Thursday, October 29, 2009

57 Pan - Modifications from 25 years ago

Tank mounts repositioned so the tank halves just about touch in the center.

A 25 year old oil tank repair and an Anderson peg.

A slick throttle cable bracket made from a Linkert Low Speed needle piece.

While I work on the 57 Pan I am finding things I had forgotten about from 25 years ago. As I have mentioned in past posts this was a friend of mines bike that I helped him out with back then. I bought it from him a couple of years ago.
Another friend of ours (Eddy) was a bike builder and HD mechanic. He put some cool functional modifications on everything he touched. Never anything fancy. These were functional stripped down Harleys...capable of evading high speed pursuit if necessary or any other fun stuff you got yourself into on a Saturday night!
Ahhhh... those early mornings hammering over the Outerbridge Crossing from Staten Island on your way home...never mind...

Saturday, October 24, 2009


My ex- wife took a trip to California in 1986 and visited The Shop in Ventura. She took some pictures for me. Check out the prices of the bikes for sale on the white board. That 1960 Duo-Glide looks pretty good (except for the 61-64 tanks) for $4,000. I like the basket case prices too. An indian 4 cyl. for $4000! And this was retail!
Check out the signs hanging from the bikes. A 1951 vertical Indian used in The Wild One.
Here I go again reminiscing (and kicking myself) about the old days and passing up complete Indian chief basket cases for $1,500 or less... sometimes much less.
Get ready for "Summer 2010" scary...

Monday, October 19, 2009

57 Pan...not focused yet

So much for focus.
I spent the day working on my 57 Pan "Ape Hanger". It's been sitting in the shop since June (see previous post) when my middle kid and I started to work some of the bugs out of it (big bugs).
Today I got the primary back together with the HD Sturgis belt drive set up. The inner cover was all busted up. I picked up a brand new Paughco inner and outer (what the hell it's a chopper) at the Jefferson meet a couple weeks ago for cheap. That went together easy enough. I installed a working 57 speedo, cable and drive so the kids know how fast they're going when they lie to the cops.
I cleaned up the front wheel, reassembled the front brakes with usable shoes and installed a longer front brake cable that didn't have stretch like a guitar string to reach the ape hangers like the previous one.
Let's it looks like a tack weld on the shifter pivot sleeve (loose and wobbly) and assemble all that, bolt the tanks back on, connect the rear brake rod, rear chain and mount the white Italian solo seat and pad.
Or go back to the 39 or...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

39 EL Top End

More stuff for the 39 EL.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Need To Focus!!!

I picked up this 50 pan a couple of weeks ago. It had a bunch of cool shit with it including a complete B&H shifter set up with clutch booster, special lever, cable, the works. A front brake aluminum cooling ring, nice original frame, speedo, cool dual exhaust set up, etc. The inspection sticker is from 1970. The thing has been sitting since then.
The weird thing is the bike was once painted yellow...all of it, right down to the frame and triple trees. It has black paint and a lot of grease and grime on top of the yellow paint on the frame like it was together and running for many years with the black frame. The tanks have yellow paint under the blue also. The front fender is a different color blue so I'm guessing with the B&H and the yellow frame, tanks and triple trees it was probably one funky bob job in it's day or something like that.
My plan for this thing was to pull off all the cool shit I wanted and sell the frame, motor, forks, tanks and fenders in one lump...hhhmmm... Not so fast... I was walking out of the shop tonight and turned around and took a long look at the the engine cases are in perfect condition, original serial number matching belly numbers, beautiful cam cover, gears, cam, heads (it was missing a head but I had a spare). The frame needs a couple of minor fixes, the tanks are clean as a whistle inside, there are boxes of original hardware and just about every part to put it back together. Nice original wheels and tires, generator, etc. etc.
Fuck...I'm gonna build it!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dug out of the archieves


Dug these up out of the bottom of a drawer.
Top - 17 years old on a 1971 Triumph 650 and yeah that's my mom on the 1970 Shovelhead!
Bottom - 18 Years old with my first Harley a 1971 Shovelhead (Elizabeth NJ) police bike.
Chain Belt, Buck Knife, Live to Ride T-shirt, aviators, a fresh Harley-Davidson tattoo... it didn't get any better then that at 18!
Of course I ripped off all the excess shit, extended the fork and chromed a bunch of stuff.
Oh Yeah! Chrome exchange at the local chopper shop...Instant Gratification!!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

One More Old Chopper Paint Job...With a question.

