Ross Kiwi Tomas Memorial Kickstart Classic Day 1 Video

Here’s a quick look at some of the bikes on the July 2014 Ross Kiwi Tomas Memorial Kickstart Classic.

Old Dog, New Tricks?

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

My first time on the track in many years, and I blow up the 1937 Indian Sport Scout racer!

After running strong for several laps, I could feel it losing power going out of the bowl and up over the hill in top gear. Rather than risk damage, I eased off the throttle while dropping from the twisty road course onto the NASCAR circuit. I held up my left hand and coasted into the pits, where the engine died. I pressed down on the foot clutch, handshifted the transmission into neutral, and rolled the bike out of the way.

I just sat there for a few moments, allowing the situation to sink in. Then I tried to kick the bike back to life and … nothing. The kicker wouldn’t budge the engine. I could not believe that I had seized the engine. That would mean the Indian was done for the weekend even before my qualifying race.

Flashback: it was 35 years ago when a serious accident ended my motorcycle racing adventures at the old Bridgehampton, New York, track. So I let my road racing license expire in 1979. Last year, I was at the J. Wood & Company auction at Barber Racetrack with my pals Paul Ousey and Jim Petty where I bought Butch Baer’s 1937 Indian Sport Scout (see page 94). I had raced one of Doc Batsleer’s Indians against Butch on this same bike at the USCRA Streets of Laconia races many years ago. I knew and loved this bike and am delighted to now own it.

Once bitten, the race bug never leaves you. It sat dormant in me for many years, but not anymore. It’s time to get back into the game. No race associations (correctly) would honor my 35-year-old race license, so I had to complete a race school. That’s why I was at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. I sat through the class, listened to the instructors, and managed fine on the first session of practice laps. All I had to do was finish the Rookie Race without doing anything dumb on track. That is not possible with a seized engine.

My tuner (Butch Baer’s grandson) Michael Baer knew something was wrong when he saw me pushing the bike over to our garage at the track. We opened the oil cap and smoke escaped. A lot of smoke. Thankfully, there was plenty of oil in the tank, but why so hot? He removed the rear spark plug, and it looked okay. After the engine cooled, Michael gently kicked it over. “Thank goodness,” I thought. “It loosened up. Perhaps I can still race it and get my license.” The front plug refused to come out. Michael eventually muscled it out, the plug protesting and squeaking the entire way. Along with the plug came the threaded insert that ripped right out of the cast iron head. The spark plug had gotten so hot it had welded itself to the insert. There was simply no fixing this in the garage.

I managed to get my license by borrowing a bike (thanks, Henry Syphers) for the Rookie Race and did fine, especially considering I’d never even sat on his bike before the prerace warm-up lap. As for my Indian, it turns out the race magneto’s timing ring came loose, causing massive overheating. Michael had it diagnosed and fixed within a few days, and it’s now ready for me to race it during Laconia Rally week. Wish me luck.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz

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This article originally appeared in issue #314 of American Iron Magazine.

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Classic Harley Update: Buzz Kanter’s Motorcycle Cannonball Harley

The 1936 Harley VLH Buzz Kanter is planning on riding 4,000 miles coast to coast on the upcoming Motorcycle Cannonball is totally rebuilt. After breaking in the spare engine Buzz brought the classic Harley back to RetroCycle in Boonton, NJ to swap out the spare engine for the competition one.

1936 Harley VLH classic motorcycle for Motorcycle Cannonball 2014.

“As described in the series of articles in American Iron Magazine, we rode the rebuilt spare engine a few hundred break-in miles, and now it is time to pull it and install the freshly rebuilt competition engine.” Buzz Kanter explained.  We have to put a few hundred miles on this one and we should be good to go for the ride in September.

This is one of four classic Harleys on Adventure Power’s Team American Iron.

The 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball is a 4,000 mile endurance ride for 1936 and older motorcycles. For more info please visit www.MotorcycleCannonball.com.

Don’t Try This At Home

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

I’ve long been fascinated by the mechanical workings of old machinery. As a kid, I remember taking apart a broken watch to try to fix it. It never did run again, but I was drawn to all the fine gears, springs, and tiny moving parts. That attraction has never left me as I continue to spend time working on and riding old motorcycles.

