Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ed Kretz Sr

I stumbled across this great photo of Ed "Ironman" Kretz taken when he was still racing Indians. I knew he jumped to Triumph in around 1949/1950 but I didn't realize he raced for JOMO the whole time.

Bellow is another great photo of Ed Sr. on the beach in Daytona in 1951. I've no doubt that's my '51 Tiger he's sitting on... JK. I still just love that jersey.

I read somewhere Ed Jr. switched to Triumph in 1949 to support his Dad's new dealership. For a minute it seemed odd to me that the Kretz' would continue to race for Johnson Motors while Sr. owned a dealership. It soon occurred to me that every bike Ed sold would come through JOMO as the exclusive west coast distributor. Prior to Tri-Cor opening in 1951 I'm not sure Johnson had gobs of resources to support retail sales as they were relatively swamped as a distributor.

Incidentally, I remember hearing Ed Kretz was one of the earlier dealerships to talk on Honda and Triumph was way less than thrilled about it. I'm pretty confident that happened sometime after Bill Johnson passed away in 1962.

Ed Sr. was well recognized for his abilities to market, promote and his general business sensibilities. Word is Ed Sr. turned to racing out of necessity as a young man in the middle of the Depression. While born in 1911 he didn't officially retire from the dealership until 1986. He passed away in 1996.

"Pitty Tink"

Pretty cool.

GNRS 2012 Triumph

Triumph Tutu

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekend Update

The Indian & I both made it to Flathead Rob's. We did a ton of wrenching. The Indian lives and a few other neglected bikes also benefited. Saw a Cossacks practice in the rain and we wrapped the weekend with a great ride. Happy Birthday Rob!

Rob has quite the stable with the Indian.

Thanks to Lynn for helping make it all happen.

It Lives!

It lives!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012


From 8Negro. I like this one. Looks like it might be a Trackmaster flattrack tank. I'd be curious to know more about the hardtail. Perfect stretch and drop.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne"

This is cool. How many times have you thought "If I see one more fricken cafe racer with a checkered flag racing stripe..." The painting is "Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne" by Annibale Carracci (1602).

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fall of Norton Mike

While doing a little Tiger shakedown run through the neighborhood I spotted Norton Mike's garage door open. He and a buddy were wrenching on the Commando. I stopped to chat for a while and news is the Commando is gone. Sold and being picked up tomorrow. Another one bites the dust. I'm running out of friends with roadworthy old bike to ride with. It's just nice to have some riding buddies that are tolerant of the occasional mechanical and don't expect you to run 100 MPH all day.

I made the comment to Mike "Everyone is unloading their old crap, maybe I should be learning something." He commented "Nope, you should just be buying up all their old crap." Made me feel a little better. Mike did admit he was already looking for a replacement... I assured him he'll always be Norton Mike to me, Norton or not.

Justin, work on your Bonneville dammit.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Knucklehead Visit

"Knucklehead" Steven dropped by today to see what's happening in my shop (something tells me it wasn't just MY bikes he came to see, there's another blog for that topic). It was cool to hang out for a bit. I would have been cool to head out on a ride with him I'm currently without a roadworthy bike.

Steven seems pretty smitten with Emma. I wouldn't be too surprised to find a Brit bike in his future. It's not everyday I have a Knucklehead this lovely in my driveway so I figured it was a good time to snap a few pictures.

Crazy to think there are only 5 years between our bikes ('46 -'51).

Flathead Rob complained while he was around over Christmas that He didn't have any current pictures of Emma. I need to paint the rear stand and a couple of other things but I still think she's looking pretty good.

Emma was kinda stopping traffic today. Pretty cool.

Georgia O'Keeffe

I've heard this photo talked about a lot but somehow I'd never seen it before today.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

1929 Velocette KSS

I spotted this post the other day.

"I bought it from a collector in Albuquerque and at the time all I was doing was flipping bikes as fast as I bought them. The first time I saw it I was completely won over but it wasn't for sale at that time. Later it came on the market and I bought it at my wifes insistence."

Something tells me I know the collector he bought it from. For whatever reason it just makes me sad. I guess that's why I never sell anything.