I think I am over blogging today but here is one more.

I've had this tank for 25 years. It had a matching wishbone frame that was beautifully done with the same paint and molded to perfection. The guy had a 48 UL in it from what I understand. Well I fucked it up and ground and chiseled all that hard work off and put the frame back to original...ugh just leave shit alone! I did leave the tank alone and threw it on the pile.

Now the only picture I have of the frame is just by chance. It is in the background of the basement shot from 1987 above. If you click on the picture you can see the frame with the tank on it leaning against the bench. Check out the wild electric control panel molded in below the tank!
Now the guy told me at the time that years before (not sure how many) ...
"That famous guy from California molded and painted it."

Anybody recognize this work?

Old Chopper "Survivor" Paint Job

Found this old sheet metal set in the attic. The fender is an original knuckle fender cut down very nicely and flared just a bit at the tip. This is a similar paint job to what I see people doing today on these blogs. Very cool artistic shit!

'39 Gathering continues

Digging up more 39 EL stuff...Now if I can only find a set of crusty red or red&black 39 tanks.

Friday, October 9, 2009

39 EL Project - more stuff

I've been saving these for a special occasion. Looks like it's time. I can't remember where the hell these came from. I was collecting NOS knuckle motor parts many years ago with the thought that I could build a motor using all new parts. The stuff dried up and if you can find NOS you'll drain your bank account. I got as far as this rod set, a rocker box, a set of lifter blocks, a rocker arm, some bearings and a few other small motor parts. I had my hands on a set of NOS heads in the boxes, but couldn't afford them even 20 years ago.
I may as well start putting some of it to good use starting with the rod set!

39 EL Lamp project

I am getting a little momentum on another 39 EL project. I got this bottom end from a friend in Jersey in the early 80's. I stopped by his place to trade him some UL parts fro a 46 EL lower end. I made the deal and while I was there I noticed a 39 EL lower end in really rough shape. The cases were blown out on the bottom from filling with water and freezing over the years. The rods that were sticking out were bent and rusty...I was in love! I looked it over again and again. My buddy told me he was going to weld it to a post and turn it into a mail box! No Way!
I guess he couldn't help noticing that I kept going back to the 39 EL.
Finally he said, " You're lookin' at that thing like you want that too."
"Fuck yeah", I said. I was shy back then. He replied, "Go ahead and take it with you. I ain't no good anyway."
Well, I took it home and turned it into a lamp. No shit, light bulb and all. The little EL motor followed me around from place to place and ended up as a decoration in my living room in my current house.
I took a good look at it late last year a thought shit, I outta build a bike around this. I brought the cases over to my friend Marty in Jeresy and he said no problem. He's a friggin' wizard with a welder. He put the bottom back in and you can't hardly tell it was gone! He didn't even fuck up the dirt on the rest of it! I found the fly wheels down in the barn that came out of it (had to take them out of the cases to fit in my light bulb). I was surprised that I held onto them for over 25 years (yeah right).
So now I'm on my way. I picked up a bent frame in Wauseon this year and started the gathering process. I found that I had a bunch of 39 stuff laying around. Oil tank, fenders, fork, etc. I need a set of tanks though. I found a chrome cam cover and just had it stripped. It sticks out like a sore thumb so I'll have to crust it up.
Oh yeah I got talked into updatin' the races... still not sure I shoulda done that...but what's done is done! No body's gonna see it anyway.
Well now I can add this to the other projects I started this year... I have made some headway on my 41 TT Knuckle. I'll get an update out on that soon.