While I enjoy riding my hot rod Sportster, I’m more likely to hop on something significantly older than me for a local ride. And although I love a well-prepped Panhead, Scout, or Knucklehead, my tastes have been shifting to earlier machines. I blame it on my close friends: museum founders John Parham and Dale Walksler, Motorcycle Cannonball founder Lonnie Isam Jr., and my pal and antique bike restorer Dave Fusiak. I’m fortunate to own several wonderful classic motorcycles, but I don’t see myself as a collector as much as an owner/rider.

I often remind myself how fortunate I am to own some great bikes for a few years before they pass on to the next owners — preferably in better shape than when I got them. I enjoy working on, riding, and sharing these wonderful old bikes with others when I can. I think back to all the people who generously shared their passion, skills, and machines with me. I try to do the same — in this magazine, at events, on YouTube and Facebook, and on various motorcycle forums. But it’s not always fun and games.

Not long ago, I brought a recently acquired 1909 Shaw to a local motor­cycle event. The promoter asked me to start and ride it around the parking lot to win the Oldest Running Motorcycle award. I had only ridden the Shaw once before and not very far. I was willing to try, but I wasn’t too confident in the machine or my skills to operate it. The basic starting procedure is to open the gas and oil valves, connect the total loss battery, set the carb, and start pedaling. Once you get up to a decent pace, you need to tighten the pressure on the belt drive and hope the rear wheel spins the engine hard enough to start the engine. No kickstart, no clutch, no transmission. And only marginal coaster brakes. Pretty primitive today, but effective by 1909 standards.

As requested, I pedaled the Shaw (made in Galesburg, Kansas) up and down the parking lot, breathing heavily, with little more than an occasional pop from the engine. Looking back, I know I was lucky the engine didn’t fire and run, as the front wheel started violently flopping left and right. When the 105-year-old steering head stem snapped, the handlebars fell off, leaving no way to steer. It happened so fast, and I have no idea how I did it, but somehow I managed to stop the bike and get my feet on the ground, saving me and the bike from a hard fall. If the engine had caught, it would have shot the bike and me forward with no way to steer or even stabilize the bike. I guess this is a good reason many people with machines this old seldom, if ever, start or ride them.

Maybe I’m nuts, but my goal is to fix the steering head assembly, carefully check for other issues, and see if I can get this Shaw into dependable running shape to try it again. If you like classic motorcycles, we created the Kickstart Classic ride, which is less than a month away. This fun, two-day event for riders of all make and model motorcycles is getting ever more popular. I’d like to thank Spectro Oils for sponsoring it again this year, the Wheels Through Time Museum, Coker Tires, and Cyclemos Museum for feeding us and hosting welcome parties. We can handle only 100 riders, and the last time I checked, there weren’t many slots still available. If you want to join us, act now (AIMag.com or call Rosemary at 203/425-8777 ext. 114) or settle for reading about it in American Iron Magazine later this year.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz

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This article originally appeared in issue #312 of American Iron Magazine.

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Laconia Rally News: Team American Iron To Race Classic Handshift Indian Motorcycle

If you are planning on attending the Laconia Rally in June you might consider swinging by the New Hampshire Motor Speedway to check out the classic motorcycle racing Saturday June 14 and Sunday June 15, 2014.

Among the classic racers will be our very own Buzz Kanter, Editor-in-Chief of American Iron Magazine, coming out of a 35 year retirement to road race a 1937 Indian Sport Scout handshift racer on the track. He plans to complete in at least two classes each day – the challenging tank shifter class, and the Pre-1950 class.

Buzz will be racing the ex-Butch Baer 1937 Indian Sport Scout. He will be wearing a Bell helmet, and Vanson leathers and using Spectro oils in the racer. There will be a number of classic and vintage motorcycle races on Saturday (USCRA)and again on Sunday with the FIM’s North American Vintage Road Racing Championships. You can purchase tickets the day of the races for the stands or up-close and personal in the racer pits. For more information please visit www.race-uscra.com.

Simple Basic Maintenance

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

SHIFTING GEARS, by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

We choose where we live, and, as motor­cyclists, we adapt to our circumstances.

