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Parking Lot Bike of the week
Bling’s Cycles’ head honcho, Bill Dodge, has got a thing about mixing up a concoction of dirt bikes and V-twin customs that goes back to the first feature bike, Asbury Dirt, we did on him in the print edition of Barnett’s Magazine about oh, ten or twenty years ago (or maybe it just seems that way). Back then, it seemed quite shocking for a big V-twin custom to have knobby tires on it when everything else was just pushing the boundaries of how wide a rear tire could or should go.
Published in Vintage
If you asked just about any in-the-know Harley freak in the know what special model they dream of owning someday I don’t think it would be anything from Y2K on up. Yeah, the new Harley-Davidsons have gotten to be better and better with each passing year, but they would be more on a wish list versus a dream bike. Dream bikes are something are something to unabashedly lust for and usually involve something vintage. Although a Harley-Davidson Knucklehead might be the most beautiful Harley engine ever, I think the venerable Panhead would win out.
Published in Vintage
Best to clear the air with a minor bit of disclosure relating to how I’m a completely biased fan of everything and anything to come out of Prism Supply in Stanley, North Carolina. There, I’ve said it so if you don’t want to hear a lot of embarrassing gushing on my part, just click over to Jack Cofano’s photo gallery and enjoy yourself in peace and quiet. If not, hang in there and I’ll try to show why I’m such a fan of the two brothers, Zack and Jake Hindes, who are a couple of extremely talented young builders with the design aesthetic of a couple of Old School builders back in the day.
Published in Choppers
So, if you’re tuning in and maybe didn’t catch yesterday’s article of the top ten sales of the Mecum Motorcycle Auction in Las Vegas this past January 25-28, you can always time travel back to yesterday via the Internet and read about those six-figure or close-to-it vintage bikes. Today, though, we’ll look at bikes that struck my fancy. Yes, it’s that simple a judging on my part with no pretense as being the absolute best buys or perfectly correct and ready for professional judging. There certainly was a lot to like and you can see them all on www.mecum.com if that’d be more interesting than my choices. Up to you, I’m just plowing ahead and hoping for the best.
Published in 2017 EVENTS
Ask any Harley-Davidson freak what’s their favorite Harley model and you’ll hear a lot of different answers from Knucklehead to Panhead to Flathead to Ironhead to Shovelhead to whatever. It’s usually a vintage model from decades ago. But, there is a bunch of H-D fanatics that are in a Harley world of their own who would chose an FXR, any FXR, as the best thing The Motor Company’s ever built. All of the things that seemingly made an FXR a hard sell on the showroom floor is what interests them the most. An exposed tubular frame made for handling, comfort and cornering along with lighter weight and rubber engine mounting made lifetime believers out of some Harley faithful to the point where anything else is cool they say, but there’s nothing like a Harley-Davidson FXR.
Published in Modified Stockers
One thing I really have always appreciated about the Artistry In Iron Show at the Las Vegas Bikefest is that once you walk in the door, you realize you had no idea what to expect after seeing the unexpected. Each and every custom motorcycle is the vision of one of the 19 invited builders who seem to build something that has nothing to do with trends or styles of the day. They just build what they want and how they want and brand loyalty or brand favoritism seems to have little or no place there. The judges are the 19 builders and just like their builds, they vote for what they like or maybe even want. A winner there does not have to be a Harley-Davidson or a clone thereof, it just has to be really cool looking with details for the details.
Published in Non V-Twins
Growing up as a kid in New England in the ‘50s, the only Harleys I ever seemed to see were really bobbed-out, in the truest sense of the term, ex-police bikes and full dressers as my dad used to call them. There didn’t seem to be much else or maybe I was just drawn to certain Harleys as a kid. And yes, they really did just whack off the ends of the fenders to lighten it up and give it a bit of a tough guy look along with ridding it of anything they didn’t need to get from here to there. Motorcycling was a poor boy sport back then and nobody had chrome this or aftermarket that. Not only did they not have the money then, but there was no aftermarket to speak of either. If you wanted a custom Harley back then you built it yourself or maybe with a friend’s help. The Harley-Davidsons I remember most looked more like the rat bikes of today with slightly better paint and a brutal honesty about them.
Styles come and go and then come and go again, but one easily recognizable style seems to soldier on through the thick and thin of what’s trendy and what’s not. And that, ladies and gentlemen, would be the iconic bobber style that appeals to the inner hooligan in all of us. You might be a diehard bagger guy, but you’ll always look wistfully at a neat little bobber ridden around like it’s a bicycle compared to 900-plus pounds of touring loveliness. Each has their own reason to be, but if I needed an around town bopper, this cool blue piece of work by Holy City Cycles’ Robbie Closson gets my motor running.
Harley-Davidson Flatheads are what a lot of people might say is an acquired taste much like gin, Moxie, and OnYums. It might not be love at first ride for those used to the power of late model Harleys, but there’s something about the old 45-inch Flatheads that makes for a satisfying experience. Yeah they sound like a Harley should, but they’ve got their own beat and bark that’s a bit more relaxed in tempo. They are a 45-degree air-cooled V-twin, but they look so different you’d never mistake one for any other Harley design even though the very basic engine architecture is the same. Flatty’s are a simple side-valve design from a time when simple was a motorcycling necessity for riders who were usually their own mechanics.
Benito Mendoza owns a small motorcycle fix-it shop called Thunder Road Motorcycles for almost two decades on a busy corner in downtown Hollister, California. Basically it’s a one man shop where he maintains, fixes, and builds customs. Benito works mainly on Harley-Davidsons, but has been known to wrench on others like Indians, Victorys, etc. He's an old-fashioned mechanic/wrench/grease monkey, not a modern technician. Benito can fix shit and if he can't, then he replaces the part.
Published in Choppers