Friday, January 29, 2010

Studs Don't Last Long?

There's several jokes in there. You think they were going for a Peter Fonda look?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

This Tank's for You, or....

Older Budweiser

Spotted at he Long Beach swap on Sunday. The detail was excellent. The bottom copy says, "Bogus data by Dave at the Crazy Painters". Some of you may have heard of them.

Monday, January 18, 2010

BiG BiKE #1, Part 3 The Daily Trike

A lot of dudes hate trikes and I understand some of their reasons, but there was a time when they were very popular.

I was just a kid when this scene was taking place and I was really into trikes. One guy that was a big proponent of them was Ed Roth. Roth's trikes were some of my favorites and still are, but one of the my all time favorites from this period was this trike built by Jim Breo.

It's just right. Anyone into vintage choppers has to love the look of this trike.

Just before or right after this was published, I witnessed this trike tooling down the Ventura Freeway from the back seat of my parents car. I forget the exact timing, but the trike itself, was permanently etched into my young impressionable brain.

This shot really shows off how tasteful and well proportioned this trike is. Are "Indy" type tires still available today? Again, can you believe what you could build for $800 back then?

Contrary to what the upper caption says, Servi-Cars are essentially rigid, those rear springs don't do much more than cushion the rear seat.

Too many trikes had poorly executed back seats or boxes. For some reason, the wooden office chair fits nicely with the bare bones chopper look. The Ripple label reminds me of the days when Annie Green Springs and I, would go over to Boone's Farm for a good time,... but that's another story.

Super-swoopy is right. This is one nice photo of a 45 engine. I could stare at it all day.

Circa 1970. I was so jazzed by this trike that I made my own version by cutting up a Revell CHP Shovelhead model and making it a 45 flathead trike. This shot was an attempt to make it look real. I still have this model, but in it's later guise which was inspired by Roth's Mail Box.

Friday, January 15, 2010

It Lives!

or Stu's Wild Ride!

The owner builder of the
Way Too Much (my title), extreme Sportster chopper emailed me and sent some photos.

Proof that it's ridden. From the front, although extreme, it doesn't look that crazy. Looks sort of like a Dave Mann painting.

Hello, It is nice to see someone appreciates my effort and posted a picture. The picture you have is from the “Reading Public Museum “ exhibit. On display for five and half months along with fifty other bikes.

I built it from parts saved over the years. 17” 5 spoke front wheel, 22” over springer, 32” ape-hangers, triangle headlight, 2 gallon prism tank, 1968 Ironhead-kick only, custom velocity stacks, custom iron cross oil tank, custom seat-sissy bar with devils tail, exhaust pipes, carriage tail light, 16” 5 spoke rear wheel.

Outside the Reading Museum. No Fat Chicks! Stu says, "there's roughly a 120 pound weight limit on the rider because the seat is behind the rear axle".

Stu and his creation. Until seen with a person, being ridden, or two up, it was a little hard to get a complete sense of the bike's size or scale.

I have been in several eastern states with it, given thousands of rides to all ages who although they loved the thrill, were happy to get off quickly. The seat has steel and wood inter- structure with a thin leather covering so it doesn't collapse down on me. From the ground to the tip of the pipes is 6’-8”. I have ridden over 3,000 miles in five years with it, been in several magazines, and won a lot of “best of shows-or first places”. Always a crowd pleaser, and with the right female perched up top will just about shut down anything else going on when it rolls in. It is one of eight I rotate through, five Harleys, two Triumphs, and I just finished a 750 Suzuki GSXR in a chopper frame, 300 x 18 rear tire, 21” front, 15” over tubes, custom everything. Hope your weather is nicer than the COLD/SNOW we have going on here in Pa. Later…Stu

What were the chances of him seeing my post? Perhaps more people are reading this blog than I thought.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dave Willardson H-D Tank Art

Dave Willardson and Charles White III were friends and illustrators who teamed up at one time. They both played a big part in the revival of the airbrush for use in illustrations during the '70's. If you 're old enough, you may have had an album or two featuring their cover art. In 1980 they did 4 illustrations including the cover for the Harley brochure. Dave later went to work for Disney doing all the movie posters for their animated movies. He may still work for Disney.

The above art by Dave Willardson, one of the cooler illustrations from the 1980 H-D Brochure. These were the good old days. It's tough being an illustrator now. Today, almost nobody uses illustrations for music CD's, movie posters, print ads or brochures.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Way Too Much

The handle bars... extreme. The pipes, sissy bar, and velocity stacks... over the top... but,... that seat!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

BiG BiKE #1 Part 2 Bad Banana

I've seen a few images of this bike posted here and there but, here's the whole damn feature.

Keeping it simple and classic. You really can't build a nicer bike than this. This color shot is printed on the page preceding the feature.

1969 and already considered as done like "the good old days".

Nice shot/stance. Note that the copy states, styled as a perfect "1960" chopper. The term bobber was not, and really should not be used for bikes like this. Some might prefer a side mounted light and plate and although the caption implies otherwise, side mounts were run well before 1960.

The copy shouldn't say "74" in regards to the "XA" springer. My guess, they're referring to it as having a 1" stem thus fitting a "74" . Back then "74" was commonly used to mean big twin. Interesting how XA forks were considered rare even back then. It was a lot tougher to find parts before the internet. Hell, in 69 there probably wasn't a decent MC swap meet anywhere.

Do you really think you could do better? That's a 20" wheel up front. I've only heard mention of one since then, and I think it was on the Born Loser blog.

Check how nicely the tanks have been axed to fit.

The copy mentions the dilemma of the 20" tire. (Note: a 21" is not mentioned as a replacement as they were beginning to be considered a bit "out" in '69). The bike is so well balanced that a 19" might be too small and a 21" too big. That said, I'd probably opt for the 21". It's hard to think that $1,700 was considered a lot of bread.

From the David Mann Chopper Fest of several years ago. I see several differences, so I'd say it was inspired by, but not the same bike. Behind the bike there appears to be framed pages from a magazine feature. Anybody know the story on this bike?

BiG BiKE Magazine #1 Part 1

In an effort to make this one of the more interesting blogs, I try posting stuff that you just don't see everywhere else. I have a lot of old material and try to post it when I find time. I planned on posting some bikes from my collection of early Big Bike magazines, when a reader emailed me asking that I do just that.

Those early issues (69-late 70), were the best and there's probably no better place to start than with issue number 1.

I can't tell you how excited I was when I found this magazine on the newsstand of a drugstore in July of 1969. (magazines come out a month early).

Note: Joe Teresi (later of Easyriders) was the Technical Editor.

Before I post the first bike feature, keep in mind a few things:
1. I didn't want to damage the spine on a precious 40 year old magazine by smashing it flat on the scanner so, I took pictures with a camera.
2. These old magazines didn't always have the best photo or print quality.
3. I Photoshop each page adjusting for distortion, exposure, flaws, etc.
4. If you hate my watermark on the images (I'll try not to make them too distracting), remember, I spend a lot of time on each image only to find that they sometimes get posted on other bogs without credit.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

St Chopper Jan.'72

The look 38 years ago. Great issue, all Sporties. I want to go to there.

This Month's Header

Can you believe it's January 2010?

Hasta la vista, baby... make that, old fella. Careful hot shot, don't disrespect your elders. You're gonna find yourself in this same predicament 12 months from now.

Have a good one!