Dan Kinsey

This old Harley went 197+mph !
If I remember correctly, it went over 175mph with no body work...
Who says Harleys aren't fast ????

Michael Lichter Show

I'm fortunate to get an invitation every year to this.  It's a good time to meet everyone at the beginning of the week, see what's up, make plans . . . and I get to see some builds from all over the country.  Thanks Michael ! 

Original 25202-52

First year K-Model gear cover . . . No "A" after the -52 casting number.
The generator idler shaft boss is a bit different on these.  It has a floating (spring load) bushing that rides on the generator gear oil slinger - to let air pressure out - and keep the oil in . . . usually.
You know it's an early cover from 20 feet away by the grease zerk boss on the shifter shaft (it's on the bottom, at 6 o'clock)  Only the first few years of gear covers are like this.   I'll blast the covers and get the kicker boss built back up - all restored.  This kicker cover is actually a later version.


These carburetors (mfg. by Tillotson) are popular on all types of engines.  4 cycle and 2 cycle.  They were the common fuel delivery system on many 2 stroke snowmobile and boat engines.  Harley-Davidson had this model as standard equipment on Sportsters and Big Twins in 1967-1971.  The KRTT, XR750 and XLR ran Tillotson carbs (single and dual) for all their race engines.  I restored this one for the iron XR750.  The motor had a version with no accelerator pump - but this model may aid in starting, and be a bit more practical.  I'm rounding up the correct throttle(internal) control, correct handlebars and cable control.  May as well do it right - like the factory did . . . This carb has a fuel atomizing "bomb-site" in the bore, and a unique 2-piece choke disc that spring loaded to relieve pressure upon a backfire.  I also found this rare velocity stack.

Iowa Boys

My friend Jim McKensie(orange bike) and Tom Bluhm(red 45) were models for this famous painting. 

Look What The Cat Dragged In

Morty (The Official Shop Cat) says,
"Ok dude, it's time to tear down the Poison Banner."
"Really, it's time . . come on."

Valve Springs

Far Right: -32 valve springs(3 ea)
The others, I don't know what the heck they fit? Maybe KH? 
The one on the far left is a real orphan.

WL Cylinders

Workin' on my bro John Boy's cylinders last night.  They need honed, valve seats cut . . . but I got all the cosmoline washed first.  Sanded the aluminum corrosion off the new pistons.

Club Bikes

I knew the Hells Angels rode panhead choppers with upsweeps back in the 60s and 70s . . .
. . . but I didn't know they rode K Models too ?  I guess it had to be at least 750cc, but if we calculate it out, it really only comes to like 742cc ?  Huh?  Ah, he's cool, we'll let 'em in anyway, plus his family runs a liquor store !

Engine Vacuum

A vacuum gauge can tell you a lot about an engine.  It can help you pin-point the problem area.

Early Sportster Voltage Regulator Bracket

Top: Aftermarket bracket
Bottom: Stock-type bracket (however, it's been chromed, with extra holes)
Works with standard 6V or 12V Delco or Bosch regulators.
(photo benefits for Lil' Chris)

Packed for Minnesota

Nathan's Vintage Drag Bike

Full Moon Nathan picked up this vintage drag bike a couple years ago . . . and he keeps messin' with it, kinda restoring it, and upgrading a little.  It runs an original KR loop, small stroker motor, and some other little goodies . . . but it's fairly stock - and was run in Indiana or Ohio back in the early 70s.  He's planning on makin' a pass at the upcoming Meltdown Drags in Byron, Illinois in July.

Marty Again . . .

Tripes teamed with Rex Staten
 . . . to try and win one for H-D !

Hydrogen and Oxygen

I guess it wasn't cost effective to design the water jacket around the port?  Wouldn't you have a more consistent temperature?  It must not take much coolant to make a difference, since the passages look rather small?
A lot of extra weight (and crap) just to cool that damn cylinder head . . . I guess they call this progress?  I don't know why I care, since I'll keep going places on my 50s and 60s machinery anyway . . .
The proto-type liquid cooled Harley-Davidson MX (above).  I guess if all these marketing ideas would have hit on all (or at least 1) cylinder(s) . . . and these protos sold . . . sales could have been through the roof !  I guess that's why these companies keep trying new things, and implementing new ideas into their products. (Is that Larry Roeseler in the air ? . . . or Bruce?)

