Monday, January 31, 2011

Suzuki RE-5 Rotary Motorcycle

Mike from Oak Mountain Paint & Body came by late Saturday on his just finished Suzuki Rotary (Click here for info) This baby was sweet. He picked up an old XLCR Sportster Cafe Racer from a guy a while back and he ended up getting this one from the same guy. All it needed was a repaint of the tank and heat shields a little cleaning and a bit of mechanical sorting to make it a beauty. Mike got a little help from a shop in TN that specializes in these bikes and now it purrs like a kitten. The bike is really funky and if you get a chance to see one and hear it run go for it!

The exhaust gets so hot it has to have air intakes at the front to run cooler air alongside the hot exhaust. The cooler air runs outside the inner exhaust pipe and then gets mixed with the hot exhaust near the muffle.

Clean lines, but kinda funky.

That oil filter runs about $40.

Check out those bolts holding the rotary area together. Looks beefy, but the bike is very lightweight.

It's air AND water cooled. That radiator looks like it came out of a Cadillac.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

WOW! Saturday Was the Best Day of the Year So Far

Saturday was May in January! We had temps up to 70 degrees. As you can see from the pics we rode to lunch in short sleeves. The day started out with me heading over to the adult playground (GarCo) to put my new 4" over tubes on the new Sporty project. The first one was a pain in the ass and took forever, but the second one flew by. Anyway when it was finally time for lunch we all took off on the bikes and had a great little ride. Ross and I had the only non-choppers in the bunch so you can imagine this crew caused a stir as we took off down the road. We ended up at Hooters because our regular place was packed to the gills. We waded through the 100 stock bikes and found a spot easily enough and had lunch. After that we rode over to the local dealership to pick up a couple of fork seals for me and pushrod seals for Spenser. You should have seen the neck snapping in the parking lot when we rolled in. It was pretty funny. After that it was back to the shop. All in all it was an incredible day and I can't wait until this weather is the norm again.

Sittin' at a stoplight.

Leaving the gas station. We had to wait on Ross because his battery cable had worked loose.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Trying To Gather Parts For The New Project

I need some help scrounging up parts. Let me know if you have any of these parts you would be willing to let go of fairly inexpensively. I need a 21" laced wheel for a pre-2000 narrowglide, I need a 16" wheel that will work with a Sportster set up, a brake rotor and sprocket for that wheel and "bobbed" flat fender (the flat fender with the small flip up at the end). I'm also looking for a cool king & Queen seat, I have a solid line on a tank already and will need other stuff soon, but this stuff will get me going.

This is the fender I'm looking for. See the small flip up at the rear of it? I think this will be more interesting than a plain flat fender.

This seat or one like it would look beautiful on my new baby.

Let me know if you can help a fellow choppin' fool out!
Email Me!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Kennedy Chopper Class! The Original and Still the Best!

All of you have heard about the class that "Teach" runs at Kennedy High School. Mr. Baas started this deal and from what I've seen still does it best. Y'all check out their web page and buy a t-shirt or twenty to show some support. If you have a company, think about donating some parts or tools or what ever you can. We have to make sure the young folks can get the bike bug embedded deep in their brains so that this craziness we all love can continue!
Kennedy Chopper Class
Don't forget to check out Teach's other business Baas Metal Craft
and his blog Vintage Bike Addiction

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Doing Some Photochoppin Until I Can Do Some REAL Choppin'!

I can't get over to play with my new project until Saturday so in the mean time I've been putting my Photoshop & Illustrator "skills" to work. I think I like this layout so far. Of course the colors will be different, but I like this overall look. Not sure about the handlebars, I like the set that is already on there, but that may change. It looks like I'll end up with 2" over forks to have the angle and seat height that I like. The battery will most likely end up behind the seat post and Spenser says we can make a modified horseshoe oil tank to fit the frame. I'll bend up a cool sissybar and top it off with a king & queen seat. I plan to ride this bike to the Bastard Bash in August if I can pull it together in time and the tall back of the seat will make a nice backrest for my old ass. Let me know what you think of the ideas so far.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Updates of Past Posts....

Just thought I'd give everyone a quick update of some of the projects I've posted on here.

Spenser's shovel is coming along nicely. The tins are at paint, once they are back the wheels can go on, the wiring can be finished and the final touches can get done. Don't ya hate waiting on ONE thing to be able to do anything?

Chauncy said he wasn't going to do anything else to the bike, but as he found out. A bike is NEVER done, just done for now! He decided to change the bars. Maybe next week I can get some pics of them in place and ready to ride. He's still waiting for his drag pipes, once they are on he'll have done everything he said he was going to. We'll see how long that lasts ;-P

Monday, January 17, 2011

I Have A NEW Project!

