Mark Potter’s Man Cave

Harley memorabilia offers a quaint and acceptable substitute to wallpaper.

This edition of My Garage appeared in the Summer 2016 issue of American Iron Garage. Back issues of  American Iron Magazine and American Iron Garage are available at

Mark’s 2007 Softail Deluxe combines retro and modern to keep his oasis grounded in the present day.

Kick back and relax, and please try not to drag your jaw on the floor. Welcome to Mark Potter’s home garage, something more of a gearhead haven and the initial induction to a new segment here in AIG. And what a way to kick it off. Mark’s garage is a polished collection of wow and more wow, and it’s a delectable collection of eye candy for all. From the decadent, handmade Harley-Davidson-imprinted floor plate, cut to look exactly like the Bar & Shield, to the stroll through history lining the walls in the form of posters, newspaper clippings, photographs, and artifacts, any motorcycle enthusiast would find a warm, fuzzy welcome in Mark’s garage.

This micro-Harley utopia orbits the centerpiece of the garage, the nucleus of Mark’s universe: his 1942 WLA. We would be content enough hanging around in the garage, lighting a stogie, taking in a ballgame on Mark’s surround sound television, and lapping on for hours about Harleys and all of the memorabilia strewn around the room. But talking points would begin and end with what Mark attributes to fully tying the room together, the mint ’42 WLA in all its historic glory. WLAs were introduced in 1942 as production of

Here’s that ’42 WLA, the bruising cruiser that helped win the war. Now, ain’t that nice?

civilian motorcycles was almost stopped entirely when America entered World War II. The WLA, also known as The Liberator, primarily operated as a military vehicle, though many soldiers who rode them during the war were inspired to purchase Harleys when they returned home. Mark’s WLA dons an all-black paint job (as opposed to a military green), but it’s still an incredible piece of history flashing its style in the middle of his garage.
Mark did most of the work, along with some help from his riding buddies. He tells us that it’s an ever-evolving process, but it has been heaps of fun to build and, of course, enjoy. The Harley bistro table was handmade, and the barstools feature leather seats with the Harley-Davidson logo. Not lost in the luster is his 2007 Softail Deluxe, sporting some sweet sharktail exhaust tips, and fitting into his blast-from-the-past theme with some whitewalls and a windshield.

Everywhere you turn, you’re met face-to-face with Harley-Davidson history.

We’re thoroughly impressed with Mark’s motorcycle Valhalla, and we appreciate his letting us take a look around. Maybe you’re lucky enough to have a friend who puts in this kind of legwork for his “man cave,” but we’d certainly take an invite from Mark any night of the week. It’s Miller time! AIG

Winter Motorcycle Projects

TAKING AIM by Chris Maida, Editor

TAKING AIM by Chris Maida, Editor

“I built it with my dad”

it’s cold during the winter where I live, which makes it the perfect time for a ground-up bike project! This year I’m building a 45″ flathead-powered bobber with my youngest daughter. My first chop (back in 1971!) was a handshift 45 flathead. And while this engine is as dependable as a stone, it doesn’t make a lot of power. To me, that makes it the perfect engine for a low-dollar, first custom bike for a son, daughter, wife, — whoever. However, the drawback to using a 45 has always been the three-speed, handshift, foot-clutch transmission.

Thankfully, a few years ago Paughco came out with a hardtail frame that allows you to bolt in a Harley-Davidson 45″ flathead engine and Pan or Shovelhead four-speed, foot-shift transmission. That left one last glitch: how to connect them. BDL came to the rescue with an excellent belt drive system that does just that and gives you a modern clutch setup to boot.

Since Paughco has been a major player in the custom bike scene for decades, the crew there knew to design the frame so you can use Big Twin bike parts, of which Paughco makes many, to finish the build. We’re using a number of Paughco components on ours, namely 16″ chrome wheels front and rear, a chrome springer front end, gas tank, and oil tank.

What makes this build especially fun is that your son, daughter, etc. can do the build with you. This way, he fully understands how the bike went together. Of course, it also doesn’t suck that he’ll be able to say to whoever is admiring the bike, “I built it with my dad.”

Look for this build to start in a few issues. Of course, we’ll be showing you how to assemble the entire bike in our usual step-by step fashion. We’re also going to keep the sheet metal work to a minimum. After all, this is a beginner’s bike!


Chris’ Travel Tips
If you’re traveling without a full-face helmet on, a good set of riding glasses will keep dust and other minute debris out of your eyes. However, dust devils, strong crosswinds, lawn mowers, etc. can sometimes power past the best of eyewear. Whenever I encounter one of these common road hazards, I always close the eye on the side the blast is coming from. This protects me in two ways. First, it obviously protects the eye in the line of fire. Second, if stuff does get into my open eye, I can still see where I’m going with the one that was closed, so I can get out of harm’s way and stop in a safe location off the road to clean my affected eye.

See you on the road.

Chris Maida