Street Bike

. . . parked in the dirt.

Nut & Boltin' . . .

Check and double check.  Goin' over everything on my flat track bike just so I can make a few laps at Vintage Torquefest next weekend.  When you're not a pro, and you only ride a couple times a year like this . . . you need all equipment under you safe and solid.  I fixed the lower Timken cup in the frame(it was loose) and reset the front end bearings.
The tank got a bit more foam dampening underneath.  The lower mounts were readjusted.
Oil changed to Straight H-D 50 wt.  (I ran H-D 10-40 all winter for ice riding).  I'll unhook the return line and run the motorcycle to flush all the dark oil from the motor - once the oil turns clean again, you know it's purged of old oil.  Pipe guard keeps my leathers from burning . . .
New fuel lines.  I'll lube the air filter.  Dual feed supplies fuel from both sides of the Trackmaster tank.  Two petcocks - Don't forget to turn on the gas dummy !
The pipes are tight.  Axle nuts tight.  My trusty 16T trans sprocket installed - wheel adjusted - It's ready for a test.  I have a title and insurance for this bike, so it's up-the-street I go !
Forks have been stiffened.  Cables re-adjusted.   Lots of work for just a few laps . . . and it rains about every year(so it might not even happen) But strapping on a steel shoe, leathers, helmet, gloves . . . and going around on a dirt oval is fun.  Banked 3/8 Mile with clay, and a wall around the outside.  No hay bales.  Vintage bikes only (that's the best part) - Let's go play dirt-track racer ! 
This is the view I want to show those Triumphs this year -
Wishful thinking ?!?!?!

Spare Stuff . . .

I've collected for so many years - and recently sold a lot of my parts.  I remember buying a DC carburetor for $5 bucks, one for $10 bucks - with a reply of "What are you gonna do with that?"  Owned about 20 Sportster Buddy Seats - (but they never really took off).  Now I'm happy with just a few spares.  I stopped buying parts that don't wear out . . . instead I'm collecting clutch plates, tire tubes, bearings, pistons and rings. Next will be throttle cables, then more tires.  Chains and sprockets.  You get the drift . . . but, I still slip-off-the-wagon now and then.  SEE ABOVE PHOTO: Recently purchased Tillotson velocity stack and aluminum XLR fork tube caps !

Sleeping On The Job !

WE worked really hard last night.  Morty was helping as usual, and we got the K-Model clutch all clean again, and working properly.  We washed parts, and jammed on tunes while we worked.  It was almost 10:00pm, and I'm talking to Morty . . . then I look over and he's asleep !  It's difficult to find good help around here . . !

Leave Greatness Alone . . .

The Sportster lower-end.  It can handle the power with it's Timken design and strong flywheel configuration.  The weakness can be the small crankcase volume.  What to do with all that air?

900 Sportster

This one is almost ready to hit the street !
 ( free up some bench space too . . . )
1969 XLCH

FIT IT - Don't forget it . . .

Finally got this '48 lower buttoned up.  Before assembly, there's a million "checks" that need to be addressed before you get it all together.  Like aligning the new idler studs with the gear cover, checking cam clearances, renewing 1/4-24 threads, checking breather fit, checking flywheel endplay, do the crank pin nuts hit, any weird noises?  Turn off the radio and listen as you spin it over.  Do the case bolts fit properly?  I use old nuts for bolting and unbolting (then I use the new cadmium nuts for final assembly - so I don't garf 'em all up).  Cylinder studs installed to correct height.  Make sure you read the H-D manual and install the roller bearings and cages in the correct direction for the year engine.  Use the proper thrust washers, and install them in the correct location.  (Lot's of engines have this stuff screwed up)  I already fitted the pinion gear and oil pump gear (and lapped them for fitment) since they are usually way too tight) Fit these gears before you get it all assembled.  You really got to check this shit - it takes a lot of time, but it must be done. 

From . . . "The world of tomorrow..."

The DC Linkert carburetor looks funny without a float bowl spacer.


Charging systems were a big deal in the 1960s.  When you had Lucas systems that maybe didn't always work, the rest were still 6 volt.  The new 12 volt systems were a big selling point.  Brighter lights, reliability and carefree electrical performance !  What going to make you buy that new Harley-Davidson????  The beautiful paint?  The hot rod cams and valves?  Or the new 12 volt electrical system? 

PS. What I really want is that cat's argyle sweater . . . and what are these hoods doin' skippin' football practice?  Anything to get the chics.