I’m a lifelong New Englander, which can be a blessing or a challenge depending on the season. And now that we’ve made it through to another spring, I can admit that this past winter was one for the record books. I rode fewer motorcycle miles this winter than usual, but I also spent more wrench time in the garage than any other winter within memory. All I can say is thank goodness for heated garages!

Every motorcycle has basic needs, especially when parked for the season. Ignore these basic needs at your own risk, but be prepared to deal with the consequences on the first ride of the year.Some of the more common issues include a weak or dead battery, stale gasoline, flat tires, and rust. It’s too late to tell you what you should have done when you parked your bike months ago, but there is no better time than now to fix the issues before they get worse.

Because I own several motorcycles, I try to establish a regular maintenance schedule. The easiest part is to keep the batteries charged. I have accessory power cords on each battery, so about once a month, I rotate the smart charger from one bike to the next until they’re all charged. For wet-cell batteries, I also check the battery acid levels every couple of months. Yes, I’m converting to sealed batteries as the old ones pass on.

Stale gas is a real problem, especially today’s crappy ethanol-laced blend. Once it goes bad, I have found no way of bringing it back — especially if it has already damaged your fuel lines, EFI system, or carburetor. If the gas is stale, dump it and flush your system. If it is old but not yet stale (you can smell it), add some fuel stabilizer and run it through your system.

Before your first ride of the season and at least once a month, you should check the condition of your tires and adjust the tire pressure. The old joke is that the tire is flat only on the bottom, but if a bike sits long enough on flat tires, it will eventually damage the tires themselves. So, if you plan to park your bike for more than a week or two, it might help to slightly overinflate the tires by 5 pounds. Just remember to check and adjust the pressure properly before riding.

And what about rust? I don’t care what kind of motor­cycle you have or how old it is, there is no reason for you not to treat any rust on it. None. Rust is like cancer. Aside from looking bad, rust eats through chrome and plating while damaging your machine — a little, and then a lot. If any part of your motorcycle has rust, treat it as soon as possible and as often as needed. I’ve had good luck with a number of products, including WD-40, StrongArm, and most recently, Gibbs penetrating oil. It’s not a bad idea to carefully look the bike over for rust and other signs of metal corrosion, especially on spokes and various mounting hardware. If you don’t take responsibility for at least this much maintenance, who will? Regardless, guess who will end up paying for it.

Upcoming & Noteworthy

• The Great Indian vs. Harley Race (www.IndianVHarley.com) in Kanab, Utah, May 8-11. Classic American iron battle where the name says it all.

Antique Motorcycle Club of America swap meet and show in Denton, North Carolina, May 16-18. For more info visit www.AMCASouthernNationalMeet.com.

• The Riding Into History (www.RidingIntoHistory.org) in St. Augustine, Florida, on May 16-18; the event theme this year is “American iron”!

USCRA vintage motorcycle road racing (Race-USCRA.com) at Laconia, New Hampshire, on May 19.

• We’re reintroducing our tech and DIY Harley special magazine American Iron Garage on June 6 on newsstands and digital only. (Please note this is not included in your 13-issue-per-year subscription.)

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz

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This article originally appeared in issue #310 of American Iron Magazine.

To order back issues, visit Greaserag.com.

To subscribe to the PRINT edition, click here.

To receive DIGITAL DELIVERY, click here.

Made In America

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

I have just returned from Daytona Bike Week as I write this column. I was so thankful to be in the warm sunshine and on two wheels — a wonderful break from the terrible ice and frigid weather we’ve endured over this past winter.

On my first day in Daytona Beach, I learned about the new Harley Low Rider and hard bag “mini tourer” Sportster SuperLow. While I didn’t have the opportunity to ride either, the Low Rider caught my eye, and I look forward to some saddle time on it.

A few days later I picked up a new Indian Chief Vintage and put a few hundred enjoyable miles on it. Some of our staff tested the new Victory Gunner and came back impressed. And I saw (but was not able to ride) the new EBR (Erik Buell Racing) streetbike on display at the Speedway. Quite an assortment of two-wheeled American iron.

This got me to thinking about how wide a range of new American motorcycle models are being unveiled for 2014. Harley has the Low Rider, SuperLow 1200T, and the 750 and 500 Street (see Dain Gingerelli’s review on page 80). Indian launched three versions of its all-new Chief. Victory showcased its new Gunner, and EBR has the 1190RX, a world-class sportbike. All made in America by Americans. Nice.

