Have a Glorius Weekend Everyone !

Happy 4th of July . . .

My next frame . . .

Kalex Engineering

K head LEFT - KR head RIGHT

The head (on the right) is a KR head(No. 7 late style).  The spark plug is located over the intake valve.  You can see where material has been removed at an angle, making the space above the valve larger(more area for air) and it improves the flow and power.  Originally, builders kept the combustion area "tighter" and smaller to increase compression, thinking it would add power.  Later testing proved where "improved air flow" gained power over higher compression ratios.  Matching the aluminum head to the cylinder eliminated "lips and steps" . . . interrupting air flow.  Jerry Branch(there's that name again) did extensive testing, as did Tom Sifton.  I read a story about the H-D Racing department paying Sifton $1000 per horsepower gain he could squeeze from the Harley KR engines.  You can see the deeper pockets allowing more flow over the top of the valve heads.  The idea is to get the most fuel and air in there - get it to mix and burn rapidly - then get the exhaust out - and be ready for the next batch of fuel and air - and hopefully the exhaust with help you along the way creating a favorable environment to make it all happen quickly and efficiently.  One wrong part of the equation (carb size, jetting, air cleaner, exhaust pipe diameter and length, valve size, intake/exhaust port size, compression ratio, fuel quality, air quality, combustion chamber shape/size, spark timing, valve timing, valve seat shape, valve angle, valve timing (you get the idea) can contribute to the difference in poor performance or improved performance . . . or " that sucker really runs !"

Iced Coffee Today

Here I am riding around town on my "racing tires" getting all the sharp edges off . . . duh.

Where did they all go ?

I guess these Rotax race bikes are just "new enough" they're not considered vintage.  They don't really have a good class for these right now . . . but it's coming.  At the Viking meet a guy had a complete Rotax with Knight frame with wide 35mm front (motor was out).  You got the whole bike, 2 spare wheels, a spare engine(that just quit one year, electrical he said?) and a running motor(tired)with a Scott head - all 600cc with an extra carb and a couple tires. $1,500

Motorcycle Interest: Peaks and Valleys

My Army bike (1952WLA) gets ridden a lot.  Maybe not the most miles, but the most start-ups and shut-offs, and daily commutes.  I like it 'cause I'm not so fussy about gettin' it dirty or dusty.  I don't think I've ever power washed it, and it shows.  I just wipe it off with rags.  The air cleaner oils gets dirty, so I clean it periodically as directed.  Sometimes I look at the bike and see nothing special - and other times I'm "way into Harley WLAs" and can't get enough.  I'm weird.

TECH: Dry Clutch

I've run dry clutches in 4 early Sportsters for many years.  When the fibers stay dry, they work excellent with no drag, no slip, and can handle stroker power.  When wet, they slip, drag, etc. 
Besides new gaskets and seals (all the obvious things) . . . the best way to keep them dry for a few years I've found is:
1. Use 2 cups(or approx. a heavy 1/2 qt.) of oil in primary/transmission.  I lean the bike slightly to the LEFT of center and fill until the oil just starts to run out the oil-level-check-bolt.
2. I use Bel-Ray 85W Gear Saver.  Good for gears, and doesn't seem to get in your plates as bad as thin, hot H-D oil or primary oil.  When it does, your dry plates still kinda work too.
3. PARK YOUR BIKE (especially over long periods more "upright" with a board, etc. under the jiffy stand.  That way your clutch basket cover isn't just sitting in oil at the bottom where the oil can eventually work it's way into your basket.
4. Make sure the (4ea) holes in the back of your basket are clear, so the needle bearing oil can get in - and get out (while it's in motion.
5. I like the Raybestos plates best, but I've run the Vesrah and V-Twin dry plates too.
6. Before installing new dry plates, I use a square file to "deburr" the slots of extra fuzz and fiber so they slide free on the clutch dogs.  If they get a little wet sometime, they're less likely to stick. Wear a mask - don't breathe the dust.
7. Make sure the basket is super clean.  Scrape all the solid, hard oil deposits around the dogs, and clean with brake kleen.  The cleaner and drier the better.

Tail Dragger

"Snowman" following me into the night . . . Des Moines run and back.
10-4 good buddy, bears in the air, got the hammer down !

. . . and I can breathe in a small town."

by ; John Mellencamp.  It's Ride-your-race-bike-to-coffee-day.  I do have a title, valid registration and proof of insurance in my pocket . . .

Kenny Farrell

Late Models of yesterday . . . these were the best cars.

