1953 FL

I overheard an older gentleman at a swap meet ask a vendor if he could get him a new set of cases for his 1953 Harley Davidson. I asked him why? He said they were broke and someone welded them, but they were a mess.
He had owned the motorcycle for almost 40 years. It was pretty much all original. Well, to make a long story shorter, here is a pic of the completed engine after me and dad rebuilt it. It was a mess. Now it looks so sweet and it will run even sweeter. We did his transmission too. I'll probably get the rest of it eventually. There's extra work out there - just keep your ears open. She looks so purty . . . Makes a nice desktop background too.

Willie G. & Noot - Humboldt Iowa Drags

Here's a picture of Willie G. Davidson and my dad (the original Noot) at Humboldt, Iowa - Freedom Rally. You see a lot of people who get their picture with Willie now, but this one is before he got all foo foo with the fancy HD clothing line. I guess everybody was drinking a little beer that day, and a drag bike tuned by Noot had beat Willie's buddy. WG was over for a congratulatory party break - so to speak. Currently, Willie G is still in the business designing the latest custom Harleys . . . and Noot is still in the business too - as a Service Writer at a Harley dealership (and he's helping my with my WLA project too) . . . some things never change! Just 2 legends still in the bizz . . .

The legendary XLCH !

I just got this engine back together using some S&S stroker pistons with the relocated wrist pins and nylon buttons. I took out the Dytch pistons - 1. because they are old . . . and 2. because I had to run plates under the cylinders and it blew the base gaskets. You need a 2" spacer block if you want to run the Super E with a magneto. I wet sanded the carb for that "brushed" look. The cam cover and kicker cover is wrinkle painted, then shot with flat black so it ain't so shiny. Velocity stack is from Justified Defiance (powdercoat gold) and it holds up well against scratches. Those are Branch heads and I run Andrews R5 cams. The XLR pipes sound so good. This thing runs hard for a little stroker. If you had this motorcycle in 1965, nobody could touch it. The early Sportsters are my favorite engine. The ironhead has a bad reputation for some reason, but I don't really care. I'm keeping mine forever. Sportster 900s fuckin' rule ! What do you think about that? The XLCH - A legend of Harley Davidson.

Resweber on to Daytona . . .

Carroll Resweber was a Harley factory rider who won a lot of national races from about 1957-1962. I've got some rare video of him crashing on a track in Wisconsin(silent film). I believe in this photo that Resweber and his mechanic are heading for Daytona in March. A factory rider, with no factory truck, no motorhome, no fancy stuff. He was one of the last dirt trackers that didn't use brakes. I was fortunate enough to meet him at the first Hall-Of-Fame Nationals that Dave Despain organized a few years back at Springfield. A "4 time national champion" - Carroll Resweber is a true legend of dirt track motorcycle racing. I thought I'd give you a snowy photo - since we have all this snow. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas ! Thanks for checking out my blog.

A Thing of Beauty !

The newest McDonalds in the world just opened. More seating, coffee bar, flat screens, 70s custom interior lighting - it's just beautiful. Many of you live in a big city where you have everything - and probably take it for granted. Our original McDonalds restaurant was taken from us this summer by a flood. Lucky for us, the owner decided to rebuild.
When I first drove by and saw all the lights, it just looked so awesome. The snow around, the warm glow from the windows, with all the happy people nestled inside, eating their McChickens, Big Macs and fries. I'm going today for a sundae and maybe a fancy coffee. McDonalds - Over a Billion Served - The legend of fast food !

Holloway - "A real racer"

When I was a little kid, my dad took me to lots of motorcycle dirt track races. This kid named Lynn Holloway from Plymouth, Iowa was fast. He didn't have fancy equipment or leathers. But, he could ride a motorcycle. Holloway was known at all the local races, and he rode a few nationals too. I'm pretty sure this is him in the photo above. I found it on the net one day. He's ready to go out for practice, heat, final, who knows? He's running with Doug or Dave Sehl and probably Scott Drake. Fast company in this one. I know Holloway rode John Tibbin's bike once or twice. Holloway died at a young age years ago from some weird sickness. But, his memory and legacy lives on with all who watched him race to victory ! Here in Iowa - ask an old timer about Holloway - and they will tell you a good story.

KFC and Bachelor Night !

