Saturday, December 31, 2011

Couple Of Pics From Germany 1991

I'm sure you've heard of W&W Cycles in Germany. They've been a world leader in taking care of Harley riders all over Europe. They are located in Wurzburg, Germany which was just a few miles up the road from the airfield I was stationed at. Once a year they had a big Drag Race on our runway at Giebelstadt Army Airfield. It was a fun day and I've posted some pics before from the festivities. I've been trying to find these pics for a while and finally figured out which nook or cranny they were hiding in,. Enjoy the pics, I'm out of town all weekend, but I'll be back to my regular ways next week and maybe I can get some cool current stuff to post.

My friend Leo was an American G.I. who got out of the Army and stayed in Germany. He married a local girl and ended up working for W&W. A great guy who took care of us and he owned a really cool FXR back before it was cool to have one. He was the first person I ever saw powder coat section of an Evo rocker box. He and a friend had a full set coated gloss black then Leo gave his friend the uncoated center piece from his rocker box so they ended up with opposite looks on the rocker boxes. Leo with polished upper and lower with a black center piece and his friend with the opposite. It was a cool and unique look back in 1991. The other bike in the pic was one of the many shop bikes they brought along.

Another view of the bikes. Look at the edge of this pic and check out the intake on Leo's FXR. Don't see these very often.

The infamous W&W Cycles dragbike in one of its earliest incarnations. I believe they still race this bike, but you'll have to check with them to know for sure.

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Decade I Hope Never Inspires Nostalgia!

The early 90's were a sad time in Biker history. Don't believe me just check out these pictures from Daytona 1994. It was a great time to be a Biker, but a sad time to see cool bikes. We hadn't rediscovered the cool craftsmanship that is seen today. It seems like everyone who knew how to work metal back then was inspired by old Gypsy wagons. Anyway, a few folks have told me they like when I post these old pics from my early Biker days so here's some more for you. I hope you enjoy them. Most of them are Sportsters, that I wish I could have rescued and made into cool machines. I hope they've all been reborn as bad ass choppers, but sadly I'd bet most are sitting in a barn somewhere looking like a sad worn out version of what you see here.

WHY?!?!?!?!?!?! I mean c'mon a Ness/FL style front fender and a useless extra wheel in the back????

A poor XL being forced to imitate an FXR. If you want a big twin then BUY one, don't try to make a sporty into something its not!

Once again WTF!! Look closely and you'll be amazed at so much craftsmanship to make such an ugly bike.

Another view of this monster.

This bike is a nice clean little Sporty except for the damn hyperturd.

This one was kind of cool. I liked the paint and sidecars are always neat.

Where to even begin with this one??? Look at the fringe, the old EL/FL front fender and TOO much white.

A nice Shovel. One of the few bright spots of the trip. Clean and rideable.

Even better FX. I'd love to have this bike today.

I hope you enjoyed these pics. I'll keep diggin' and see if I can find some more to share.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

R.I.P. Timmy!

I just heard that my friend and former co-worker Timmy was killed tonight when he hit a deer with his bike. Timmy was one of the good guys and you can be sure that if you needed him he would be there. I hope there's a shiny new chopper waiting for you when you get to the other side my friend. You sure as hell will be missed here in this world.

Friday, December 23, 2011

More Old Pics I Scanned

Here are some more of the pics I found and scanned in last night. Basically it's pics of my old '75 XLCH that was my first chopper, and some more pics of my Triumph.

My '75 XLCH the way it looked when I first bought it. It even had a windshield.This was around 1991.

Finally on the road sometime around 1994. Didn't last long until I burned a piston though. Don't put an adjustable mainjet on a bendix carb if you don't know what you're doing.

The Triumph the way it was when I got it.I guess this was 1990 or so as well.

First time it was chopped.

Rebuilding it after I was rear ended by a truck. I told y'all I was a shadetree mechanic and you didn't believe me.

All together again. Too bad that by this point the motor was having major issues. It took over 3 years to get it money to afford a motor rebuild.

Finally as it sits today just for reference.

I have some more old pics I'll try to post soon. Maybe in a week or so I can get out and get some current pics going on.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Found More Old Pics To Scan!

Went box diving a few days ago and found more pics to scan in for your enjoyment. It looks like I found enough pics to post a few a day for a few days. Today's pics were taken one day outside the Night Owl Lounge in Fayetteville, NC around 1992-93. The Night Owl was a great little Biker Bar where a lot of fun stuff happened. One day you can buy me a few beers and I'll tell you some of the stories.