This Saturday I went to GarCo to finish tearing the Triumph apart so I can get it painted and back together. I never got started on it. First off there were a bunch of folks hanging out and playing with various projects and two, Ed was there dropping off his latest bike restoration (killer shovelhead FL that I hope to get pics of later) he started talking about getting rid of some of the Sportster projects he's gathered over the last year or so. We got to talking and he said he wanted to sell this one so I did some serious thinking and financial computations in my head and after Nick threatened to change my nickname from Kustom Jeff to Contemplating Jeff for taking so damn long to make up my mind,  I decided I could make it work. I called Ed today and we worked out the details. I'll meet him one day this week to exchange $$ and paper then I can get to work on this beast. The bike is a Flyrite Sportster Scorcher frame, with a '93 883 motor. It has a set of stock XL forks that will need to be extended 6 inches or so. The wheels that are on it are not part of the deal, but I do get a set of stock XL cast wheels with damn near new tires on them (less than 100 miles). The tank is not part of the deal, it belongs to Nick, but the bars do come with it and I think I dig em.

The bike is sitting on a large block of wood, but it's almost where I want the bike to sit. I'm going to get the frame height right then measure for new fork tubes. It's hard to see in these pics, but the front wheel is about 4 inches off the ground.

I will be wheeling and dealing for a set of wheels just like these so basically it will end up with these wheels in the end.

The engine is just BEGGING for the cam cover to be chopped. It doesn't have a sprocket cover so I won't have to worry about trying to find a cool way to chop it.

Look at those glorious lines!

I'm diggin' those bars!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Custom Painted Tank

Shane is a tattoo artist at Non Stop Art and is one of the most talented artists I've met here in Birmingham. He's put ink on a lot of people I know including my own step son. The thing is though that Shane is a TRUE artist. He is able to make really cool looking stuff in damn near any medium. He decided to tool a seat for his bike, the the carving came out killer. Especially when you consider he's never worked leather before. Since then he's made a few seats for people and they all look great. Shane has also decided he wants to paint gas tanks, he started with his own and of course it blew me away. He's now doing them as a sideline and staying really busy with it. This tank here was only the SECOND tank he had painted. It came out incredible! You saw the whole bike in the previous post, but I wanted you to see the details. Enjoy the art!

Here's Shane at the Garco Christmas Party. I TOLD you he was talented! ;-P

Sweet Ironhead Chopper

Last weekend a guy brought this bike in. Unfortunately I didn't catch his name, but I did get to talk to him for a few minutes. Basically he picked this bike up in NC and has since added the chrome rear fender, sissy bar and this BADASS tank painted by Shane who is a tattoo artist at Non Stop Art here in Birmingham. Shane just started painting not too long ago and is already doing some incredible work. This was actually only the 2nd tank he has painted. Check out the pics and enjoy!

The sissy bar was made to work with an old style bobbed fender. Spenser cut off the mounts and made it work for this style set up instead.

Nice clean lines on this bike for sure.

I think the bars are from Biltwell, but I can't remember for sure.

A nice clean example of a '75 XL done right.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

3rd Annual GOLD STAR MOTHERS Campaign

If you love and support our troops then you should really support these women. They are the ones who raised those men and women to be the great Warriors they turned out to be. They are the women who gave their hearts to our country and lost them to war. Help show them how much we appreciate their sacrifice.
From the facebook page

They are strong and proud Mother's to America's Son's and Daughters that have lost their life during service to our country. Have you ever seen posted in someone's window a red-bordered rectangle with a blue star in it? Maybe 2 or 3? Each star represents a child that family has in the war. When the star is gold...they have lost their life.

On Memorial Day, at the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally - a rally in tribute to our Nations military, the Gold Star Mothers are escorted on back of motorcycles throughout the ride. I'm proud to say that my husband Monty and my Dad will be escorts again this year. As a retired military officer myself, I was honored to watch this tribute.

For the last 2 years, I've presented each GSM with a FOR EVERY HOME "itsy bitsy" candle with special card that said "Thank you from a grateful Nation" and from whom the candle was donated from.

This year I'm happy to announce we will be giving them a much larger candle that says "My Uniformed Hero" or "My Soldier My Hero"  The choice is yours.

EACH 7 oz. soy candle is a $10 donation and my goal is 100. 

For more info about the Gold Star Mothers in general read this (Click Here)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Nick Takes a Ride!

