Friday, September 9, 2016

A Crazy Idea... or a Loco Notion Part 2

Arte knew that one of the most important parts of this build would be the forks. He figured that even if he could find a set of Dick allen forks, they'd need to be refurbished and re-chromed. He also wanted to run a front brake which would be a difficult fit in the very narrow forks. For these reasons he decided it would be better to source a new one.

He contacted an individual who builds Dick Allen style springers. The conversation was friendly until he mentioned a brake, then the old timer turned cold and said what he's heard before, "you can't run a front brake on them, it ain't going to work!" 

After that pleasant exchange he contacted Sugar Bear. Sugar Bear makes them two ways. Very narrow for no brake or slightly wider with a provision on each rear leg for a brake anchor. And in addition to his two styles of signature rockers, he still offers the Dick Allen type.
Sugar Bear proudly holding the newly finished forks. He makes them look very small. Arte started to wonder, "were they really 12"over?"

Arte not really being a long bike guy and a bit of a conservative builder, ordered a 12'' over springer. He knew he wasn't trying to build an exact clone, but rather kind of a Loco-Motion tribute bike in the general South Bay Chopper style. After putting in the order, he started to wonder if he should have gone for 15" over?

Sugar Bear said they would be done in about six to nine weeks and they were. 

While waiting for the forks Arte had been busy working on all of the stuff covered in part one, plus painting the tanks and building the motor. 
Arte did a slight variation of the lines surrounding the lettering. Working from old and tiny photos, he did his best to capture the feel of the lettering on Dick's tanks.
The left side was even more challenging since fewer photos exist of it.

The engine started around an old set Knucklehead heads, lifter bases, and a few other parts he's had for many years. The cases are new S&S with a alternator left side for modern reliable juices. It was also chosen for the readily available and less costly '70 and later OEM electric starter hardware.  
The New Old motor in all it's glory. A good last minute decision was to send the new cam cover out for a polishing.

Since Arte now had his forks, he could finalize the rake and weld up the neck.

A narrow glide spool was chosen for the 18" front wheel which he also already had. The front and rear brake are late model swap meet finds. Again readily available and cost effective. Also, since he's used them on more than one build, he's very familiar with setting them up.
Some last minute checking of the stance before the tear down.
Off the bike he thought the forks looked short, but once mounted he was happy with them.
Did I mention Arte does his own paint?

Once torn down the frame was lightly molded and painted. Now the final assembly would begin.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Captain un-America Your 15 Minutes Are Up

I just read on the Vintagent that Cliff Vaughs recently passed. I mean no disrespect by the title as Cliff himself mentioned his fifteen minutes of fame in a comment he left on that blog. I also used the term un-America. Because being black and an activist, likely lead to him being a mostly unknown co-creator of two of the most famous motorcycles there's ever been. Sort of a underground unsung anti hero.
In truth, in the scheme of things Cliff really only got about fifteen seconds of fame compared to all the hoopla the film created. Photo from the Vintagent blog.
Larry Marcus is credited for building the B-Bikes made for the stunts/wrecks at the end of the film.

In recognition of Black History Month, In Feb. 2012  I tried to give some due credit by depicting Cliff and Brother Ben Hardy building the Captain America chopper.
Prior to that I posted this of Ben from Roth's Choppers Magazine. Click on it and read the text.

For more about Cliff, go to the link below. It has several links to previous articles