Mar 232011
 

Press Release:

 

 

An AP photographer captured this image of a Japanese man recovering his custom 1950s Harley-Davidson motorcycle, which was washed away with his home in the earthquake and tsunami. To assist in the disaster relief efforts, the Harley-Davidson Foundation has made a 0,000 donation through the Red Cross. Follow the link to see the image and get info on how you can join us in supporting the relief efforts in Japan.

If you would like to support the disaster relief efforts in Japan, please visit the Red Cross website to make a donation,http://rdcrss.org/eys4CP

Steve Garn, Custom Bikes, and the Panhead That Tried To Kill Me. Part IV

 American Motorcycle, ArtBiker's Thoughts, Build Your Own, Harley-Davidson, Uncategorized  Comments Off on Steve Garn, Custom Bikes, and the Panhead That Tried To Kill Me. Part IV
Jun 232010
 

So there I was, just minding my own business…

What else would you be doing?

Exactly…

So there I was, my good friend Steve had the Panhead in his shop, he had been named Old School Bike Builder of the Year, he had discovered that the engine, although chock full of high priced new parts, had been put together by some animal that lacked opposable thumbs, and a total rebuild was needed and performed flawlessly.

Now attention could be turned to the frame and tins.  For a little while anyway.

The sheet metal was going to be tweaked a bit to better fit the bike and then get a nice new coat of paint.  The frame, tabs, and other broken and battered bits were going to be sandblasted and repaired before going in for a nice bake in the ol’ powder coating oven.  And there were to be a couple other minor changes… new pipes, some black instead of chrome, and a sprung seat to replace the kick-ass (take that literally) frame mounted beauty that was already on her.

The first order of business would be the front fender.  I was hoping that Steve could drop it down about an inch, and this he was able to do with a little grinding and re-welding.  Take a look below at the before and after pics… looks good right?

Next we had to deal with that seat.  Again, I cannot express enough how awesome the existing seat was… it looked badass and really felt great.  Well, that is until you got your feat up on the boards and your weight down on your tailbone.  You see, the seam of the seat hit me exactly where my tailbone is and for anyone who has ever bruised or in some other way damaged a coccyx… it ain’t no fun!

Steve tried a few seats on her before he finally settled on making a pan himself.  The seat pans that were available just didn’t quite fit the body of the bike and there was not enough of a turned up tail section to satisfy.  So, Brew attacked a sheet of steel and after a little bed lining finish, ended up with what you see here.  (Note that I do intend to cover this seat with a nice little leather number.  I have been practicing my leather tooling skills so that I can do it all myself).

Moving right along to the back end of the bike, it was time to lower the rear fender.  After hours of adjusting, it became obvious that the original fender was just not going to work.  It had been stretched out and no longer hugged the curve of the tire.  Perhaps this should have been a sign of what was to come later on in the project… Ohhhh!!! Insert sense of foreboding here…

So, the original tin was out and an aftermarket re-pop was in.  Yes, we were both a bit bothered by this at first as we wanted everything to be as original as possible, but hey, the engine was made up of parts from like 20 years of machining, why can’t the tins be a mish-mash of pieces made at different times and in different factories?  Truth be told… most folks would never know the difference, it is still real steel, and hell, it will be a lot easier to prep for paint!

Speaking of paint… the front fender is done, seat in place, and rear fender all squared away.  Time for the custom sissy bar action and the protective rack to preserve the paint job on the rear fender.  Now when I had come up with this idea, it was actually a two-part item.  However, that was either lost in translation or modified by the artist putting this little baby together.

You see, my first thought was that I was going to be strapping my bag to the sissybar on a daily basis (yes, this is to be my daily driver), and that the paint would soon be worn away by the underside of various camera bags and other crap strapped down.  So, my answer to this problem was the suggestion that we weld some round bar to the fender to create a kind of built in luggage rack.  My idea would have had the rack act as a decorative element that would then hold the bags off the actual surface of the fender… thus keeping the paint in good repair.

That is not what Steve made.  No, we had talked about the sissybar in the past and he knew that I needed some kind of plate on there to strap bungees too so that my stuff wouldn’t just creep its way off the bar and land somewhere on the side of the road.  So he started with the plate and ended up taking the luggage rack idea literally.

Now, where I used to have a “girlfriend” seat, I now have a luggage rack. It looks a little different, and was not what I had originally intended, but I think it is pretty freakin’ awesome.  In fact, I know I will feel much better about strapping my camera equipment to this than if the rack ran the other way off the back of the bike.   Plus, I think I can still throw some saddlebags over the tin, and use the bar to secure them in place.  Pretty cool actually.

At this point the tins were about ready to go for paint and the frame and major components were ready for the oven.  The powder coating would prove to be an easy job, but the paint.  The paint was another story.