Speaking of made in America by Americans, did you know that, in addition to American Iron Magazine, we publish other motorcycle magazines? While some print publishers are retrenching, we’re working hard to offer you more. You already know what AIM covers, but did you know we also publish Motorcycle Bagger for those of you who want more baggers and info. We’re relaunching our all-tech American Iron Garage with two issues this year: the first goes on sale June 3.

And earlier this year, we created Motorcycle magazine, our unusual, in-depth, all-brands magazine with its Rides and Culture subtitle. I’m proud of what our teams create and would like to encourage you to check out each our magazines for yourself. And (shameless plug here) a subscription to any or all of our magazines makes a great year-long gift to you or your buddies. Call toll free at 877/693-3572.

If you love to ride classic motorcycles but are more sensible than I am (see below), we hope to see you on our Kickstart Classic ride July 24-26. This two-day ride from Wheels Through Time Museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, to Cyclemos in Tennessee is open to riders of all years, makes, and models of motorcycles. We have to limit it to the first 100 people to register. For more info, go to AIMag.com or call Rosemary at 203/425-8777 ext: 114. Entry is $100 per person, and you get an event shirt and stickers, food, and on-road support.

Back in the 1970s, thinking I was pretty hot stuff, I thrashed various motorcycles around racetracks up and down the East Coast for a couple of years. After a serious on-track accident, I hung up my race leathers. But the competition itch never goes away. So now, some 35 pounds and 35 years later, I’m ready to try it again. But with an older and slower machine than I raced back in the day. Last year, I had the opportunity to buy my old friend Butch Baer’s 1937 Indian Sport Scout racer at a bargain-basement price, so I did. I need to complete a United States Classic Race Association (USCRA) motorcycle road race track school as it won’t honor my 1979 AAMRR race license. Then I need to gear up and race prep my little 45″ flathead Indian to compete in the pre-1950s or Handshift class with seasoned race pros like “Doc” Batsleer, Steve Coe, and Art Farley. I hope to share some of my experiences, on and off the track, in the future. Until then, wish me luck.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz

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This column originally appeared in issue #310 of American Iron Magazine

To order back issues, visit Greaserag.com.

To subscribe to the PRINT edition, click here.

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Motorcycle Auction Action & Kickstart Classic

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

SHIFTING GEARS,  by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

I’ve just returned from the annual motorcycle auctions in Las Vegas, and my head is spinning from all the amazing motorcycles and record-breaking prices.

I was quite impressed with the levels of knowledge of participants. Some were world-class experts, and others didn’t seem to have a clue. I saw people from both groups bidding, sometimes against each other. It made for some interesting action. Prices were all over the board from crazy cheap to insanely expensive.

At the Bonhams auction, a 1947 Knucklehead sold for $26,450 (all prices include commission), which seems pretty reasonable for a Knucklehead. Then at the same auction later that day, a 1940 Knucklehead sold for a staggering $159,000. Granted, it was a pretty nice bike, but a lot of experts who had carefully inspected it wanted to know why it went so very high. I know a little about Knuckleheads, but I’m far from an expert. So when asked why it sold so high, I replied “That’s simple. One person with the resources thought it was worth $158,000 and a second person thought it was worth $159,000.” But I have no idea why it sold for so much.

Speaking of expensive Knuckleheads, a stunning, restored, first-year 1936 EL from the George Pardos collection sold at the Mecum/Mid-America auction a few days later. Even though it might have set the record price for a Harley Knucklehead at auction at almost $180,000, few people seemed surprised. I learned a lesson when my friend Bill Melvin told me of a motorcycle auction many years ago when he was looking at a rare and valuable motorcycle he wanted to buy. One of the world’s leading experts on that particular machine carefully looked it over and proclaimed out loud “Well, that is just not correct!” and walked away. Pretty soon, everyone at the auction was sure the bike was not correct, but my friend was still interested in it. So he asked the expert to come over and point out what was incorrect on the bike. The expert replied “The bike is terrific, but the auction house simply had it listed incorrectly.” My friend said the bidding on that motorcycle was weak, and he bought it cheap.