The "Bag"

That's how I refer to it.  That round, beer keg lookin' . . solid construction Nelson-Rigg black zippered bag.  It's flown off a couple times, but it never really hurt it.  It's got a rain jacket you can pull over it. During storms, it gets power washed from the rear wheel, but my shorts stay dry.  It has zippers on the ends to expand 3-4" more if needed.  It works.

Moto GP: 93

Marc Marquez won the GP race in Austin last weekend for the "umpteenth" time.  Valentino Rossi complained about the track surface being rough and dusty.  Marquez (above) won by a convincing margin.  Maybe some of the boys ought to strap on a steel shoe, and get some practice?  Everyone races the same track . . . sucks for some, while others shine.  The way it's always been.
 . .  and if you're out front, it ain't as dusty.

Billy Huber

Huber had a rather unorthodox racing style....but it worked for him.  He was voted "Most Popular Rider" by the racing community in 1946, and raced Harley-Davidsons most of his career.  Huber won multiple 100 Mile national events, and could be a real-pain-in-the-ass to the Indian Factory Team. 

That one day . . .

 . .  me and Anchor Moto rode side valves all over this darn town.
#wildwood park (way in the back)

Speed King

 In 1954 . . . Black is beautiful.

Cool Bike - Cool Boots

I don't know the situation (since there's lots o' pictures of women, with motorcycles, who don't really ride the bike they're photographed with)   However, I just have a feeling this is her Sportster . . . she owns it . . . it's registered in her name, and she rides the shit out of it? 
I'd like to tell her, "Hey, I really like your bike !"

The Winner's Circle

Team photos . . . you don't see them as much anymore for some reason?  Now, it's usually just the driver, maybe a flagman, and his car or bike.  There's plenty of podium photos.  If you've ever actually been a part of a race team - you know it takes many hands to be successful every week. 
This DRAGBIKE 4246 took a team effort - and some of the best-in-the-business lined up for this photo to be recognized.  Dan Baisley (3rd from left - most likely the rider)

PS. (I know 2nd from left is Ron Dickey from Axtell), then Baisley, then Fitzmaurice?, and maybe we could ask Jeff Wiley who the others are????  He'd know. 

TECH: How to Wrinkle Paint

The key to perfect wrinkle paint is "uniformity" - consistency.  If applied too heavy, it wrinkles and leaves lines, and the wrinkles in the paint are larger in places.  If applied too light(thin paint) it doesn't wrinkle at all, or appears rough.  Temperature of the part(and room temp) is important.  I've found about 60-70 degrees F works best.  It dries a bit slower, and your wrinkle paint job will be more consistent and uniform.  Application is very important.  You don't "recoat" wrinkle paint.  I give it a very light (stick coat) to give the surface some grip - let dry 4-5 mins., then apply a medium/heavy main coat of paint, careful to apply a uniform depth.  You don't want any runs !  I try to apply the paint on the surfaces of the part YOU SEE WHEN IT'S ON THE BIKE in the best way possible.  Cross your fingers. 

Now that the paint has wrinkled and is completely dry, I spray a flat (or semi flat) coat of black over the top to even out any shiny spots, or imperfections.  This is the step that really gives your black wrinkle job the professional appearance over wrinkle alone.  Highlight with chrome, polished or spun aluminum(as above) accessories for contrast.  Chrome socket-head screws with small OD stainless washers to mount the covers. 

PJ-1 Wrinkle Paint is the brand I prefer.  Problem is, it's expensive.  Plus, the tip likes to clog (once you get going, don't stop).   I use any low-cost semi flat black for top coat. 

NOTE: (High Heat Flat Black, engine and/or header paint is too dull - yuk)

Axtell Sales

1047 TF ( TF = Top Fuel )

Ivan Mauger RIP 4-16-2018

6 Time World Speedway Champion Ivan Mauger(pronounced 'major') recently died in Australia.  Highly regarded as the greatest and most consistent speedway circle track racer ever.  He devoted his life to the sport.  Ivan won world titles over 10 years apart. 
He saved his money (as a 16yr old) to buy his own speedway racing motorcycle.  (skipping ice cream and candy purchases)
Mauger consistently beat the world's best speedway racers.  His riding style was smooth and calculated.  A natural in the sport.  You can search: Ivan Mauger (Wikipedia) and read the full story on Mauger's incredible life and career . . .
Speedway fans the world over will truly miss "MR. SPEEDWAY"

Torquefest 2018

A Torrid Tale of Loose Lug Nuts and Ground Gears . . . (it's the truth)  John Wells really knows how to throw a party.  Cool hot rods, choppers, lead sleds, chics, rock-n-roll, it's a happenin' scene for sure. 
A pure event of exhibitionism at it's very finest ! 
Dubuque, Iowa (Fairgrounds Road)
May 4th and May 5th Only . . .
(If you show up May 6th, you missed it)

Rotax Fast

Lonnie Pauley, James Hart, Toby Jorgensen . . . just a few names of racers who were so fast on the big tracks - all riding the Rotax 600 power plants.  On many occasions, their lap times would have put them in the 750cc Pro feature.  The light, high powered Rotax is a dominating machine in the hands of a capable rider.  I never rode one - and I see you can get one for a reasonable price now.  Hmmmm? 

