Thursday, December 27, 2012

What A Happy Yule And A Merry Christmas!

Well, we've survived another end of the world doomsday prophesy and another Yule/Christmas season. So far I've had a great time with family and friends. I mostly got photography or Batman type presents from the family (yeah I refuse to grow up). The only really bike related present I got was a new welder from my Boss at work. It's great to work for such a generous person who really supports what I'm doing with the chopper building, photography and blog/magazine stuff. It's even better to have a wonderful Wife and family who get me and are willing to buy me the stuff I actually want and need to keep doing what I do with the blog and other picture projects.

My new Lincoln Electric MIG/Flux core welder. I need to get a bottle for it so I can start to do some decent looking welds.

For a while now I've been looking for an oil tank for the Flyrite Sporty. I have a great looking tank from Spitfire, but it won't fit with the upswept fishtails and anyone who knows me will tell you that I gotta have my fishtails. I searched all over the swap meet at Barber's Vintage Festival and at the Bama Swap & Drag as well. No one had one that would fit.  I had just about given up and was going to get one made, but it turns out that when you know good people things happen for you. It turns out that Jeremy at Hate City Customs in Atlanta knew a guy who knows a guy or something like that. Anyway he found me what looks to be the perfect tank. To make it even better he enlisted Roadside Marty and Ian (Americana Speed Shop) to help him sneak the tank over to me and make a present out of it. I can't tell you how lucky I am to have great people in my life. I am constantly reminded of this every time I really need something and one of these guys comes through for me.  Here's some pics so you can see how it'll look.

One side of the tank. It was made for a Triumph, but will work just fine for my set up.

The other side plus some of the top. That notch is done the same way I had modified the Spitfire tank. These Sportster chopper frames are a little messed up when it comes to mounting an oil tank.

Here it is mocked up with a zip tie. I think it's going to be perfect once the mounts are moved and set up correctly.

A different angle.

More of the bike shown with it here.

One of the things that happened last week was that us Inbreds got together to share a few beers and just hang out before all the craziness tied us down. It was a little bit of a bummer that Whitey couldn't make it because of a work issue. He was for sure missed, but we'll just have to hang out some more in the near future.

Ian and Bill both making faces because they knew the flash was about to go off in their faces. I couldn't help it they had the lights turned off so that we could barely see.

Ross pondering the truth in what he has just heard.

And finally just because I can. Here is a pic of my best buddy Merlin. I saw this damn coat at the store and had to get it. Turns out that if it's cold enough he doesn't mind wearing it. I know some of y'all are laughing right now thinking of the big bad ass biker dude having a shih tzu, but I don't care, he's always been there for me when I need him and I can't say that about too many people.

Hope y'all had a great time with family and loved ones for Christmas/Yule. I know I did and I can't wait for it to warm up so we can all get back out and start having some fun of the riding persuasion.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Second Round Of Pics From The Barber's Motorsports Museum

Another round of photos from my Barber's visit. Not much to say other than I had a good time and seem to be getting a slight grasp on shooting pics strictly in manual mode.

I really like the way they display these two K models. The lighting was hell to work with though.

They built a section of boardtrack like surface to display these old race bikes.

They also made a section to look kind of like a modern track for the newer race bikes.

They're really creative with finding ways to display the bikes. When they built the museum they had it planned out so that they could add a helluva lot more bikes than they had in the old museum. They've STILL managed to run short of space. Gotta love a museum that refuses to stop growing.

A super nice old Panhead.

The Munch Mamouth. Screw Boss Hoss, these bikes were decades ahead of them. That is a car engine crammed in that bike.

My favorite stock bike. It's a '65 Electra Glide, the last year of the Pan, first year of the electric start AND the year I was born.

Bicentennial Edition Electra Glide.

Nice old Sporty, don't see many with the turtle tank anymore. I've only seen one outside of a museum.

They have a race car ON the elevator!!!!

The Sportster's daddy!

This is proof that if you REALLY want to ride you WILL find a way!! Screw snow, go ride!!!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

My Vacation Last Week.

I had to have eye surgery last Wednesday so I decided to use the vacation days I still had to take the whole week off and have a few days of fun just in case something bad happened in surgery. On Monday it was sunny and warm so I decided to head over to the Barber's Motorsports Museum and take some pictures while learning more about my new camera. Ya gotta love riding 30 miles across town in a light sweatshirt in December. If I hadn't needed to get on the Interstate for part of the ride I'd have just worn a t-shirt, it was that nice out.

So I get to the museum and got my gear out. I left my tripod on the bike since they don't allow them in the museum (people trip over them I guess). Once inside I got a big smile and started walking around. Here are some of the pics I took, I may do another post this week with even more.

I made all of the logos you see on top of these signs when I used to run the graphics dept of a trade show exhibit company.

We also made this sign too. The vinyl letters are on a piece of Plexiglas so it's hard to photograph without getting crazy shadows of the letters.

Everyone should know this bike! It's a Britten and was made in Australia. If the creator hadn't died I think this bike may have ruled the world eventually!

One of the funkiest sidecar bikes I've ever seen.

