... there was American flat trackers.
These are some of my favorites:
Yamaha XS650 Wayne Rainey tribute bike
CL350 Honda. That tank graphic says, "Oriental Triumph."
Yamaha '77 TT500
All of them are the inspiration for my next losing venture: this '71 Honda CL450 street tracker:
This is all I've got so far, but it didn't look this good a week ago. Our friend Rob at Intense Cycles (the bicycle company) donated the basket case for this labor of love. We'll keep you posted right here.
Thats right don't call the warehouse cause we ain't there. We are headed to, at the, or comin back from the Lone Star Round Up and Flyrite's Open House Party in Austin Texas! We will be gone from 3/30-4/8.If you're a shop or distributor and need to place an order try HERE at Lick's distribution and A.J. will take care of you. If you are a consumer and would like to place an order click HERE to see a list of dealers you can purchase from.
Posted by The Crew at 11:39 AM
Here's a report on the Liberator Show from our good friend and faithful Biltwell distributor Paul DeJong of Paul's Boutique in Holland:
This annual show was covered by Black ribbons cause the original founders of the Liberator club died
two days before. Henk van Hout will be missed, his daughter died two years ago and they both were the
party animals at the show so it was kinda slow this year.
Saturday I showed up with my XL1000 and found out that I will rebuild the bike on Monday, I don't like
the look right now so my forks are at the MX dealer (its a KTM MX fork) and I'm changing the handlebars
to some Universal MX bars. Don't know about the tank yet but I guess I won't go by the Frisco style this time.
The weather was nice and some cool bikes showed up, the best one was a Liberator in late 30's racing
style, it was gone before I could find my camera. Second best was a panhead with Swedish style covers
and super-nice setup with a Firestone original rear tire, no front brakes, no hand controls, etc.
Also a Diesel home project attended the show and a handfull of pans, shovels and liberators.
Old Mill Choppers had their first show with a nice booth filled with Biltwell stuff and two nice bikes. Piet
and Ronny really liked the Biltwell stuff and so did the customers, we sold some stuff and more will be sold at their shop in Overloon. Check their stuff at Old Mill Choppers.
Posted by The Crew at 11:37 AM
So this dude has been stalking us at swap meets for well over a year now. Always with these tales of how his bike is coming along, and maybe a blurry cell phone photo or two. His name is Kit, so we call him Tool Kit of course. He bought one of the seats a little while back and I was interested in how it looked on the bike so I asked him to send me some real photos. Well, he sent them over and I have to say the bike looks great! It's going to Four Aces this week to lose it's cherry and get fired up for the first time since the rebuild. I know Kit is pretty excited about that. I look forward to seeing it on the EDR Kit, and good job man, the bike looks phenomenal. Oh yeah, the Solo Seat looks pretty good too...
Posted by The Crew at 2:08 PM
Well, she fired back up tonight. After chasing some electrical questions around a bit and determining that I had spark, the only thing that could be stopping it was a lack of gas. Then I remember taking apart a VOES vacuum petcock on a sporty I owned years ago. Of course all of that crap got tossed long ago on this project, so I had to get the thing to flow without vacuum. A quick search on the Journal netted the simple mod - reversing the spring inside the petcock let's the life juice flow unaided by sucking. Sweet! 15 minutes later, kabam! It fired right to life like it was supposed to.
Now the loose ends gotta be buttoned up, but it's a runner as it sits. Still haven't ridden it yet, but that's coming soon. I'll probably lower it in front and go back to the struts eventually. For now, it's running with shocks and the tall front end.
Here's what I learned;
It could have been done way cheaper and easier if I had chosen to just lace up a 21" wheel and keep the narrow glide front end. But, wouldn't be quite as chunky looking and I like that big meat out front, and the Tokico four-pot.
I love the seat. We are developing a better version with the same profile, but even easier install and of course slightly better cover.
Risers. There is a lack of good, clean, functional risers on the market. I chose the best ones I could find, but Chris has already drawn up some that have a little more style without being too funky for a plain-Jane unit like this bike. Same thing with a throttle housing. Not too much to choose from out there. Cheap ass mini-bike quality for under $20 or super trick stuff for well over $100. Perfect Biltwell material there and the prototype that Chris loaned me snaps like a well-prepped dirt bike, I love it!
I dig the circuit breakers instead of using fuses, but only some hard, real-world miles will tell how well they hold up. I predict they'll work fine.
The Aces bars that Wes designed are great and get even better when narrowed, at least on this bike.
