Shrimp Pasta

Cheryl served up some of her famous dish of shrimp, garlic, red pepper, angel hair pasta, olive oil and seasoning with a side of spinach with walnuts. Quite delicious. It was my birthday - so my cake was my favorite of angel food with strawberries. One of my gifts was a Franklin Mint Harley WLA Army Bike with working shifter, wheels, suspension and an extra combat helmet and goggles ! I had fun playing with it all night. Cheryl went to bed - and I stayed up and played with my toys.
I must be getting old?????


The king of custom Harley-Davidsons - Arlen Ness. However, we can give much credit to all the others - but, Ness has been an innovator with single engines, multiple engines, chassis, paint . . . everything. Just look at his career and the motorcycles he has customized. He also built an empire in the aftermarket parts business. I've also never been "snubbed" by the guy. He doesn't know me. But, if you want to talk to Arlen, he'll always take the time. When you see one of those old Ness customs, in person especially - you can stare at it for hours. Arlen Ness - THE American legend of custom motorcycles. (and I've heard he's a kickass bowler too...)

Respect the British

I saw a restored Norton Commando at the Rochester Show. I've always liked the look of the Norton engine. These motorcycles were manufactured in the city of Wolverhampton. Cool name for a city. Nortons were raced and set many records in their day. The Norton chassis was one of the best in racing - the featherbed. A guy by the name of Ron Wood built a Norton flat tracker and stuck a fast dude named Alex Jorgensen (Nat'l #44) on one and totally dominated Ascot - and blew away a lot of Harleys on any given weekend. Nortons are the mount of choice if you want to build a vintage cafe racer, clip ons, rear sets . . . you know the terminology? Are you a mod or a rocker? I'll give you a hint - Rockers ride Nortons, Mods ride Vespas. Long live the queen !

Scratch-Built XL

Jeff Wright (founding father of Church of Choppers, Des Moines, Iowa) has a partner in crime. His name is Fatty. These guys are real nice fellas, and build some way cool motorcycles - as many of you already know. This is Fatty's Sportster. It looks cool in pictures, but I like it much better in person. It's all business with hand made custom parts, hidden battery, flip up seat section, in-your-face-exhaust . . . and the tank. The tank is the shit. Everyone talks about the tank. Even if you are totally clueless about bikes - you'll have something common with that peanut fuel tank. I heard he's now workin' on a street legal dune buggy? You can check out more of their builds, art, music and lifestyle at noneother than

Norma Jeane Baker

Hey, there's nothing wrong with throwing on a dreamy photo every once in awhile. This one is a true classic. I'll bet she never thought she'd ever get her pic on Noot's blog? Here's one just for Marilyn.

Choppers, Guinness and Bruises in Rochester

Saturday was the Donnie Smith Motorcycle Show & Swap in Rochester, MN. We fought a little snow, ice and wind - but, it was fun once we got there. Got a few deals, drank some brew, hit a few bars(Whistle Dinkies?) with our buddy up north, crashed at his way cool pad (Thanks Hux) - made it back - took a nap. Where'd I get all these bruises?
I gotta start hangin' around people my own age - these kids stay up too late.
Best bike in the show? I'd have to give it to Grampa's White Knuckle
head ! (all the fancy paint was by Gilby's Street Dept.- nice work)

Swap Meets and Good Rye Whiskey

I'll probably be heading out to the motorcycle show & swap this weekend in Rochester, MN. I've never been to this one before - so, we don't know if it's any good or not? The good meets are in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport and St. Paul. The weatherman says it's gonna snow 2" to 5" tonite and through the morning. Slippery roads, blowing snow. I say take the backroads. Bring a thermos with some hot apple cider. Maybe find some parts for the flathead? Say hello to some friends. Stop at the bar for some lunch and a drink. Get back and settle in with some Templeton Rye Whiskey (made right here in Iowa) Get the fireplace going. Talk about your day. Relax. Tomorrow is Sunday. Life is good.

A Ruffian's Ride - Forty Five !

I robbed this off the 'net one day. A Harley 45 bob job - kinda looks like a WR with a rear brake. This scoot oozes coolness. WR pipe, bars, tank and spool up front. I dig the paint too. This thing could tear up my lil' town - no problem. Everybody's all big bore now - but, try and stay with this thing for an afternoon - through the alleys - down some dirt roads . . . you can kiss my ass bye bye - see you at the bar !

Martial Arts and Mexico

Last weekend I had some kickin' good tacos in Des Moines on Indianola Road. You need to order about 5 of them for starters (hard shells) - and use the sauce in the packets. They serve 'em up fast and hot - and they go great with the Hamms beer. It was about my 10th time at this place. I keep going back. Lots of cool motorcycle related stuff on the walls, pinstriping and the ironhead Sporty behind the bar - my kind of place !

