Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spenser's Old Triumph And A Confederate

A year or more back Spenser had a kick ass little  Triumph that had been through about a million incarnations. Finally Stewie went ahead and sold it to finance the Shovelhead that he has today. I was lucky enough to be there the day the shipping company came by to get the bike to take it to its new owner. If you want to know more about the bike you can go to GarCo's website and dig around. There are a bunch of pics of the bike there.

I may have posted some crappy versions of these pics a while back, but I found the better versions so here they are.

Lots of nice details to be seen here if you look close enough.

What a beautiful profile.

The Man is taking her away!

Now just to take you to the opposite extreme. here are some pics of the Confederate P-120. My Boss's son was an intern there for awhile and he brought the bike by for us to see. There is a LOT of great machine work and some beautiful welds on this bike. The problem is that it is totally unrideable for most people. I lasted 30 seconds on that seat without even starting up the bike. That's what happens when your bikes are designed by art majors and not engineers or at least bike riders.
you can see some of the machine work and welds here. Nice workmanship, stupid design. The girder is a classic idea executed in a goofy way. Can you tell I'm not a fan of this bike? I really liked the Hellcat, but that's ancient history now.

The other side, just look at that seat. It's a nut crunching wedgie just waiting to happen!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Chopper Ed's Rack for Alaska!

Our buddy Chopper Ed is planning another trip to Alaska and is getting his Sportster chop ready to go. To make the trip with the gear he needs, Ed has enlisted Spenser to make a few modifications to his bike. The main one is a rack that fits over the current sissy bar and is set up to accommodate about 500 bungie straps. If you've seen Ed pack a bike before you'll know why this is a good thing. Stewie also made a small rack to go between the seat and gas tank as well as a modified headlight mount that can be flipped over for a future rack to fit where the light is now. Check out the pics and bask in the glory of the chopper turned touring bike...

The main rack, this is a work of art.

The other side. Check out the simplicity yet pure genius behind this. The rack drops over the current sissy bar, then attached to the seat mounting area and to a couple of bungs on the sissy bar itself.

The front mount at the seat springs.

Ed loves to take extra gas with him. This rack was designed for this can to have a nice comfy home.

The rack in between the seat and tank. Not sure what is supposed to be carried here, but I'm sure Ed has something in mind.

The headlight mount. The plan is to flip the light over and mount it from the top when traveling allowing a rack or bag to sit where the light is now. I'm sure I'll see the rig in action on the way to the Bastard Bash in a few weeks.
See Ya There!!!!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Even More Accolades For Bill!

It's always good to see your friends get the recognition they deserve. Bill has been riding the hell out of this bike and I'm glad to see it featured in The Horse, Spenser took the pictures and of course they are great. Go pic up the new issue and check it out. I don't want to say too much more, you need to read it for yourself.

First spread

Second Spread.

Monday, July 25, 2011

I Told You I Would Get Some Work Done!

Finally starting to LOOK like I'm making progress at least. Some people will tell you that motorcycles are optional or not that important to this lifestyle, if you see one of those folks call them out for the poser they are. Without Bikes there would be no lifestyle to live. Making a bike your own with the help of your best friends is what makes life right. Anyone with a decent job can buy a bike, not everyone can make a bike truly their own. Gotta remember though that when people help you with your bike whether it's welding on a tab, making an axle or even just giving you some parts, you need to acknowledge that help. No one can do it all by themselves, we all pitch in to help each other so that we can rack up those miles together. So with that in mind I want to thank some folks for helping me. First off, Boozer for starting this project and gathering the parts. He got off to a good start, but for whatever reason he had to let it go, the great thing is that he's more than willing to give me the background on anything he had a part in. Ed bought the pile then sold it to me for a great price and with a great deal. Larry has been invaluable on this deal, between shop space to work, letting me use the tools and supplies, helping me move the damn thing around and especially for just being a Brother. Spenser, what can I say, he's a creative genius and a damn good welder. He makes the stuff stay attached and rescues me from my own screw ups. And I gotta mention Bro. Roadside Marty, he is the supplier of the gas tank you see here. I didn't ask him for a tank, but he knew I needed one and he made it happen for me. There have been many others helping me on this one like Bill, Chopper Ed, Ian, Zoom and my favorite machinist Ross. When I am done I will do a better job with the accolades. In the meantime, check out the progress and get the hell out there and make that bike your own!

Mocked up with the fender, gas tank and the beginnings of the sissy bar. The seat belongs to Zoom, he brought it in to be used on his project, but since it is exactly what I plan to use he let me borrow it for the pics.

