Bore It, Stroke It . . .

 . . . you may go all the way to 999.9 with 44mm throttle body if needed?  If I read it correct - that's legal now?  This (not real competitive race bike) situation hasn't happened with H-D since 1970, or maybe when those RS750s came around . . . Then Parker & Werner stopped 'em.  Now who's gonna do it? 

Nights You Remember

Fresh gas.  I had a small screwdriver in my pocket, so I adjusted the carb and idle, and the motor was running perfectly.  I rode around for about 3 hours that night, hardly stopping.  The weather was perfect.  Nobody around at 11:30pm - just me and the city lights - and a 1965 XLCH.

Trips You Remember

The South Dakota DOT applied a tar sealer to Hwy 44, and it hadn't rained all summer until we came through on our way to Sturgis.  There was watery tar-like stains all over our bikes.  I never really got it all off until I disassembled the entire motorcycle and bead blasted it off and repainted it.  Joe and John(pictured) traded their bikes off, and unless the new owners did the same thing - it's still on there in places for sure.

Drank too much (Trips You Remember)

I over did it, and just wanted a nap.  I learned my lesson and never did that again.  Let me sleep.

Rebuilt for: Ethomoto (of Portland, Oregon)

This needs a ride to Portland . . .
Anyone coming for Mama Tried, etc. 
I'm sure he'd help with some gas money . . .
I've got an aluminum stand (easier to carry) and will shrink wrap it, etc.

Fix it and forget it.

Repaired my upper tree, lowered oil holes, painted cylinders, fixed my risers, fixed the fork caps, fixed the rocker screw threads . . . all misfit parts.  More fixes needed.

Crazy with Fire in Their Eyes !

It's been a few months with no swap meets, 3 months since Davenport . . . and when the doors open at 9:00am for the Early Bird on Sunday in Rock Island, Illinois . . . they run in like crazed zombies, saliva dripping from their mouths, all pumped up on morning black coffee.  They push, slide and jockey for position, eyes moving to find the booth with the most rust, to start digging frantically though boxes (oil soaked are the best) and finding parts and pieces, thrusting the parts high in the air, trying to find the vendor for a price, How much?  This your shit?  What ya gotta have for this?  Deals are made.  Green, American dollars are pulled from leather chain-drive wallets with snaps, sealed envelopes, inside coat pockets, front denim pockets . . . many are crumpled, $100 bills so fresh - they're stuck together, crisp and new - exchanged for rusty metal or heavy cast iron.  What a zoo of emotions.  It's nuts.  All this happening inside, aisles filling, while the rest of the penny-pinchers line up outside.  They wait for the actual 10:00am Opening time and save a whole $5 bucks, but stand in line, in the cold, talking and smoking cigarettes.  I finally show up 4 hours later and get right in . . . like a cat picking through scraps.

Dean Hummer of Omaha, Nebraska

The story goes that Dean Hummer bought an H-D dealership and sold so many 125cc lightweights he got a call from "the factory" about this . . . They wanted him to come to Milwaukee for a meeting (or maybe it was a scheduled dealer meeting?)  He knew something was up . . . hoped he wasn't in trouble, or maybe they wanted to know his sales strategies???  Anyway, they asked if they could name the Model after him . . . after that day, they were christened The Harley Hummer ! 

Hey Noot . . . Harley called,
 "They want to name their new bike The Nootster
What do ya think?

Choppers as Weapons

 William Smith (in this one)has been in over 300 movies.


This is heavy snow when it's barely 32F  - and it's ain't done yet.
I'm movin' to Florala, Navarre, Luverne, Paducah, Weeki Wachee, Homosassa or Anna Maria or Isla Mujeres . . . which are all options for my future hangouts.

The Digger

This bike gets ridden the least.  It usually needs gas.  It's kinda fast, and can surprise you with bursts of power at higher rpms - and actually handles pretty good.  It's tough to kickstart ( I run it a bit late in the season, after my right leg is built up )  No high speed wobbles, but if the tank is too full, raw fuel can bubble and spurt out the cap at high revs . . . drenching your crotch and shirt with gasoline.  On a hot day, with a magneto - this could be dangerous?  The L-Series carb spits gas when starting, and it gets on the pipes.  Performance can be messy.
It's loud, it's got muscle, it's everything an ironhead stroker is supposed to be. Even at over 50+ years old - and still a formidable ride which can draw the attention over almost any motorcycle I'm riding with . . . I often think of selling it - then I take it for one last ride and change my mind.  Everytime so far . . .

Panhead Rear Hub and Brake Set-Up

I want to get this rear axle, brakes and backing plate the best I can.  It's better to check it out this way before you get the wheel all done.  You can feel and check it more accurately.
Now I can check the drum, dust ring clearance and backing plate anchor tab.  All original parts !  It sure makes a difference, with fit.  H-D really had some quality control I've got to say. 
I snug up everything, and there's no binding.  Just a little drag from my new(kinda stiff) star hub cork seals.  The frame is straight in the back.  Axle right in the center of the slot.  No twist.  Now comes the hard part - riveting on my NOS sprocket and NOS dust ring - a two-man job.

.004 and .007

I installed the shafts in these knuckle flywheels (only after we double-checked the quality of the centers and run-out of each shaft.)  Guess what?  The centers needed fixing.  Some dudes might have just tossed the original H-D shafts, when they didn't really see what the problem was.  Others may have just assembled everything and trued it up, not realizing they were off, 'cause their center was damaged.  Gotta really check this shit . . . new in the package, or used.  Check it.

