Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Still waiting on my hardtail. I mail ordered a clutch cable as a better quality cable was half the price of what I could buy one for locally, even with shipping. Bored and restless waiting for parts so I'm screwing around online looking at bike smut. Above are a couple of my favorites so far.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Desert Racer

I was pretty blown away by this old desert racer. Every inch of the bike seems to have been drilled for weight, engraved, plated, pinstiped, etc. Spend a few minutes looking at the pictures up close. I suspect you could keep finding new details every time you looked. Someone had WAY too much time on their hands.

At best I'd think a Triumph would still be a bloated pig compared almost every off road bike I've ever ridden.

Sunday, July 27, 2008


The Filcoolator I was stalking on eBay sold last night with "Buy it Now". I'll never understand why people insist on buying stuff off eBay for the same price you can readily buy it retail/mail order.

I've been riding the Trump quite a bit and it's running pretty well but still idling for crap. I spent some time today really tweaking the pilot jet air mixture & idle speed. I got it to idle pretty well and things really seem to be improved. I was just pulling it out of the driveway to do a road test and the clutch cable broke...

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I got a reply from Dave at Helrich Custom Cycles today regarding his canister oil tanks:

john sorry its taken me a minute to get back to you. I have never had a problem with the tanks, if you are worried about running hot you can add a cooler in there to. I did have to gut it, which is a bit annoying, and weld on the inlet and out let, but yay, no big deal. the best way I have found to keep bikes running cool is straight 50w Kendal or 60w if you can find it. I do not use bi grade it's is too thin and breaks down easily

I'm considering the Beehive again. I guess see how this auction plays out.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Hardtail Update

I confirmed today that David Bird (guy building my hardtail) is pretty backed up. I noticed another guy on the Jockey Journal is waiting too. Everyone assures us it's well worth the wait. I'm getting impatient and this is slowly becoming the "OCD Oil Tank Blog."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Filter Canister Oil Tank

This guy has built several bikes using factory flathead oil canisters. I emailed him and asked a few questions about it but I don't really expect to ever hear from him. He also built the one-and-only OIF bobber I've ever seen that wasn't completely hideous.


Very little to report. I should hopefully get my hardtail any day now. I'm still looking at oil tank options besides the Filcoolator. I found another one I like pretty well (pictured above) but the reseller is not responding to email... seems like a bad sign. I still can't help watching stuff like this on eBay.

My bike is running pretty well and I'm riding it a little almost everyday. That's gonna make it a little harder to have it in pieces while the weather is nice.

UPDATE: Whoa! Whudoyaknow... I actually got a reply.

Panzer Bike

I bet this guy pisses his neighbors off more thoroughly than I do .

Monday, July 14, 2008


I'm going to visit Barry this evening (the guy with the flathead Fords). I was going to take a few pictures of my bike and some of Rob's fleet. It then occurred to me that since I built my new computer at work I have almost no pictures of Rob's cars/bike. Please post a few when you have time.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Oil Tank


7 Metal West

I'm still working on some of the planning involved in trying to use a Filcoolator style beehive oil filter canister as an oil tank.
The following are a few of the items I'm still trying to firm up:
  • Is the capacity adequate for a warm climate (stock Triumph capacity is 2 - 2.5 quarts)
  • Plumbing including the rocker box feed
  • How to address a breather
  • If the tank would be run with/without the filter
  • Is there enough clearance below the tank for a battery
I have a visit planned for Monday to talk to the owner of a flathead Ford with a Filcoolator, and apparently a couple of other types of after market beehives. Hopefully talking to him and getting some measurements will provide some answers.

The Filcoolator's are very similar in size to the 7 Metal West 2.5 quart vertical beehive. Both are roughly 5" by 9" but the Filcoolator has a more tapered shape equaling less capacity. 7 Metal West has put a lot of thought into engineering & plumbing for a Triumph. They use:

1.25" ID filler neck
1/4 NPT breather plug,
1/4 NPT drain plug
1/4 NPT send boss
1/4 NPT return boss
Return boss has 3/16" restricter fitting hole to increase oil pressure to the rocker box "T"
7 Metal West even sells hardware kits here

Friday, July 11, 2008

Vaughn has class!

Vaughn is just demonstrating (once again) that he has truly impeccable taste when it comes to all things with wheels and engines. The "knuck" is difficult to knock.

There is a big car/motorcycle show tomorrow in Tacoma. Has to be pre-1954, and has to be stock. I am torn between taking the 45", and taking the Plymouth, but have decided that the Plymouth is deserving of an outing, since the Harley gets out a lot more.