Totally Spectactular ! I'm Goin' Again . . .

Meet Ed Iskenderian ?  Holy shit !  This event is so freakin' cool, it's just the best thing since the Hemi, straight axles, slicks, magnesium, real butter and canned sardines Cars running two-up, one race after another with a vintage announcer . . . and the best part, You can stand right up next to the starting line . . .  whiffin' fumes and tire smoke !

Cheap Paint over Chrome anyday . . .

Big Block Corvette in North St. Paul . . .
427 had painted steel valve covers (396 had chrome steel?)
I'm a Chevrolet guy mostly . . . but this Dart door-slammer was cool.
North St. Paul, MN on Friday Nites (cars everywhere)

Nat'l No. 55

'gonna try 'n win a race on this XLR . . .

Close Inspections . . . Hmmm?

The left-side case bolt threads into this boss on the right case across the front cylinder base.  It's already been heli-coiled down in the hole farther.  The threads look solid and good.  I'll probably leave (as is) since trying to fix it may create a mess?  The case needs clearance for the connecting rod anyway.  (that's why it's so thin in the first place) I'll just be careful with the case bolt tension on reassembly.  I may smear it with some red glyptal or The Right Stuff . . . .

Harley Oil Swap Meet Score

 . . . but it's 10W-40.  For early spring, late fall and winter.

#38 Mike Wilson - Peoria TT

He was the last man to win a 74" class before it was discontinued. 
(Wilson racing his panhead flat track bike)


In 1963 a factory H-D KRTT was tested - and achieved a top speed of 142mph at Daytona International Speedway.  45 cubic inches with 7.25 compression.  KRTTs won at Daytona a total of 12 victories in 15 years during their realm of racing - competing with overhead valve (and a few overhead cam) engines. 
Mert Lawwill credited the success due to "soft power" which kept the tires from spinning and allowing the motorcycle to be more consistently m o v I n g   f o r w a r d .

Paul Goldsmith 1953
Brad Andres 1955
John Gibson 1956
Joe Leonard 1957
Joe Leonard 1958
Brad Andres 1959
Brad Andres 1960
Roger Reiman 1961
Ralph White 1963
Roger Reiman 1964
Roger Reiman 1965
Calvin Rayborn 1968
Calvin Rayborn 1969
A special note . . . Paul Goldsmith is still alive (he's 91 yrs. old)

I shouldn't tell you this . . .

Jerry Branch ironheads have a small number stamped on the bottom near the intake port.  This helped identify your heads when you sent them to be ported and flowed.  At swap meets, I find myself looking for these numbers - even before looking at the ports - or what the heads fit.  I've never found a set yet . . . and I've looked at hundreds of heads.  If you ever see the beautiful porting on a set of these, you'll say - Wow !

Stroker Power Reinforcement

Chris' stroker has had some damage over the years, but the "fix" and reinforcement of the countershaft area was well done.
Below:  The "Corner" (as we like to call it) has been strengthened and built-up with a solid boss. 
The only thing I might do . . . is remove the needle bearing and make a little oil slot on the top, outside to help oil the bearing (like the factory did). 
Then I could check the bearing needles, press fit, etc. too . . .

Lee Wickstrom

That's a (slightly younger) Lee Wickstrom (right).  Lee is still drag racing, and building Harley-Davidson motors after all these years.  He's made a lot of 1/4 Mile passes for sure . . .

Movie Marketing

Has anyone ever seen this version?  Is there English sub-titles, or do their lips move with a voice over like the Godzilla movies?

Paul Benassi - 1949 Panhead

 . . . in North St. Paul leaving Neumann's Bar . . . On the move !

Caddies, Wolves, Watermelons & Kevin

RACE Oriented

Lee will most likely run his drag bike (above) again this year during the Meltdown Drags in Byron, Illinois.  I think it was the fastest Harley there?  . . . and the oldest !

Spice Motorcycles - Japan

Hangin' with Soh at the AMCA Viking Chapter Meet in St. Paul, MN on last Friday & Saturday.  He bought a Harley KK, a couple panheads, a boat load of parts . . . all shipping back to be restored and ran daily in the land-of-the-rising-sun.  Nice to meet you dude.  We drank a few Red Dogs and broke the language barrier many times.  Ride on !

Viking Chapter AMCA Meet

This is the stuff you'll see at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds (off Snelling Ave.) on Friday and Saturday this weekend.  It's a good swap and show - worth the trip.

