Sunday, November 27, 2011

Uncle Sam, Handmade in the USA

I finished this dry version of the bike some months back. I've been so busy riding it, I haven't had time to shoot pictures. So, here is a first look at the government cheese version of my 1966 "Culver City style" chopper.
I've got some good solid miles on it since buttoning it up in August. I rode it on an epic trip from Brooklyn to North Carolina, riding the Blue Ridge. That ride was the real test for this bike, and man o man did this scooter sing. After that run, I was head over heals in love. It's been really hard to get off the bike, it just carves and glides like a magic carpet. I've had and built a lot of bikes now, but I can honestly say, this bike is ME.
The foundation of the bike is a 1966 slab side shovel. I've had this motor for some time and ran it in the purple lane splitter. I pulled it apart, freshened up the lower end with bearings and other salt and pepper. The top end was in good shape, so just sproosed it up a bit. Added an early Morris mag that I found at a swap for 100 bones, 100 more bones for parts and Uncle Sam sparks to life.
The tranny is a later model hodgepodge late 70's. It was worn out from the miles I had on it in the purple bike. I did a complete rebuilt with Andrews gears, and Andrews main shaft. Gotta a leaky seal but shifts like it just came from the factory.
The frame was a good score and perfect candidate for chopping. I found the chewed up 49 wishbone frame through some connections. 200 bucks!  Neck was raked, very poorly I might add, lots of ugly welds, and shit cut off like some cat did it with a dull chain saw while on ludes.
 Around the same time I found the frame, I scored an extended springer from Mike Davis of Born Loser / Born Free fame. I don't care what anyone says about you Mike, you are a solid dude. The springer was a 10ish over Buchanan's job. Yep, the spoke and wheel cats use to extend springers. I mocked the bike up with a 21 up front and 18 rear and measured up how much I would stretch, and rake the frame. On top of the original neck being horribly raked, the frame had a nice curve to the back bone that shouldn't have been there. So I chopped it all off from just above the seat post and just above the side car loops. I used a later model neck I had from another swing arm frame and donated the rest to JD. The frame was bent so bad that I actually had to remove the entire back bone and heat and bend the frame back at the seat post.

With a little help from JD and Gilby, we bent up a new back bone and down tubes. 2.5 up and out. I put a nice slice in the neck, dropped the front end on and bounced on it till it was raked where I wanted it. 45ish. Of course, I narrowed the front end, along with dropping in a new 1" neck.
The tank is an old Wassell that I stretched 2", narrowed in the rear, tunneled, relocated the filler and petcock, as per the frisco vibe.
 The bars are some prototype Cro-TBars, if all goes well, these will be coming soon.
 The Cobra seat and P-pad were sort of re-gifted to me via Nash. This seat originally was part of Wil's Hood Rat that we built. I new at one point that Uncle Sam needed a Cobra seat. I asked Wil if he still had it, he said, "no, but I know who does".  Couple phone calls later Nash was at my door step with the seat. Super awesomeness. I owe you Nash!
The fender was a 2 dollar find trailer fender that I narrowed and "duck tailed". The tail light is from a 40-50s era school bus I found for 10 bucks at a local swap. There are lots of other little cool finds and parts that came together via friends and swap meets. Its a chopper. That word isn't played out. This is a chopper.
They say, never say never, but this is MY bike and as long as never is, this will never be sold. Next year I'll "finish" it up with some frame molding and paint, maybe a little more if the government sends me my check.


  1. Sure you've heard it a lot, but only thing wrong with that bike is that it's not in my garage...

  2. damn i really dig this thing, i am not usually one for grimy bikes but this bike has so much attitude and i love how much you love it!!!!! and you always have the coolest tail lights!

  3. dude that bike is bitchin just the way it sits..those are where mine get to cuz i never have the bread to finish themm..but arent as bitchin as yours..luvv it

  4. 'it just carves and glides like a magic carpet'
    I concur. Culver City Style all the way.