Friday, January 24, 2014

World's Fastest VL ? 103 mph

I came across this 1934 VL on Steve Slocombe's VLHeaven site, I had no idea that a VL could be made to go over 100 mph.  The more I look at these old bikes the more impressed I am with their performance and from what I am finding out, their handling and reliability.

The description below is from the VL Heaven site.  Steve has this bike for sale.

"World's Fastest VL? This is the bike electronically timed on an airfield at 103 mph, and that was before putting on the high compression aluminium heads and the bobber seat. Matched 1934 cases with ported and relieved cylinders, bored and stroked to 1350 cc, titanium valves, racing valve springs, street/race cams with more lift and duration, period M2 Linkert carburettor with 1 1/8" venturi, racing muffler, cadmium wheel rims, Avon street / race tyres, brakes actually rather good after numerous quarter-miling sprint sessions down the track, and with the mighty 27 tooth drive sprocket for relaxed high speed cruising. The bike is street legal during daytime in the UK and comes with UK registration papers."

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Craigs' Harley Davidson JDH Bobber

I met Craig yesterday while trying to sell my '58 Triumph project.  I saw a 1945 UL engine he had for sale and I inquired to see if he might want to do some swapping.  I don't know if that will happen but I was real glad to meet him.  He is a local motorcycle restorer and painter as well as the president of the LAAMCA.
We got to talking and I asked him if he had any old JD's and he said he actually has 2 JDH's !   To me these rank way up the list in the coolest bikes ever built. Two-Cam Harleys, also known as the JDH, first appeared in 1928 in 61- and 74-inch engine sizes. They were bred from H-D racers and featured domed Dow magnesium alloy pistons that allowed for higher compression.

To up the cool factor, Craig inherited this motorcycle from his grandfather !  This is not a bike for a purist as it runs a British four speed tranny and disc brakes.  Back in the day guys just built what they wanted and rode them as intended.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sugar Bear

This man has been building custom choppers longer than most of the current chopper heroes have been alive.  He is famous for his long bikes..."if it isn't long it's wrong"
The now famous Counts Kustoms out of Las Vegas uses his front ends on most all their long bike builds.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. is one of my personal heroes, I grew up in the 1960's and early 70's and never understood the hatred one person would have for another because our skin had different pigmentation.  It constantly amazes me that the same ignorant mentality still exists today, especially in the biker community !  He had a dream of racial equality that has somewhat taken America a melting pot or a salad bowl ?

"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity"
Quote by
Martin Luther King Jr.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Suicide Legion

Burt Munro

This man was amazing, his story is much more interesting than the movie.  He took a 1920 Indian Scout and over the tears he got almost 200 mph out of it.  I have seen and heard what was supposedly the original bike and it was impressive.

Howdah Pistol


.577-2" caliber, steel smooth bore double barrels, back action casehardened and engraved locks with hammers. Underlever round action and checkered pistol grip stock. In superb original condition retaining 97-98% barrel blue, nearly all of the casehardened finish on all parts. Excellent wood and checkering.

This is a tool every man should own, basically a sawed off double rife.  They were dubbed Howdah guns because you carried one as back up when hunting tiger in India.  Tigers were hunted from the back of an elephant and the hunters rode in a basket on the elephants back called a Howdah..  When Sahib messed up with his long rifle and the tiger decided to join you in the basket, a real good tool to have on hand would be a Howdah gun to repel the offending invader.  They were built to high standard as your life depended on it and if you could jaunt off to India to pick up a tiger or two, you could afford this kind of quality.  This one is chambered in .577 - 2" which would pack a nice punch.  I always wanted one, but alas it has not worked out.       


Friday, January 17, 2014

Got My Triumph Back...............

I sold my 1958 Triumph project to a gentleman in Texas last year.  He was battling cancer when he bought it but really wanted to build a motorcycle.  I shipped the project in boxes and the day it was delivered he went in the hospital and never came home.  His widow contacted me because she had no idea what it was or what to do with it.  I bought it back from her so here we go again.  I never intended to build a bobber out of it, I always intended to build a motorcycle to take to El Mirage or Bonneville. 

