Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1928 an 1929 Harley Davidson Ignition Switch Dashes

This is a 1929 ignition switch assembly with a light to see the map meter and it does have an amp meter which is a nice thing to have on a battery ignition bike.

This is a 1928 ignition switch set up, no amp meter or light.  My Harley is a 1928 J model which would have this set up but I am thinking about how nice an upgrade it would be to have the amp meter.  I don't want to end up with a slapped together motorcycle but on a rider these things are important just like having a front brake.  1928 was the first year for a front brake on the JD line up and coincidentally the first year for Indian as well.  Probably not by chance !

Old Harleys and Horses

Old motorcycles and horses have always been part of my life.  I rode a horse for the 1st time at about 3-4 years of age with my mother and we always had horses growing up.  I worked at the race track while in High School and had two horses at that time.  When I was 17 I traded my Quarter Horse for a Honda CL 185 and it was all over then.  Funny thing is that at I'm in my late fifties now and I live on a horse ranch and still love old bikes....  If push came to shove it would be the old motorcycles over the horses even now.

Monday, January 25, 2016

My 1928 Harley J engine, it looks pretty nice but its stuck so that is always interesting.  For an engine that is almost 90 years old its not bad

Saturday, January 23, 2016

1928-1929 Harley Davidson Sport Solo Tanks

I ordered these replica Harley Davidson Sport Solo tanks from Replicant Metals along with all the tank fittings.  It will be a good boost to see the tanks on the frame.  I have heard that these reproduction parts are very high quality and I will report back when I get them.
These are the same tanks that were used on the last post for the black '28 Sport Solo JD

Friday, January 22, 2016

I got this picture from the Replicant Metals site, it is a 1928 Sport Solo built by Kip Kern

Down The Rabbit Hole..............AGAIN

1928 Harley Davidson J
Well I've managed to tumble down the rabbit hole again !  I sold my '46 Chief and my Knucklehead projects basically because I had built both before and I got bored.  I have always wanted to build a 1920's JD so here I go again.
I found a nice clean '28 J motor which is the 61" version and a good frame from Eldon Brown in Canada.  This stuff is getting harder and harder to find so I bit the bullet and bought them.  I'll have it all in a few weeks ( I hope ! ) and will start posting some progress pictures at that time.

Harley Davidson 45 C.I. OHV Prototype

This is the only known surviving example of a 1941 Harley Davidson O.H.V. 45 cubic inch motorcycle.  The O.H.V. idea was not new to the Factory and had been used on racing motorcycles and hill climbers.  It cost as much to build the O.H.V. 45 as a Knucklehead and remember we entered World War II on December 7th, 1941...the bombing of Pearl Harbor which changed this whole country in a heart beat.

The three engines were stored in the Knuth warehouse in Milwaukee during WWII. After the war H-D sent some guys to inventory the warehouse because they had no clue what was in it. One of these guys liberated the OHV 45" engine and took it home. The Motor Company found out and demanded its return. The guy skipped town and took the engine with him.

Later it was discovered that he was working for a H-D dealership in the south and had installed the engine in a bike. H-D told the dealer to turn over the engine or he would loose his ticket. The dealer turned the engine over to the H-D District manager, who took it home and stored it in his garage.

Years went by and H-D again forgot about the OHV 45". The district manager retired from the company. He then contacted a great Harley race mechanic he had known for years who was now in California doing a bang up job porting and installing big valves in current model H-D heads. He sold the engine to this man who in turn sold it to a gentleman who deals with old bikes in Santa Paula, CA. It gets a bit foggy from here .... evidently the gentleman sold the engine to Carmen Brown who built it into a motorcycle.

That's a great story and may or may not be entirely accurate................

Monday, January 11, 2016

Las Vegas Mecum Auction Results for 2016

1912 Henderson Four Cylinder sold for $165,000
These are the top ten motorcycles that actually sold at the Las Vegas Mecum Auction
1912 Henderson Four Cylinder  $165,000
1955 Vincent Black Prince  $120,000
1928 Cleveland Four Cylinder Tornado $115,000
2004 MTT Y2K Turbine  $115,000
1956 B.S.A. Gold Star Cut Away from the Herb Harris Collection  $110,000
1939 Harley Davidson Knucklehead unrestored except paint  $90,000
1914 Flanders Model D Twin  $90,000
1937 Brough Superior SS80  $86,000
1929 BMW R63 Pre-War  $77,500
1917 Henderson Board Tracker..Rare & Original Factory Racer  $72,500
Overall I thought the prices were way down from previous years.  It was a good time to buy, but not so much if you were selling. 
There was a 1966 Velocette Thruxton that sold for $25,500 but it was not a good year for Triumphs, B.S.A.'s or Nortons.   A very nice 1947 Triumph Tiger 100 sold for $7750
Some of the specialty race bikes didn't fare much better with a 1912 Indian Board Track racer selling at $48,000 and a 1930 Indian factory Hill Climber sold at $60,000
A real surprise was a 1949 Vincent Rapide selling at $40,000 !
Some unsold bikes were the Crocker Bigsby special only going to $90,000 and not selling and a 1908 Harley Davidson Strap Tank going to $400,000 and not selling.  It will be interesting to watch these two bikes to see what ultimately happens.  I thought the Crocker would sell at a very high price.
I was told by a very renowned motorcycle collector about 14 years ago to only buy Vincent and Brough Superior if you are going with British bikes and I have seen this to be true over the years.
I do believe that antique American Motorcycles will always hold and increase their value if you buy the right ones with a strong priority on original paint and part bikes.  It's like any other market, there are years to buy and years to sell.
 1908 Harley Davidson unsold at $400,000

Friday, January 8, 2016

Rare Magneto Re-Magnetizer

I just bought this very rare Magneto Magnetizer made by Joseph Weidenhoff Chicago .  The magnet in the magneto gets weak over time and needs to be recharged by "zapping" it with an electrical current.  I plan on using this thing once I get it all set up and may start a small business rebuilding magnetos.  It's coming from Sweden so it may take a while to get. 

Johnny Eagles has one and I watched him recharge a magneto a few years back, it was kind of magical but it works.

Stay tuned ..............this will be interesting !

Red Fred's Indian Chief
I love it when a bike is personalized so it fits just the owner, the Scottish tartan on the front fender no doubt just fits Fred's Scottish roots.


This motorcycle bears a striking resemblance to an early Indian, the engine looks very similar and the way it's mounted in what still strongly resembles a bicycle frame.  Kind of cool looking but I wouldn't want to go too fast on this thing !