Thursday, April 7, 2016

Loco-Motion #1

In the chopper world, mention Loco-Motion and people will usually think Dick Allen. But Loco-Motion was first a knucklehead chopper owned by Nez. He gave Dick the tank and let him use the name. Most people think it comes from a train but Joe told me the name actually comes from the 1962 song The Loco-Motion sung by Little Eva. It was co-wrote by Gerry Goffin and Carol King, yes that Carol King.
Photo of Nez on the original Loco-Motion in front of Joe Hurst's house in 1969. That kid was probably never quite the same.  photo courtesy of Joe Hurst.
Here's where it gets interesting. From what I've found, the above photo is not the record's first release cover art, but likely from a later release. It has Loco-Motion in a jumbled type similar to the way it's written on the tank, so I suppose the Nez got the idea from this cover. It does also have a train on it. An internet search will show several other versions of the cover with trains on them too, so in a round about way there is a train connection.
These are the best photos I can find of both versions of the tanks. Nez's original paint on the left (on the Vincent experiment), and Dick's on the right.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dick Allen's Time Machine/ The Chrome Frame Chronicles

I've been sitting on this photo for some time and it might just be the oldest known photo of Dick on the chrome frame. But I kind of hesitated to post it.


In Sept. 2014 Dick Allen's daughter Darcy came to visit the South Bay and brought along a scrapbook. Inside was this photo, only it wasn't exactly a photo. The original was disintegrating and too fragile to transport so Darcy brought a color photocopy. I was pretty bad with bits missing, cracks and lines everywhere, plus purple colored ribbons running through out. She let me borrow the copy to scan and later I spent many hours (off and on), restoring it the best I could.
It's pretty cool to see this early stage in this bikes development. It still retains the Sportster fork boots, alloy wheel and brake. After working on this photo so long, I wonder how many times it will be copied and re-posted all over the internet without anybody realizing what a pain it was to restore? I guess I gotta share.

A Time Machine you ask? Well, I've seen the photocopy on another site stating that it was taken in 1959. Well if it was 1959 then Dick must of had invented a Time Machine since the gas tank is from a '66 Harley Sprint. It's much more likely that the photo is, at the earliest, from 1966.
Here's a 1966 H-D Sprint for reference. 1966 also happens to be the first year for this style of bar and shield logo which is faintly visible on Dick's bike. 

Around the same time, I also scanned an original print of this now famous photo. My archives have it marked as 1967 which may be correct. I never really thought about the paint's design origins, but clearly Dick liked the basic design from the 1966 tank.

The high res scan reveals some details that are interesting to see up close.

It also revealed this message on Dick's button.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

South Bay Chopper @ LBSM

Spotted this nice South Bay Style Chopper at the swap meet last Sunday. Later, it's owner confirmed it was indeed a Fats springer.
I was sans-a-camera so Arte snapped this photo for me.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

A Reader's Tale

Chris, I've been following the blog several years now. I'm now 70 and haven't ridden for decades. Had to decide between photography and bikes in the '70's, but I still have road rash from the '60's on my arms. Got popped by cars twice, but that's another story. I rode a 53 "Tin Can" we used to call them in CT from 67-69, and then rode some more in LA in the early '70's.  First I fat bobbed it, leaving the tanks and dashboard, then after the first car hit. molded the frame, peanut tank, upsweeps, etc. This 1970 in Griffith Park with my buddy Charlie on his Turnip. 

I'm now a retired professional photographer who likes to go to shows and shoot beautiful cars and bikes. -Andy Adler

Friday, September 18, 2015

The Grass is Always Greener...

...with a chopper on it.

It's been awhile since I've posted anything and even longer since it's been something from Joe Hurst.
Joe's Green Bike. I'd say this is sometime in the mid seventies. Nobody liked it cause it was green. Joe didn't care.
This is the only other photo I've seen of it. It was posted back in July 2011. Now you don't have to look it up.

Monday, August 17, 2015

More from Angel Marc

Here's some more images courtesy of Angel Marc.
Marc's Panhead build circa late '60s. It featured molding and paint by Nez along with one of the first sets of Randy Smith's Finned Dishpans.

Marc first built his '46 Knucklehead in 1973. Here's how it looked in the late '80s. Marc says it still looks pretty much the same today.

