Friday, June 22, 2012

On The Road...

Looking forward to a ride around the west coast and Born Free.  Be back soon...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Harley-Davidson & The Sweathogs

My friend Eric from work brought in some vintage Kodachrome from his childhood days here in Detroit.  Eric's father was/remains a true gear head like us. He built this custom Sportster back in the early 8o's and at some point snapped a few off on a late summer day in 1976.  Eric is seen standing next to his Dad's cool new sled looking proud of the bike as his dad probably was of him.  I love that center pic with Eric. His Sweathogs shirt and his buddies green machine bring it all back for me.  Thanks for the pics Eric!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Gyronaut X-1

Earl Flanders (AMA prez), Bob Leppan (rider), Alex Tremulis(stylist) and Jim Bruflodt (mechanic).  Eventually this team would see a 264.437 top speed in the iconic Gyronaut.  Bob Leppan is currently restoring the streamliner for a return to Bonneville next year marking the  50th anniversary of the Gyronaut's first runs down the salt.  Alex Tremulis was a stylist at Ford like yours truly and created the concept for the bike. Powered by twin Triumph mills derived from Bob and Jim's ex-drag racer "Cannibal II".  Alex's nephew has created a great site that rolls out the whole story.  Check it out here

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fab Kevin

Stopped by Fab Kevin's place today.  The top motor mount on my new build is biased to the rear cylinder and needs some expert attention.  Kevin was pumping out fresh new parts for the Smoke Out which is happening this coming weekend but still had time to sketch out what was in my mind and figure out how to make it strong enough to actually function.  His new build (which has been featured on the ZON before) is coming along nicely.  I'm a huge fan of this bike and can't wait to see it roll.  The attention to detail and laser like execution of his work is inspiring as hell.  Just check out those pipes pictured above!  If you have any fabrication needs you should get in touch with him.  Thanks again for the help Kevin!  Here's a link to his digital site check it out!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Our Daily Sled #276

Blackie Bernal's Bonneville missile.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Born Free Update...

Rosemary got a tune-up and a pair of new skins tonight...for her first trip to the west coast and my first visit to the Born Free chopper show. OK she's no chopper, in fact this bike is the exact opposite of a chopper but who cares - we're going to Born Free!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

First Blood

After I posted pics of this bike Slojo piped in and informed me that this bike was a very important one.   Here are Joe's comments...

"That sled is an original Sylvester Roper, I forgot which bike first or last (last), he built bikes from 1867 to 1896 when he died riding his bike to save our motorcycling souls.  Sylvester was on a bicycle race track (on the boards) being laughed at, no one thought his bike would work.  Forty plus miles an hour later (and passing everyone on the track) he wiggled and wobbled then ran off course and died.  Most likely of a heart attack.  He invented the motorcycle and was motorcycling's first causality."

The bike in my pics above is the actual bike Sylvester bought the farm on

More info here

Monday, June 11, 2012

Bikes, Barns and Beaches

Rode over to the west side of the mitten Saturday after work for some air and a view of the sun sinking into Lake Michigan. I watched it go down with my toes in the sand.  Sunday morning I headed back east to catch the Vintage Motorcycle Show at the Gilmore Car Museum in Hickory Corners, Mi - about 40 minutes from the beach.  The Gilmore always puts on a good show with a decent swap which is slowly getting better.  This year I noticed a few new buildings in addition to the classic barns, one of them was a permanent motorcycle barn! Very cool. My favorite bike of the show was a steam powered sled that pre-dated Harley-Davidson by about 10years.