Tuesday, May 29, 2012

In the Pink 1972

Crowned, Americas Best Chopper (I believe at the Oakland Roadster Show 1972). The bike pretty well somes up the early 70's chopper ideal with features not all that common today. Stuff like pull backs and very long forks. In this case, rigid forks. Forks were getting so long and raked that many decided front suspension didn't work well anyway. Small brakeless 16 and 17 inch front wheels were the craze. No self respecting chopper didn't feature a molded frame. You had to have as much chrome as possible which sometimes (like here), included touches of gold. Pinks, magentas, and violets were much more common than on bikes seen now. Riding 2 up seemed a lot more common too. Oh yeah... rider and passenger in slick dress.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Big Bang

Anyone who's been into the custom H-D scene for a long of time will certainly know the name Gary Bang. As a matter of fact, there was a time (in SoCal), if you walked into any Harley dealer or custom bike shop, practically the only aftermarket parts you'd see on the walls were Gary's in their familar orange and yellow packaging.

Stumbling upon this box in my garage prompted this post. It's from a FL rear wheel brake cylinder purchased at Motorcycles Only in 1992. Remember them? That's where I bought my '70. I kept the box since I thought the graphic was cool. The good old days. Not only made in USA but California to boot!

The Bang family has been into motorcycles as long as long as motorcycles themselves have existed. I believe Gary's grandfather tinkered with building a motorcycle even before Mr. Harley and the Davidson brothers came up with their own first motobike.

An ad from Street Chopper circa 1972.

For many years you'd still see Gary at swapmeets (like Long Beach), selling parts from his big yellow delivery truck. Then one day I realised, you don't see him there anymore. So, about a year ago, I Googled his name and found that not only is he still around but, he and his family have operated an H-D dealer in Atascadero, CA for the last 20 or so years.

The 3 images below are enhanced photos from his website that are no longer posted.

Here's an old picture of Gary. I believe he was a distributor of these popular sissybars. I had one on my first Sportster and bought another one at the swap meet a few years back.

Some of Gary's old pals.

Some of you might recongnize this trike. It's the trike from the cover of the 2nd issue of Big Bike magazine.

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Force Was With Him

A while ago, Joe Hurst sent me some scans (magazine unknown), of one of Nez's bikes he really dug.

While diggers or Crazy Frank fenders aren't at the top of my list (I might get flak for that), this thing is pretty damn cool. Especially when you consider when it was built.

Joe likes performance so it's natural, he likes it. One thing he really liked, is the VL style ibeam forks with the dampened springs. It probably doesn't hurt that the paint job is sort of White Bearish in color and style.

This almost identical photo from the Kid Duece' collection looks like it was taken during the magazine shoot. What's up with that?

Enquiring minds want to know. The Force, obviously built after Star Wars (1977), shares a number of similarities with this bike built earlier by AEE in 1974. Digger style chassis, check... Bodywork, check... Supercharger/Blower, check... Springer, check. Now, I like Nez's bike much more but, it begs the question, was he influenced by the AEE bike?

Monday, May 7, 2012

Joe Hurst's Black Bear

Anyone who has been following the blog has seen several of the bikes that Joe built over the years. I always tell Joe, you need a program to follow what bike was what, which version, and the years to keep track of them all. As a matter of fact, between this bike and the last few versions of the chrome frame bike, there were a couple versions of his red bike which I haven't posted yet. Except for having H-D 9 spoke mags and a Sportster tank, the red bike was very similar to this black bike.

If I remember correctly this is from 1995. Joe never call it Black Bear. That's just what I think is an appropriate name for it.

It's a very purpose built bike. That purpose being function and performance. It was sold to a friend many years ago yet still exist and for the most part, is totally intact.

To see all of Joes' bikes, photos and related stories, click on the Joe Hurst label below.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

This Month's Header-Flower Power

April Showers Bring May Flowers.

When coming up with ideas for the header, I never quite know how they will turn out. This one really bloomed. You might say, some of the flowers are Pansies.

As an example. I thought of using this alternate version, but the top one was more in line with my original concept/vision. It doesn't always work that way. Sometimes I like something better that comes from experimentating with the image and colors.