K and WL Cylinder Work

I got my cylinder back from Chad after he tig'd on my new cooling fin.  Nice job !  Now I have a decent set of K cylinders, ready to be bored and fitted to +.010 pop-up pistons.  I have some new cast iron guides, new nitrite valves and a nice set of '52-'53 valve covers.  These will eventually replace the worn out set on my black, "Street K" . . .
Above:  These K cylinders have a bit of core-shift here and there . . . so I'll true up these exhaust ports and make them even all the way around.  I also use a carbide burr to relieve any steps, rat tails and bumps inside each port.  I visualize which way the air is flowing, and give it a smooth path to (or away from) each valve, without changing the port shape. 
Above:  I'm also working on John Hove's WL cylinders.  I'll probably go in and smooth out these ports too - maybe make it run a bit more efficiently?  I'll grind the valves and seats, and check out his spring travel for his cams.  These are aftermarket, and not bolt-on by any means.  I'll check the piston clearance, ring gap and fitment.  9 times out of 10 they're too tight and need honed.
The cylinders are kinda rusty anyway . . . It's good that aftermarket parts are still available (better than no parts) but the quality isn't always up to par.  I'll make 'em a nice set, set up to specs - good for many miles of enjoyable riding.  Motorcycling is the best sport of all !

Positively Crazy

How the hell do these Triumph guys make it anywhere on these things ?  This is just crazy.  I can just see somebody who's new at this - trying to rewire their Trumpet.  Sparks flyin' everywhere, shit getting welded together.  Throw a switch . . . then loud pops and fire and more sparks ! 
I'd better stick with my magneto XLCH with 2 wires !

It's Summer - Start Acting Like It

I hang out with these guys above (at the AMCA Viking Chapter Swap Meet) in St. Paul, MN.  It's a good meet, lots of nice bikes . . . and it's pretty laid back.  Prices are reasonable and the vendors have great coffee and ice cream.  There's a steak dinner at night if you want too.
There's bathrooms and showers in the bottom of the water tower.  You'd think the water pressure would be better - but it's the same.  This year I'm taking my chopper (no storage) so I don't buy a bunch of stuff I don't really need. 
I saved a pic of this Sportster from a few years ago. 
I'm sure it's still running around someplace?
Egeberg's was a big dealer back-in-the-day up in the Twin Cities. 
The weatherman said it's gonna be nice, so it's me and dad riding up !
Camping . . . drinking a beer, having a bratwurst.
. . . and there's the cool car show in North St. Paul Friday nite !
Come on up !

Marty Tripes

Now here was a BIG guy, who kicked ass on a motocross bike.  Big dudes don't usually make the best motorcycle racers . . . but don't tell that to Marty . . . or Brad Morgan from Waterloo, Iowa.

Jay Springsteen

 . . . in Garage 58


Anyone remember this contest?  With matched Sportster and Corvette (at the time) to me, just seemed like something too good to be true.  To a kid, it was the best prize imaginable.  To win this would make you the richest person on earth - the ultimate car and the ultimate bike !  Wonder where they are today . . . ?   Those gold wheels were so cool.  Maybe Roth still owns it?  I know he doesn't sell anything.  He probably never did actually own it - just for the photo shoot. 
Styles change, and parts & accessories end up in the garbage.

What's all this got to do with Harry Ricardo?

Years ago this guy designed a flathead(sidevalve) combustion chamber which created a turbulence suitable for improved mixing of gasoline and air.  It's referred to as the "Ricardo" head design . . . and it's basic design was used by all the manufacturers - and it works. 

Last night I was talking to a friend on the phone about the new 2017-18 Harley-Davidson motorcycles.  Their sales are down, etc.

I got this idea:
It appears H-D kinda missed their chance a bit on a market for sales to these "new kid" riders I call 'em.  The big FXR craze is back, and they dropped the Dynas (which is ok) but maybe design your new bike to be FXR like, and promote handling !   Design a model of XG similar to Brawny Built's flat track bike.  Why can't they build a new "rigid frame" chopper-type model?  Sounds funny, but I think they'd sell.  Willie G. did a lot of these same things, and his models are now prized and still popular.  No matter what the reason the buyer has for choosing the new H-D Rigid (HDR), or the XGFT "Flat Track" or possibly a FXRCH (Competition Handling) model . . . Sales would be directed to the (35% and growing) hard-working "new kids" who work for America, in America, and ride AMERICAN !  

The baby boomers will get a new "hot rod" trike - The "T", The Double T and/or The Triple T (all based on performance upgrades . . . and for a small, around town, fuel efficient, lower cost ride - the Side Valve Returns !  An air cooled miniature flat head with about 20 cubic inches, low compression - can run on 20% ethanol fuel, so easy your grandma can start it . . .
The HDFH "Flat Head" . . . with the Ricardo head.

Maybe take a step back to what worked in the past?

What would Harry do ?

They probably don't need me working in their Marketing Dept. . . . ?


Harley-Davidson Plant: INDIA
This has to be a real gut shot to the US employees? 
Now another plant in Thailand?
 . . . and Kansas City closes.
Well, shit.