Bill Truman? - Rockford, Illinois !

 . . . should be Bill Tuman . . .
and Richard Mann went on to become an Expert
and multi-time National Champion . . .
Dick "Bugsy" Mann !

Champion Spark Plugs

The official plugs of the AMA.

Chris Jammin' on the Meltdown Run

(photo stolen from Josh)

Stolen from Baron . .

Too good to go unnoticed. 

1950 WR

I've been sorting through boxes of a disassembled WR engine.  I wasn't able to remove the tappet blocks by tapping with a brass hammer (they were installed with a very heavy press).  I thought about leaving them in, since they felt ok . . . but then I noticed something.  I had my machinist Jeff McFarland make me a special tool to remove the tappets.  I put the ball bearings on the cam, and slipped the cover on too - so we don't "kink" anything when pressing on the cam.  The previous engine builder had the Intake tappets installed incorrectly (since they're "site specific") and it wore the shoes all on one side.
FI = Front Intake (and the lifter was installed in the rear intake - and vice versa)  The valve train in a WR engine is angled inwards, towards the piston bore.  The cam lobes are straight, but each lifter shoe is angled for each particular valve.  WRs don't have roller tappets, just flat shoes.
See where the cam lobe wore these all offset.  Whoever installed the lifters didn't know what they were doing . . . or made a big mistake.  However, it did give the Intakes more valve lift !  Not real pretty . . . but it did do that.
Somebody got crazy with the cut-off wheel on this one . . . ?  Huh?  Kinda shade tree mechanics on this motor.  I'll try my best to fix it up and build a good solid motor. 
It's cold outside, so I drug all the parts into the kitchen where it was warmer.
I grabbed my wife's saucer to use as a parts tray . . . she wasn't real happy about it. 

Sportster Cure

I've kinda been into early XLs lately. 
Or at least for the last 30+ years !
This is somebody's nice collection . . .

Cracks = Leaks

Both oil passages cracked.  The cases were bored for big cylinders, and they broke into the oil passages . . . It's almost criminal.
2 sections of motor mount had huge chunks, broken off and gone.  Timing hole bored to almost 1" - and it was cracked.  Relay mount off.  Threads destroyed everywhere.  But the cam area is not cracked, races are solid . . . a couple good things.  The main issues are shown above.  As stated before: The cases were poorly bored for big cylinders, and they broke into the oil passages and then did a sloppy weld job into the oily aluminum.  A poor attempt at repair.  It's all cracked and warped on both cylinders, inside and outside, all the way down.  Maybe we can grind it out, weld it up, and save it?  I thought about re-drilling the passages(after welding), and making some small stainless tubes to be pressed in.  This is a real mess - I'll do my best.  It's like being a battlefield surgeon without the empathy involved.

WR Insanity

Guys can really get all kookie over these things.  Ball bearings and weird angles get these dudes more flustered and excited than any pretty girl could . . . Us men are weird.

So Much Pride

I assume he rides this on the street, and takes the generator and lights off for the club meets?  But maybe he's so fast, he doesn't need to take off the generator, or tail-lights, or jiffy stand?  He did take the headlight off (keep it from gettin' broke from rocks as he laps the field)  Heck, the tool box is still on it !  Now that I look at it, it's an XLH (with a timer and battery ignition).  He wins the biggest trophy with a street-bike with knobbies.  Sign him up !  Who is this guy?  I suspect somebody knows him? ________________ UPDATE:  Harley-Davidson historian Bill Rodencal told me this is Gerald "Jerry" McGovern.  Upon further research, I found that McGovern is shown here after the 1957 Jack Pine Win (he also won in 1950).  The race is run over all types of terrain, trails, tall grass, hills, water crossing, with various opportunities to earn (and lose) points.  It's on a points system.  In this very race, in 1957, were racers like John Penton . . .  so us Harley enthusiasts can proclaim proudly that John Penton was beaten by a guy on a '57 Sportster !  Hip Hip Horray for Jerry McGovern of Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

 (PS: It looks like he made little extensions to raise the front fender....)

Knucklehead Rockers . . . and such

You got yer early arms . . .
Ya got yer late shafts . . .
Ya got yer early shafts . . .
Ya got yer late arms . . .
Ya got holes in some - some with slots . . .
We got some with holes, from each end - that don't meet ? ! 
Ya got diff'ert lengths . . . a bunch of 'em . . .
Intake ones, Exhaust ones . . .
FI, RE, RI, FE . . .
Diff'ert length shafts for diff'ert length arms . . .
Throw it all in a box and let Noot figure it out.
Workin' on a knucklehead makes me feel like a knucklehead.
( I'll bet some guys buying this stuff, end up with lots of extra parts?)

Fat Kid and his Folks

Man I was a chunky lil' pork chop back then . . . (still am really).  This is me and mom in the basement of their new house (after a tornado took away the old house).  The bike would become an XLCH with a K frame and get ridden all over God's creation.  I got a new Big Wheel !
Here's the bike (and me on the Big Wheel) I really wish you could see my trike.  It was bright yellow with a blue seat that adjusted.  It didn't have a motor, so I had to make my own engine sounds.  The neighborhood was so much greener back then . . . everybody's was.  Who would have known the '55 work car would someday out-appreciate the Sportster by 6X.
Probably the first real "bike build" my dad ever did.  Complete with hot rod motor and custom paint !
Polished and clean . . . a real show stopper you could still travel on.