Looking down, better view of the seat. I've liked this style ever since I saw one on Snow's old yellow Shovelhead back in the old Ironhorse days. He put one of these on after he took the pogo seat off. (Yeah, I've been in this scene for a few years )

Making sparks, cutting the tabs to mount the fender.

Cut, grind, round, repeat!

Back in the fab room, the front of the tank is set up, the main fender mount is fabbed and the bike is starting to look like a bike .

Another view. I am really digging this beast!

Friday, July 22, 2011


What is Brotherhood? Brother is a word that gets used a lot these days, but what does it mean, at least what does it mean to Bikers and Chopper Riders from the old way of doing things? The best way I’ve found to think of it is like a knot. You have two ropes that get twisted and turned together and the tighter they are pulled the stronger the knot becomes. Some relationships are like slipknots that come apart at the slightest pull. Some are like a bowline knot that gets tighter the more it is pulled until it can’t be undone. We are the strings that make up these knots and the stronger we are the stronger our knots are.

JD Foster - (R.I.P. My Brother) One of my first civilian friends after I got out of the Army. JD and I terrorized the Southside of Birmingham for many years. I Miss You Man!

For example, the guys who are there while the party is going on will always be there for the good times, how many of them will be there when things change? Are the people you hang with the kind of people who will be there when they are truly needed or will they fade away to avoid any unpleasantness. If you have to be away, such as a military deployment or even if you’re in jail will they be the ones who go by your house to make sure your ol’ lady and kids are OK, that they have enough food and that the rent gets paid even if they have to come out of their own pocket to do it? Or will they sneak over and try to cuddle up with your sweetie while your back is turned then run off when the kids are getting evicted? Are they the kind of people that will be there with a truck if you have a wreck to get your bike to a safe place and then start working to get it back on the road before you even regain consciousness? Or will they let the bike get impounded then shrug their shoulders while you try to figure out how to scrape up the cash to get it back?

Blaine Smith and his brother Kevin (R.I.P. Brother Blaine) Blaine made the rack on the back of my Triumph as well as many other small parts with me. He was a true Brother and is greatly missed

Brotherhood is a shared bond that is built by being there for each other and either sharing the same experiences at the same time or at least having similar experiences to know what each other is feeling. The higher stress the experience the tighter the knot gets. That’s why Combat Vets are such a close knit group. Possible death or dismemberment is just about as stressful as it gets. Being there when mutual loved ones die also helps to build this bond. The examples of this bonding are too numerous to mention here but you get what I’m saying.

The Tall Longhair is Lee Brock, My Brother since the 6th grade and thankfully still around. Pic taken in the 90's when I was home on leave from Germany

Basically, Friends  will be there with you when times are good, Good Friends will be there when times are hard, Brothers will be there when it’s almost too much for a person to stand. Brothers will be there BEFORE you can ask for help, they will be there until help is no longer needed and it is a given that you will be there to do the same for them. There are very few people that I actually call Brother. I can probably count them on one hand, maybe even with a pair of mittens on. But I KNOW those people are part of my family and always will be.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tim's XL

This Sporty is owned by our buddy Tim. Tim did a lot of work on this bike but had the guys at GarCo help out with some of the stuff. The paint was done by Shane and is up to his usual standard. Which of course means no one can believe it looks this damn good with so little experience. Have I told you lately that I hate Shane :)  Not a whole lot to tell about this one because I didn't get to talk to Tim first. I catch up with him later and maybe take some cooler pics and post more info. In the meantime enjoy the pics.

Nice clean lines on this hardtailed beast.

Love the custom pipes and sissybar.

Gotta love a well chopped cam and sprocket cover. Dig on those pegs and brake pedal.

Love the tank design.

Just how many drugs do you have to do to come up with these wild patterns?

Diggin' it man!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

More Old Pics From Germany 1988-1992

I've been getting plenty of encouragement to post more old pics so here we go. All of these are from my days with the Stray Dogs MC. My Brothers & Sisters in the Club were all great people. Most of us were military, some were local riders and some were American civilians working for the Army. We all loved our bikes and rode the hell out of them. It was nothing for us to decide we need to ride a 100 miles just to get a specific brand of beer. There was a party somewhere EVERY weekend that it wasn't snowing and we went as many as we could get to. Basically the host club would set up a huge Fest Tent with food and a bar inside, usually they had a band at night as well. We would all show up and put up tents all around and commence to party. Our Club was known for us getting hammered, then one of use would ride our bikes into the bar tent with a Brother on the back to get us some more beer. The beer was sold in huge beer steins too. None of these pansy little cans you see these days. These were great times, I wish there were more parties like the BMR. It really reminds me of how it was back in Germany. Enjoy the pics, let me know if you like em and if ya do I'll keep digging em out.