But worse than any paint problems that could arise was the fact that Steve was about to meet his maker.  No, not in a good way… Brew was about to survive something that very few ever survive and while it would take its toll on him, he would plug away at the Pan whenever he could.

And that is good enough for now.  Why don’t you take a breather and read about his experience… if you weld, the info you read could very well save YOUR life.

Love, Respect, and Breathe Easy,

ArtBiker

May 252010
 

It seems that every time I turn around I am faced with another cancer story.  The Big C seems to run rampant and it is something I only realized about 10 years ago.  Now perhaps it is the fact that I am about to turn 40 and am entering the realm where the disease rears its ugly head, or maybe it is because I was made acutely aware of the effects of cancer when I had my own battle with the disease in 2002.  I was diagnosed in 2001 and quickly went into surgery to remove what they could and then sent in for radiation treatments to get rid of the rest.  I am “lucky” in that my cancer was treatable.  I do remember promising myself a new Harley when I “kicked this thing.”

Well, I kept that promise to myself and I can’t help but think that giving myself something to work for, a reward of sorts helped me to hold it together during that year of treatments.  I am reminded of the story about a young man who was diagnosed with cancer.  He decided to not get treatment, but rather bought a Harley and travelled the USA.  When he finally came home, he was in remission.  It is funny how doing something you love can help you.

Anyway, I was checking some blogs today and came across an article about a man who has been having success with his own battle and now he is going to hit the road on his Harley to raise awareness and to keep the promise to himself.

Love, Respect, and Cancer Sucks,

ArtBiker

-Ps: a very, very special shout out to my neighbor and friend Iva who is fighting her own fight.  If you would like to help her out, please visit her site to read her story and see what you might be able to do.

http://www.saveiva.org/

BY JAN JARVIS

jjarvis@star-telegram.com

No one could be more thrilled about a 15,000-mile road trip on a tricked-out Harley than Terry Purdom, 55, of Lake Worth, unless it’s his Facebook friends who can’t wait to open their homes to him.

“Such a simple act and the circumstances that led him to start this journey are similar to events that have touched the lives of many of us,” wrote Frank Downs, who has invited Purdom to visit him at his home in Sacramento, Calif.

Those circumstances are the motivation for Terry’s Big Adventure, a 90-day, 15,000-mile journey that will take Purdom across 15 states and part of Canada. In 2004, Purdom was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer that attacks the plasma cells.

He didn’t have much hope of survival; he figured he had three years to live. But five years later, he’s in remission and driven to share his message with other cancer survivors: Never give up.

“This has turned out to be one big summer of hope,” Purdom said. “Hope that the next cure for cancer could be just around the corner.”

Purdom is a walking example of hope. After undergoing a stem cell transplant in 2005, he went into remission. He then started taking drugs that were not available five years ago, to keep the cancer at bay.

Although multiple myeloma is not curable, it is controllable, said Dr. Shadan Mansoor, a medical oncologist and hematologist.

Less toxic medications such as Revlimid, which Purdom takes, have allowed patients to live longer than they did a decade ago without losing their hair or becoming too fatigued to work or enjoy life, she said.

“Though there’s not a cure for the disease, there are good medications that patients can easily tolerate and that prolong their life,” Mansoor said. “I have people who have gone seven, eight, nine years, some even longer.”

A recent study of Revlimid found that the drug doubled the number of multiple myeloma patients whose disease remained in remission three years after treatment. Sixty-eight percent of those who received Revlimid were in remission compared with 35 percent of those who got a placebo.

Purdom said his diagnosis changed his life, for the better.

He had always dreamed of taking his motorcycle on the road for a long meandering trip with no schedule or time line.

“When I got cancer, I decided I needed to do that,” he said.

He sold his roadside-rescue business in January and made plans for a “dream trip.”

As he shared his dream on Facebook, the trip grew from 30 to 90 days, as cancer survivors encouraged him to make the trip and strangers invited him to stay with them.

Downs, one of Purdom’s 2,100 friends on Facebook, said the biker subculture is like a family that can count on each other from time to time. This is one of those times, he said.

As interest in Purdom’s trip grew, the route changed.

“It became a trip to wherever someone wanted to talk to me,” he said. “I see it as chance for one-on-one meetings.”

When he leaves Fort Worth on Saturday, Purdom will be escorted by more than 30 motorcyclists who will stay with him halfway to Abilene before another group will take him the rest of the way.

A camera attached to his Harley Road Glide will let Purdom snap photos and video of his trip. He also plans to blog. A GPS transmitter will continually transmit his location to a map on his website. Several sponsors, including Harley-Davidson, are helping with expenses.

In the end, he hopes to enjoy the ride and encourage cancer survivors to never give up.

“If you lose hope, you lose the battle,” he said. “Hope is what drives everything.”