I installed the shafts (with a new key in one) and put them in the truing stand using the "special long center" I had made to reach the short sprocket shafts.  I checked the run-out of the far edge of the outside face of each flywheel.  S&S Cycle likes .007 or less, so I always use that as a guideline.  One had +020 and the other +010.   If you can visualize this: I take them out and put the end of the shaft (down on a lead plate) with the "high side" down on the plate.  I strike the flywheel on the top edge, carefully with a non-marring lead hammer.  What I'm attempting to do here is make the shaft more perpendicular to the flywheel.  Check run-out again in truing stand.  You can adjust your run-out in this fashion correctly.  If it doesn't move after a couple strikes I quit.  It takes time, but now you can assemble the flywheels and true the crank pin - I believe you will have a smoother, stronger and longer lasting rotating assembly. 

NOTE: If it still has too much run-out, I remove the shaft, remove the key and gently lap the shaft to the taper a bit (not too much) - then wipe clean, clean with brake kleen, then reassemble.  You have to get this in the .007-.010 range for best result.  Then try a different shaft if you can't get it, and make sure the nut face(towards the flywheel) is true, an out-of-true face can kink the shaft too.

Shovelhead Exhaust Flange Repair

Carved out the huge broken crater, and destroyed threads - We had it all welded up (Thanks Dustin).  Using a fire ring gasket, and an old pipe flange - we refigured where the hole would be best, leveled it out, tilted the drill press table, and drilled and tapped for 5/16-18 USS.  I like to use a stud.  Mount the exhaust pipes with NO STRESS on the head pipes.  They almost stay on and seal with no nut, then you know there's no binding.  The pipes are clamped to the frame and brackets, and square and true (no binding) at the heads.  Only then, I tighten the head/flange fully.


They were all small once, started out just the same.  Some never made it much bigger.  Some didn't want to.  It was best some did not. 

Support the independents:
Parts, Labor, Races, Shows, Paint, Art, Books, Movies . . . even Shirts !

Clapper Restoration

I got the phone call.  My original 1954 (date code A4) wishbone frame (and small parts) were painted, done and ready to be picked up !  Pick up paint days are the best ..........
It's been about 2 years since I started restoring this frame.  It just takes time to get an original frame done right.  Thanks to Jordan Dickinson, Jeff Gelner and Chad Clapper . . . it's back.  Solid and straight and right.  Thanks bros. 

All types of resto projects goin' on at this place, from Jeeps, classic antiques, muscle cars, etc . .  check out the Excelsior . . .

He finally got it done . . . all apart - restored - full paint and striping - all back together.  A beautiful job.  Perfect.

This motorcycle previously had an "amateur restoration"  . . . and you know what that looks like - It's much better now.  Preserving our American heritage with classic, antique motorcycles.

As many of you already know, this type of work (restoring bikes, cars, etc) can be very stressful and drive a guy totally mad - his own ways of stress relief . . .
I don't know why they call him Rattlecan, Chad's paint jobs are some of the best.

A young, local ruffian, Colby inherited this '77 from his grandmother (who bought it new).  I feel so old now.  I must say, Colby has a spirit and drive to get this thing restored, so we started rippin' it apart.  It's very rough - but hey, we're professionals.  Hiccup. 

Renzo Pasolini

Did you know the Ducati Paso is named after him ?

Ice Screws and 10W-30

Water can't freeze at 40 degrees . . . too warm in Iowa.

Don't forget . . .

. . . to put the clutch rod in BEFORE you get the pressure plate on, all the springs, and the cover all sealed up.  I did that once, years ago - and I looked down after it was all done and saw the clutch rod there on a shop towel . . . FFFFFUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCCKKKKKKK !

Exactly 28 Hours Later . . . Ice Track

Livin' in Iowa . . . be ready for a change at any moment.

Shredded Ice

Jeff & Ryan tried out their new "Canadian" ice screws yesterday on the main channel of the Cedar River.  9" of ice, sunshine and 20 degrees - perfect conditions with hard ice. 

Fast Eddie (from Cedar River H-D) came out and ran borrowed equipment all day.  Here he caught his foot, but saved the day and kept right on chargin' . . . smile on his face.
Bake was hooked.  Most of the time he went by so fast, I only caught part of a front or rear wheel . . .
Lil' Schmitty's 2nd time on ice.  He looked smooth, never saw him down . . . and a he plowed the track in between heats on his quad - Bonus !
Fastest guy of the day on AMA legal Kold Kutters . . . Brian Schmidtke.  I knew which bike was his, 'cause he's got his name on his tires.  Chris Carr's ol' No. 4.
Burton tries out Jeff's CR . . . he's diggin' the hook-up !
Ryan Hackleman drove up from Des Moines.  Thanks for comin' up dude, and nice talking to you again.  Ryan's a crazy ol' cat who's finally mellowing out - ha ha.   Yeah right.


TECH: Early Sportster Primary

These are the factory H-D locks, for tightening the sprocket shaft nut and clutch hub.  I used an original brass nut-lock under the hub nut.  Supposedly designed to help seal from outside oil.
Double-Check your primary chain adjuster bolts.  If the bottom one is too long, it will hit the flywheel (since it goes all the way through).  I use loc-tite red, and an extra heavy flat washer with lock. 
Your clutch will function properly if you line up the small hash on the clutch hub with the big hole in the steel plates.  Stamping (beveled side OUT) on the steels.  On new Raybestos fibers, I take a flat file and deburr(square up) all the slots of excessive fiber material, so they slide nice on the clutch basket dogs.