It has real nice '58 cases with a 9 bolt unit top end.  There are no guts in the engine but that was by design.  I do have lightened timing gears, etc.  It has a nice transmission with clutch and a bunch of parts. 

The frame is titled and has a David Bird 4" stretch hart tail.  There is an early Triumph front end and spool wheel.

I am not sure what I am going to do with it but will entertain offers in the $3k range or trade for Harley VL parts.

Here is an early Triumph I saw at Born Free 5 that really works for I said, we'll see................

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Reed White, Very Talented Artist Indeed !

1934 Harley Davidson by Reed White
I really like this painting, if I had a ton of money I would own fine art to hang over my fully restored Vincent Black Lightning !!
By Tanner Kent
The Free Press
NORTH MANKATO — A 1947 Harley Davidson “knucklehead” motorcycle changed everything for Reed White.
The iconic machine is highly sought-after because it was the last year that Harley manufactured the distinctive knuckle-shaped valve covers.
White, however, isn’t as interested in owning one, restoring one or driving one — as he is in painting one.
During a career as a commercial artist and web developer, White has learned a variety of artistic styles and techniques. But nothing felt as gratifying as when he began painting vintage motorcycles a little more than a year ago.
Now, White has several paintings hanging in motorcycle museums in Ohio and Iowa, and he’s launched a Kickstarter campaign to create a series of prints based on his paintings (see accompanying story).
“Half of art is figuring out what you want to paint,” he said. “I could paint motorcycles until I die and never get bored.”
To be sure, White’s talent isn’t confined only to motorcycles.
His career began as a cartoonist and art director for the University of Minnesota campus newspaper. He then worked as a freelance illustrator, designing storyboards for companies like BMW, Arctic Cat, Coca-Cola, Holiday Inn and Northwest Airlines. A flash animation he designed aired on MTV and he’s won multiple awards for his designs.
Along the way, White had been encouraged to paint by family and friends. But he never found himself particularly inspired. That is, until he was compelled to create a piece of art as a gift to a friend.
Spurred on by hearing his wife tell someone that she wished he would paint, White asked his friend, an avid motorcycle historian, to give him a photo of his 1947 Harley Davidson knucklehead.
With that, White began painting.
“I imagined a little 8-by-11 of me sitting on my motorcycle,” said Jon Louis, the friend who received White’s first motorcycle piece — which actually measured closer to 3-feet-by-4-feet. “When I saw it, I was absolutely astounded. I said, ‘You could make a living doing this.’”
To prove the point, Louis took White to the Antique Motorcycle Club of America swap meet in Davenport, Iowa, hailed as one of the largest in the world. White set up a live painting booth, and was an immediate hit.
Not long after, White was approached about providing a trio of paintings for an upcoming exhibit at the American Motorcyclist Association Hall of Fame Museum in Pickerington, Ohio. He also provided a pair of paintings for the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa, Iowa.
In addition, White displays his paintings at Wheels Unlimited in North Mankato. Chad Pasbrig, who owns the Harley-Davidson dealer, said the highly detailed and richly colored paintings “fit in with the decor” and have even attracted a few buyers.
Such swift attention has caught the otherwise low-profile White off-guard. He said he enjoys a certain amount of anonymity as an artist and has always been somewhat hesitant to promote his own work.
Still, White said he’s been energized by the response.
“Everyone loves motorcycles — even people who don’t ride motorcycles,” said White, a burgeoning enthusiast himself who has a vintage Triumph as well as his very own rat bike to show for it. The latter won first prize at the Bearded Lady Motorcycle Freak Show, earning him a tattooed pig fetus in a glass jar as a trophy.
“They are a slice of Americana.”

Jay Leno's Tank Car Blastolene

The Blastolene Indy Car

Art Deco Helmet on Silodrome Site

Check this motorcycle extravaganza at
The Silodrome site is very cool and highly recommended for the completely absorbed Motorcycle Aficionado.  I believe the this motorcycle was seen Storage Wars.