I wish Vaughn was here so I could take him to see the Cossacks. They would give him a ride in some strange location (front fender, rear fender, standing on the center stand). They do that with all the kids. He sure is one handsome guy.

Tell Tyler he wins the bet. I told him there was no way Sydney could wear Vaughn's Harley shirt. He is right.

HD Kids

I've had a little trouble convincing Vaughn the new Harley tee is worthy of replacing the Knucklehead shirt. He really likes it, but so far refuses to wear it. Sydney took a shot at selling it to him this morning. He may now never get it back!

Thursday, July 10, 2008


I made a lens for the JT-30 today. I bought a trailer lens that was a similar size, cut it down with a "CNC" hacksaw and did the remaining shaping/fitting with a "precision laser" file. I had countless flashbacks of my High School metals shop teacher Mr. Fisher and his lectures about how the first close-tolerance machine tools were built using just a file. Well... not by me.

Unfortunately I was not able to completely shape the lens without also acquiring some scratches. They don't show too much when it's assembled but if any of you professional science types have advice for buffing scratches out of plastic lens, let me know.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mondo Thumper

I thought this was pretty entertaining. A kickstart, single cylinder, world record setting 2000CC/122CI motorcycle. It's apparnently built from an aviation engine. Rob, can you tell what the cylinder is from? The owner must have a healthy back.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Microphone taillight?

Have you considered using an antique/vintage microphone as the basis for a taillight? Some of the art deco one have a really cool shape, and they sell those really bright LED lights in dozens of different configurations.

The microphone and tail light share three features: an open end (with a cool grille or fins), a bracket or socket to mount it, and a separate hole for wiring to exit. If you found one you could polish, so much the better, and it would look good with the beehive.

Give it some thought, and put a "vintage microphone" search into eBay...

John says... "This is the one I need!"

Saturday, July 5, 2008


I've done a fair amount of work on the Trump so far this weekend. To start with it's running pretty well so I've just ridden it quite a bit.

I removed the mufflers and bought/installed some in-the-pipe baffles. They are a little louder than the mufflers were but they don't seem to have impacted the air/fuel mixture much if at all. There was break in the weld just before the muffler on the RH side that created about a 1/4" gap. They were leaking pretty badly before the swap.

I also removed the front fender and the goofy hubcap. The wheel was pretty rough under the hubcap so it required some serious cleanup and a little paint. I still plan to try to find a 69-70 hubcap.

Finally, I worked on cleaning up & polishing the front brake some more. It's not quite done yet but starting to look a lot better. I also worked on cleaning up some of the hardware that will move on to the hardtail (ex. rear axle hardware).

Sorry the pictures are a little crappy.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Paint N Stuff Reloaded

So is this the Shelby color you were referring to? That's almost Frazier's Bugatti blue.

The other color I've been really stoked on is this one. I can't find any other pictures of this bike and the crappy scans I did don't really do the color justice. It really nicely accents the gold though.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Paint N Stuff

Brilliant Decision, John. With the gas prices spiraling ever higher, the extra 2" of stretch will also come in handy if you decide to create a carpool like this close-knit group of Seattle riders.

On the color, the black and gold is tough to beat. I also saw a Trimuph bobber that had a little lighter blue that I thought was gorgeous. Close to the blue used on 1968 Shelby Mustangs. Two other colors to consider: silver and British racing green...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Hardtails 2.0

I finally stumbled across a straight on picture of a 2" over David Bird HT.
Some thoughts:
  • To me it looks "stubby"
  • The straight line from the headstock to the rear axle is broken, which to me looks less natural
  • There is very little room left for an oil tank
A better side-by-side

*Update - I placed the order for a 4" over this morning. I should have it in about 3 weeks. Everyone is welcome to tell me I've made a brilliant decision now;)

Happy Days

Most kids that were car conscious enough to care will remember Fonzie on Happy Days always riding a silver pre-unit Triumph (I wonder how much work it is to clean the chicken parts out of your Amals after a failed jump at Arnold's).

Sweet! That's the A-Team van. I bet the VA is now shelling out for credit monitoring for "B.A." Baracus thanks to their data mishaps.

The kids with really little social life will remember Fonzie wasn't allowed to wear a leather jacket the first season (IIRC producers were worried it might make him look too motorcycle gang affiliated). Apparently taking away his Knucklehead and putting him on a Triumph made him non-threatening enough he could wear whatever he wanted.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Paint Code

Rob & I were talking about paint tonight. This is the color I'm most seriously considering right now. Believe it or not it's Lexus/Toyota paint. I think it's a really flattering color on curvy sheet metal.

Lexus Spectra Blue DBU Code 5437
I'm not really planning to use it but the white shown here is GM #10 white