Budgets are made to be broken. My original goal was to not exceed 5k total and I haven't added the latest receipts but I probably went $500 over. Wheels and powder coating add up quick. So do trips to the hardware store for stainless.
I like the MX pegs and am working on a set for the passenger.
I need a kill switch. Duh.
The pipe kit rules. I almost hope this one falls apart so I can do another set.
These bikes are a good format for a novice builder like me to start with. Easy to find, easy to register, parts are readily available and so is advice from a decent local shop like ours. Anyone who tells you it's a great wife bike is just keeping prices depressed so us normal working-stiffs can afford em' so don't let them in on the secret!
If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can check out the original blog, towards the bottom of this page. Way more photos and descriptions are on my flickr page here if you are REALLY bored.
Big thanks to McGoo for all his help and for being the original inspiration for an evo sporty in the first place.
Posted by The Crew at 9:59 PM
Now, we've seen quite a few nicely painted and pin-striped Biltwell lids, but how about something completely different? Check out this fully covered, metal flake vinyl unit done by 6-Strings down in Austin. What makes a guy want to upholster the outside of a helmet? Probably the same thing that motivates some to keep heads in the fridge. What I do know is it's pretty cool, and that he'll be at the Lonestar Round Up. So will Chris and McGoo, so if you are going, keep an eye out for 'em.
Posted by The Crew at 11:41 PM
The Circle Jerks rule. Check out this link I stumbled upon. You can spend hours looking at all the flyers. This stuff was WAY important a long time ago, long before myspace, kids. My high school friend, Todd Nakamine's whole entire bedroom was covered in homemade punk and metal fliers. Now he works for EMI. Don't worry Chris, I have plans for that 45...
Posted by The Crew at 3:18 PM
Thanks to everyone who showed up for today's little informal ride. I met some cool folks and saw some great bikes. Funny how many modified evo sporties keep popping up lately, maybe I'm just finally paying attention to 'em, I don't know? We also had a grip of modern Triumphs, all of which got a superb flogging!
Anyway, we had a great ride. I expected about four people and twenty showed up. Eight of us finished together and hung out at the Roadhouse for a beer or two. I sure hope the rest of you made it back all right. We were hauling ass for the most part, but waited at several gas stops and major intersections and just never hooked up again. Next time we'll go the opposite direction to mix it up and go uphill on some of those best sections.
Big "thank you" to everyone, I had a good time and hope you did too.
A few pics here, but nothing spectacular.
Posted by The Crew at 7:41 PM
Kevin Bass is a well-known fabricator and teaches shop at Kennedy High School in Minnesota. What a cool gig, huh? Showing kids the ropes and building cool bikes all at the same time. We've donated stuff for the last couple bikes and the most recent one uses our pipe kit and mohawk exhaust tips. Looks like "Teach" and the kids made good use of it and we look forward to seeing the finished bike soon. Thanks for letting us be a part of it, Kids.
Posted by The Crew at 8:34 AM
This product is by no means original, but none of the precious few shock struts we've seen on the market hold a candle to these babies. The Biltwell shock strut fitment mules shown here are made to the same specs as the finished product, which is to say this: they are 1020 high-tensile steel, and both ends are CNC machined from bar stock. A baloney-cut butted section on each end of the strut is TIG welded to the machined boss and the center tube, and believe us, these welds are beautiful. The 10-inch length of the finished product will lower stock Sportsters approximately 2.5" inches in the rear end, with no clearance headaches (see photo.) Installation is dead simple, and took us about five minutes including photo time.
Step one: remove old shocks.
Step two: slide the shock strut over the stock shock bolts and reinstall the nuts
Step three: repeat step two on the opposite side
Step four: stand back and enjoy your handiwork.
As you can see, the stock drivetrain has plenty of clearance between the belt and the rear subframe.
As Bill's bike clearly shows, Biltwell shock struts definitely toughen up the look and stance of any late-model XL. Strippers have been saying it for years and we agree: Bolt-ons ARE better!
Posted by The Crew at 8:03 PM
Well Rob bought this bike to just be a fun scoot and didn't plan on doing much to it, just ride and have fun. Thats hilarious right. I mean buy an older harley and plan on just riding it? Well it took I think 6 hours before he had already begun his tear down and even got it back together after a top end rebuild for a quick ride around the block before he tore it down again. Well I think he is almost ready for another ride around the block and hopefully more. I'd tell him to leave it be and just ride but thats like the pot calling the kettle black so I'll just bite my tongue and hopefully one of us will wise up.
Looks Great Rob!
Looks Great Rob!
Posted by The Crew at 2:24 PM