Art Deco Car

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

'34 Ford Roadster

The 1930's were hard to beat when it came to perfect proportion and design.  Think about all of the great motorcycles and cars that came out of this era.  Knuckleheads, VL's Harley WLDR's,  Indian Fours, Sport Scouts, Brough Superiors, the first Vincents, Norton International racers, Velocette KTT's and on and on..................... This is not even speaking of the aero space designs that were happening.

Slick Little '34

Because of the low sales volume in 1934 triggered by the stock market crash of 1929, Harley-Davidson turned to flashy paint jobs and art deco graphics to try and stimulate sales. The result is what you see here, a very bold, new for 1934 design. This Harley retains most all of its original parts including the 74cid big twin engine, carburetors, tins, handlebars and wheels.

1928 Harley-Davidson JDH “Two-Cam” Cutdown

Another gem from Wheels Through Time Museum.  Dale and Matt Walksler build the coolest things on two wheels.  He is an amazing guy !

DAH Harley Davidson

Rare DAH Harley Davidson OHV
Built by Dale Walksler W.T.T.M.

One Day at a Time !!!!!

This year I plan on taking things one thing at a time, one day at a time.  Even that statement, :"I plan on ..."   I have spent most of my life living for the next thing or hanging on to the past.  By the grace of my God, I am what I am !

When I was laying in the dirt road waiting for the ambulance I started taking it one thing at a time. Wait for ambulance, get meds on board, splint arm, wait 6 hours for surgery, wait for room, wait for next surgery, etc., etc.   There was no rushing things, a person can not manipulate time or the time to heal .  I am sitting here healing but still trying to get things done.  With no insurance, we will now get hammered with medical bills.  I will pay them but I am not going to ruin our lives doing it.

The Bible says "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.  Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof ".   Deal with all things today has to offer, the things you are working on in yourself, all you can do and then keep moving.  This capitalist America we live in has shoved the American dream down our throats all our lives, a big mortgage, a couple of new cars and on and on until you can't even move for all the debris.  I have owned a lot of homes and fixed them up for someone else and then what ? A pay day and on to the next deal.

I have a very large, very wonderful family and I intend to pay more attention to them. This is going to be a year of giving back and living life to its fullest and I don't mean accumulating more stuff !   OK, enough rambling but how about personal responsibility, building quality into everything and enjoying each day as it comes.

My 1934 VLD Harley Davidson Engine

I just purchased a 1934 VLD engine with title.  It has nice correct cases, cylinders, cam cover, cams, heads, etc. plus a title which makes things easier.  I am officially on the road to building a '34 Harley Davidson, this motorcycle is 80 years old this year.  I will post up some better pictures when I get the engine.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cool 1934 VL on E Bay

This '34 VL is for sale on E Bay right now.  It runs good and has a title...what a deal !  This motorcycle is flat out cool and I would be first in line, but no funds.  Someone buy it and keep it here in the States !  There are too many old Harley Davidsons and Indians going overseas.....
Yes I know, with currency differential you can get more when selling out of this country but these are National Treasures and I am not selling anymore out of country !!!!


OEM 1934 Harley Davidson VLD w/ Clear Title

Up for sale is my partially restored 1934 VLD.  This bike is a combination of restored and unrestored OEM parts.  This motorcycle is fully operational in every way.  Down to the horn, this bike has a complete Dash and all electrical and mechanical components are fully operational.  The reserve on this bike is very fair, but please contact me if you have questions about making an offer.

A link to this motorcycle starting and running can be seen on my YouTube channel link below:

Check out my VIDEO!