It's snowing like a "mofo" right now and it's bachelor night. Bachelor night is when the wife doesn't cook anything. I'm on my own. Bachelor nights are Monday, Tuesday, sometimes Wednesday, NEVER Thursday, and sometimes any other night. My wife is awesome ! She's a great cook too. But, tonite I have this hankerin' for some KFC ! But, guess what? We tore ours down and built a fucking bank. We haven't had a McDonalds since June (it got flooded and they tore that down). The good news is: the new Mickey Dee's opens in 2 days ! Fuckin' aye ! How about a McChicken? Not the same. KFC whipped taters, slaw, with original recipe dark meat - Mmmmmm Good !
(This is a pic of my plate from KFC on E. Tropicana in Las Vegas)

Harley XR750 (early model)

I see the AMA has announced the Grand National Dirt Track schedule for 2009. Still no races in California? What's up with that? Can't those fucking huge dealerships out there put something together for the west coast? Or is it all about selling t-shirts? They need to go talk with Gene Romero - he knows how to promote a race! Mike Kidd is the new race director for the AMA dirt track. Send Mike a letter - I know I'm gonna. Dirt track is one of the best forms of racing there is - if not THE best. It least I get a chance to see Springfield without having to get on a jet. Sturgis should have a national 1/2 mile. Anyway - see the schedule at www.amaproracing.com and maybe I'll see you at the races. Go see real men who race real motorcycles. I heard the Indy Mile kicked ass and the moto gp wasn't too bad. There you have it. (Photo above is from Las Vegas Harley Davidson)

This winter sucks already . . .

I'm having a hard time coming to grips with this -22 wind chill factor and all this snow already. It's looking like another very long Winter here in Iowa - and actually, I'm already a little sick of it. We can't ride our ice bikes, 'cause it rained on the snow and created this slush situation - and now it's -22 and all the slush is frozen and it's rougher than a fuckin' rutted out MX track out there. So, all I can do is look back at photos like this of my '64, loaded down and ready to ride up to the S&S 50th in LaCrosse. (a loaded up motorcycle is a beautiful thing) Iowa ain't for wimps.

Betty Page

The original Betty Page passed away Thursday, Dec. 11th. She was the original pin-up model. Where do you think the term, "There's a hot Betty" came from? She was the icon pin-up gal for serviceman, veterans, bomber pilots, rock-a-billy, tattoos and beatnik cool culture. I've seen her photos in auto repair shops, garages, body shops, bike shops, men's rooms (and some of the pictures had probably been there since WWII). Betty Page will be an American icon forever. Long live Betty !

Harley 45 Transmission

Have you ever taken something apart and you're not sure if you can get it back together? I did just that - again. This tranny is all Greek to me. I took plenty of photos for reference. These Harley 45s are a different breed. The kicker mechanism in this thing is quite the engineering fiasco. I guess if it works? Everything looks pretty good. Gears look good, races good too. Clean the case, paint it olive drag, put her back together. Hope all goes well - wish me luck.

The Magneto: Love it or Hate it . . .

Here's a Fairbanks-Morse magneto I just rebuilt last week. I want to run it on my Harley 45 army bike project. I got it from a friend . . . then stripped it, blasted it, wet sanded, scotch brighted and pressed in new bearings. A new set of points and she throws fire ! Snap Snap ! Mags are so cool. I like to run 'em because they are very reliable, throw a hot spark - and you can run without a generator or battery. There's a plug where the key switch was - and a plug where the tach drive went. Who needs a key or a tach? ! Magnetos kick ass and all the old-timers might give you some much needed respect? Better get one for the chopper and your tractor !

Harley 45 Military Bike - 1952 WLA

This is my latest project. I've got it all stripped down. The frame is bent and twisted up bad. I had it in a 100 ton press last night and it's a little better. Still needs work. It's missing a bunch of the original parts, so it will be sort of "outlaw military" for now. The rods were shot in the motor. As a matter of fact, a lot of shit is shot or missing. I wanted it - now I have it. One thing for sure - it will be the baddest ass military bike on the planet. I'll keep you posted on progress - check back soon. -Noot

Good Morning Morty !

Morty is like the coolest Official Shop Cat I've ever had. You can fire up your stroker Sportster and he'll stick around and watch. He kicks the ass of any other cat that even comes close to his block. Morty is a badass when he wants to be. He's real stocky, fast and strong for a cat. He gets a bird about everyday - and he likes to eat the heads. Mice, birds, rabbits, squirrels and even those fast little Jack Squirrels. Today he must have been cold in the shop, 'cause he took the victim into his cat house. Morty rocks - he's also the manager of this blog. You'll hear more from Morty later. Morty - the legend of the neighborhood.