Front and Center is Steve's Knucklehead. We had been working on the bike and the right tank wouldn't quit leaking so Steve said "Screw It!" and took the damn thing off. Clamping off the crossover made it all good and we went for a ride. I think his bike is where my weird perversion for upswept fishtails comes from.

Another view of the parking lot. That's Steve standing on the sidewalk.

That Sporty next to the knuck was the first chopper I ever saw with a plunger frame.

You can see the cool kick pedal clutch pedal that the bike had.

Good view of the place where the tank should have been.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Machine Tools We Had At The Southern Museum Of Flight.

A few years ago I used to volunteer at the Southern Museum of Flight here in Birmingham. It was a lot of fun and we did some great things. Unfortunately they got some new folks in charge and almost all of us volunteers ended up leaving because of issues with the new guys. Lots of things have changed there since this happened, but I still remember getting to play with all of these great machines while we were working on restorations or sneaking in a little custom chopper work on the side. I was digging for some other pics when I stumbled on these so I figured why not share them and let y'all see some of these cool toys.

This monster American Pacemaker was used in WWII to machine barrels for .50 cal. machine guns. The bed on this beast is huge. We didn't use this one much because it was basically overkill for most of our projects.

Here's another view of the beast.

I never got to use this one so I can't tell you much about it.

Never got to use this Van Norman either.

We made some neat stuff on this one though. It's pretty cool to use these old machines instead of relying on the computer to do it all for you. CNC's are great, but the skills to do it manually need to be kept alive.

This was our workhorse. It was used by the City of Birmingham for decades and then finally donated to the museum. The bench it's on is the same one it's sat on forever.

Anotehr small lathe we used. It seemed to have issues sometimes so it didn't get used as much.

Nice big sheet metal brake. I spent WEEKS cleaning rust of the various pieces of this one before it got painted and ready to use. A lot of these machines were donated straight from a shop floor and sometimes from storage so they needed a lot of cleaning and repainting to be ready to put in the restoration shop. I hope all of these machines are still being used somewhere. It would be a shame if they ever get scrapped.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Finishing The Tank

OK, here are the rest of the pictures of Spenser making the tank.

Cutting the wood to make the buck for the bottom.

The inside of the tank so you can see how much it took to get this size and you can see how the flat area has been made to disappear.

After working the metal most of the way around the buck, it was decided that some slots needed to be cut int eh area with the tight curve to make it shrink properly.

Test fitting the bottom.

Sanding the edges.

Done and ready to have the slots and holes welded in.

After that it's time to tack it together.

Ta Da! And there you have it. After this Spenser will weld the bottom all the way around, then work on the tunnel. I may not be there when he does this, but if I am I'll take pics. I'll at least show you the finished product.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tanks For Not Being Normal!

If you've seen the GarCo blog lately you know that Spenser is making a tank for his Triumph project and you've even seen some pics. Well, I have some more pics to show you, but it'll take a day or two since I took a lot of pics of Stewie making the bottom of his tank. I'll start off with the general shots and get into the bottom of the tank tomorrow. I also tossed in some cool pics I took of Spenser welding as well.

Left is stock of course, and the right is the new creation. Not only did Spenser narrow it an inch and shorten it too, but he also used the english wheel and planishing hammer to round out the flat spot that stock Sporty tanks have where the filler neck is. Now it has a nice curve around the top. This also led him to moving the filler over.

From the front you can really see the change. Once this is all done he'll add a small tunnel to it so that it will sit right once it's on the backbone of the frame.

look at that pretty welding.

JT from the JBMFT blog stopped by. It's not often he can sneak away so it was great to see him out and about.

These pics were taken while Spenser was doing some welding. All I did to them was adjust the curves and play with the saturation. The camera did all the rest once I stumbled on the right settings. 

I really like this one. Click on these to make them large and you can really appreciate them a little better.

Playing with the aperture really can have a huge effect on how the light is captured.

Just a man and his bead of metal.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Look At The Pretty Colors!

I took these pics in two different years at the Barber's Vintage Fest. Since it's kinda cold and there isn't as much to get out and do I thought I'd share some older pics. This first set is of a bike that was in the parking area of the swap meet. All I can say is that she will NEVER lose this bike in a parking lot!

I can't be mean enough to leave you with those pictures so here's a few pics of a kick ass old Knucklehead I saw at an earlier Vintage Fest. I think you'll like this one.

Groove on that Craaaaazzyyy tank mural baby!

Vintage bike porn right there!

Look at those lines. If that's not straight out of 1970 I don't know what is!