The motor on this bike is a numbers matching 1934 VLD.  Vin number is shown in the photos, along with a copy of the existing title.  The title and a bill of sale will be included in purchase of the bike.  The motor is not rebuilt, but is in fine running condition.  The cylinder bore is 3.4975 (.060 over) front and rear and both the top end and bottom end look good.  If you were going to do any long distance riding I would always recommend a complete motor rebuild to as new factory specifications.  All motor parts and internals are original Harley parts.  This motor has a M51 Linkert Carburetor, which was rebuilt with new needle and seat, along with new gaskets and parts where needed.  

The frame is a late VL frame that is perfect in everyway with no visible repairs or tabs removed.  Even the toolbox mount is original and intact.  The front end appears to be a early 1930 Rear leg (has the screw in nuts between springs) and a later 1936 front leg (has the tab for the spring shield).  Rockers are correct and the front end is complete and rebuilt.  The front and rear brakes are also original and rebuilt.  The stopping power on this bike is incredible both front and rear.  The 3 speed transmission is complete and rebuilt along with the clutch / primary setup.  This bike shifts effortlessly like a rider should.  The front and rear wheels are original barn find wheels that are fully functional, but could use a rebuild if planning on heavy riding.  I am including another pair of 19" rims and hubs with the bike as this is one of the elements I was unable to fine tune prior to the sale.  

The dashboard on this bike is complete and fully functional.  The OEM Harley Ammeter has a crack in the glass, but is fully operational along with the dash light.  The speedster bars are original bars that have had some repairs over the years with complete and fully functional throttle and timer controls.  Grips appear to be original cloth backed HD grips.  Both the Horn button on the left handlebar and the High/Low Beam switch on the right right handlebar are original and fully operational.  **even the fender light has a wire ready to go which i bundled up and tucked under the dashboard**  All wiring is cloth backed and color coded with Asphalt shrouding in all critical areas.  Brand New 6 Volt battery and the original Model 32E Generator is working and charging fine.

The Tanks and Tins on this Bike are all Original Harley Tins.  These Tins are as found and give the bike a great personality.  They are unrestored in any way.  Gas/Oil Tanks have no repairs and no leaks.  Front and rear fender both have several holes and cracks and what appears to be original period paint.  Even the Harley Flying Wheel decal is visible on the right side gas tank.  The patina is incredible and really makes the bike, but the rear fender is missing the hinged section along with the left side fender mount, but in my opinion, its all part of the charm of this bike.  The seat is an original Un-Vented Buddy seat with a JD seat-T.  The leather cover is not original to the bike, but is top dyed, and very well done.

This bike is complete, and original.  Rare to find in this condition and with this much potential.  Ride as is, or ready to restore, this bike would be a great candidate.  Hard to let this one go, but I have many other projects to complete and I have to thin the herd.  

The only reproduction parts on this bike are as follows:  Front Headlight, Horn Cover (i think), Tail light lenses, and Oiler Cover

The battery is brand new installed 3 days ago.  I just got this bike running and have put about 1 mile on the motor since re-assembly. The clutch was completely gone through at this time also.  If you have any questions about this bike, do not hesitate to ask.  Contact me at thomjones013(at)gmail(dot)com or give me a call 917.607.01fourfive.  Please respect the fact that I am in Seattle and am on Pacific Time, so no calls before 9am.

Early Knuckle @ Auction this Weekend in Vegas

Sunday, January 12, 2014

A New Year, A Broken Arm and ...............

Well it's been an interesting week !  I just about lost my hand in an accident involving a tractor.  As with any piece of machinery it never pays to get too comfortable with it no matter how much you use it.  The parking brake failed and it rolled down the hill and caught me between the sharp edge of the bucket and a dumpster.  It also hit my leg which was not a big deal.  The blade almost severed my hand from my arm.  I have no doubt ,but by the mercy and Grace of God, I either would have been killed or lost my hand.  I say this with all conviction. 

