Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday's Flashback

Some more old stuff.

Inspiration. Ed Newton's Knucklehead art from the November 1968 Choppers magazine prompted me to do the drawing below.

1969. Not bad for a 13 year old kid. This was the first time I did a color drawing of a chopper. I purposely got wacky and exaggerated the engine, frame, and forks. As for the riders, that's another story.

Mind Blower! I haven't seen this for 40 years. All my old drawings have been kept in plastic sleeves in a binder since drawn. I had no idea this sketch was on the back until I pulled the art to scan.

Foot Peg Fetish Update

I stole this recently posted photo from Chopper Dave. He has been given Randy Smith's original patterns to use. Note Randy's original "Holy Pegs" pattern. Read the comments for the previous post below for more info. Don't confuse CCE (Custom Cycle Engineering), with CCI, (Custom Chrome Inc.).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Foot Peg Fetish

At one time chopper standard equipment included: Bates headlights and seats, Wassell tanks and ribbed fenders, Flanders risers and bars, and Anderson pegs.

In order of coolness, from left to right: Anderson, Posa Fuel, Holy Pegs, and H-D. Does anybody know anything about Anderson or it's history?

Note the markings. Holy Pegs (no name). Harley's are marked H-D on tip and Made in Taiwan (boo!) inside. The Anderson's are aluminum, not sure on the center two. H-D's are heavy pot metal.

The steel mount for the Anderson above is incorrect. The threads in the original aluminum mounts tended to strip. I have two sets and both have the mounts replaced with steel units. I have saved some original aluminum ones but they need repair.

The Posa peg and the Holy peg were mismatched in a box of parts I recently bought. I have since found another Holy Peg so, now I'll look for a Posa. Posa Fuel and Lake made those (injector) slider carburetors in the 70's. I don't know who made the Holy Pegs, Custom Chrome sold and may still sell them.

Harley still sells the ones on the far right with clamps (H-D #49144-86), as a multi-fit item for engine guards/crash bars.

Unknown NOS stamped steel pegs and mounts. I once had (sold), two of these sets. One set had a flat instead of rounded tip. They have very subtle round bumps on them.

This is just a small sample of the different styles and brands out there. I've seen some very similar to Anderson but marked ETB?

Long Beach MC Swap

BS'ing with friends and vendors... Zero $.
Misc. small parts... $1.00
Finding a set of leather saddlebags in trash... Priceless

God, I love Harley parts and Long Beach! Scored a great wheel. Everything to it's left, including the muffler was free. Saddlebags just need a couple of very minor repairs. One man's trash is indeed...

The LB Swap is one of the few things I like about LA.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

L. Marvin By G. Sutherland, Celebrity Biker of the Week

I always liked Chino more than Johnny

In the Sutherland Brothers Chopper 1970 post, I showed a sketch that Gary did when we both worked at Hughes. Here's an example from 2005, of what he can do when he spends a bit more time.

Gary says he'll be sending more old photos from 1966 of the HA in Bakersfield. Some were taken at the same location as the Life magazine (1965), shots that have been circulating the blogs lately.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Bobber, not a Bobber Part 1

Bobber! From the Wingnuts M/C blog

If it's in a book it must be right. It's crap like this that's fueling the problem. Not a Bobber!

With all the new blood that has come on board there has been a fairly recent phenomenon to call all kinds of custom bikes bobbers. New blood doesn't just mean young, there are plenty of older guys that are new to this sport. It has gotten to the point that the term is now so over used that it has lost all meaning.

Where it started. After seeing racers like this, guys went home and bobbed their bikes.

To me, it's really important that the history of the sport doesn't get so distorted. I've been meaning to do a post about it because it's out of hand. It was also brought up recently on the Wingnuts M/C blog. I'm going to try to keep it simple without going into every detail of the history of cut downs, bob jobs, or choppers. There's just too much to get into for one post and I wanted to start the discussion.

So a white wall makes it a Bobber? I found this bike and others like it being marketed as a such. Stretched frame, extended forks,... too many things to even list. Not a Bobber!

Today, it seems if the front end is short, or the wheels are black, or it has a fat front tire, it's a bobber. Then, I see so called bobbers advertised like the bike above with none of those features. Now days if a bike exhibits an early or somewhat conservative form of a chopper they are wrongly being called bobbers.


The name bobber is a derivative of the term bob job. At one time It was clear what that meant. A bob job was a bike were you cut or "bobbed" the fenders or dumped the front one altogether. It was done by Class "C" racers and those who copied them. Many guys did it after the fenders or the tips were damaged. Instead of fixing that long fender (it was just going bang into something again), toss it or cut it off.

Side note: The practice of cutting off damaged fender tips continued during the chopper craze of the 60's and 70's. At that time Sportsters and early Superglides had front fenders that were much larger and whose front portion was always getting scraped or damaged. This eventually led Harley to just install smaller fenders on XL's and FX's.

So a Sporster tank, white wall, ape hangers, and black springer makes a bobber?... Not a Bobber!

