Stumble Inn End-of-the-Season Party

I just had to go see my friends and check out the rods in Millville, Minnesota for the final street party of the year.  The leaves are really nice this time of year . . . lots of flea markets, produce stands . . . and the fall harvest is in full swing.  These huge clouds of dust pop up from farmers combining corn and bean fields.  Cheryl came along - so I had to stop at Susie's Roadhouse in Ostander for some ribs, fish (great baked potatoes) and a cold Miller High Life.  Outside was a creative usage of the old salad bar . . .
only in Minnesota !

Kenny Baker's Coloring Book

Negotiable Tim just sent me a pic of the coloring book we were talkin' about at Sturgis.  This art is really super cool - and the inspiration on Tim's logo.  Art by Kenny Baker.  Sharpen your Crayolas . . .

Rigid Destruction

I found out a while back ago that rigid frames are more destructive to the motor mount boss than a swing-arm frame.  The flexing and pulling of the frame loosens the bolts and starts twisting and breaking the bosses.  1958 and up cases are usually in better condition due to this.  The cam bushing cracks are very common.  Some look like spider webs they are so bad . . .  I will grind out the cracks a bit, clean it fully (propane torch and brake-clean spray), get all the oil out so it's not poppin' at him  . . . and take it to a new welding guy I found  - see if he can repair this case ?

I can't figure out . . .

. . . exactly what those U-shaped deals are hangin' over the top frame tubes???  Maybe Kryptonite bike locks? . .  big magnets? or some kind of high tech gadget?  They come in different colors apparently.  If you want to get around in NYC and don't use the public trans systems . .  better bring your wheels with you.

I just happen to know these guys and think they are super cool.  Super nice people.  Can't wait to see them again - I just been so busy, but need to make time.  I was surfin' for Brooklyn photos . .  and found this. 

The Factory wanted to win . . .

There were some times in the late 1960s and early 1970s that Harley-Davidson wanted to win everything.  They wanted the road races, dirt tracks, scrambles, desert . . . and yes, the drags and Bonneville.  They basically did it with the same unitized engine design in the KR, XR and XLCH.  The XLCH was not a success to the HD race engineers . . . but, it was the privateers that made this engine win races.  They called upon men like Warner Riley, George Smith and Leo Payne to come visit them in Milwaukee and show them their tricks . . . Smith and Payne are gone now . . . but, Riley is still around. 

Let's See . . . Daytona 1971 ?

Jim Rice
David Aldana
Dick Mann
Mike Hailwood
Don Emde
Mert Lawwill
Mark Brelsford
Roger Reiman
(then maybe Cal Rayborn)
I believe Bugsy went on to win this race on that BSA Rocket III . . .

Sweet CH

Those were the days . . .

Lost Art

Barrels turned and hexed, X motor mount (Perewitz?). . . and that custom cast primary cover.  First, I thought it was an XLH cover all smoothed out, but they only have 3 screws - unless they machined and countersunk extra screw locations for the XLCH case 1/2?  Huh?  Lots of work on this one.  I don't believe hex head cap screws are a good way to bolt down cylinders, but who knows . . .
I love modified "stock" parts.

Desert Run

Looks like a fun place to be . . . good times, good people.

Boring Cylinders

Where I live in Iowa, we once had quite a machine tool and manufacturing industry.  I was attending our local "Threshers Reunion" last week and the grounds where the event is held has a variety of early machine tools.  It's very interesting.  Pictured above is the first example of a Boring Mill.  Yes, it's original.  I was quite amazed by this thing . . .  and didn't even know it was about 7 miles from my house.

Magneto Inspired Nervous Breakdown

I run a magneto on about everything.  But, this latest one on the panhead has been a SOB.  It will spark on the bench, but - not in the motor.  I think the points have some kind of coating on them that's not allowing them to ground properly.  So, out comes the Delco Points File.  Somethin's gotta give or I'm sayin' fuck it and goin' fer a timer and coil . . . and battery . . . and a switch . . . yuk !

SOLD OUT . . .