Lil' Chris

I got up at 6am last Friday and drove in the dark, (and a small snow storm) all the way to Milwaukee just so I could have some lunch with my friend Chris (a delicious BLT) and go for death ride in the Green Van on I-94 . . . way in the Left Lane . . . flyin' low . . . goin' fast . . . takin' chances . . . fun times were had by all . . . Long Live Charles Bronson ! 

Rebuilding Rods . . .

The last couple months a few races and bushings have been replaced.  It's similar to woodworking whereas you need to measure a few times before you go removing material. This little H-D Tool is part of the wrist-pin bushing removable tool.  It works great for pressing in the new bushings.

When the bushing bottoms after it's all-the-way-pressed-in . . . give it just a little more to help expand the bushing into the rod end.  This may help keep the bushing from ever spinning in the rod.
I do a lot of honing on my vintage Sunnen.  Rebuilding 1940s engines with a 1940's hone !  Good old American-Made tools !

Original H-D connecting rods, honed and fitted for std. rollers . . . and I come home smellin' like a machine shop.  Bonus !

CC Rider

 . . . in the movie - the racing scene at the end has the engine sounds of Leo Payne's Sportster.  I see they used a K (or KH) Model chopper which actor William Smith is riding !  I'm watching it and it's like, "Hey, it's a K Chopper !"

I wonder what magazine?

It's Only Money . . .

(click photo to enlarge)
Harley-Davidson has always been very good at marketing.  Once you get that new motorcycle, it's time to outfit your ride (and yourself) with accessories.  Cowhide kidney belts aren't quite as popular with a new Softail, but custom foot rests are still a top seller !

Harley KRs !

Resweber wearin' #12 in this photo . . .

May 1960

(click for full photo) This looks like a brand new 1960 XLCH.  The windshield and all-white buddy seat added as accessories.  The stock, black, 6v horn still on it.  A very proud owner. 

Pants Grabber

Every part considered.  Stock, but not.

Best Buys

Yellow Club Racer

H tank with low bars.

Best Valve Timing Chart Explained: Not for Low Attention Spans

If you can visualize this?  Start with IVO (Intake Valve Opens) It's barely opening just BEFORE your piston gets to Top Dead Center.  The reason for this, is 'cause the piston is traveling so fast on it's way up, it takes a bit for the air to get moving and the gas to get into the cylinder.  After the piston passes TDC, it starts sucking the gas and air in there to fill up the cylinder with some flammable material, so when the piston starts coming back up, and compresses the gas - we get a good explosion to push down this piston.  The (IS) Ignition Starts early for this same reason, since it takes a bit to get the fire started.
Now follow that line all the way around and visualize when the valves are opening and closing, and where the piston is . . .  You'll notice there's a small time when both valves are open at the same time(35 + 10 = 45 degrees of rotation) and this is called "Overlap."  If you run straight pipes, or big pipes and open exhaust, the more degrees of overlap you have, the more chance of your engine babbling and stumbling due to low backpressure. 
Now you can look at your current cam specs. and maybe understand what's happening in there by looking at your numbers and comparing.  You may need to choose a different cam based on your cubic inches, exhaust type and carburetor size - or change one or a combination for best performance?

My problem is:  I get one of my motorcycles running just perfect.  It starts great.  It runs great.  It's fast for what I've got done to it.  Everything is working perfectly, a perfect combination of valve timing, ignition timing, carb and pipes.  BUT, I don't know this !  I think that I could change one thing and make it just a wee bit better.  Then it runs worse.  I go backwards.  Since it was a lot of work to change this one thing - I just ride it the way it is, until I get totally sick of the bike running like this, and change it back - or change something else.  If it's not broke - Don't fix it.

Sportster H

This fella looks like Jack McClain . . .

Shovelhead Custom

This is(was) a popular style I still like best for Shovelheads.


Leon's Old Bike

Years ago, this was quite a motorcycle.  Still is really.  It was built and owned by Leon "Kevin" Hendricks of Newton, Iowa.  Leon was a flamboyant character to say the least.  He owned all types of crazy cars and gadgets. He built his own Batmobile and drove around as Batman.  You can see the tank has a unique "Stroker" logo after the oem Sportster font.  The engine was modified by the great Leo Payne himself.  After Leon's untimely death years ago, the motorcycle stayed with his family for more years .....and now it's owned by a 3rd party collector.  I feel once an original-owner-built motorcycle leaves it's original owner, the mystique is lost.  The halo that surrounds the bike never shines as bright with the proud, new owner - no matter what is done.  You can see the old Stroker's side covers are in need of polish, the blued exhaust pipes, the leaky primary cover . . . the spec. sheet hanging on the handlebar is reminiscent of a tombstone grave marker, a brief description of what once was . . . and is, spiritually, no more.  The actual motorcycle, but not.  May Leon's pride and joy of a bygone time Rest in Peace.  Amen.

Bad Weather

The weatherman said it would be cold today, but he didn't say a damn thing about snow !  It just kept coming down and got worse and worse.  I had to ride home for lunch, it was slippery as shit.  At first I was bitchin' and nervous . . . but later . . . I was having fun !

High Pipe

, , , high pants, high sleeves, high haircut, low gators.

Triumph Preunit

If I had a Trumpet . . .

The Cedar River is Frozen

Get out your Sportster
(I'll bet this sounded awesome?)