The next day, I was interested in a rare, old motorcycle that had crossed the block well below reserve. I asked a few people about it and was told it was probably a good replica and not the real deal. So I asked my pal Dale Walksler to look it over. He did and told me it was the real deal and encouraged me to buy it if I was interested. And that’s what I did, at well below the market value for that particular machine. In fact, I bought it for just a little more than what I had sold my old dual-carb Panhead bobber for the month before.

Kickstart Classic

Ride a few years ago, we organized an all-brands, two-day motorcycle ride for the readers of our various magazines (American Iron Magazine, Motorcycle Bagger, and what is now called Motorcycle). It was so much fun, we’ve held the Kickstart Classic every year since. Our next one will be in beautiful backcountry mountains in late July. We’ll gather at Wheels Through Time for a welcome reception and dinner for all registered participants. The next morning, we’ll ride a couple hundred miles to Coker Tires for dinner and an overnight stop. The next day we’ll ride another couple hundred miles to Cyclemos museum for dinner. We’ll stay off the highways for more enjoyment on the old machines, but don’t think this will be a slow ride.

If you wish to join us, please register ASAP, and make sure you and your bike are up for the ride. We’re limited to 100 motorcycles. All makes, models, years, and brands of motorcycles are welcome. If your bike doesn’t have a kickstarter, you’ll ride in the back to pick up any parts that fall off the older bikes up front. Registration is $100 per person, and you can call Rosemary at 203/425-8777, ext. 114 to register or ask questions. For more info on this ride, visit AIMag.com.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz

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This article originally appeared in the  issue #309 of American Iron Magazine.

To order back issues, visit Greaserag.com.

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Made In America?

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

We at American Iron Magazine join a growing list in the motorcycle industry committed to, no, make that obsessed with, made in America. I recently posted a question on the American Iron  Magazine Facebook page asking “If you ran Harley, what would be the first thing you’d change?” The most consistent response, by a large margin, was to bring Harley’s manufacturing back to America.

Many people replied how much they hated seeing “Made in China” on the labels of Harley goods. When I followed up the Facebook posting by asking how much more would they pay for the same products made in America, I was surprised by the replies. About a third would pay 20 percent more, and about half felt the prices were too high already and should be the same when made in America.

On a separate, but related topic, Harley recently unveiled the new liquid-cooled 500cc and 750cc Street motorcycles. First shown in Italy at a huge European motorcycle trade and consumer show (a first for Harley), we were told these Harley-Davidsons are manufactured in India. Many long-term Harley enthusiasts were shocked. We questioned Harley-Davidson if there are plans to move more manufacturing overseas. We were told the small displacement Harleys built in India are for foreign sales only, and that all Street Harleys sold in America will be made in America.

Thank goodness. As the owner of this magazine, I understand some of the financial pressures Harley must be dealing with. However, I feel that some financial decisions shouldn’t be made just by the accounting department, especially when it comes to an American icon like Harley-Davidson. Know what I mean?

“Orphan” American Motorcycles 

In the early 1900s, there were more than a hundred motorcycle manufacturers in America. How many can you name other than Harley, Indian, Crocker, and Excelsior?

If you find the history and motorcycles of that time interesting, you should check out the Amelia Island Concours d’ Elegance on Sunday, March 9. This world-class car show in Florida will be featuring an invitation-only display of “orphan” American motorcycles. I usually spend the day at this event with some friends, including Arlen Ness, John Parham, Paul Ousey, and Jim Kelsey. For more information, visit AmeliaConcours.org.

Disappearing Magazines

Some will blame the internet. Others the tough economy or lack of time to read print. Whatever the reason, you might have noticed fewer motorcycle magazines in stores. If not, you will soon. For reasons I won’t go into here, the traditional magazine store delivery system is under massive financial pressures. Unfortunately, there is a good chance some of the smaller and independent magazines will disappear from the newsstand, and even the bigger ones will become harder to find. If you enjoy this magazine and want to continue reading it, you should consider signing up for a subscription (print or digital online). In addition to making sure you get every issue of American Iron Magazine (13 times a year, one every four weeks), you will save a lot of money. You can continue to pay $6.99 per issue for more than $90 a year. Or you can pay around $27 a year (less than the cost of four issues) and get all 13 issues delivered to your door.