A lot of guys think the term best pertains to post WWII bikes (sort of the golden years of bob jobs), and I for the most part agree with them. What's interesting is that during the later part of the 50's, the term chopper was starting to be used to describe to what many would call a bobber. Keep in mind that things were evolving and they were both terms for cutting.

I guess black wheels, forks, and bars does it... or chrome them and it's a chopper. Wrong again. Not a Bobber. Can a completely custom ground up after market bike really be called a chopper or bobber? How can you bob or chop something that never existed? Today I guess the word "style" has to be automatically inferred to the description.

Oh I get it now... red wheels white walls and flat black. Some guys call this old school. I got news for them, this lame subject was never taught. Not a Bobber!

Probably the best way to clarify what I think is a bobber and what isn't is with examples so, I'm going to do an ongoing post on the topic. The bikes I post and say are not a bobber will only be ones that I find inappropriately labeled as one.

Here's one to fight over . A nicely done new bike, with old style parts.


I know there are some gray areas. I also think you can "bob" newer bikes. Does that make it a bobber? Some call the old style "period bobbers", or "period correct". Maybe we need a new term for in-between, new, or questionable bikes. Chobber?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Monsterod T-shirts

Artwork inspired by the designs Ed Newton did for Roth. Watermark MCart is not on shirts.

A while back, I made a small number of these shirts and still have a few left. Silkscreen on 100% cotton Hanes Beefy T. XL only. $20 includes s/h anywhere in the USA. I take PayPal or other forms of payment.

I just found I have 2 size Large shirts in stock.

Click the Gallery/Store in the upper right column or contact me at:

I plan on offering some new designs (MC's), soon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Prez Rolls In

Good Luck Man!, you're going to need it.

Sutherland Brothers Chopper 1970

During my incarceration at Hughes Aircraft Co. I met my pal Gary, another illustrator in our Media Dept. While getting to know each other, he told me how he and his brother Larry had built a Knucklehead chopper from a basket case in 69.

Gary sport'in the look in 1970.

Gary sent me all these shots over 10 years ago.

Yeah, like lots of dudes, the movie Easyriders got them hopped up to do it but, they had been digging on the chopper scene for awhile. Being natives of Bakersfield CA, the Suth Bros. were exposed to outlaws on choppers who took over town on annual runs or while attending the US Fuel and Gas Championship Races at Famoso. In 1966 they went to town in the back of a Ford Ranchero on a mission to take pictures of the commotion.

Bakersfield, March 1966. Seems this outlaw didn't like his picture taken. He later flipped them off and held up a piece of broken concrete as a threat. Get a load of those springer forks!

One day at Hughes after talking about bikes, Gary started doodling during a staff meeting. After the meeting he dropped the sketch on my desk. Gary's a great artist and the drawing was done very quickly and from memory. Keep in mind that he hadn't drawn a chopper in over 25 years.

I hung on to the staff meeting drawing(1992). It shows how good Gary's memory was. I like that he wrote "Avon" on the front tire.

Gary says he'll dig up some more stuff to share.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Single Loop Bike 1972

More Black and White Art.

I did this art not long after seeing the Ed Newton art of the last post. Since Ed's art was in the Sept. 72 Big Bike, it helps me put a date on this drawing.

The influence of Ed Newton's art is clear in this piece. I remember deciding not to take it serious and to just have fun drawing it as sort of a cartoon. I knew that his legs were too long but, what the heck?, keep going. It ended up having kind of a Robert Crumb feel to it.

At that time, Custom Chopper magazine was featuring a bunch of single loop (VL style), frame bikes from northern California. Some other signs of the times: dual Posa injectors (slide carbs), and highway pegs.

I was and still am a fan of the big flathead.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ed Newton, Art Hero 2

We're on a black and white art roll.

Another by Newt. In my book, he's The King of Line Art! I love that the whole ad was hand drawn with only the photos of parts and body copy dropped in. Even the name of the shop is hand lettered. You'll never see an ad done that way today.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Chopper Emergency?

Who ya gon'na call?...

24 hour service! This guy must have been a plumber.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jim Phillips

All you Thrashers know him. Even if it wasn't signed, you'd know this as Jim Phillips art.

Jim wasn't a Hero of mine only because I hadn't seen much his work. I only knew of him from a few samples of his chopper ad art, mostly The Fiberglass Works. I was in to skateboards at a very young age but, that was before his fame in that genre. I rediscovered him (bought the book), a few years ago and his work blew me away.

Monday, January 12, 2009

HNY on ze road 09

Marc Cluzet sent this fun art today. I've been meaning to do some Rothesque Alien art myself.

Thanks Marc!


For Reading MC art.

Monday Magazine Madness

I was digging through one of my magazine boxes while doing research for the Trick Trike post and thought, while they were out, I'd shoot them.

What's left of my Big Bike collection. A few have mysteriously disappeared?

Big Bike was cool for only about 1 1/2 years. You can generally spot the good issues by the early logo. The new publisher changed the logo, the art direction, the type of bikes featured, and it went downhill. Last one I bought was Sept. 72. Joe Teresi (the technical editor), split along with some others to start Easyriders in 71.

