Thursday, October 31, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

You Spoke Up

Most posts get none or maybe one comment, but the post on 12 spoke wheels got a few people interested. 
 This is the billet wheel from IK Works Japan that Irish Rich mentioned. 

 Rich and Zeeman both mentioned this wheel from W&W. It will be produced in sizes 16"and 19". Whats' up with all those hub holes? That looks like a problem waiting to happen. to be fair, read the latest comments from the source.

Here's the Performance Machine billet version Rich mentioned seen here on Cole Foster's Special K. I'd forgot about them until Rich spoke up. From the Joyrides Art Co. blog. 
Besides the trouble to manufacture, to me, they don't cut it. The center hub where the spokes connect is very narrow making the two side's spokes almost inline which defeats the dimensional look of the originals. Instead it produces a less interesting wagon/stage coach wheel effect. From the Joyrides Art Co. blog. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Blower Fever

Joe Hurst won't rest until he builds a blown Shovel. He mentions it all the time. It's a disease he aquired from working with Nez at Phase 3.
I believe Nez took the blower from The Force and put it on this Sportster. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fake Harley Chopper

I found this on some blog. It was in the background from a photo of another bike.
Bolt on push rods! It looks to be made from a Yamaha Star 250. It's funny the trouble some people will go to.

Friday, October 11, 2013

The Elusive 12 Spoke

When it comes to motorcycles, I generally prefer traditional spoke wheels, but when it comes to mags, nothing beats the look of the classic American Racing 12 spoke mag. I've liked them since the early 70's for their 3 dimensional aspect instead of the flat 2-D designs of other early cast or later billet mags. It's also because of their drag racing heritage and how they impart that drag/competition look on any machine running them. 

With today's resurgence of vintage choppers and the increased re-interest in these wheels, I thought a few out there might be interested in an old article about the ones distributed by Performance Machine in the August 1978 Street Chopper.

Before we get to that, there's some confusion about their origins, manufacturers, sizes, and versions of the design.

 Looking them up on the web I found some info that kind of adds to the confusion. For example:the 1973 ad below ( posted awhile ago), says these were made by U.S.Mag Corporation of Long Beach. Now I thought I remembered U.S. Mags as a competitor of American Racing around that period, but a source (below), explains how U.S. Mags was started by Parnelli Jones and his crew chief Art Hale Jr. in the mid 60's. The idea was to sell wheels that would fit the large performance tires Jones was selling at Firestone tire stores. It then states that Art Hale and U.S. Mags bought out a bunch of mag wheel companies including a small bay area company called American Racing and combined all of them under that name.

EME-Ad.jpg (1200×923)
So, who was U.S. Mag Corporation? I know American was once in Long Beach. It, also states these are aluminum like the later Cal Mags (in the Street Chopper article below), not magnesium like the earlier Americans.
Jerry Mills of Cal Mag with Perry Sands. Over the years there were slight differences like ribs on the back of spokes or shape of the hub area . Note that the pattern in the back has the flower shaped center hub that many early ones have.
Although most folks associate these as being made by Performance Machine, both the caption and the article states that the wheels were produced and machined by Cal Mag and that PM distributed them along with brake kits.
An very unusual use of these mags.
Radir Wheels  introduced their own version a few years ago. There's two problems, they are only sold in pairs and only size 18"

There are different sizes mentioned from time to time. Most people know of the 15" and 18" sizes, but there was a 17" shown on Rigid Hips blog. Then there's this quote by Jesse James on the Jalopy Journal 2-21-2009 : "I have all the Original hand carved wood patterns and pour molds for 15" 16" and 18" American/Performance Machine 12-Spokes....."

Monday, October 7, 2013

Manuel's "Blue" Chopper

Tom Endres, who's bike is featured a couple of post down, writes: 

Manuel was Fats' runing mate. Another close freind of Manuel's, the Noriega's, and mine has Blue now in San Diego, and is an everyday runner. (the extra wheels/rods and cylinders from my most recent build are in Blue's power plant now). But Blur is in-tact as fats and Manuel built it in 1963-ish.
Looking good, but I'm sure Tom meant 1973-ish.