Plus, all subscribers are automatically entered in our 25th Anniversary Sweepstakes to win a new Indian motorcycle, S&S Cycle engine, or a $1,000 gift card from Dennis Kirk (one given away every four weeks), and more. See page 124 for the details.

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz

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This article originally appeared in issue #306 of American Iron Magazine, published in March 2014.

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To order a copy of this issue or back issues of any American Iron Magazine, go to Greaserag.com.

 

Old Motorcycle Parts & Projects

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

SHIFTING GEARS by Buzz Kanter

SHIFTING GEARS, by Buzz Kanter, Publisher

Junk or treasure? I guess it all depends on how you view it.

For each of us, our view is defined by our personal perspectives and experiences. I unsuccessfully try to fight my deeply engrained tendency to accumulate stuff I find interesting. Some call it obsessive hoarding, I prefer to think of it as long-term preservation of motorcycle history. Call it what you like, but over the decades I have collected, bartered, bought, and generally accumulated lots of motorcycles and related memorabilia.

The other day I got inspired to actually clean up and better organize my garage. I was digging through motorcycle stuff in boxes and trays I had put aside for future projects. Most of it was familiar and expected, but there was a growing pile of parts I had forgotten about. While I was excited to rediscover these rusty or shiny treasures, I felt foolish when I realized I’d purchased replacements for some of these forgotten parts.

Some readers have asked about my process when considering a possible classic bike project. I wish I could explain it in a few, brief sentences but I can’t. Part of it’s emotional, how I respond to a bike and how strongly. If I look at a bike and don’t feel greatly excited, I’ll pass. If I find a motorcycle for sale that does get me excited, I want to learn as much as I can about it. I search my motorcycle books, call friends, and ask questions on CAIMag.com and various Facebook pages focused on classic motorcycles. Once I get as much info as I can on the particular motor­cycle model and year, I then need to decide what to do with it. This usually falls into one of three options (in decreasing cost to accomplish): 1) restore it to show condition (seldom my choice as I like to ride my bikes), 2) find or make the missing parts and get it running, knowing it isn’t totally correct, or 3) build a custom, hot rod, or racer out of it.

If a bike is mostly complete and correct but doesn’t have the original paint (I never paint over original paint motorcycle parts — ever!), I’d lean towards a full restoration. If the bike is mostly there and looks cool, even without being 100 percent correct, I usually build it as a fun rider. No matter which direction I go, there are a few safety rules I try never to break. One is that I always want to ride on decent rubber. If the tires are cracking, bald, or anything but safe, I mount up better tires. Another is that the brakes have to work reasonably well (we’re talking vintage bikes and brakes here). I don’t care how fast you can go on a motorcycle, you’d better be able to slow down and stop when needed. A third rule is that I spend my money first on function and then on fashion. I will always spend on rebuilding an engine/clutch/transmission/brakes/wheels, etc. that work properly long before I’ll pay to paint or plate parts.

In this issue, we sort out Paul Ousey’s mostly original Panhead at Wheels Through Time in North Carolina. What wasn’t correct and original on it was pretty cool and era-correct, so we left most of it that way and just got the old Harley sorted out. Then we fine-tuned it and got it back on the road where it deserves to be.

In a couple of issues, we’ll share a complete mechanical teardown of my 1936 VLH. We strip it down to the frame at Retrocycle in New Jersey. Then, we inspect, measure, and mechanically rebuild it from one end to the other. Our goal is to leave it looking pretty much as it did before the teardown, but to have it run dependably across the US on the Motorcycle Cannonball as part of Adventure Power’s Team American Iron.

A third example is the 1928 Harley J I bought a couple of years ago that’s a real mix-and-match machine. It was constructed by a previous owner with mostly 1920s Harley J parts, plus a ’30s Harley VL transmission, teens Harley Bosch magneto, and a cut and welded sidecar fender with a non-Harley taillight. I’ll clean, box, and carefully store them away for other future projects. Wait a moment … isn’t this how I got into the situation I described at the start of this column?

Ride safe, ride smart, have fun.

Buzz

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This article originally appeared in issue #308 of American Iron Magazine.

To order back issues, visit Greaserag.com.

To subscribe to the PRINT edition, click here.

To receive DIGITAL DELIVERY, click here.