Rattlecan knows . . .

 . . . how to braze cast, weld & repair forgings, fabricate steel . . . and he also knows where to get a great burger !  Most fun I've had on a Monday in a long time . . . Thanks again !


This is a great photo . . .

Worries?  No Worries ?  Just a way of life.

Mike's '36 Restoration

Noot & myself helped restore the engine in this 1936 EL.  Mike Willmott did a totally excellent restoration.  It's not everyday that a motor builder gets to restore a first-year knuckle.  I guess Mike started it for the owner, and it took right off . . . sounds awesome - and she really looks great (the bike).  A sweet girl.

Knee Hyperextension ( Injured PCL )

After 25 years of kickstart ironhead Sportsters - A guy is bound to injure his kicker knee eventually.  I initially injured my knee kicking the '52K in Kansas City in early May.  I was very careful to get it healed or I wasn't going to Sturgis on a kickstart panhead (which don't kick too bad) but anyway.  I re-injured my knee on this bike on Aug. 12th . . . and I've been doing my own therapy - and it's feeling better again.  The last few days I fixed (and tightened) up the kick start mechanism on this thing . . . and started the bike this morning for the ride the work day.  I replaced the clutch fibers with new Raybestos Dry Plates, and my new kicker gear has a nice tight spacer & bushing - honed to perfection.
I don't have an electric start motorcycle - but I can see the writing on the wall telling me I will need one someday.  A new motorcycle does nothing for me - so, the only motorcycle I will ever be able to own that's cool enough for my vintage ego is the 1965 FLH "Electrica-Glide."  Until I get the one I want, I'll just start learning to kick with my Left Leg . . .

Really Cool Bike

I think this is Patrick's(from U.K.) . . . and he's probably got the brake hooked up, a chain on it . . . and just terrorizing the streets with this total weapon-of-a-vintage-iron-XLR-Street Dominator !  With the proper XLR engine tuned to perfection . . . just try keepin' up with this thing down side streets, through alley-ways, down the dirt, over the bridge, through the field, up the grass hill, through the tunnel, under the tree limb . . . back on the street - sliding up to the pub.  Bloody dangerous in the hands of a capable pilot.
Love those base nuts and front mounts . . .probably 13 sec 1/4 mile - top speed of 120 - uneffected by road conditions, pot holes, ruts or loose sand . . . I give it a GREEN LIGHT.

Cool Bike

1969 XLCH Engine FOR SALE

A new chrome kicker cover now too . . .
$2500 or reasonable offer / will deal with / without magneto, etc.

The 54 year old Sportster Motor . . .

Transmission race lapped for oversize rollers, all gears shimmed, pawl disassembled, springs checked, good forks, real nice gears . . . new main bearing.  All buttoned up and ready.  Shifts like it should.  Cylinders are ready for the new pistons . . .
What did you do with your day ? 

Long Pushrod = Front Exhaust

Gettin' Steve's pan together.  Finding good parts is a challenge.  We line up the heads, intake and carb kinda as all one unit - and get everything fitted - no binding or pulling.  A washer between the carb bracket and the case on the center bolt.  These heads have upgrade o-ring replacement inserts, but I think the "intake leak" he's experiencing is from his worn throttle bushings in the Linkert 74B.  We'll get it figured out.  I need to make a small spacer for a slight lift - up under the flange of his magneto shaft, since the magneto head touches the case when you cinch it down.  It will help the mag drive gear ride more in the center of the timing bevel gear too.  It's the little things that make a difference.

Good Times & Bad Times & Good Times

I hit the road Friday afternoon.  Packed and buckin' a 40mph headwind.  Windy as shit.  I get to the first gas stop and noticed my new "Mighty Max" battery is dead.  No lights.  I get out the tools, plug in my battery eliminator - back-in-business.  I go 65 miles to the next stop - and see my canvas tool roll (loaded with all kinds of special tools for my chopper) and my new rain suit pants and jacket are gone.  A sole blue bungee dangles in the wind - my pack is loose.  My kit had some expensive tools, vintage tools and sentimental tools given to me by motorcyclist who used this stuff for years . . . and they were happy to see me have it.  It was a mental downer to say the least . . . The wind was out-of-my-sails for this ride.  I gassed up and rode back about 10-15 miles - nothing.  I decided to continue on - anyway.

I run the Hwy 65, Hwy 30, back on I-35S with a gas stop in Ankeny, Iowa (America's overcrowded shit hole).  Fake fuckers everywhere on phones wearing Under Armour bullshit.  One stop light went through 3 sessions before I finally rode over the grass and sliced through "stagnant traffic" proudly wearing my Splitting Lanes helmet decal . . . just to get a gas pump that was so close the last 10 minutes - I could have thrown an egg and hit it.  Never, ever, ever go to Ankeny, Iowa !  Gassed with a new harder attitude, I blast back out on I-35 in rush hour traffic . . . pointed south to Des Moines.  Hand shift, no front brake, (lights? - I don't even know if my brake light is working, and unless I hold my hand up to my headlight, I don't know if that's working either - I don' t really care right now.)  I blast into the heart of DSM, left lane I-235 - I take the Hwy 69 Exit - and in 20 minutes - I arrive in Indianola - the stop for the night.  Indianola Bike Nite with over 4000 motorcycles.  Crazy.  