The legendary Crocker! Once again, EVERYONE should know about these bikes. If you don't, you need to educate yourself.

One of my favorite factory Sportsters. They were crap at the time, but I always dug 'em. It's an XLCR in case you don't know.

An XR750! These bikes are pure bad ass! Evel Knievel used these as his jump bikes. His were an earlier version though.

The first incarnation of the Super Glide. I never liked the boat tail, but I ALWAYS loved this paint. I almost broke down and got a twin cam when they made the anniversary model with this scheme. In case you didn't know Willie G. copied the old chopper builders and put a Sportster (XL) fork on a stripped down Electra Glide (FL) to make the Superglide (FX - get it?   FL+XL=FX!).

The beauty side.

1957 XL Sportster! The legend begins!

1965 XLCH. One of my favorite bikes in the museum. I wish they would move it so I can get better pics of it.

Another view.

And another, I TOLD you I liked it.

The XR1000, this was the successor to the XR750.

The legendary Capt. America or at least a good replica of it. Another bike that is in a hard place to photograph.

Most of you know by now, but for the curious I'll tell you. I had to have a vitrectomy and other stuff because of diabetes complications. It went well and I can almost see right again. I posted on facebook about the surgery and the first 5 replies were about me getting an eye-patch and would look like a pirate. SO me being the smart ass that I am I ran with it.......

The first pic I posted was just me with this patch and the huge wads of tape. Once I got home I took this pic and used a little photoshop magic to make my friends happy.

On Thursday I was hurting more so to take my mind off of it I went a little crazier and made this one.

I've felt a little better every day since and even went back to work today. I didn't take painkillers because I don't like them and have a high tolerance for pain anyway. One way I deal with it is to do silly stuff like this to distract myself. I hope you enjoyed this post and I'll try to do more this week.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Visit From A Brother I Haven't Seen In 20 Years

Back in 1988 I made my way over to Germany for my second overseas tour in the Army. Little did I know that it would be some the best years of my life. I was stationed on a great post (Giebelstadt Army Airfield) doing a job I loved (Crewchief on Hueys) and I bought my first Harley. Buying that bike led to me meeting some of the best people I have ever known. I was proud to become a member of the Stray Dogs MC and even though I left Germany I still proudly display my patch. One of the main people who made these years so great was John Millar of Millar Machine. Between John and his great wife Jacque us Wurzburg Stray Dogs were made to feel at home even though we were a thousand miles away. As usual when we leave duty stations we tend to lose contact with people, especially in the pre-internet age. A few years ago I managed to find a way to get back in touch with John and Jacque. That was a good day for sure, because we've managed to stay in touch since then and because of that John ended up stopping by and spending the night with us this weekend. John had to go up north to take care of some family business and his route home led him right by my house. He got here Saturday afternoon and we spent a little while catching up before Allison and I took John to the Bright Star restaurant in Bessemer for a good dinner.

After that we came back to the house where we spent more time talking ans then drank a few cold Fat Tires while watching "Preppers" and making fun of them. Finally it was time to go to sleep so we retired for the evening and got a good nights sleep. Next morning it was time for breakfast and some more talk about the old days and about what we each have been doing in the bike world. It's great to know that John still has the 1987 Lowrider that he had in Germany, it's been repainted, but has managed to roll up 180,000 miles. Don't tell me that Evos are not good motors! Eventually John had to get on the road so we said our good byes and John headed to the house. It was great to see someone so good after 20 years. I highly recommend it ;-) Hopefully it won't be 20 more years before we get to visit again and maybe next time Jacque will be with him.

Saying Good-Bye to a great friend.

Back in the old days outside Claire's Pub in Illeshiem, Germany (the Stray Dogs clubhouse more or less).

John sitting at my kitchen table looking at a frame of old pics I had on the wall.

Laughing at the "preppers".

The old pics I have on the wall from back "in the day".

John on the left playing pool with "Earl".

If you ever have the chance to catch up with old friends DO IT! It is worth every minute of it. Can't wait for the next time!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Rex's Shovel

OK, Rex has been on me for a while now about posting the pics I took of his shovelhead so here they are. Rex is one of those guys who lucks up on deals pretty regularly. As long as I've known him he's been collecting chopper parts and playing with chopped up jap bikes. He's got an old Goldwing that he chopped that will still be on the road long after all of us are just dust in a box. He finally decided to go the HD route and lucked up on the shovel for a killer price. The bike was stone stock when he got it and he's been smart enough not to mess it up. All he's done so far is to add the extended fork tubes and screw around with seats. As you can see this is a 76 Bicentennial Edition and the paint is in GREAT shape. So far the bike has been trouble free and a good runner. I hope it stays that way and I hope you like the pics I took at Raf's shop (Conte Kustoms).

The forks give it that late 60's stance.

Original paint and decal.

LONG legs right up to her.....

Rex and his ride.

Striking a pose!

The paint isn't just black, there are blue flakes mixed in with it.

The side of the tank.

Stay tuned I have more stuff to post and I hope to get it all set up while I'm off work this week.