T100 Race Kit Frame Lugs

Wes White saw pictures of my frame once and commented that he thought the lugs for rearsets etc. where a little unusual. He thought I might have a T100C hardtail. I didn't think too much of it because the frame and engine are '51 numbers matching and it was pretty clear before I refinished the frame that the front and rear frame segments had been together for life. I also figured all the '51s were setup to potentially run a Race Kit. When I started working the '51 Parts Book to get replacement chain adjusters I noticed the lug on the left side of the frame was different than what they pictured but I couldn't really figure out what it was for.

Then last night I was browsing through the complete T100 Race Kit brochure and saw the picture below for the first time. My frame has all the lugs pictured for the rearsets and the brake pedal/brake linkage mods. Maybe they all do, I don't know anyone else with a '51 T100 to compare it with. The other thing that occurred to me is the bottom mount for the oil tank on my frame doesn't line up in the right location for the stock oil tank. It does sorta make me wonder if it would line up correctly with the the Race Kit 1 gallon tank. Given the other race parts in the engine it makes me wonder if it wasn't setup with a Race Kit once upon a time.

Again, maybe the parts book just uses a T5/T6 frame illustration. Damn I wish I knew more about where this bike has been.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Daytona Triumph

I still really want a JoMo just like this.

Cleavland Tornado

Lurking the Vintagent's post from MidAmerica. I loved this Cleavland. Paul's comment:
an original paint 1929 Cleveland 'Tornado' 4-cylinder, a real hotrod in the day, capable of over 100mph, and beloved of police forces lucky enough to use them! Also unsold...

That thing rules!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I've been sorta wondering how Mike Breeding clears his driveway when the snow gets deeper. Now I know.


I admit it. Having the Indian in my garage has stolen some of the thunder away from my bikes, even if only temporarily. For a couple of days I was looking at my bikes and sorta responding, meh...

I got the part I'd been waiting for my Tiger Friday night. I mounted it immediately but wasn't able to test ride it. The weather Saturday was remarkably Spring-like so I had to take my Bonneville (Olivia) out for a ride. I LOVE that bike. She has some leaks that really need to be addressed and she's a royal bitch to start cold recently but she's still a blast to ride. In years past when the weather has gotten crappy she was always treated to some off-season maintenance. This year I've spent all my spare time (and $$) working on the Tiger and she has gotten ignored. Poor old girl, I promise when the Tiger is fully roadworthy you will get some well earned love.

Saturday night a group of us went to see Fastest at the Guild. The theater seating inspired some images of the Cocoanut Grove but it was still a good time. Those GP guys are freaks of nature. I then came home and watched the Phoenix Supercross. More freaks of nature.

Sunday I went with the same group up to C@D, first time in at least a month. It was kinda cold but there was still a pretty good turnout. Once I finally warmed up after getting home I finished putting the primary together on the Tiger. Holy crap! I think I might finally have my drive line problem licked. Pretty fun.

Conclusion to my ramblings? My bikes are still plenty cool. My daughter teases me that I'm motorcycle obsessed. I don't get it...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jupiter's Travels

I'm just starting another motorcycle book on loan from English Stephen's personal library. Stephen is a pretty meticulous guy and always makes a note on the title page of when and where he read the book. The note in this book was just too cool not to share. Flathead Rob, DC-3?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


I ordered some parts from Raber's last Tuesday, they had one piece NOS and two used. I was looking for some weird shit that is keeping my bike from being finished enough to really ride.

Starting about Saturday I started thinking WTF! Of course they aren't open on Monday so I had to wait until today to call. I found out they haven't bothered to ship any of it yet! Apparently the used parts are at another warehouse. They thought they should be able to get around to retrieving them in about another week. Supposedly they are sending me the NOS part I really, really need today. I just cancelled all the rest. I could swear this project hates me sometimes...

I don't know why I ever buy parts anywhere but Moore's. Super knowledgeable guy that has great stock, fair prices, cares about his customers and even answers his own phone. Hell I've gotten parts from him faster than I could have gotten 'em locally sometimes.

Sunday, January 8, 2012


"No offense Grandma but you might consider a bath..."

Perfect Pan

Seems like all the bikes I really like are now being built in Europe or Japan. I'm suspicious my taste has has just gone out fashion over here. Fucit! I'm perfectly willing to rock a mullet. I like what I like.