Sunday, October 23, 2011

On The Road

I will be traveling for the next week, so no new blogs,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

Saturday, October 22, 2011


I am looking for a few good sponsors for the Cannonball 2012 Coast to Coast Run, in exchange for some help with the run I will post you as a sponsor on my blog as well as putting your name on the side of our support van when we do the run.  The van will travel 3800 miles across the country and will be seen by thousands of interested, potential customers.  This event will draw a lot of attention both nationally and internationally.  The run in 2010 was covered by magazines all around the globe.

I spoke to an older gentleman yesterday who has one of the oldest Indian dealerships in the country, he was a very interesting person.  I asked him about sponsoring me but he was about all in with the motorcycle business. Indian is now telling him to take his sign down, this is after him investing over one million dollars in his Indian dealership.

He had become a dealer when Indian started up in Gilroy and had stayed with it until now.  Indian has made so many transitions in the past years that they have left their dealerships high and dry.  Basically, there has been little dealership support with each change of ownership.  Some things never change, this was Indian Moto-Cycles downfall which caused their failure in the 1950's.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Cannonball #27

Indian : 101 SCOUT

Well it looks like I have a motorcycle for the Cannonball, it is a 1928 indian 101 Scout with a 45 cubic inch motor.  The bottom end of the motor as well as the primary and transmission have been rebuilt so it should be a good start.  It is also titled.

Looks a little rough but I have started out with much worse !

I hear that there will be at least 5-6 101 Scouts in the race so that will be cool, hopefully we can all help each other out when needed.

Chief Crazy Horse

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Worlds Fastest Indian

Nick and I watching them start the Burt Munro streamliner.
Photo courtesy of Chabott Engineering.  Had to steal the picture since it had both Nick and I in the shot, thank you Shinya.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Indian Day West

I went to Indian Day West today, here are a few pictures, I will add more later.

Stan Dishong Indian Drag Bike

Old Number 27

I received an e-mail from Lonnie this morning asking me what number I wanted for the Cannonball Endurance Race.  I told him 27, 28 or 29.  He replied back that I will be #27.  My Mom, Delores Drennen (Truax) was born in 1927 so I am cool with that.

She was old school all the way.  She was born in Bismark North Dakota during a central plains blizzard.  She told me that her mother brought her home from the hospital on the train and that her father met them at the train station with a horse and sleigh.  The three of them went back to the farm on the sleigh in the middle of a Dakota white out.  Back in the day folks depended on the horse to know its way home and 99% of the time the horse went right to the barn.  That is old school resilianse on the level most people have not only forgotten but never knew about in the first place

Mom will be 85 when the race takes place, my hat is off to you for all you have been and all you have done throughout your life !

Friday, October 14, 2011

1929 Scout

Heavy: American Police Motorcycle Museum

Max Bubeck

This is a picture taken in 1948 of Max BuBeck (On cycle) and his tuner Frank Chase. This bike went 135.58 mph and still holds the title of fastest unstreamlined Indian Motocycle ever.
The cycle is considered a "Chout" because it's a chief engine in a scout chassis. But definitely no ordinary chief! This one ran methanol through two Schebler barrel valve carbs and was running cams ground by the legendary Fred "Pop" Schunk.

Go to to read more about guys who are still building Chouts.

A Different Time

Back when men wore trousers and women wore pants

Thursday, October 13, 2011

This Saturday !

Horse Trader

When I was a kid I was a horse nut, everything I thought about was surrounded by horses (mostly).  My Dad bought me a little 14 hand tall racing Quarter Horse named Remote Control and believe me she was just that.  With some help I broke her to ride and spent many hours riding her everywhere.
I used to race some of the other kids, they were on small motorcycles and I was on the Quarter Horse.  I don’t remember ever losing a race of about ¼ mile in length.  She was that quick, one time she literally jumped out from under me at the starting line.  I used to shorten up my stirrups like a jockey and go for it.  I was a tall kid so it was a little unstable.  Most of my life long serious injuries that still hurt me were from horses.

When I was sixteen I rediscovered motorcycles and wanted one desperately.  I had bought a copy of Easy Riders magazine and was smitten.  I used to take that magazine to school and read it in English class, a little high end literature!

There was another kid at school who wanted a horse and he had a little Honda CL185 he wanted to trade me, or it could have been me who initiated the trade.  It has been a few years ago.   I traded him straight across for his motorcycle and it was all down hill from there.  My brother rode the horse over to do the trade after school one day and she ran away with him on her back, she would take the bit in her teeth and take off.  He couldn’t stop her and she ran into a car at a cross street and threw him completely over the car and onto the asphalt.  We were taking Judo back then and had learned to break fall, he said it saved him but damaged his hand and arm.  I guess if Gilbert were to tell it all most of his injuries were because of me (ask him about playing chicken with a bayonet).

Anyway, I traded for the bike and in my mind became a small town sensation. I got 13 traffic tickets that first year alone.  I had a lot of adventures on that bike like when I was popping wheelies on Main Street to impress some girls from the Catholic school who were in a VW.  I ended up on the back of there deck lid and spent most of the night searching for a new tail light lens for them so her father wouldn’t know I hade smashed into her new car. 