Good News ! Morty Update:

I brought Morty home from the Vet last night, and he's doing really good.  He's been sleeping in my main television chair (now covered with freakin' cat hairs), but I think I can get him to have a full recovery.  He's got a funny, little twitch or "tick" with his head every few minutes, but that's going away.  Thanks for the thoughts dudes.  Just a cat to some people, but Mort's a really great friend to me - and I felt terrible yesterday.  Damn cats anyway . . . I could have bought a Sportster front end with the Vet bill. 
NOTE:  Upon further investigation, you could see where Morty was trying to get his cat-door open while standing in a pool of raw fuel, from his paw prints and face smears on the cat door.  He can get out if he really wants to, during storms or to confront trespassing cats.  His fur and feet were wet with gasoline, plus the fumes.  He was trying and finally just overcome. 
Remember, check your fuel, anti-freeze and dangerous chemicals around your pets.

Gas Fumes

If you have pets near gasoline - use CAUTION.  If you smell fumes, check it out immediately.  Last night I ran my '64 Sportster and worked on it.  I smelled gas, and noticed I had left my fuel (Pingel) on - so I shut it off.  I checked the tank quickly with a flashlight.  Seemed ok.  This morning when I went to let Morty out, I was overwhelmed with gas fumes.  The crossover had leaked about 4 gallons out . . . The garage was full of deadly fumes!  Morty was lying near a small air hole at the garage door gasket - convulsing and shaking.  I was horrified.  I picked him up, took him outside and started trying to revive him, get him to move, splashing cool water on him, prying his mouth open and trying to get fresh air in there.  It was one of the worst feelings I've ever had - someone(my pet cat) who you are trying to save.  He wreaked like gas.  I got him to the local Vet, and they put him in an oxygen chamber.  That was 8:00am.  He "meowed" at about 9:30am and when I went to check on him at 11:30am - they said he actually stood up.  His back feet are still shaking a bit . . . and time will tell.  I feel terrible - and I hope he comes out ok, 'cause we're the best of friends and work together about every night. 

Pick Up Sticks and Lay Them Straight

"Didn't your mother ever read you those rhymes?"  Mine did.  Real live Sifton Minus Minus Cams and very solid transmission components.  We'll build it back to be a runner . . .

"R" Pump: Harley-Davidson Racing

This extra passage(thin slot) bleeds oil to the backside check ball and spring.  Sorta like a pressure relief?  Hmmm? 

Chris' 1958 Stroker Motor

Chris had the Chinese (aftermarket) primary chain tensioner that tends to break off and bust the cases.  The (above left) heavy-duty oem type is correct.  It will be out-fitted with a new-old-stock shoe, and retainer.  Genuine Harley-Davidson parts.
H-D Part No. 39978-58 Primary Chain Shoe

Randy's WR is Ready-To-Fire

Me and dad had lots of time, working, thinking and meticulously building the motor for this thing.  I hope it runs awesome and sounds ridiculously bad freaking ass !


Yak yak yak , , , ,
 . . . Talkin' Harley-Davidsons !
Chasing Steve and Renee - They go like hell !
Steve's '72 FLH is a runner . . .
Hardcore 'Nam Vet Gordy rides a '48 Panhead.
FRIDAY . . . I loaded the super Dodge with the WLA, boxes of parts, and hit the road for the Anamosa Vintage Meet at the National Museum.
Hot(95+) and windy, but who cares? 
I had a cooler of A&W, water and a few Summer Shantys. 
Booth Cost = $30.00
Gas: 45.00
Food: $8.00 (chopped brisket, slaw, pickle)
Bag o' Doritos: $2.50
Parts Sold: $240.00
Original Parts Cost: $160.00
Deal of the Day: 48 qts of H-D Oil for about $50.00
ABOVE: This '67 XLCH was about as original as it could get . . .

I stay at the same place each year(Alva's) with the owner of this knucklehead - and I never knew he owned it ?  Wow ! 
He owns this panhead too . . . Double Wow !
One of my favorites . . .
Dave Ohrt(left) stopped by too . . .  He asked me a few questions about my Harley 45, since he's building one for a television show episode of American Pickers (or his own show) not sure?  Lots of cell-phone pics.  People kept asking him, "Hey, you're that guy . . ."  Anyway, I hope my fuel line, transmission, linkage, etc. is correctly done, 'cause he's doing it like my bike . . . so stay tuned !  Dave's got my number, so if he needs help, I said call me up . . . I can see it now, my name on the dressing room trailer door . . . groupies, Betty Ford Clinic. . . .