I ended up with an open compound fracture of my humorous bone.  It is a very unnerving thing to look down and see your bones sticking out of your arm.  Thankfully the lady next door was turning her horse out and she came to my assistance, even though she was taken to the edge she stayed with me until the ambulance came.  Thank you Venice! When the guys from Cal Fire saw my Vallejo Fire hat, they really helped me out.  It took 20 mg of morphine to ever dull the pain !  After spending 4 days in the hospital and 2 surgeries I can say that I am still impressed with the medical community.  With a few exceptions they really were outstanding.  This is the whole reason I got into the Emergency Medical field years ago, helping people get through a crisis as smoothly as possible.  I know God was showing me some things and I intend to pick up the pace this year !  There is much more to life than what I have been doing.  This whole thing is about serving God and His people.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Parkerizing Metal

On vintage Harley Davidsons a lot of the small hardware, pedals, levers, etc. are treated against rust by the process of Parkerizing the metal.  I will be doing some of this as I put together the VL so I looked into the process as described below.

Parkerizing, also called phosphating and phosphatizing, is a method of protecting metal from corrosion by applying an electrochemical phosphate conversion coating. The process is frequently done on aluminum, brass, copper, stainless steel and other steel alloys -- particularly high in nickle. As such, the practice is mostly associated with firearms and firearm accessories, such as magazines. Essentially parkerizing is an improved form of zinc and manganese phosphating. It requires complete submersion into a solution of a phosphoric acid mixed with zinc or manganese and various levels of nitrates, chlorates and copper.


Things You'll Need

  • Steel object to be parkerized
  • Outdoor stove
  • 2 plastic 5-gallon buckets (one filled with fresh water, the other empty)

    • 1
      Set all of the materials in an outdoor or well-ventilated area. Parkerizing is an extremely dangerous process, so precautions must always be made before beginning. Once all the materials are in place and the outdoor stove is prepared, put the steel pot or tank on top of it.
    • 2
      Mix the phosphate solution. Check the manufacturer's instructions, including with the phosphoric acid, for the exact strength needed for the operation. Mix the appropriate amounts of acid and distilled water into the empty plastic bucket. Once the solution is at the appropriate ratio and well-mixed, pour the mixture into the pot or tank placed on the stove. Make absolutely sure to wear gloves and goggles when mixing or pouring phosphoric acid. Leave space at the top of the pot for bubbling, splatter and the volume of the metal object. 
    • Heat the solution to between 191 and 210 degrees Fahrenheit. The solution should be brought to just under boiling -- not actually boiling. Keep the solution covered while preheating and use the thermometer to keep track of the temperature.
    • 4
      Strip the steel of its original finish and clean it of any oil, grease, dirt or rust. Any substances leftover during the parkerizing process can lead to a less resistant result. This can be accomplished using a bead blaster, carburetor cleaner and clean rags.
    • 5
      Tie the nylon cord or steel wire to the object so that it can be safely moved while submerged. It's best to tie the cord or wire in multiple places, in a loose but secure way, so that the knots don't slip but the solution can fill the area under them.
    • 6
      Submerge the steel object into the solution after it has reached a steady, safe temperature. Approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit is a good temperature to reach. Shake the pot or tank slightly every 30 seconds or so to make sure the solution gets everywhere on the object. The color of the object will begin to change -- a typical effect of the parkerizing process.
    • 7
      Flip the object over when the bubbling begins to slow down. Use the cord or wire to pull and maneuver the object, and the tongs to flip it over. Continue to shake the object around every 30 seconds until the bubbling stops. At times, white sediments may settle on the surface of the object. This is normal and should not cause worry.
    • 8
      Place the parkerized object into the fresh water bucket. Once the sediment is rinsed and the object has cooled, take it out and immediately dry it using a clean towel. If not immediately dried, the steel may begin to rust within 10 minutes.
    • 9
      Apply a thick coat of non-aromatic, petroleum-based oil. Do this by either rubbing the oil on and then placing the object into a plastic bag to soak, or by submerging it completely in the oil and letting it sit. Allow several hours for the oil to set into the metal.