Hurry Hurry !

If I quick run home at lunch today, I may have time to try out these new Autolite 386 spark plugs in my 45 before it starts snowing again tonight.  It's been RIDE, then SHOVEL, RIDE, then SHOVEL . . .
This snow fukin' blows ! 

Tappet Roller Replacement

1. I drilled and punched out the old pins 
(w/ tappet roller tool from JIMS)
2. Deburred tappets
3. Checked fitment of new pin
4. Installed new pin and roller
5. Utilized JIMS tool for staking pins.
6. Further staked each pin-end with hammer on vise anvil.
7. Soaked in motor oil to lube rollers.
These tappets and rollers are for Dave's KHK motor rebuild.  I bead honed the tappet blocks. Washed and cleaned, and fitted to each tappet.  His tappet adjusters (long style for KHK) had their valve faces surface ground too.  A decent set of parts now.  Next the case bore or tappet block OD may need polished for proper press fit in the case.  This shit takes a lot of my time !  Oh well . . .


Ready For The Road

I got turn signals mounted under the seat.  Everything works.  The last time I rode it (before we started gettin' all this snow again) my first impression wasn't real positive.  The brakes don't work real good, but it probably takes a few miles to get the new shoes all lapped into the drums?  The thing just seems kinda junky (like a big ol' pile o' bolts shakin' around under you).  I built it right, it's just different from the other ones.  It takes miles to get the rhythm on any rebuild.  A few adjustments, a few tweeks, a nice sunny day, a back road, maybe a brew . . ?  I'm not building any more motorcycles, so I'm trying not to rush it.  Good things take time.

Rider Down


Here I am . . .

You know where I-15 cuts that tiny northwest corner of Arizona?  It's the Virgin River valley and you race your way through these passes at 90mph alongside huge truck rigs barreling like there's no tomorrow.  I whip it over and take a driving break.
Here's a view you get at Angel's Landing going down.  You can see how far down you'd fall off to the right . . . Bottom line is . . . watch what you're doing and don't look down.  Hand over hand on the chain, don't let go.  Zion National Park.
Here's a couple weeks ago, hiking with Eric in Arizona (west of Phoenix).  This time of the year - I get burnt on this motorcycle stuff.  I like doing it - but sometimes it starts to suck.  I've got trips planned for the summer, just get away for awhile.  As you get older, you start to realize you're running out of time.  There's a lot of places I want to go, and see and do.  It's time to start doing them.  I've been a lot of places already . . . and I'm fortunate I have the spirit to venture out.  Don't wait - plan it and go.  What are we waitin' for . . . ?

Flathead Sportster

That's what some people call 'em . . . and it looks kinda weird when you're used to lookin' at Ironhead Sportsters.  These motors are simple to double-check your coil bind.  When the valves are 100% open, take some kind of tool and very carefully lift up the valve a bit more . . . you should be able to move it up a bit more. 
I ran the pistons up to the top and scraped off the carbon, then wire-brushed the valve heads.  I razor-bladed the ridge, ran a fine file around the gasket surface, and wiped it all down real good with contact cleaner.  I'll do the same with the heads, tape 'em off and spray the gasket surface with High Head H-D Barrel Paint - then bolt 'em on - No head gasket needed on these.  Ready for my polished heads !

BSA Hornet

Gary Hickle a former racer, and dealership owner for BSA, Sno-Jet, Kawasaki and Yamaha - raced one of these Hornets.  They were a competitive race bike in their day.  A big motor stuffed in a tiny frame . . . My dad said Hickle let him run the Hornet for a few laps in Nashua, Iowa at the fairgrounds track.  Gary is still riding motorcycles after all these years.  He's had a lot wins on motorcycles and snowmobiles, and the trophies to show for it.  Youth don't last forever . . . but don't tell him that !  Hickle's racing saying to me was usually . . . "Boy, you got to put the hammer down !"

KK (special model for 1953 . . . The KK)

A Sure Fire Hit !  and it was . . .