1964 XLH Engine

The battery had 11.8 volts.  The water was low.  Front tire had 11 lbs., rear had 14 lbs.  Oil was black, primary oil a bit milky.  Dead bugs on the windshield and the carb stained with old sticky dry gasoline.  I wiped it off, did a bit of maintenance - it fired after about 10 kicks - and I rode it 12 miles on the superslab to Nashua, Iowa for a birthday party.  I hadn't ridden it for over a year really.  It felt small - rev'd high, wiggly - and a couple times I reached to my lower left, feeling for the jockey shift ball.  Rusty at best. 

On the return trip home, in the dark, with lightning strikes to the west, I headed west back home.  Up to speed on the on-ramp to 65+mph....I hit the high beam and it went dark.  Shit, high beam burnt out, back to low beam (which was pretty much shining on the ground).  I'd wait for speeding traffic to catch up - then pick it up to 75+mph to run with them and use their headlight, then as they'd get away, back down to 60-65mph - completely overdriving my headlight distance.  The headlight was too tight to move it as I reached up to mess with it at speed.  Only 8 miles to go anyway.

I made it to my driveway, just as I could now hear thunder - no rain yet.  I even got Cheryl to walk with me down to a high bridge on the river to watch Mother Nature's rapidly approaching light show.
As I wheeled this thing into the garage, I really felt pumped up after riding this thing again.  I miss it.
This motorcycle has taken me so many places over the years, and always gets me there and back.  It's been with me on so many adventures, and these early Sportsters are really awesome touring machines for the 2000 mile or less trips - which is about what I run anyway.  I'm currently in preparation for a traditional Labor Day Run as always . . . and just decided - the '64 is goin' this year.  Again. 

Above: Some slick haired gent named Kurpius snapped this years ago during The Dice Party at Kung Fu Tap & Taco in Des Moines, Iowa.  I had brought my tent, but I slept on the ground that night under the awning of the building???  All night I could hear mumbling, groaning, gagging, snoring, laughing, lighters clicking, beer tops popping - and other human created sounds.  The soft talkin' continued until the sun was shining . . . me and my motorcycle were covered in morning dew. 

Sarah, Chris & Josh . . .

What's the future hold for us?
Epic photo - eh? . . .

Aces & Eights

at Spirit of Sturgis . . .

Morty - The Official Shop Cat

Morty says,
"This water sucks . . . the raccoon's 'been drinkin' it again."
...or maybe it's the green mold on the deck???
Clean this shit off !
He'll drink it anyway . .
...sorry bud, I'll get right on that.


The Future will be The Past

These are a few photos of the real natives of this land . . .The originals.  Not immigrants. The hunter, the warrior, the rider, the traveler. Most of these politicians would have never made it livin' in their neighborhood.  They were the Kiowa, Lakota, Sioux . . . about 200+ different factions.  For thousands of years they lived off the land from Oklahoma, Texas, the Dakotas, Wyoming and all the way westward . .  and looks like we'll have it fucked up in a mere 300 years??  I'm pretty sure they'll have the last laugh as the world will all be fighting with sticks and stones again . . . then we'll know what it's like to live the good life. Everything else is just "stuff."
It's just the way I see it. 
Sitting Bull saw the future - and it happened as he said.
Here's to saving something worth saving for future generations.

Riding with Dad . . .

650 miles home - riding your chopper with your dad following on his FLHTCU (a lot of letters, if I got all of 'em?) Pretty classic times over the last 20 some years.  One last kick before pulling in my driveway.... I look pretty dapper, but I was glad to be home !

Rollin' Thru The Black Hills

Spearfish Canyon
Vanocker Canyon
Johnson Siding

Old Side Car

TECH: Return Oil Passage Leak

You ever hear of a panhead leaking between the fins (on the 3rd fin near the exhaust ports - directly on the return oil passage) ??  

I roughed up the area after cleaning and scrubbing, and using a propane torch to get all the oil out.  Then, I applied JB Weld with a Q-Tip up between the cooling fins - let it dry and coated with a couple shots of H-D Silver Bead Blast paint.  Previously, I noticed it was leaking a bit, so when I had the heads off - I ran some red glyptal down the passages to coat the inside oil return passages - it worked on the front head, not the rear.  Must be a casting flaw?
I kept gettin' drips of oil on my trans ratchet, and running down the fins in the back.  What the hell?  I'd dry it all off, go for a ride, and discovered it was seeping out between the fins.  Hope it stops the seeping.  My goal is to have a well ridden panhead, with a clean engine - and look like I only get the thing out a couple times a year. (smiley face here)

Fulton Street Car Show

Live Music, Food, Beer and plenty of hot rods. 
They block off the street and have at it !
Sturgis, SD
I like to hang around and watch 'em leave the party . . .
Varrooomnbaaa !  Screech !

The state of South Dakota doesn't use much salt on the roadways in winter months - they never have.  The classics are all pretty much rust free.

I go to it every year.  I just get in town for a bike deal -
.....and I go to a car show party.
...what the heck?

Jordan Dickinson at Union Speed & Style

He's a wizard at doing things correctly, and trying new techniques and methods - and twisting the norm with vintage components.  That's the best way to describe it . . .

Neato: The Sting

They just don't build customs like this anymore . . .


Even the guys that originally built these things, don't build 'em like this anymore.

Stunt Guys . . .

They're hard on brakes, tires, rear fenders . . . and clutches. 

Now THAT'S a Bumper

Bear in The Lodge

This area of the Cheyenne River Valley is where you could still get water in times of drought.  This summer has been extra wet, so all the prairie grasses are untypically green with growth.  It was Crazy Horse who was "wanted for capture" and a small group of lawmen wasted 2 days with no sign of him in this very valley.  It's called Bear in The Lodge . . .

Full Throttle Saloon

Puddle of Mudd (dumb band name I always thought) has a few popular party anthems, and some decent jams.  I dig their tunes - and Wes Scantlin is a very good singer, player and songwriter - but can be a real dork when he's drinkin' . . . and a rap sheet a mile long to prove it.  But ol' Wes and his band were spot on tonite and gave an excellent live performance.  We were all quite impressed . . .
From side stage . . . once they started the show, here came the crowd and it filled up fast.  I'm havin' fun now choking down my roast beef and chuggin' those complimentary Corona Extras (I'll never learn).

After the Mudd . . . it got dark and Foghat banged out their string of hits.  The place was packed with headliner Cheap Trick coming up.  In between the regular "hot chic dance team deal" warmed up the crowd with plenty of flesh, fire and sex (and it was actually pretty awesome) as I was so zoned on all the babes - I forgot to take any pics for you - whoops !   Just tattoo'd on my memory !
You get all the Left, and all the Right, at the Sturgis.

Rockford, Illinois' Finest
Rick's traveling arsenal of axes.....whoa
Some bands aren't very good live - Not the case here . . .
Gilby Clarke jumped on stage for a guest jam session . . .
Robin Zander
One of the best singers in rock, for all these years. 
I wonder if he and Tom still have their XLCHs ?

I didn't get a guitar pick . . . which is pretty miraculous since hundreds get thrown out during every Cheap Trick Show . . . but R.N. made sure I didn't go home empty handed.  Thanks fellas.