Apr 222010
 

So who made the first US production motorcycle?  Harley?  No, Indian came a year before them… Indian?  No, he first US production motorcycle was the Orient-Aster, built by the Metz Company in Waltham, Massachusetts in 1898. It used an Aster engine that was a French-built copy of the DeDion-Buton.

But what about the first motorcycle ever?  Well on Aug. 30, 1885, Gottlieb Daimler patents what is generally considered to be the first true motorcycle.

Daimler, the automotive pioneer usually associated with building the world’s first successful internal combustion engine (and, subsequently, the first automobile), staked his claim in the two-wheeler world a year before developing his famous auto.

However, the idea of a motor-driven, two-wheeled vehicle did not originate with Daimler, nor was his the first such contraption to see the road.  Sylvester Roper, who spent the U.S. Civil War working in a Union armory, built a primitive “motorcycle” as early as 1867. Roper’s supporters — and he has more than a few — argue that he should be credited with building the world’s first motorcycle.

What gives credibility to Daimler’s claim of developing the first “true” motorcycle is the fact that it was gasoline-driven. Roper’s post-Civil War hog, with a tiny two-cylinder engine, was powered by steam.

Now, there is another contender in the ranks of “World’s First,” Holdebrand & Wolfmüller’s “motorrad.”  This bike was different because it satisfied three categories and can, therefore, be called the world’s first.  1.  The Motorrad was a gas-powered vehicle.  2. The Motorrad was build into it’s own frame, not a bicycle with an engine attached.   3. The Motorrad was a mass-produced, production motorcycle.

Well, now that that brief history lesson is out of the way, the world’s first “motorcycle” is going up for auction in England on Sunday. It’s a completely un-restored 1894 Holdebrand & Wolfmüller motorrad previously owned by Bill McNee, a Staten Island collector. After his death in 2007, and the death of his wife, Cornelia, in 2009, the heirs to the couple’s estate decided to auction off much of the collection. All totaled, hundreds of the rare and vintage motorcycles McNee acquired over his lifetime will be sold in the auction, which is being conducted by Bonhams.

Out of everything being auctioned off, the motorrad seems to be the item piquing the most interest. It’s estimated that between 800 – 2,000 of the models were made before Hildebrand & Wolfmüller went out of business in 1897. These early bikes were crudely made, without a clutch, starter or decent brakes. In fact, many of the people who purchased the motorrads went on to sue to get their money back from the company.

Despite all this, Bonhams expects that the bike (which doesn’t run, and will be sold “as is”) will fetch $90,000 or more at auction.

If you are a little deep in your pockets and light on financial obligations, you might just want to get in on this deal… However, I think I am going to put my money on Leno purchasing it.  Seems like something he would dig.

Love, Respect, and Antique Bikes,

ArtBiker

UPDATE:  The bike sold for $133,000

2010 V-Twin Expo Report

 Build Your Own, Motorcycle Industry News  Comments Off on 2010 V-Twin Expo Report
Feb 102010
 

Well, I missed the Easyriders V-Twin Expo yet again… I have been hoping to attend this event for a long time now and there just seems like something always gets in my way.  This year’s event was as fantastic as ever, especially if you take into consideration the economy as well as half the country experiencing travel-debilitating weather.

Friends in attendance say that they had a great time, and enjoyed all the vendors.  All the usual suspects were there and the magazine staffs from all your favorite publications were on hand to promote themselves and to cover the event.  The Limpnickie Lot Crew showed up with the much-anticipated second version of the Builder’s Manual, which has a ton of badass parts for the hip builder.  I look forward to getting my mitts on a copy.  And a ton of other amazing parts were at various booths around the center.  There was a little bit of everything to cover just about any need in the motorcycle industry.

All in all, a successful run this year.  I also hear that the Biltwell party in itself was worth the trip.  So put it on the calendar for next year.  Maybe I can finally get all the stars to align and get myself there.  Hope to see you.

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,

ArtBiker

V-Twin Awards 2010 winners.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Bruce Rossmeyer.

Industry Leader Of The Year: Holger Mohr, Custom Chrome Inc.

Bike Of The Year: Victory Crossroads.

Metric Bike Of The Year: Honda Fury.

Cruiser Of The Year: Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide.

Custom Bike Of The Year: Harley-Davidson Street Glide CVO. Performance Product Of The Year: Bassani 2 into 1 Exhaust.

Teresi Award Of The Year: RC Components RCX-Haust. Motorcycle. Frame Of The Year: Rolling Thunder Frames.

Motorcycle Design Of The Year: Lehman Trikes Victory Kingpin.

Valve Product Of The Year: Vance & Hines VO2 Air Filter.

Accessory Of The Year: Hog Tunes Tweeter Bar.

New Product Of The Year. Baker Drivetrain 4-Speed Vintage Transmissions.

Tech Product Of The Year: S&S Cycle Easy Start Cams.