The Street Choppers in the middle row are the weakest. I had every issue from 73 to 80 but, tossed most of them 25 years ago because they just plain sucked. From that period, I only kept the ones that featured something cool. All the ones I have from 70 and 71 are all really cool.

By the mid seventies, the bikes and the art direction of the all the magazines started to tank. When Big Bike and Street Chopper started to decline, I dug Custom Chopper for a short time. Eventually they all started to feature too many Hondas for my taste.

One for Chopper Dave: Cool bikes and a civilian T-33. I believe it was Tom Mc Mullen's jet. (Tom died in a plane crash in 1995). This is a perfect example of the period. The only thing cool about this issue was the cover so, I ripped it off. Boxes of magazines take too much space and I didn't care to read about Honda 4 turbos or Kawasaki Mach III's.

I also have 9 of the small digest sized Roth's Choppers Magazines, some old Easyriders, and also a bunch of pre-LFP Supercycles. In the future, I'll post cool stuff from all of them.


was one of those days that yells, Go For a Ride! The temps were around 80 and the air was clean and clear. My wife and I took our usual head clearing jaunt around the Palos Verdes peninsula. I immediately knew it was a mistake that I didn't take my camera. The hillsides were green, the sun was bouncing off the Pacific, Catalina was clearly visible and you could easily see the channel islands. Also, we rolled through all but one traffic light. A rare day indeed.

Some rides are, or contain, what I call Golden Moments, when everything just feels right.

At the end of the day when I was closing up shop, the bike was posed in a way that said, take a shot.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

AEE Trick Trike Art

Here's the tale of my first publish artworks.

Three's a crowd? Both of these trikes were three seaters. Trikes were popular at the time. The Big Twin and Three Wheeler were successful show bikes. I was a big fan of both and a few other bikes AEE had built.

Tom Mc Mullen of AEE and Street Chopper Magazine had built some cool show winning trikes like the Corvair powered Three Wheeler and the Big Twin so, I guess they thought to take another wack at it with the Trick Trike.

In the early seventies I bought every Street Chopper I could get my mitts on but, over the years I lost or tossed some. From the ones I still have, it appears that they first announced the Trick Trike project in the December 1971 (now lost), issue along with a contest for readers to sketch how it should look. The contest winner would get a free 1 year subscription.

Since magazines come out a month ahead, it leads me to believe I drew up my first concept around the time of my 16th birthday in late November or early December 71.

Here's the preliminary sketch for the art I submitted. Like many roughs, I like it better than the finished art.

The Feb.72 issue had an article on the trike build (no readers sketches), and the basic shape of the trike was now clearly shown as wedge shaped.

In those days magazines production could sometimes run as much as 5-6 months behind publication and I checked the newsstand every month to see if my drawing made it in.

I was pretty jazzed when my first drawing finally showed up in the June 72 issue.

Here's how the art was presented in the June 72 issue. The other two somewhat more professional looking pieces were submitted by a reader named Bob Wise.

How about those tires... What was I thinking?

By the time my first concept was published it was no secret that the trike was wedge shaped, they were showing details of components, and they were still asking for submissions so, I figured why not give it another shot.

Sketches for the second submission. The one in the lower right is the one I chose to develop and send. Notice the crossed out drawing at the top. It puzzles me cause it looks just like the finished trike.

Again, I wondered for several months what the outcome would be. Then, without any notice, I found I had won the contest after seeing the Feb.73 issue.

Feb. 73 cover. Square and long was in. At least that's what they were pushing.

The magazine layout featuring my art. I won but, was disappointed how the real trike turned out.

This was news to me!

If you ask me, my design had more style. The wild paint with stars and planets are a prelude to my later interest in space and astronomy.

Motorized doorstop? The trike was an interesting build but a visual flop. The only view that sort of works is from the rear.

No one ever contacted me but, the magazines started showing up every month and continued well after the first year ended. I guess my name ended up on some kind of comp list as they kept on coming until Feb. 1980! By that time the magazine had long become pretty sucky anyway. For the most part I only kept the cooler 1970-72 issues.

Different angle but, the same design as the one I sent.

Mystery sketch. I can't remember if this was done before or after the magazine came out? I'm sure it was after and I was trying to see if it would look better with flames?

I may have scored but, on AEE's third strike at building a trike, I think they struck out.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm Back and...

will be posting new stuff ASAP.

This months header is a combination of two old works. The father time background is a lithograph I etched on limestone and printed in 1977. The cherub/baby on the antique motorcycle is from a Valentine's card I made for my wife in 1997. Both were modified and combined with Photoshop.

Irish Rich emailed me about some art that appeared in Street Chopper magazine in 72 and 73. He ran across them while doing some research and wondered if I was the same artist that did them. I had already planned on one day posting the art but, now feel prompted to get to it. Look for it later tonight or tomorrow.

My goal for 2009 is to make this one of the more entertaining MotorCycle related blogs out there... also, LETS HEAR FROM YOU! Be sure to send me an email or comment on a post.