Friday, June 12, 2009

Dick Allen Chopper Hero

As a kid buying chopper magazines certain individuals took on rock star status. One of those guys was Dick Allen. Any time a magazine featured something related to Dick you knew it would be cool.

Dick's bike as featured in Choppers Magazine Oct. 68. Here you can see how the secondary sissy bar bolts to the fender and at the bar up top.

Take note of the art and also that skinny 26" front wheel.

During this period, not too many ran a stock bobbed Harley fender on this style of chopper.

Really tall stacks, ...a slight crack?!

It's interesting how time changes things. At that time, many guys dumped their panheads in a flash for the better performance of a shovel. So why did Dick go from a pan to a shovel then latter a knuckle? Some say knucks are the best.

An earlier photo of what appears to be the same bike. Forks are early Sportster that look to be fitted with slugs for extension (check the area between trees). The trees look raked and the lower one still has the fork boot mounts attached. The antique 26" front rim and spokes was still black at this time.

A later shot of Dick on his knuckle "Locomotion", sporting some of his trademark features: 12 spoke 15"mag with car radial tire, swooping sissy bar support, long narrow springer, 2 to 1 collector exhaust, cobra seat, tall z-bars, and Sportster headlight. These features became almost a standard for the South Bay (beach cities L.A.).

Ed Newton's art for Roth's t-shirts and decals. Tall pipes, Indian forks, tall skinny front wheel and a crazy bearded rider. Was this inspired by the wheelie incident or drawn before and later modified for the article? This could have been Dick, as Newton's California Chopper art also seems to be a depiction of Beautiful Buzzard.

The engine here is a shovel and the tanks match Dick's paint. Only Ed Newton would know the back story.


Mike Davis said...

The pan with the sportster front end is one of my favorite bikes of all time.Thanks for posting pic.

drewallen22 said...

Ditto, I plan on building a replica of that bike, love the chrome frame.

Pat said...

Great writeup on a great builder and innovator. Question- is the tank on Locomotion that is attached to the sissy bar an aux fuel tank?

Chris K said...

Thanks. Yes that's an aux tank. It's another feature that some South Bay bikes ran. I'm not sure of the origins of this one but I've seen several made from stainless steel fire extinguishers. My neighbor who had one said, "it was because they wouldn't spark if you went down".

Pat said...

Fascinating!! I`ve looked at hundreds of chopper pics over the years and don`t recall seeing an aux tank. It really makes sense for a biker who wants to run a small tank and not have to be in range of a gas station every 45 minutes of riding. The reinforced sissy bars on Dicks bikes come would be necessary to support the weight of a full aux tank plus gear. From what I have been able to gather, Dick rode the hell out of his bikes- they all look bitchin` but are total functional at the same time (necessary when one actually RIDES thousands of miles across deserts, mountains, etc). I think that mindset has been missing from the bike scene since Dick passed. Thanks again for the great write-up- I`m hungry for every scrap of info I can get on Dick and his bikes.

Chris K said...

I'll try to get some shots of bikes with aux tanks and dig up what I can on Mr. Allen

darcy allen kliven said... is darcy dick allen's mom n him was married up to 1962 i was a few wks old my sister was 3y n iam trying to get more information on him to i was not blessed on getting to meet my dad, and my mom would nt let us grils go to his ful. even win his mom (grandma) called and asked my mom to bring us out.i get told i look like him n acted like him,.so if u got any infor.n pic. i would love it about him my brothers ect.602 harding ave. casper,wy82604

Wolfman said...

Dick Allen was the real deal and I still miss him to this day-----The Wolfman ----Redondo Beach CA------

darcy said...

this is for PAT and WOLFMAN,this is his dau. darcy . what i know and hear about him he could built those bikes, n my mom said when they was married he did funny cars to in rockford they had SHOP AT THE HOUSE,my mom passed jan.27,2013 my grandma sent a pic of him n my sister (3y)setting on one of this bikes. iv been trying to locate the TRIKE N HIS LOCAMOTION.

Anonymous said... well did u know dick allen ,i know he had a shop un redondo beach loved to had a change to have knowing him.please get a hold of me i would luv to talk to u about my dad. thank u

nick darling said...

I live down the street from dick. And his two sons klenten and lee. That man never got mad at us . Knock his car out of gear. And it went thought the neighbors fence. Knock his bike over. Knocked the cobra out of gear. Yes it went into the neighbors fence.

nicholas allen said...

hi my name is Nicholas allen grandson of dick allen son of clint allen im trying to locate info and any one with parts to please reach me at 779-772-2444 trying to build a rememberance bike would also like to meet any distant family I may have thanks