I meet a guy named Cactus who invites me to his vintage motorcycle show on Sunday.  I meet a lot of really cool people.  I decide I need a stiff drink - so I head to a joint called "The Garage."  She does me up a good one. 

This band of "dudes with rhythm" is playing in the back.  They are really good.  They play Stevie Wonder, then Prince (dearly beloved, we are gathered here . . .) then bust into Pharrel Williams "Happy" and I kinda like that song . . . and they do it great.  After about a half-a-dozen songs, I had enough and walk outside to see that "Nick" guy checkin' my scooter.  You know Nick from all the Ku Fu Tap photos . . . he's pretty cool and knows his old chops.  It was fun talkin' with him and his girl.  Now I'm hungry, and a local suggests Winn's Pizzeria . . . and it was one of the best pizzas I've ever had . . . from the crust to the cheese.  My little motel with the dirty floor (my socks were black) . . . but the sheets were clean - and the TV worked.  Just in time to see more of The Roosevelts.
The morning had heavy thunderstorms - so I went around to shops trying to get a new rainsuit - and get my lights working . . .
I wasn't really impressed with the "Harley Shop" on Hwy 65.  They had rain-suits as long as you wore a Small or a 3XL.  I stood by service, nobody said hello, good morning or fuck you.  If you want women's designer clothes - they have a very nice selection.  The only thing they seemed to be proud of was the FREE food at Noon . . . Huge tents, chairs . . . yada, yada, yada.  I left and went to the Jap-Bike shop (Van Wall Powersports) where he helped me with my lights, and gave me a sweet deal on a rain-suit ($25) and a hot cup of coffee.  They had all types of oils, bike tools, etc for the motorcyclist.  It gave you a nice choice.
A really good shop - and he suggested the Crouse Cafe for breakfast . . .

I ate like a king . . . I went through the buffet twice: real scrambled eggs, sausage, hickory bacon, strawberries, 3 types of melon, real cut baby potatoes, hot caramel rolls, eggs Benedict, egg casserole, cheese potato casserole, hot apple crisp, biscuits with hot sausage gravy - and a great hot cup o' coffee with a tall glass o' ice water . . . damn it was delicious . . . and cute college server gals.

I was just tired and spent after all this . . . with variable lights, my generator making a grinding sound - and it's raining again - I make a heavy-hearted decision to turn back.  No Kansas City - again.  I've been derailed on my quests for KC since May.  A flood, an injury - and now a mechanical.  I'm kinda dejected - but Ricky told me . . . "It's better to have tried, and had a failure - then to not try at all." which are very good words to live by.  Thank You.  On my way back, I get to Collins, Iowa - and it's looks like a freakin' tornado ahead.  I'm riding in bright, hot sunshine at the moment.  The temp drops about 20 degrees in 2 miles - and it looks bad ahead.  Then, there's a detour !  A farmer, driving a totally radded out rust bucket Ford - tells me to take this gravel a mile or two - and you'll be right back on 65 again.  For gravel, it started out not too bad, but over a slight hill - it turned into chopper Motocross.  Slick, soupy sandy shit - like quicksand.  I could hear the mud and slime clogging into my front-mount voltage regulator - hell, I don't have any lights anyway - who gives a shit?  Right?  I finally meet up with my friend Willard & Jodi at a bar called "Flatheads" (named after the catfish) in St. Anthony, Iowa.  Another 80 miles and I'm home.  I need a drink, and some rest.  The bike gets parked - it's ragged out - but running like a champ.   
A 360 mile Pointless Adventure?  
But not - depends how you look at what life throws at you . . .

Barn Find XLs

XR1000 New In-The-Box !

Big City Life . . .

It's nice to have some friends down a bit further south.  It's warmer in Kansas City, and a good time for a late summer/fall run.  Go check out the new shop and catch up on the "goings on" - make sure everyone's being good little boys.  Riding my chopper right into the heart of Mid-Town is the scary thing . . . but it sure is an adventure !   . . . and that's what it's all about.

Ken Burns

Ken Burns has the best documentaries on television.  This one is excellent.  I had no idea what these three Roosevelts had accomplished for America. It will be rerun multiple times in the next few weeks on public television.  Three Americans who were born into wealth - but, used it to make this country a better place.  All (3) completely different - in every single way.  They overcame great struggles mentally and physically to become who they were - and help America and it's people.  They helped our grandparents.  We move, we work - and enjoy modern quality of life - due to these three.  Period.


I often see my Pink Hat friend(above) at many biker related events.  He knows how to ride long distances.  There's really nothing in life better than packing your motorcycle with necessities - and hitting the road.  The first miles (as opposed to what one might think) are usually the most uncomfortable.  Getting situated.  The realization of how far you have to go.  Leaving in the rain is the worst.  After 200 miles - getting into it.  After 500 miles - your mind is clearing.  After 1200 miles - you just want to keep going, your ears have this dull ringing.  You're not as effected by outside elements anymore.  After 5000 miles - I don't know.  It's unknown to me.  I'll get there someday hopefully.  To know what's it's like after 5000+ miles on the road - on a packed motorcycle.  You might see this land quite differently.  You might change your life's direction?