Be sure to click here to see all of Marc's great South Bay Originals stuff!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Born-Free 7 Part 6 Not Just Choppers

Here it is August and I'm still posting Born-Free 7.

While Born-Free is predominately a vintage chopper venue, there is always a good showing of vintage, racing and other styles of customs. Not to mention artistic types of various crafts hocking their wares.
This 1935 VD sports a 101 cu. in. engine along with a mix of parts from later machines. Fenders and battery box: Super-Glide. Front wheel/brake assembly: 1970 Triumph. 4-speed rachet top trans. Keihin Carb and dual WL mufflers to name a few. It all blends together rather well.

A really clean 1969 Electra-Glide with a decade later seat.

I'm always charmed by vintage stock Sportsters. This XLCH being from 1967.  I saw on Born-Free's Instagram page that it was stolen about a week later in LA.  F'ing thiefs!... are lurking among us. 

Alan Luke Vaughn's art seemed very popular with the crowd. He's been an illustrator for Easyriders for quite some time.

I had a long conversaion with artist Jack Knight (in black). You might know him from his many illustrations in Supercycle magazines in the eighties. No, that is not me in red.

Cool '56

This racy custom's size is very deceiving. The Twin-Cam's engine large size plus the oversized (26''?), wheels make it hard to tell just how HUGE this bike is in a photo. My problem with it is, it's most likely to be all show and no go with those treadless tires and antique suspension. To me that's kind of a waste of such a finely hopped-up and customized engine. 

On the other hand this tastefully done new Harley 750 custom looks like it's ready to GO!

A somewhat unusual high tech chopper-digger custom. I'm not too keen on hard-edge tanks and square fenders, but overall it's an interesting, creative, and finely built machine.

Is it just me or does the left side come off  better than the right? It could just be the kickstand-lean induced stance.

While I've never really been a fan of Arlen Ness's bikes, his Ness-tique was a bit of an exception. It might have been responsible for a trend of antique-styled Sportster based customs in the late eighties/early nineties. Some companies sold complete kits (less engine), and even offered antique-style side-cars as an option. 
Tiller Bars & Top O' the Tank.

With only a few fairly simple mods, this sport style FX comes off rather well. Other than the custom tank and fender it's mostly a bolt on affair.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Born-Free 7 Part 4 Out and About

More bikes from the general show
Chrome Frame Inspiration for Joe


Nice modern (Shovelhead), Bob Job. 

Tight Knuckle?! Sportster.

Tight Triumph.

Guys are still building Geese.

Modern take on a Goose.

Clean Machine. 

Gary Hetrick's old chopper. Except for the seat and the totally inappropriate ape hangers, it's pretty much intact as featured in Supercycle. I liked it much better as first featured in Street Chopper with a the springer, front mag, dual lights and pullbacks as seen below.

Coincidentally it was used as one of those big photos where you poke your head through for photos. Why it was made into a fictitious cover is a mystery to me. The original cover on the right was lifted from Irish Rich's blog. BTW, Street Chopper never cost 35 cents.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Born-Free 7 Part 3

Here's a collection of bikes from the show. Some of of these are from sort of a VIP corral of bikes belonging to friends of the promoters. A few of them are related to the Show Class-People's Champ venue, and a few others are from exhibitors/vendors.

Mike Davis exhibited some of his own machinery.  If you throw a bike party like this, who's going to say you can't show your own bikes?

Classic Panhead Chopper.

Classic Knucklehead Chopper.

Cool Gooseneck Flathead.

Clean Shovelhead Chop.
Looks like the S&S aircleaner shrunk in the laundry. 

You don't see many 45's at Born-Free, especially given the complete show bike treatment. This one appears to be stuffed into a vintageTriumph frame and retains the Brit's transmission.

Copper Bear?

One Crazy Engraved Knucklehead. The details are amazing.

Ryan of the Vintage Dreams blog, specialty is resurrecting vintage choppers. Lately he's scored a few of Dean Lanza's frames and bikes. How he found them is a mystery... 
...his blog can be found in the side column.
Ryan's rebuild of Dean Lanza's Quicksilver. It recieved the Mooneyes Best of Show award.

More to Come...