While I was at the shop Saturday I got to see Nick's bike go down the road under its own power. When I got to the shop Nick had the whole primary/clutch area taken apart to work on his brake crossover shaft. Before I finished working on the Triumph he had it all back together and took it for a test ride. This bike sounds SWEET! Nice and throaty with a kick ass lope at idle. Can't wait to road trip with Nick and this beast!

Backing out the door to start the adventure.

Ready to roll!

And AWAY he goes!

A short little video I shot of Nick coming back from the test ride. It was pretty sunny and I couldn't really see the screen on the camera so forgive the shakiness at the beginning and the weird crop at the end. You have to agree that the bike sounds badass and it's easy to tell he has a beltdrive with all that clutch chatter isn't it? ;-) By the way, please excuse the filth on my bike in the video. I've been riding to work in the rain quite a bit the last week or two.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Caledonia High School Chopper Club

Here is a cool High School program to support. Many of you know Teach (Kevin Baas) and have seen the great things he has done with his program. This is another school trying to help out kids as well. Check em out and buy a shirt if you can. 

Their Website (click on the link!)

 (From their website)
We are an after school, high school, club in Southeast Minnesota that works on the designing, engineering, and fabrication of motorcycles and motorcycle parts.  Our goal is to give students, many at-risk youth, a real working knowledge of motorcycle fabrication and a creative outlet to apply classroom knowledge to a real world situation.  Our goal each year is to get our bikes finished, and to the Donnie Smith show in St. Paul for the Chopper Class Challenge.  In the club, students learn business, math, marketing, trades, and interpersonal skills all through fabricating and customizing motorcycles.  We are not funded by our school in any way, so in order to keep us going, we rely solely on donations of parts and the sale of out club t-shirts.  Shirts are pre-shrunk 100% cotton, come in black, olive green, or pink, range in sizes from small to XXXL, and only cost $20.00 (with free shipping). 

Wow, just think, supporting kids that love bikes, and getting to wear a B.A. t-shirt at the same time, how flippin’ cool is that!

Thank you to everyone that has helped us so far.  We couldn't function without you!
Scott Martin
Caledonia High School
825 N. Warrior Ave.
Caledonia, MN 55921

Saturday was a Good Day!

I'm on the way to finishing the Triumph finally. When I had it together a few weeks ago it ran great but was leaking like a pig. I pulled the top end today and found the reason. The head gasket never got sealed correctly. The motor was test run by the man who rebuilt it on his test stand and then I ran it for 10 miles or so. After that it sat for over 3 years after I was hit by a truck and broke my leg. I guess there was not enough heat for enough miles to seal it. This time when it went back together I used some of that copper head gasket sealer so it should be good. Now I just have to finish tearing the rest of the bike down, making it pretty and then putting it back together so I can finally put some serious miles on her.

Coming apart

Those rocker box gaskets were a pain in my ass today!

You can see how much oil was on this head gasket. No wander it smoked from one cylinder and leaked so bad.

Coming back together. Ain't she pretty?

Done dammit!

Top end gasket replacement COMPLETE!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vintage Gas Tanks

I LOVE old gas tanks. The artwork and paint styles from back then are just so damn cool and sexy. If the modern bike makers put as much effort and class into their new stuff the world would be a much more beautiful place. These are some pictures I took at the Wheels Through Time Museum a few years ago. I can't wait to go back again, that place is pretty much the most perfect museum in the entire world. That says a lot coming from someone who lives about 30 miles from the Barber's Museum. I hope you like these pics as much as I do! I'll try to post links to some info on the old bikes when I can.

Thor, not just the God of Thunder. Some info about them can be found here.

Sweet little Indian Racer. Tons of info out there about this brand, but this site looks to be pretty good.

Classic Harley Tank, what can I say about this one that hasn't been said a million times.

Great artwork from the art deco period.

I love old unrestored bikes like this one.

Not much info on this one. I seem to remember that this was a one off or very limited bike.

The original Excelsior, not that crappy remake wannabe from the 90's. Some Excelsior info can be found here.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Some of my Artsy stuff

I worked in the graphics field for about 10 years and still have some of the stuff I designed. I figured winter is the right time to drag some of it out and show it off. Hope you like it....

I made this for a custom bike forum was a member of a few years ago. I think it pretty much fits the way most of us think.

I took a picture of my Triumph and played with it in photoshop to make this one. I've used this piece for a few different projects, I just really like the way it came out.

The same picture inverted.

A picture I took of my old ironhead Sportster. I wish I still had this bike, but at least I took some decent pictures of this one.