Friday, February 28, 2014

Search for Ginny

I know it's already everywhere but this story is too cool not to post. After a visit to the Barber Museum Bill Burton felt compelled to seek out the Harley Davidson WLA he was issued in WWII.

Cpl. William Virgil Burton - Sicily 1943
Standing next to the military Harley — the same vintage as his “Ginny” — Burton looked on with a mix of nostalgia and pride. “I feel like I could get up on it, crank it up and take off,” he said. Burton rode three motorcycles during his service, but “Ginny” was his favorite. When he was issued the bike, it already wore the name, which happened to be his mother’s name. 

Bill Burton, 89 stands next to a similar WLA at Barber
 Burton said that after the war he had an opportunity to buy another Harley, but his wife gave him an ultimatum:

“I carried it down to the house, and she looked at that thing, she said, ‘It’s either me or the motorcycle — which one do you want?’ And I got to thinking about that, I hadn’t been married for long, and I said, ‘heck, I better take this thing back to that man."

I've been around vintage motorcycles/cars that draw significant attention from strangers most of my life. That said you can't even imagine the attention and stories Flathead Rob's 1942 Ford military Jeep draws during something like a simple run to the hardware store unless you've seen them firsthand. The reactions from guys like Bill are nothing short of incredible.

I can't thank you enough for your service Mr Burton. 

Duke II

I've been following this build on the lift at Big D off and on for a while. Cool project. The guys at Big D mention they are hustling to get it ready for the Texas Thaw Vintage Drags. Gotta say it would be pretty fun to see this bike run (or better yet be on it)!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Putt Mossman

Here's new (or old depending on your perspective) one for Nate and Flathead Rob to work up. Rider Putt Mossman. The Vintagent did a nice feature on Mossman a few years ago.

Mama Tried Show

The first time I heard about the Mama Tried Show I thought "Could there be a more perfect name for a bike show?" After seeing some coverage I was thrilled to see some bikes I was really excited about again. It seems like a pretty cool event.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Lotus C-01

My pal English Stephen has been pretty excited about this bike for quite a while. Aero tech steel construction, 6-gear jaw-type shift transmission, hydraulic anti-hopping clutch, twin suspension struts and an upside down fork all draped in carbon fiber. The motor is said to have 200 horses coming out of its V-twin engine. Seems interesting. 

I'm not sure I've even been less sure what I thought about a bike in my life. To begin with I cannot fathom what it looks like with a rider on-board. I can only imagine strange.  

What kid of the seventies wouldn't appreciate the John Player Special influences?

So, is this the Vincent Black Shadow of our generation? A design too sophisticated for my conservative palate to appreciate yet.

Or is it our Vincent Black Knight? A design just too weird to work...

I guess time will tell.

Ran When Parked

1927 San-Sou-Pap - Tired of showing up at vintage rides and always finding 10 other guys on the same make/model/year bikes as yours? This 87 year old barn fresh French beauty is the solution to your woes. The San-Sou-Pap name purportedly translates as ’without any valves.’ How could Flathead Rob possibly resist this one?

Harley ST165

Flathead Rob & I took on a motorcycle restoration project for a family member. It's a 1958 Harley Davidson ST165. The bike was purchased new in late 1957 by Rob's wife's uncle. It was disassembled several years ago and stayed that way.  It's been kind of fun to work on it together. Even Vaughn has chipped in a little.

 I have to be honest, I suspect it's gonna be tough to see it go when it's done. There are aspects of it that are really clever from a Quality vs Low Cost perspective. It would a great bike for teacher new riders too. It actually reminds a lot of a mini Triumph in some ways. There aren't too many bikes that make Olivia look big.

At any rate if you see a few more Harley Lightweight posts don't think I've lost my mind.

One of the few modifications the owner is hoping for is a passenger seat of some kind, it apparently had one most of it's life and the "kids" in the family have fond memories of riding on the back. There aren't a lot of pillion pad option that won't dwarf this little guy. I'm thinking a mini Bates style might be the way to go. 

Monday, February 24, 2014

Seattle Speedometer

I just learned about these guys from the display of custom gauges they had on exhibit at the One Bike Show. Their custom stuff is pretty entertaining. They appear to be a pretty resource for gauge restorations too.

I simply can't recommend MO-MA in Albuquerque highly enough for gauge restorations based on the work they've done for me past. Since I moved away they are not as convent for me as they once were. Damn good though. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

World's Coolest Harley Hummer

Flathead Rob pointed this one out. It's worth the price of admission on sound alone. The engine (save the adapted Briggs & Stratton cylinders) and transmission were built it's rider, a hobbyist machinist name Randell Cox.

The Hummer engine is an adaptation of a small scale engine Cox also designed call the Hoglet. Complete plans are widely available and it appears to be a popular home machinist project. Below is Cox's 4th generation design. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ran When Parked

1928 Harley Davidson JDH Cutdown - I'm still not crazy about the headlights but the more I look at this bike the more I love it. It sold for $49,000 so obviously I'm not the only one. Why aren't more custom bikes this cool? I'm becoming more and more convinced that if I had the $$$ to own any Harley it might just be a JD.

Early Bird Swap Meet

I'm a little behind on posts. Last weekend was the Early Bird Swap Meet. Both my usual cohorts, Flathead Rob and Vaughn were out of town. Thankfully Nate was willing to stand in. Nate showed up ready...

The swap meet is huge. We moved with purpose and it still took the better part of 3 hours to get through it. There's not a lot of motorcycle stuff there so I left empty handed (I should have bought the $15 driving light I saw, it was cool). It rained hard all day and I didn't take many pictures. We met and talked to some super cool people. I talked to an older guy that flattracked Triumph's in the 60's and met a guy family operated a Triumph/Ariel in Tacoma in the 1940's-1950's. It was well worth going.
Vaughn would have wanted to rescue this one
This could have been my Dad's electric car project
This box cracked me up. Notice the 1:1 scale
Nate bought an HD book for $5 from this guy. I was pretty bummed to learn the Aeromacchi motor he had was sold before I could buy it and stash it in Rob's garage.