Harley Davidson VL History

In the late 1920s, Harley-Davidson was selling the model JD inlet-over-exhaust (inlet valve in the cylinder head and exhaust valve in the cylinder) V-twin in 61ci and 74ci capacities. A legendary machine today, it didn’t seem that way at the time. The JD, although sporting an excellent power-to-weight ratio and an ability to negotiate bad roads with aplomb, needed constant maintenance.

To improve reliability, Harley introduced a side-valve engine (with both valves in the cylinder). The first, 21ci (344cc) singles, appeared in the summer of 1925. Rugged and simple to maintain, they found favor in Harley’s then booming export market. The next step was a 45ci (737cc) V-twin, which showed up in July of 1928. Although it suffered some teething problems, most were worked out by December of that year.

In August 1929, Harley-Davidson took a deep breath, closed the door on the inlet-over-exhaust twins that had built the company’s reputation and brought out a new 74ci side-valve engine. These new V-twins had not been rigorously tested, and many broke down shortly after they were sold. In mid-October, Harley shipped replacement component kits to its dealers. The dealers had to eat the labor cost to retrofit new crankcases, flywheels, valve springs and clutch plates, but within a few months, sales of the new 74s began to improve.

The unreliability of the first 74s was shortly followed by another disaster — the Great Depression. From 18,036 machines sold in 1930, sales dropped to 10,407 in 1931, 7,218 in 1932 and bottomed out at 3,703 in 1933.

By 1934, things were a little better, and Harley proudly unveiled its lineup for the year. Art Deco styling was at its peak, and the 1934 Flathead is a beautiful example of this artistic movement. The VLD was H-D’s top of the line twin, with low-expansion aluminum alloy pistons, a Y-shaped intake manifold and 5:1 compression. The engine made 36 hp at 4,500rpm, and top speed was probably about 90mph.

Standard colors were Teak Red and Black, or Silver and Teak Red, with optional special order colors of Silver and Seafoam Blue, Orlando Orange and Black, and Olive Green and Black. In the summer of 1934, Harley advertised a new no-cost option of Copper Du Lux and Vermilion Red.

Like most bikes in 1934, the VLD had no rear springing and a 6-volt electrical system. Bumps on the road were softened by Harley’s patented “Ful-Floteing” seat spring. Shifting was via a 3-speed hand shift through a rocker foot-clutch that could be locked in place. A rider could bring a properly set up Harley Flathead to a stop, engage the clutch, put down both feet and fold his arms.

Monday, January 6, 2014

VLD Transmission

I picked up this Harley Davidson VLD transmission the other day.  I believe it is correct for my 1934 build.  I guess one advantage I have in building this bike is that I am used to starting with little or nothing but an idea and ending up with a finished motorcycle.  I call it the "poor mans payment plan".  When it is finished, it is paid for as well !

Hopefully I can find bigger lumps as I go but having the end goal firmly fixed is the most important part.  I have a 1955 Panhead frame I would trade for a good 1934 VL frame if anyone is interested.  I show pictures of it in another blog entry.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

'34 VL

This 1934 VL belongs to Mike Wolfe of American Pickers' fame.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Harley Cycle Tow

First available in 1930, the Cycle Tow system could be added to a standard Harley-Davidson VL or DL motorcycle.  The two additional rear wheels were deployed when the motorcycle needed to be towed and then folded up and forward when the motorcycle needed to be ridden solo.  The system worked well for towing, but the motorcycle was awkward and unstable when ridden solo.  Although not a success financially, the Cycle Tow inspired Harley-Davidson to design the Servi-Car.  In 1932, the first Servi-Car went into production and they were continuously produced until 1973.

N.O.S. XLCH Sportster Seat For Sale

NEW OLD STOCK  BLACK Seat for Harley Davidson Sportster models 1957-1972. This was made in the 1960s and has set on the shelf for the last 40+ years.The cover is still like new and the foam is soft, it would be great on a restored bike.  Fits both XLH or XLCH Harley Davidson.

FREE SHIPPING to anywhere in lower 48 states, all others pay actual shipping costs.

$425.00   Where are you going to find another one ???

Call Tim @ 951-992-9839