My Sporty and Horse on his Shovel getting ready to head out for a party. We were outside the barracks here and I'm sure we were waiting for my g'friend to get ready since I see her helmet hanging from the rear of the bike.

Ingo wrapped in the Club flag for some drunken reason. The black band was in memory of a Brother who was an Apache pilot that was killed on a training flight. We kept the band on for a year in honor of Les R.I.P. brother.

John waiting around outside Claire's Pub waiting for everyone to arrive so we could ride out as a Club.

Me and Rosie the Pres' ol' Lady. She was great to hang out with. Yep, that's a bottle of Boone's farm in my hand and some more beer steins on the table. I have no idea who's Bud that was, must have been some FNG hangaround.

John, Horse, Horse's evil EX and then I can't remember who was on the end. Give me a break it was 22 years ago. That's longer that some of you bastards have been alive!

Our local crew hanging out in John's garage. The Club was based out of Bad Windshiem, but a bunch of us were stationed up around Wurzburg so we hung out together when we weren't with the main crew. The rest of these pics are Moochie's , but she said I could use them. Yeah, that scrawny little bastard near the left is me. That was a lot of beers ago.

Earl relaxing outside John's garage.

A dog's gonna piss on the wall you know!

At a party. You can see one of the beer steins we drank out of hanging from John's belt.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Some Progress On The Flyrite Sporty...

If you've been reading the blog you know all about this project and what happened on Saturday. I figured I'd throw some pics out there for ya. I went in to work on the bike and was able to make a little progress. My nice piece of stainless got in this week so I was ready to make a sissybar. It's been a while since I've used a torch so Boozer was helping me get it adjusted right, then helped me make the first bend for the bar. Got it close to what I wanted then took it out to test fit it. Decided I needed to bend some more before I started on the bends to get around the fender. Fired the torch up and couldn't get it to adjust, started checking and damned if we didn't run out of oxygen. Oh well, I have other stuff to work on....

The sissy bar so far. It's going to be a traditional pointed bar with the tip tilted back. I've always loved that style and want to run it on here.

So, no torch means start cutting up that beautiful oil tank I just bought. It really hurt my feelings to have to molest the craftsmanship on the tank, BUT, I needed more room to get the exhaust to work. That meant I need a notch in the tank. so I made one. Here is where I marked out my first cuts. The bottom mounting bung is in the way and had to go.

After I cut the slot and then trimmed some more to get it right.

Test fitting the tank. I had to make sure I kept the tank rotated and positioned so that I can get the cap off once the tank is mounted. Now I have to get with Spenser one evening to start filling in the hole and making the mounts. My welding skills are no where near good enough to do this tank. It's too pretty to booger up so I'm enlisting the help I need.

That's it for today. Stay tuned and I'll keep ya up to date as the bike comes together.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Saturday Was A Great Day!

Saturday started out a good day, I relaxed around the house all morning hanging out with my best buddy (my dog Merlin) then I got cleaned up and headed over to GarCo to work on the Flyrite. When I got there I saw Whitey and Larry were there and hanging out/working. Whitey tells me that he's been mooching my New Castles long enough so he got a 12 pack in the fridge and for me to go get one. Since it was only 11 and I planned to use the torches and grinders I said I'd get one in a little while. I screw around a bit getting organized to work on the bike, then we go to lunch. Had my favorite meat lovers calzone at Nino's in Pelham so even that was good. We get back to the shop and I start on my sissy bar, while I'm working Larry and Whitey keep mentioning the beer, I didn't think anything about it and kept working. After making the first bend in the sissy bar I ran out of oxygen for the torch. That sucked, but oh well I'll work on the oil tank. So I'm measuring and marking where to cut my notch to make the tank fit and still leave room for the exhaust pipe and Whitey is STILL trying to get me to have a beer. FINALLY I say OK, I guess it's O'beerthirty so I'll have one. I reach in the box and there is some kind of cloth in the way, but I  reach around it and grab me a beer. I pull it out and Whitey is grinning and asks if there was anything else in the box, I get a confused look and say "yeah". He tells me to pull it out and Lo and behold it is a Haints shirt! That's right, I'm finally a Haint and not just some bastard they let hang out with them. Needless to say I was stoked. The Haints are a great group of guys and have built a great little Co-Op to help each other out and to build a tight Brotherhood. I know this won't mean much to most of you, but I'm pretty happy about it!

My new shirt, they were out of white ink so my shirt is more subdued. Guess I'll get some white ink when I pick up some other screen printing stuff this week.

