Vintage OEM H-D rim with stainless spokes and NOS hardware.  Spoking and truing wheels is a good trade to know.  These wheels are easy, whereas others are a real bitch.  Tries your patience.

Late Night Snack

Vintage iron after dark.  I try to keep busy with projects (instead of television).  After 10pm, usually just me and the cops.  I sleep after a horseradish sub - and a book on indians, ponies and warriors . . . My Life on The Plains . . .

Nostalgia Vintage Parts

Someone show-chromed these cast iron Sportster tappet guides many years ago.  They're really cool, but kinda wore out and loose.  Harley only ran these from 1957 to around 1961.  Using the vintage, circa 1947 Sunnen hone, I set up a 720, modified a push-up shoe, and a used SL-7 stone, trued it up . . . and honed each block a heavy +.005 for new +5 OD roller cam followers.  This chrome cast will give his '66CH nostalgia race aura . . . It's all about slicks & smoke !

Fort, Jeri, Lucas, Auburn, Dorado

Above are short names used by local folks to describe small towns and inhabitants.  I got my frame fixed again, and was eager to ride.   A perfect day jammin' down some of the most beautiful roads in the state.  Golden crops, harvest and small town bars with local chat.  Clear your mind and light your soul . . but, stay alert for tractors and wagons !

Fort Atkinson.  A fort built to protect the Sac & Fox tribes from the Sioux.  Now groups of buckskinners operate behind it's walls.  I know a few personally, so I stopped in for pickled onions and mushrooms.  Smoke for peace.  Trade carbon steel knives.

On to Gunder for superb burgers & American Fries . . .
I met up with some locals for in-depth discussions on a variety of subject matter
at a tavern in "Brick City"

Found a new place off Hwy 18 near Hawkeye . . . Country Chrome.
After my knife throwing lesson at the Fort, I was anxious to try my new skills and found I'm very good at something !  Throwing knives !  A couple dudes who had too much beer were certain I had American Indian blood in my heritage . . .

Cal Custom 7100, Carson, CA

I got this thing all sanded - then red & gray scotch.  Between fins is Harley Hi-Heat Silver Jug Paint.  The inside is blasted clean - Tune in later for my secret Windage Tray upgrade . . .

RH's '66 XLCH

Engine cases have been stripped, and completely bead blasted.  Cylinders too.  I'm in the process of washing, cleaning all threaded holes, oil galleys . . . I'll hot wash with soapy water and rinse & dry with scalding hot clear water.  Blow completely dry.  Ready for lapping, boring, bushing replacement . . . whatever.  Maybe a Miller High Life and stare at them for awhile?

Ride Hard - Park on Main

Original, Signed . . .

Many many years ago . . .

Light Bulb Karma

It was Two Wheel Tuesday . . .
It's only fitting I ride an XLCH to work an XLCH . . .
 This is an original, early pump with split key breather.
Scrape gaskets, then wash, dry, blast, wash & dry again.

Then I loaded everything in my back pack - and rode home.
My new, piece-o-shit Chinese Made H4 headlamp bulb went out - so I rode home in the dark with people flashing at me . . . Ironically - it was an oriental lady who was the worst -
It just made my blood boil and I almost flew off the handle . . .
"Oh, go F8#K OFF !"
Then I calmed down, got home and washed up the XLCH parts . . .
Then I decided to lace a wheel for awhile . . .

It's a rare Harley-60 Aluminum Rim - and I tried to use all NOS parts when I rebuilt the rear hub.  Then I noticed my new, stainless spokes were Made-In-China (when they were Made in USA last time I ordered them)  Shit.
I decided to watch a movie and stay up late . . .
So I watched vintage VHS Bruce Lee 
(and ate leftover Chinese)
Can't beat 'em - join 'em
It was the first appearance by Chuck Norris too . . .
The Chinese kicked our ass - Maybe next time?

Family Affair

Low Mirrors

Tools in a shaving kit.

Apple Cider Donuts

Eat the whole box.  All 6 . . . no problem.


Wire brush and chemicals . . . lets' see what we got?
Looks good so far.

Strange Bumps: Andrews No. 1

I run a Sifton 412 with about 60+ overlap in a 1952 74" motor.  It comes on a bit late.  Upon further research I've calculated my gearing, compression, carb diameter and exhaust length.  This cam's specifications should improve throttle response, torque and overall performance at a lower engine rpm.  But, when I opened the box and looked at the lobes?  Huh?  That's different.  Looks like a mini version of a Leineweber with those tall ramps and flat tops. 