If it's SOLD OUT - get the product off your blog or website.  I've seen like a dozen items I'd like to buy - from shirts, parts . . . etc.  Every single item was OUT, TEMPORARILY OUT-OF-STOCK, SOLD OUT . . . Who wants it anyway?  How many did they make, 5,6,7 of them and they're gone now?  Screw it.  If you have a site and sell a product - Manage your site !  If it's out - get it off there.  Why show us your stuff when you don't have any anyway?  The more I think about it - I don't want to look like everyone else anyway.  I'll just keep wearing my same old shirts and keep my money. The hole in my armpit is just added ventilation . . .

When things pop out . . .

This poor shovelhead had the wrist pin keeper come out.  The pin eventually moved over and started runnin' up and down on the cylinder wall.  Evidence of the keeper is where it caught on the oil return hole and the piston beat around on that . . . The motor usually isn't real noisy when it does it.  It just keeps eatin' at it and oil starts blowin' by . . .  This one was a .010 over cylinder (and it took +.070 to clean it up).  Now with it's new 70 over piston - it will run again.

During the the AMF years a few disgruntled factory workers possibly left out wrist pin snap rings "purposely" to get back at the factory for layoffs, low wages, etc.  The dealers would have a customer come in for warranty work - and no snap ring was ever found in the motor.

Texture Black

Your local Harley-Davidson dealer has this "Texture Black" spray paint available.  For the record . . . it seems to work very well and is quite durable.  Looks nice on this 1981 XL . . . .


I don't normally pirate pics and stories off other folk's blogs.  But, the photos from Jeremiah's trip (Love Cycles) really has some scenes and people that take you there.  You know that wasn't an easy trip on that motorcycle.  Vibrations, bugs, aches and pains, wind, water . . . and smells.  Plenty of time to think.  Sing to yourself . . . all the stuff that goes along with your motor, rpms - and the sound of the bike you built yourself and know everything about.  The pride you feel when you pull in and everyone is looking at you.  I like Jeremiah and hope to see him in November in Phoenix.
Go see for yourself at

They call him . . . "Rattlecan"

I caught local cannon-baller Chad Clapper(orange shirt) on his 45 at the run Tuesday.  He was attempting a voyage to Spirit Lake for the afternoon.  This motorcycle was found in a local basement, and resurrected by Chad himself - all while hangin' on to the originality of the find.  I never see him on any other bike.  He must like it?
Once you have a 45 . . . all you want to do is ride it !

Chad has a restoration business (classic cars, paint, welding and fabrication) on I-35 just north of Clear Lake, Iowa.  It's a family business and they do great work.

No. 1

Freemen M/C

Me and Drew Cross.  Drew was originally from Floyd, Iowa when we where kids - BMX days.  Moved up north and joined the Freemen Club.  I haven't seen him in years . . . maybe he'll see this?

Gordy's other '38

Updated this motor from the early tapered pin to the 1940 up "stepped pin" and small rollers and cages.  All assembled, true and ready for the cases . . . original rod races honed to accept +.001 bearings.

Motorcycle Cannonball in Iowa !

Pretty darn cool that Mason City Harley-Davidson had the Motorcycle Cannonball stop by for a break with free food and drinks for everyone - way cool dudes !   I ran over to check it out on my lunch hour.  On the freeway I caught up with a few (doin' a solid 57mph) on those pre-1930 bikes . . . really neat to see against the Iowa fields.

A bit of wrenchin' was takin' place as soon as those "sewin' machine sounding motors" came poppin' in from the road.  Said "hey" to Jeff Decker and Michael Lichter (Jeff addin' a bit of synthetic lubricants to keep everything . . . well. . . . lubed )  All motorcycles have these map-like deals on the handlebars which outline the route for the day . . . and each participant gets one every morning.  Kinda cool.  I talked to Matt Olsen and he was doin' great - a few tack welds on the rear fender, and a funky seat - but, he looked good for another 2000 miles.  Tonite they stop in Spirit Lake, Iowa and check out the newly, emerging Indian Factory . . . Yes, the marque will be manufactured, brought back to life, in of all places . . . Iowa !

Wild Will

Nice pick o' Will Kelley on Bake's Honda last week at Davenport . . . 
Wonder how Brandon did at Knoxville?

Digger Kit

Someone should offer this again . . . for Evo Sportster.  The problem would be the frame serial numbers since pre '71 were titled by the engine number - and you could switch frames.