Monday, April 14, 2014


The Close Cousins post got Jeff from the Knucklebuster 1939 blog nostalgic about his 1971 Elizabeth NJ police bike.
Jeff the day he drug it home. Circa 1981.
 I've never seen an 'old' police special with all black fenders. Usually black and white or all white. 

Seems like the right time to finally post Dr.Sprocket's cop bike.
The Doctor told me he was building this 1967 Harley at last year's Born-Free. 

Like minds think alike. Notice I didn't say great.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Spring's Wretched Header

I like the way this art turned out, so it will likely serve as the header until June. 
I did the line art about two years ago. Here's how it came about.

Hey Chris,
Jeff leighton here. We talked at the swap meet about you drawing something for a friend and I for a little project we are doing. I would like it to be cartoony like the old roth decals but at the same time very apparently Dave and I and our bikes. I have included pics of the bikes and us. There are 2 pics of Dave riding his south bay style knucklehead. We would like him riding it with afro blowing in the wind and everything. I also sent 2 pics one is of my 1938 UL flathead chopper, I would like the drawing to be of me riding that bike, the other pic is of me riding the knucklehead. I sent that because I would like the drawing to be me looking the way I do in the picture. black beanie sun glasses and black gloves. The name of our company thing is, " The Wretched Hive" so we would like that to be big on it also.

 Take these two guys...

 on these two bikes...

make it look sort of like this...

and you get this.

It turned out to be one of my all time favorites. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Close Cousins

Whenever I see my buddy Larry's '65 it reminds me of my '70.
5 years of change. If not for a few accessories, they would look even more alike. 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Born Loser Garage Party

Here's some photos from last Saturday's Born-Free-Loser Machine Garage Co. Party. 

Although this set of photos may not completely convey it, the word of the day seemed to be Panheads.

The cool thing about events like this is the diversity of styles. 
While the paint is a bit much, it's nice to see something different!

Nice Knuck. I wonder if he realizes just how rare that XLH/K-model rear fender is? Sporster guys would kill for it.

Yes this 1934 VL was ridden in.

Three seats for two.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Patiently Waiting

I don't even want to say how long I've been collecting parts for my 45 project. It always gets pushed aside. 
 The Finned Mushroom.
45's are one of the coolest looking motors.

Too Many Projects, Too Many Things to Do.

Monday, March 3, 2014

This Month's Header... maybe it's a stretch?

A little bit ago I saw this Classic Knucklehead on the LoserRules blog... 
 ...which immediately made me think of...
 ...this art, which I've always loved!...
...which made me Photoshop this.

Monday, February 10, 2014

It's a Frame Up!

 Some owners think it can never say Harley-Davidson quite enough times on their bike. I tend to not fall into that camp. One part or area that tends to go this way is the license plate frame, especially since the dealer's frame will usually have some sort of H-D logo on it.
This cool frame (from a cool dealer), was on my first bike when I bought it. I'm sure there's a lot of riders unaware that there was ever a Long Beach H-D.
Not too long before they closed, they were handing out freebies which included this not so cool plastic frame.
A somewhat typical modern era dealers frame with some razzle dazzle.
Another long forgotten dealer. Before Harbor City Harley (now California Harley), Lomita Harley was the south bay's dealer. 
Plain frames are much more my style. I had to make it since the old black plates are larger.
I usually don't go for this sort of thing, but it's kind of cool in solid brass with patina. This was an official licensed product (yes, made in Taiwan). It may be fairly rare since it appears the design was altered in the name of safety, as shown below. 
No more wing tips to catch on stuff... like your leg. Does H-D even still offer this one?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Last Week's LBSM

Unless I'm out of town, I go to every Long Beach MotorCycle Swap Meet. For awhile I was always taking a camera, but haven't done that for about 2 years.

That said, here's the only things I noticed that were pixel worthy.... or at least the first four were.
 This nice Knuck belongs to Flathead Fern' son. Sorry I forgot his name. In person, it looks more root beer in color.

Ratty chops seem to be more popular than ever.

 Found at the Cycle Zombies space. Is that Big Scott's latest?

 Another nice Knuck, but to me, the pipes look unfinished.

 I didn't know the circus was in town. 
It reminds me of a cartoon I once saw on a blog.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Bob Hall Built

I don't know too much about Bob other than he built some pretty cool choppers and was once a partner at U.S. Motorcycles in Lynwood, Ca. I do know, that like Dick Allen, Bob tended to lean towards progressive performance based choppers with features such as mag wheels, belt drives, collector exhaust, braided lines, custom forks, tanks, and frames.
I ran across Denny Cukr's bike in an old Street Chopper. Amongst other things, it has a Bob Hall semi-drop seat frame. It's one of the only aftermarket frames I ever liked. I'd been meaning to post it, then found the scan below on the LoserRules blog from the same article.
When I get the chance, I'll dig up some other Bob Hall bikes.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

South Bay Sporty

I featured Tom Endres' Shovelhead last September. Here's his very special Sportster.   
 This bike has some real South Bay heritage. It once belonged to Ramon Noriega, Fats brother.
Photo: Karen Derby photography.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Year's Header Redux

This New Year's Header is based on the ones I did for Jan. and Feb. 2012. I couldn't resist taking a bit from both and changing it some to reflect what's currently going on with Steve Sharp's rebuild of the Joe Hurst/Dick Allen chrome frame chopper. All three version are presented for your comparison. 
These two (above and below), are amongst my favorite headers.
By the way... for some reason the blog's headers at the top of the page haven't been loading with the same color and contrast as they should for the last several month's. Google, please fix this!

Also, sorry for the lack of posts. I was out of town for quite awhile and then had a hard time getting back to the old routine.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Adoration of Potential

There is a phenomenon that has come to past in the last 20 years or so. It's a phenomenon I call 'The Adoration of Potential'. This is the phenomenon of the potential being appreciated for it's own sake thus becoming the end instead of the means. For example. At one time it was only considered cool to have a full blown completely polished and custom painted chopper or hot rod. Then as works in progress and rats started turning up more and more at events, slowly but surely, rough cars and bikes (primer, bare metal customs, and survivors), became admired for what they could become. Or to put it another way, seeing the 'Beauty in the Beast'.

Mix in the emotions of nostalgia that creep in as one gets older and you develop an 'adoration' for the things you once admired solely as potential. Now a days, all kinds of old beaters fall into this kind of adoration. 

For me, this occurred in the form of a growing appreciating of old Harleys and since many a custom was born from them, especially old police Harleys. Factor in, when I was young, sometimes the only Harley you might see on any given day would be a police bike.  Then in 1975 I myself went to the CHP to bid on some cop bikes with the intention of building a chopper.
From Choppers Magazine. Roth's 'Oink' likely came from this adventure. Big Bike magazine also did it's own feature on buying police bikes.
Who among us doesn't dig this old dog?

So now I have a thing for old cop bikes (especially the basic blacked out versions as shown), and have collected the parts to one day put my FL Panhead back to it's believed police origins.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Rooting for the Underdog

When I was young and first getting into choppers, I thought, for economic reasons, a 45 would be a good way to go. Flipping through the magazines of the day, besides trikes, you almost never saw any. This only added to their mystery making me like them even more.
One of the few good 45 choppers featured in a magazine. Roth's (Choppers Magazine).

I came to find out they were considered under powered, but being the underdog, they continued to charm me. Plus aesthetically, I really dig the little flathead. It probably doesn't hurt that my earliest (distinct), memory of a chopper was a 45.