Harley 45 WLA Project

I now have a rolling chassis. It took some brave souls to get the fork springs on without the proper tools. All I need now is the obvious things - a motor would be nice? Just wanted you to know that I haven't been home every night watching TV. (but, I did start watching the new Survivor again)

Prostock Sportster

When my dad was in business for himself, Jeff (pictured above) was his right hand man, apprentice and mechanic. Jeff did much of the service work. They both worked 2 jobs - the shop and the local tractor factory. Jeff built many motorcycles and raced everything from drags, flat track, motocross and ice. However, his most famous bike was this Prostock Sportster he built from a model XLX. The bike went through a variety of transformations. In the end it had a 96 engine, airshifter, slipper clutch and many lightweight one-off parts. He set the AHDRA prostock national record speed at the Gateway National in St. Louis with this bike. He was known by the other racers for a couple reasons.
One: His race bike was fast and looked like a showpiece going down the strip - and Two: He didn't wear boots, just Nike wrestling shoes for better feel. Those were the good ol' days !

The Power of Nitrous Oxide

On television yesterday I was watching "import car drag racing." Their little 4 cylinders were tuning 11 and 12 second quarter mile times. The motors were getting 300 to 400 horsepower. One thing they all had in common - they were running nitrous systems. Then they showed all the blown motors from poor tuning, not enough fuel pressure - many different causes. Nitrous works great and can turn a good running stock motor into a race motor, for a few seconds anyway. Leave it on a little too long and - boom . . . shit starts bending and breaking.
Like connecting rods !

Morty says, "Hello"

Morty "the Official Shop Cat" just wanted everyone to know that he'll try and get some new photos of himself up real soon . . . (and maybe even a couple of his brothers Charlie and Eli too) Morty says, "You can't have a blog with nothing but motorcycle related stuff all the time. You gotta save some space for stuff about cats." It's been a tough winter for him here in Iowa (livin' in an unheated garage), but he's still been on patrol everyday - kicking the ass of any cat that tries to cut through his turf. Morty was even on antibiotics for a couple weeks due to a claw being ripped out after a cat fight (with a tiny scrape on his nose) - If you know Mort, I'm sure it was much worse for the other cat. We hope to see you all real soon !

Alvin Kobernusz Racing

This guy is a farmer from Manly, Iowa who runs Top Fuel. He's fast. Alvin has put some pretty fast company on the trailer after the first round. He fell off last year at Sturgis (at least he got the crash out of the way) but, I hope that didn't slow him down too much. These bikes use about 2 1/2 gallons of nitro per run - at $25 a gallon. Hmmmmm? Not very fuel efficient. He's still a newby . . . but, his learning curve has been quick. When you have a motorcycle under you with 700 horsepower - there's not much time for mistakes !


This is an old photo of one of our best family friends, from way back - "Killer" Carter. He lived down the street next to the DQ when he was first married. He had a wicked '57 Chevy and a liking for fast ironheads. Here's a pic on his stroker Sportster with disc brakes (Hurst Airheart in '73), S&S stroker flywheels, R&M header, you name it - it probably had it. A very unique custom for the time period. Sometimes he'd have a hard time kick starting it - so, he'd call Noot, who'd walk down the block and start it for him - or Carter would just push it down to Noot's house. Cool. This motorcycle went through a variety of transformations - one of which is shown here. Carter still rides Harleys and has owned XLCRs, a Buell, dressers, stroker superglides - and lately can be seen on an FLHX. He's still in the biz.

Engines from Capitol City Bike Show

There was some neat stuff in Des Moines over the weekend. I like the engines that some of these guys build. It doesn't matter if it's vintage, high tech or a mix of both - a good combination of performance accessories is what sets these builders apart from the rest.

Family Photo & Project Bike

If I'm not mistaken, the previous owner of this Sportster only owned the bike about a year or so. The motor was blown. The frame bent. It was rough. This guy apparently rode hard. Dad rebuilt it in the basement over the winter. Before . . . and After with custom seat, paint, polished rockers and covers with bobbed fender. He says it was fast too.

Photo from 1969

Dad and his motorcycle. Bates leathers and ready to hit the streets. I'm wearing the Bell Day-Glow open face (making some engine sounds too). The '55 was his work car. This motorcycle was painted to match the '68 Road Runner in the garage. Del Claussen (sometimes known as Del Star) from Star Auto Body of Mason City, Iowa shot the paint.

Garage Workshop

The early 1980s economy was rough. Dad worked at the White Farm Equipment tractor factory, and was frequently off work. His partner in his motorcycle business had been killed in a tragic motorcycle accident. He was forced to work on motorcycles at home, in the family garage. Mom could never get her car in there. It was full of Harleys.
Here's a photo of what I'm talking about. Lots of sissy bars and oil on the floor. Parts washer and engines were built in the basement. These times may be back again? (check my bicycle sissy bar)


Here is a picture I found the other day of a pinstriper at a motorcycle factory. Before they had computerized CNC machines and automated gizmos . . . the only way to get those fine lines were by hand. Image that. This guy palleted up his squirrel hair brush, and layed down the lines on all these tanks. I'll bet he got really good at it. He probably striped all the fenders too. I was looking at a factory 2009 Harley tank with stripes the other day - and the lines were all kinked and looked like shit. Some things may be best done by hand? A lost art to many motorcycle manufacturers. The tanks look as if they could be Harley or Excelsior???? Maybe Triumph? Oil tanks and fuel tanks possibly from the 1920s?

Bob Spina & Buffalo Jim

When I was in Vegas last time - I started diggin' through Spina's photo album and found some cool pics like this one with him and Buffalo Jim. Spina made him this cool sign . . back in the day - who knows when ?????