First pic with the shirt and my "official" Bro's  (L to r, Whitey,  Me, Chief Apoo, Larry & Spenser)

Ross showed up a few minutes later so we took another picture.

Then to make the day even better I was able to go by Faith Skate Supply and pick up the screen for my blog shirts. I've never done screen printing before but I'm going to give it a try. I made a couple of shirts Sat. night and they did really well for a first attempt. I had to use the iron to cure them and I got the ink too thick on one, but I'll bring the heat gun from work home and I think they''ll get better. Once I get comfortable with it I'll pick a shirt/ink color and will have them for sale to help fund my motorcycle adventures and allow me to find cool stuff for the blog.

I'd say that all in all it started as a good day and became a great one. Gods I love my life!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Wurzburg, Germany 1989, We had some Serious Fun!

It was 1989, the year I bought my first Harley. I was stationed in Geibelstadt, Germany on an old WWII airfield that was used by the Germans to test the Me262 jet fighter. They flooded the runway to help hide the place, but the British noticed the fake cows hadn't moved in a day or so in their spy pics and found the place. The village and surrounding area was liberated from the SS and the US took over the place for the Army Air Corp and then eventually as a helicopter airfield. We were even still using a lot of the old buildings built by the nazis. It's closed down now, but Geibelstadt and Wurzburg was a GREAT placed to be stationed. Hell, I got my first couple of tattoos and my Sporty while I was there so it couldn't be all bad. These pics are from before I got hooked up with the Stray Dogs MC, when I was just another independent Biker looking for a good time.

The first time I ever sat on my very own Harley Davidson. It was a 1989 883 Hugger XL. I loved this bike and put MANY miles on it. It was even stolen and returned to me. slid into a tree and repaired, basically we went through a lot.  I wish I still had it.

So new it still had the stock mufflers on it! This picture was taken at a rest area on my way to Holland for a party I was invited to. A few weeks before this I was riding around Wurzburg and saw a couple on a BMW bobber stopped looking at a map. I stopped to see if they needed help and it turns out they were from Holland and were looking for a campground on their way to Paris. I helped them out, we partied that night and a little while later I get an invitation in the mail to come to their farmhouse for their big Biker party. THAT was a great weekend. I rode up by myself since no one else could get a 4 day pass to go with me and I was the only American there. Talk about getting treated like a celebrity. . Buy me a couple of beers sometime and I'll tell you the stories.

The night before the party we put our bikes in the rear/party area of their farm house. That's Peter's BMW in the foreground. As you can see I over packed even back then. I hate needing something and not having it.

Another picture following Tattoo, Earl is in the lead and I'm sure we were heading to a bar somewhere.

We used to party and hang out at the Fortress Marienberg in Wurzburg a lot. Especially at night after the bars closed. We would park here in the courtyard and then go sit on the castle walls and drink beer or try to get cozy with whatever honey decided to ride up and party with us. The Polizei were pretty cool about it, they always told us to just make sure we cleaned up our mess. I'm sure it's not like that anymore.

The same shot as the last pic from farther away. Check out that Citroen 2CV. Those cars were so ugly they were cool.

This is a view of the castle from across the river. I would hate to have had to assault it back in the medieval days. We would sit up on those walls and talk, drink beer, snuggle on our sweeties, whatever was right at the time. Damn, I miss that place, it had a really cool vibe about it.  I didn't take this one I got it from Sundar Palaniappanand his webpage through google.

This is Tattoo and Karin having a beer at the Rock Palast (Rock Palace) bar. Karin owned a small bar in Wurzburg, but she had a thing for Tat so every once in a while we could get her out to the bigger bars with us. The Rock Palast was a great Heavy Metal bar, the walls were painted like stone castle walls, there was a 3 foot wall around the dance floor to sit on and hang out. they even had the back half of an old Cadillac to sit on a drink your beer. The bouncers and bartenders really appreciated it when us real Bikers actually showed up. They got tired of the posers in t-shirts talking about the bikes they used to have or were going to get. The stories from this place will cost you some more beer and it might take a while.

The wall of a church in downtown Wurzburg. I always thought it was cool to see the old stonework on these buildings and how they used the death iconography. The winged skull has been around for many centuries, it's not just a biker thang.

The front of the same church. Can you imagine a Southern Baptist church with a robed skeleton guarding over the door like this?

That's enough for now. I hope you like traveling down memory lane with me like this. I really enjoyed my three years in Germany. I put over 25K miles on the bike and got to see a lot of cool places. I wish I had taken all the pics I should have, but back then you had to use film and it cost money to buy it and develop the pictures. I needed the money more for beer and gas, I did manage to get some good shots though.