Indian Larry at Boondocks

I met Indian Larry one year at the Camel Roadhouse on Main Street in Sturgis. It was packed with bikers, standing room only. All of a sudden, here comes Larry and he's trying to get his motorcycle out through all the people. I start helping by pushing my way though the crowd to make way, with Larry behind me. Larry told me thank you, and that he was gettin' out of the rat race for a ride in the hills. Away they went (Larry and Paul Cox). To make a long story short, due to a change of events - we ended up at Boondocks together(ask me about it) . . . talking about ironhead Sportsters of all things ! Paul Cox snapped this photo for me as we waited for our cheeseburgers and fries (on my recommendations) Boondocks has damn good burgers & fries. He was telling me about cutting up the trophy for Biker Build-Off with Billy Lane before it even aired on television. Indian Larry is a legend and built some of the fastest and best handling choppers to ever hit the highway.

Bob Spina & Indian Larry

One year at Sturgis, Indian Larry was set up out at Full Throttle Saloon. Spina was striping at the Last Ride Saloon across from HD on Junction. Indian Larry would blast through the alley (the shortcut) to aid in moving around town. The alley ran right next to the striping booth. Bob told me, "Hey Noot - next time Larry comes by, stop him so he knows where we are . . ." Sure enough - I got him to stop and while they were chattin' - folks started gathering around. I snapped this picture. Me and Spina later went out to Larry's booth and swapped t-shirts and photos, etc.
It was awesome. I.L. will always be known as one of the best custom motorcycle builders - ever. Sturgis: Where legends meet.

Bob Spina - The Legend of Paint

These 2 photos are of a FLHX that's currently on the showroom floor at Las Vegas Harley-Davidson. It's totally tricked out with a Spina paint job. It's got all kinds o' sparkle. Silver Leaf, Gold Leaf, airbrush, metal flake . . . it's way cool.
If you get a chance - stop by and see it. These paint jobs are way cooler than anything Harley could ever come up with. Pictures don't do them justice. There's another bike custom painted at Red Rock HD (the new store) too. There are some Bob Spina cards by the front door. Bob does work with these kick ass dudes from Huntington Beach called the Spade Brothers. These guys are the best . . . (Spina wouldn't just hang with anybody) Read on and you might see why Bob Spina is a "legend of paint !"

Flames by Spina !

I sent Spina the peanut tank for my K-Model a few years back. I had it painted solid black. I just wanted some green flames and a little striping. This is what I got back. Green metal-flake flames, outlined, with airbrushing, 3 colors down the middle with tinted clearcoat with pearl, ice, sparkles, micro flake . . . who knows what's in there? Under the lights at night this thing is dancin' around and jumping right off the tank ! It rocks. I get all kinds of folks that ask me who did the paint, especially chics. Thanks again Uncle Bob !

Pinstriped Panel

This is a Pinstriped Panel that was painted by Spina and myself. Bob did all the red on the left side, and all the gold leaf. I painted the red on the right side, and all the blue. I tried to stay in the same style and keep the "flow" of the design. If you're a good pinstriper, great - but, the design and composition is what sets you apart from the rest. I can usually identify Spina's work. He has a certain style that lets your eye move about the design. Spina is a legend and he even signed my name to the design too ! Fuckin' Awesome. It's the little stuff that influences to practice for perfection.

Early Bob Spina - The Legend of Custom Paint

A shot of Bob Spina from the earlier days. Spina is the King of paint. What impresses me is that he has mastered all aspects of custom paint. Pinstriping, candies, flakes, clears, leaf, airbrush . . . you name it - he's done it. He is from the days of Roth, Watson, Dutch, Kelly - and SPINA ! He also doesn't need all the fancy stuff to produce results. No paint booth, no fancy shit - Just skill and know-how. Bob Spina is the Legend of Paint.

Painting Legend: Bob Spina of Las Vegas

I met Bob Spina years back in Rapid City, SD. I was on my way to the National Dirt Track on Hwy 44 and it looked like a tornado was coming. I ducked into a garage, and this white bearded guy and his young chic followed suit. Little did I know, this man (Bob Spina) would influence my artistic side and ultimately introduce me to a wide range of celebrities, rock stars, bike builders, wrestlers and whatever other colorful clients frequent his shop. This photo was taken last week in the Mustang as we cruised over to get the '56 Nomad. My friend, my uncle - Bob Spina.