Originally posted by Buck Lovell on Sunday, 11 March 2012 in Buck Lovell's - American Biker Blog
MY FAVORITE MOTORCYCLE
IT'S HER 32ND BIRTHDAY…I'LL DRINK TO THAT!
Way back in the slightly later good old days…around 1980, I built a little rigid framed Indian chopper just the way I wanted it, and got ragged on for using a Kawasaki front fork instead of an American component. "F#$%k you if you can't take a joke" was my response. Or even f#%@k you and your Harley-Davidson. Back then I was a devout Indian rider, Harleys rode in the back of pickup trucks. The biggest reason I installed the Kawasaki front fork is because it had dual disk hydraulic brakes, and the hydraulic fork legs worked like magic. It was a vast improvement over the Indian factory leaf spring style fork that would have been stock on this genuine 1936 dated frame. The modern Japanese hydraulic fork smoothed out all the little bumps on a shitty road surface, and most of the bigger holes, whereas the leaf spring fork made me bite my tongue every once in while, especially after drinking a few beers. Oh, MY BAD, no drinking and driving. Back then bar hopping was the motorcycle sport of choice, at least for the crowd of rocket scientist biker dudes I was hanging out with. Yes sir…the whole bunch of us got drunk and drag raced to the next tavern, bar, or watering hole. I'm thinkin' that must be where the Full Throttle Saloon got its name. That had to be ten or eleven riders, and man we flew down Bascom Avenue from the Pot Belly Saloon in San Jose to Otto's in Los Gatos, Ca. The speed limit was…..however fast we were going. If we got red lighted we just scattered. One cop car……12-13 motorcycles…no helicopters…….usually only one traffic ticket.
Being a hard working employee at the Antique and Modern Motorcycle shop in Santa Clara, California allowed me to dig through the huge piles of Indian stuff to find the best of the best parts and components to assemble a complete rear mechanical brake unit and other stuff I needed to complete the bike. The cylinder heads used on this bike are special in that they have a "trench" cast into the head that runs across the combustion chamber area. These are the same type head I used on my Indian Chief which holds a Bonneville speed record its class. See the Janruary 2008 issue of American Iron Magazine for that story.
This street motorcycle had/has no frills. I think the rider I sold it to is still riding the thing. I can see his face if I think about it hard enough….I just can't remember his name. That solo seat wasn't really anywhere near comfortable ….it mere fulfilled the legal requirement for seating. I was reducing the total weight of the motorcycle at the expense of my spine. My tail-bone sat directly on the rear fender which was no fun when blasting over railroad tracks. It was sometimes a leg numbing experience. I used to ride my 4 year old daughter home from the babysitter sitting on the gas tank side saddle. I don't if her yells were yells of fun or pain. Only kidding, she loved the ride. She enjoyed the ride! She wanted to take the log way home, and don't we all?
The rear mechanical brake is 1936 Indian. The two piece gas is stock (completely resoldered) the right side tank/oil tank combo (split right side-oil front gas rear) was a real bitch to silver solder. Back then I had the skill-set and weekly practice to solder Indian gas tanks back together. I doubt if I still have that skill-set. Feeding oil to the motor is a stock rotating/reciprocating cast iron unit that has had the body chrome plated. Found it in the pile. Schunk cams and Bonneville cam followers are some of the motor mods, I can't remember all the stuff I did to that motor, but the bike hauled ass….it didn't weight shit….and could stop on a dime courtesy the KZ brakes.
The exhaust pipes were bent to fit by a San Jose Company called "Pipeline," and cost the then exorbitant fee of $110.00. At least I thought that was lot of money at the time. I can't remember if that included chrome plating. On my very first ride I got a loud pipes citation from a downtown San Jose police office who just wouldn't accept my explanation of "it's a Classic motorcycle, mufflers are not required." The exhaust system on that bike sounded like a Kenworth "Jake Brake" when coasting while in gear. Thirty six inches was the recommended length for straight pipes on this Indian flathead motor. So thirty six inches was the length I had the guys at Pipeline makem'. That bike robbed me of at least a portion of my hearing. On the right side anyway. Ask my wife…. I really miss that motorcycle, it was a noisy bitch but it damn sure kick started most of the time one kick, drunk or sober. I can't count when I'm drinkin', can you! And it truly was a Chopper's chopper. The only carburetor I know how to adjust in the dark is the Linkert M-74…..or any Linkert for that matter. If you know where this motorcycle is please provide me with her address….I want to send her a birthday present. She's 32 years old, or thereabouts. I'll send her a gasket set or something just for old times sake. She's probably blown a few (gaskets!!…get yer mind out of the gutter) over the years.
Biker Buck of the High Plains…OMG to Pat Danger