Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stupid-Glide Tanks

4-Sale SOLD

1984 original paint super-glide tank. Go to my parts page (MCparts), for more pics.

Origins, last of their kind.

My new favorite tanks for an FXR.

Great Looks, More Filling. H-D use to put them on touring model Sportsters in the late 70's, Roadstsers and XLS's in '79- '83. The Torrance P.D. had them on their XL's too. SOLD

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Then Came Red Neck

Now, I don't want you to get the impression that most South Bay Bikes had goose-necks. It's just that after Rich's comment in the last post I figured why not post the scooter he was talking about.

Peace dude! No it isn't Jim Bronson, but rather the late Phil Ross, and yes Gardena is one of the south bay cities. This was the first of this type of goose-necked bikes I remember seeing.

This was the cover shot for Street Chopper May 1972. I know exactly where this photo was taken as I ride around this very corner every chance I get. You can see by Lynn's big smile in all the photos that indeed the ladies like long chops.

Check out the sissy bar and seat. Thanks to Joe Hurst, there's that South Bay Swoop again. When this bike was featured Phil had an auto upholstery shop. Joe told me he use to have Phil do all his seats and loved them. After Phil gave it up, Joe said, others just didn't compare. By the rounded down tubes, you can assume the frame was a swing arm with a hard tail added. The article doesn't give credit but, Joe also mentioned that Phil was also one of the guys who made a Dick Allen style springer.

The goose-neck bend looks lower and is gusseted slightly different than the bike in the previous post. The headlight bracket has a sharper bend and isn't quite as long so we now know there was two like this! The springer has a round rod under the springs (like Dick's and Sugar Bears's), and the bike in the former post has a rectangular bar like Fats. This one also has adjustable fittings at the bottom of the front legs like Sugar Bear's do.

The Street Chopper article has two more pages of black and white photos, yet not one photo shows the left side of the bike! What's up with that?

I'm sure most of you know that Phil Ross went on to make his Supermax belt drives.

I met Phil at the Smoke Out West II in Cottonwood AZ where he had just moved to. He had a copy of this Street Chopper on display at his booth so I just had to comment on it. You sure wouldn't have recognized him based on the cover photo. Not much later I read he had pass away.

All in all there really haven't been too many of these goose-neck bikes built, so at first I thought Rich might be right about it being the same bike. A second close look, revealed it to not be the case. Now I'll look for another one of these way-out headlight mounts.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Da Ladies Like'm Long....

....Chopper's, that is.

This one sports some typical South Bay features. A long Dick Allen/Fats/Sugar Bear Type Springer, 2 into one collector exhaust, extra sissy bar brace (South Bay Swoop), Cobra seat, and I'm thinking that's a 15' rear rim with a car radial tire. Also, Every goose neck of this type and from this period I've seen has been on a South Bay Bike. What's not typical is the too cool chrome Nazi helmet oil tank. My guess, it's a Fats built bike. Anyone know it's history?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mann Hunt

Every now and then I get questions from readers in regards to certain David Mann illustrations.

Here's the latest inquiry from Scott:
I have been watching MCArt for a couple of years. After a whole lot of searching, I thought you might be somebody to ask about a Mann illustration.

Somewhere, I came across one of his works which featured an orange bike in profile - as if on a drawing board, in the planning phase. I don't remember what kind of bike it was, just that it was in profile and there was a sketch of the exhaust along with it.

Does that ring any bells with you, or do you know where I might find an example of it? I haven't been able to find it anywhere.

Well, that put a bug up my butt since I knew I have it and had looked at it recently. The trouble was, what issue was it in?

I thumbed through some old issues and was puzzled why I couldn't find it. I then remembered I had a folder of saved samples of David Mann art from issues I had tossed.

I thought I'd share this one since it's a bit different from the more common bike scenes that David did. It's sort a playful dance between 2-d and 3-d with the art and the art process being being part of the still life. Dave like to incorporate these types of illusions in his art and did so from time to time, but it's also sort of a behind the scenes look at a bike he'd probably like to have built. It's a tight little bike, reminiscent of his own pan/shovel shown below.

The current owner restored Dave's bike to a slightly earlier version than how it looked when sold. Photo ripped from the Bikers, Hippies and Tattooed Freaks blog.

I don't know what month/year issue it's from since I tossed the rest of the magazine. I thought it was a shovel, but it turns out that the art bike has an Evo engine. That and since it's a stapled center spread, means it's likely from the mid to late 80's.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Vintage Chopper Action, or Fun with Joe and Steve

I was blown away when Joe Hurst sent me these photos from 1968.

This was Joe's first Harley. While building it sometime around 1967-68, Joe met Dick Allen who rebuilt the heads. Joe said Dick just had a big smile when he first saw the completed bike.

Another view of Joe's Purple Panhead. Note the braced sissy bar. I call it the "South Bay Swoop". This style of sissy bar was to become a standard feature on most south bay choppers and I had always attributed it's design to Dick Allen, but Joe was actually the first to run one. The design on the tank was a stylized 13.

This and the following photos really blew me away. Joe's old friend Steve Drale is on the left. Steve's dad was once the mayor of Torrance, CA.

A film package was placed on the ground to serve as a starting mark to let the fun begin.

This photo is just too much! Everything about it is way cool. The look, the angle, the kids. To me, it rates as one of the best vintage chopper photos ever!.. and is likely my favorite wheelie photo of all time. Joe said his forks took a pounding from doing this.

Steve's slick Panhead. The neighborhood kids got a real treat that day.


I'm temporarily recycling last year's art for this month's header. Hope to have a new one in a day or so.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I'm Back

and ready to roll.

I should be posting again on a regular basis.

I really need to make a new header for October!