One time on a dare I rode the bike across the Tongue River on the railroad bridge.  There was a train coming and the dare was to ride across the bridge and get off the tracks before I got killed.  I remember thinking how dumb I was as I rode across the bridge with nothing but water under me.  The train was coming on full steam ahead and was laying on the whistle.  No doubt they couldn’t believe a dumb kid would try such a stunt.  When I got across the bridge I couldn’t get my bike off the tracks as the track was parallel to my wheels.  I just got the bike clear as the train wailed on by.  True story.

Tongue River Bridge, Miles City

Stripped Down 101

These old Indians have all the flavor of a bare bones machine with no extras to clutter them up !

James Built Knuckle

Harley-Davidson knucklehead

This thing is so clean it hurts, built by Jesse James a while back.  The man has talent, no doubt about it.  In my opinion he brought back the art form of a pure and simple style that had went by the wayside years ago.

When we built our choppers in the 70's we didn't build theme bikes (well some did), we built stripped down machines to fly up the freeway as fast as we could get away with.  I remember splitting lanes when I was in my 20's going well over 100 mph on a stripped down machine that I knew intimately since I had built it from the ground up.

I took my wife over to Dana Point last night for dinner and a little beach time, it was almost painful to get in my truck and drive home instead of flying home on my old Knucklehead bobber (not the one shown above, but the one I sold 6 years ago)! 

Perfection in Steel

Jeff Decker built Vincent Black Shadow with a few liberating liberties !  He builds some of the cleanest bikes around, he is also a world class sculptor in bronze.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Slant Artist

Entry For Cannonball 2012 Endurance Race Is In !

Today I sent in the $1500 entry fee for the Cannonball Coast to Coast Endurance Race that will be held next September.  I guess I am committed now, but the Lord knows that anything could happen between now and then.  I will just prepare the best I can without wiping us out completely financially.

I still have to find an Indian Scout motorcycle, although I have a lead on two 101 Scout basket cases.  I really didn't want to go the basket case route as I have done plenty of them in the past, they are ALWAYS a major pain and cost more than what you could just buy a finished motorcycle.  I really would like to find an older restoration and just go through the whole thing mechanically.  I have an engine builder picked out so that is the biggest challenge in that area.

This whole trip could get very expensive as it lasts two weeks and covers 3800 miles.  My son Nick is in as a support truck driver and wrench, I thought I could get one of my brothers to go along as a helper and driver but so far I am not sure.
Well here goes !!! We'll see ?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Hazel Marion Eaton Watkins

File:Hazel Wall of Death 1927 1.jpg

Hazel Eaton rode her 1912 Indian motorcycle along the inside of the barrel wall at speeds up to 60 miles per hour – often with no hands. She told a reporter that although the riding appeared to be “clever,” she more or less functioned without really thinking about the danger or what she was doing.
Onlookers, who stood at the top of the barrel as riders edged closer and closer to the top, were unaware of the ease with which the riders performed – for the most part. On one occasion, Eaton’s back brake locked during a performance. She tumbled to the bottom of the motordrome and spent several weeks in the hospital suffering from head and facial injuries. While death was common in the motordrome, Eaton’s injuries never stopped her from riding the walls.
After 15 years trick riding in the motordrome, Eaton divorced Ira Watkins, then purchased and managed her own show for several years, traveling throughout the world and every state in America. She married Jesse Reis, a traveling circus auditor in 1928. Together they continued to contract with circus troupes until 1942. Beatrice Houdini, who became a close friend of the Reis’s and wintered with them in Florida.

Information from Wikipedia

Wall Riders

File:Hazel Watkins INSIDE DROME.jpg

Saturday, October 8, 2011

On The Wall

Curly Lou Cody Riding the Wall of Death.  Photo via

Curly Lou Cody Riding the Wall of Death


Jack Lilly on his Crocker motorcycle, he was one of the original Booze Fighters.  Crockers were so advanced that they offered a money back guarantee if an Indian or Harley Davidson beat one in a race.  The story goes that they never had to pay up !

Bobbed Chief

Outlaw Biker

Pancho Villa with an old Indian, looks like early teens.

You Can't Wear Out An Indian Scout

I woke up this morning being fully committed to riding an Indian Scout in the 2012 Cannonball Coast to Coast Run.  They always said you "you can't wear out an indian Scout...", well I guess I will see for myself.  Looking at the design of the motor and the compactness of the whole unit it just comes across as solid.
The primary itself is very rugged with a gear drive instead of a chain primary, I don't see how that could wear out at all.  The bottom end would have to be built to perfection so that it is dead smooth.  This would be to eliminate as much vibration as possible and to ensure longevity.  I would like to not only ride this bike the 3800 miles but continue to do so after the run.
Just looking at the ratio of Indians to Harley Davidsons is a little daunting and almost made me decide on a JD.  The JD is a very good machine and may outrun and out last the Scout, but as I said we'll see.

Buck Jones On An Indian Scout