Sunday, March 25, 2012


I have had Sportsters on the mind lately.  Here is a 1958 XL I had a few years ago, it was a nice clean little motorcycle.

I am not sure who started the rap that Sportsters were girls bikes (although I certainly have no objections to girls riding them ), these were the hot rod bikes in the late 50's through the1960's.  If you had a Sportster you were flat out cool !  They could be built into hot rods to contend with just about anything you could throw at them.  When the XLCH came along they were true contenders against the British twins.  Not sure how a Sportster would do against a Vincent ??

Saturday, March 24, 2012

A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words

Rene Astengo's Iron Head Sporty

This is the bike that blew everyone away at the Oakland Roadster Show a couple of years ago.  The builder went back to basics with a Corbin Gentry frame, narrow glide fron end, peanut tank and the best looking chopper engine EVER, a 1969 XLCH Sportser mill.

When you build them like this you don't need a theme.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

'69 XLCH

I just picked up a pretty nice '69 XLCH Sportster, it was being sold at a very fair price so I grabbed it.  It seems like these bikes are retribution for all the bikes I cut up in m y youth.,  Now you try to find a good stock bike and you guessed it, someone else cut it up their youth.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

1972 Sportster

This picture really takes me back in time, I guess I was about 17 at the time.  There was a Sportster advertised in the local small town paper so my brother and I went to look at it, not sure of the exact year but this 1972 model is close.  Remember this was 1975 and Harley Davidson motorcycles were not as common as it is now.  To see a Harley when I was a teenager was a big deal.  Anyway. The guy fired it up and I was in heaven, the sound was perfect.  Of course I had no money to go with my desire to own the bike but I was dumb enough to ask to take it for a ride.  You all know his answer.

Since then I have always wanted a good clean early 70's Sportster just to have around and ride every now and again.  They were clean machines !

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sweetest Knucklehead

This is Bill Mize '47 Knuckle, one of the cleanest bikes ever (in my opinion).  Photo courtesy of The Jockey Journal

Red, Red 101

This one of my favorite 101 Scouts, they really nailed the color with a dark blood red.  The bike was built by Parker Indian in Australia.  This is the color I am trying to get for my Scout. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hanson Sport Windshield

This is a pretty cool accessory item for your antique bike, the Hanson Sport Windshield was adjustable in height so you could have a low profile look or raise it up for wind protection.  There was one on E Bay awhile back but I missed out on it.

Cannonball Riders Keep on Working

More Indians

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Basic Indian

A Different Time

Custom Indians

I have been thinking about building a custom Chief again.  The problem I have is that (in my opinion ) very few are an improvement on an original 30's rigid.  There was a guy in in Vallejo years ago that built a really cool little 48 Chief, but I think it gained from the use of a lot of stock parts.

Harley Davidson was always an easy platform to improve upon.  They were a bit clunky and gained quite it bit in the looks department when all the excess equipment was removed.  There is probably not a cooler looking bike than a well done Knucklehead or even a nicely executed XLCH Sportster.

I think the issue with bobbing or chopping a Chief is that the stock frame was kind of ungainly when viewed without it's sheet metal.  I know a lot of builders jumped all over the use of an Indian leaf spring front end lately, but they are a little weird looking without the front fender to balance them out.  Kiwi built some custom Indian frames that clean up the lines on his bikes.  I wonder what an original Indian glide front end would look like when coupled with one of his custom frames ???

I posted a picture of a 35 Chief as a base line, pretty hard to improve upon.

This picture courtesy of Occhio Lungo

Indian Larry on his Indian Chief, this is a very clean little bike.  I wish i could find a good clear picture of this bike, but so far no luck.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dot on a Knuckle

This is Dot Smith on a very cool 1937 Knucklehead, these early Har;ey Davidson motorcycles  are beautiful.