Get your pant leg caught in that one . . .


Seat Cutting

45, 30, 60, 15 . . . = 1/16"


Blue & White XLCH

Low & Lean    
Chromed Out.   
He didn't want his seat to touch the fender . . .

Say it like you're from Boston . . .

"Dis cobb iz toe tynee . . . "
Story for you . . .
I get off work, it's a nice day, so I make a loop down a local blacktop and circle around to the freeway outside town.  I accelerate up the on-ramp . . . checkin' over my shoulder for semi trucks and speeding vehicles already up to (and over) highway speeds, and prepare to get this '61CH up-to-speed and get in line, ready to merge.  A big, Honda Goldwing bagger is right where I want to be, so I let up a bit, allow this moving train of cars (with Goldwing leading) to go ahead - then I accelerate onto the freeway.  I hook on to the back of this draft of vehicles, with a tail wind - and the baby CH just starts to rev and pull in top gear.  Away I go.  This is the first real time I've been at this speed with this "fresh motor" and new MC pistons.  I lay down on the tank and just let it accelerate, rolling out in the left lane - and proceed to draft pass everyone.  About 6 cars, a semi, and the Wing.  I must be close to 90mph ? . . this chassis is rock solid.  Smooth as silk.  It feels fast, but I run out of rpms and my speed levels off.  Needs more fuel.  All 883cc's workin' like they should.  I run about 2 miles at this speed - and take the next off ramp.  Slowly braking and downshifting to a sure stop at the ramp bottom.  It's down to my nice 1200rpm idle I like, I look down at the motor - checking for leaks, blown seals, bolts loose or missing etc.  Nothing.  Clean motor.  All is good.  Then the dude on the wing pulls up next to me . . . "Hey, nice Sportster . . . When you went by, my GPS screen went all buzzy, never did that before."  I said, "Beautiful day for a ride, but I'd better take this thing back to the barn . . . "  He agreed, and waved as he went back on the freeway - He had just stopped to chat and see my bike . . . Nice fella.  Ride safe everyone.  

1975 XLH - 1st Fire-Up

This initial start-up of a new engine is always a little nerve racking.  Got juice, got fuel, got oil (most important) and it sounds nice and quiet - Started right up. Nice Bike.

Grass Shoulder

I just rode over 100 miles of Illinois blacktop with grass right up to the edge - no shoulder.  Passing trucks, getting passed by a couple locals in speeding cars (and a few sportbikes).  A milk truck about blew me off the road.  Mostly runnin' 65 in 55 zones on my '64 ironhead with minimal brakes and wiggly handling.  It was a tripout - Trying to pay attention to the road - My hands gripping the bars and nerves crawlin' up my spine at times.  Mature oak trees growing right near the edge of the highway.  Some larger trees had big, bare spot scars - barren of tree bark - like where a 1955 Chevy Wagon struck, changing lives forever.

Read, Attempt, Build, Ride, Repeat

Late night indexing cam timing.  Trying to get our old system rigged up to check the cam timing on a mismatched set of KHK cams.  I have Tom Sifton notes to advance the intakes 2-teeth for an extra 4-5 horsepower?  On the first check, it appeared I had about .650 lift?  What?  Then we realized the dial indicator we are using was in millimeters.  Then we realized Bake must have the degree wheel?  We'll figure it it out later - I got all winter. 
I've been riding my digger lately.  For a stroker motor with an L-Series . . . it starts nice, and really gets you around town quick.  It was a beautiful Iowa night, 10:30pm with lightning flashing, but no rain.  I went out on a blacktop and ran it thru the gears - with lightning in the night sky Kinda surreal . . .
The next morning, I switched bikes - took the long way around, through a park, down a trail . . . and off to morning coffee.  Fun to ride . . . but, "You Can't Go Far On An XR"  What a little animal this thing is.  It's like riding a wild cat.  You just want to twist the throttle and rev it . . . make it snarl.
Paint: Chad Clapper
Motor: Rick & Noot
Parts: Gordy, the Benassi Bros., John Penner
Swap Meet Randy, Biltwell, Sudco, Corso, Joe Hunt, H-D oem
Tech Advice: Jeff Wiley & Carl Patrick
Inspiration: Mert, Cal, Markel and E.K.