Happy New Year!

Christmas was a bust this year, but New Years Eve was better than ever. I just bought a 2007 BMW G650x Challenge. Beemer's stacking 'em deep and sellin' 'em cheap, 'cause they gave me $1500 off AND low financing with no money down. Billdozer's desert exploits have everyone at Biltwell HQ talking Dual Sport, and I wanted to add a strange bike to our eclectic quiver of Triumphs, Sportsters, Panheads and CB450 basket cases (more on that later...)

I've got plenty of chopping to do on the X Challenge to make it dirt worthy, but those chores will have to wait until after our New Years party. From everyone at Biltwell, best wishes for a warm holiday season and a prosperous 2008...

-- McGoo

Happy New Year!


Out with The Old, In with The New...

After eight months of faithful service, including epic rides on last year's EDR and the second annual Smokeout West in AZ, I'm putting the third bike in my quiver of hand-built death traps out to pasture. That's right: my 1999 XL883 Sportster Smokin' Gun is for sale. I'm moving this sweet unit to make room in the Biltwell fab shop for another project. Our friend Rob Warren has graciously offered to give me his circa '70s CB450 basket case in exchange for some Biltwell bits and pieces for his current project. I chronicled the construction of this bike on the Jockey Journal last winter, and many great people helped me get it off the ground. Thanks to Jason at Flyrite for the awesome Smokin' Gun frame, and Andy Jenkins for the outlandish paint. Of course Christian at Xian Leatherworks gets chubby hollers for doing me right on the 813 seat. Bob at Temecula Motorcycle Repair made sure all my handiwork passed mechanical muster, so this bike is a runner. She's priced to move at $7,500, but I'll knock a couple Ben Franklins off that number if you're a local buyer who makes things easy on me. For more info, please email haroldmcgruther@ca.rr.com

Mike's Bike

Sadly, all good things must come to an end. I brought this bike home from Nick McClean's house in Carson City, Nevada almost exactly two years ago. After blowing it up and changing nearly every single piece on it to something else, it's time to part ways. A guy from NYC named Mike made an offer last month, just before I was going to put it up for sale to fund the next project or three and I couldn't say no. He arranged for me to send the tins to the world famous "Harpoon" who banged out a nutty pinstripe job over the gold flake, with a matching Biltwell Helmet and "wal-lah!" Mike's got a sweet unit now. I had a blast riding this thing around NYC this summer so it's kind of ironic that the machine is headed back that direction. Come to think of it when I bought it from Nick, it had a NY registration, so maybe it's just finding it's way home. Good luck with my baby, Mike!


Here is where it all started

1974 Christmas 4 yrs old.


Merry Christmas

Have a Great Holiday, We are out til the new year so if you need anything e-mail me at

Control Yourself!

Andy Camay from NY is building his first "ground-up" bike and wanted to use our controls. He was generous enough to shoot some photos along the way and write up a little how-to for anyone else interested in setting up the remote master cylinder, etc.

Thanks Andy!

Installing a remote master cylinder to work with the Biltwell forward controls is actually quite simple.
Using the right stuff, you will be able to eliminate that ugly master cylinder placement found commonly with other forward control sets.

I used a late 87- 03 Sportster master cylinder that has a plunger style that accepts a treaded 5/16 x 24 stud ( I used a piece of 5/16 stainless round stock and cut and threaded it to length). Other master cylinders I found had a clevis style ends. I avoided them because I wanted a simple and direct linkage to the plunger so that the applied pressure was more direct. At the pedal end, I used a small ball joint to connect the treaded stainless push rod to the pedal. The beauty of using one of these little ball joints is that it will allow the linkage to still work properly if the alignment is off a bit (but still attempt to get it as level and in line as possible).

With the foot pedal installed and the stainless rod threaded into the ball joint, and the ball joint attached to the pedal, look to see where on the frame the bracketed needs to be welded onto the frame so the linkage will all line up. Actually take the master cylinder in your hand and hold it where it it needs to go. With the threaded stock and the ball joint attached to the pedal, hold the master cylinder against the frame and draw a line with a marker just underneath where it needs to be welded so that the push rod will be inline with the plunger of the master cylinder.

With the line in place, begin to make a template out of cardboard so that you can transfer over the shape needed to the 1/4 steel used to make the bracket to mount the master cylinder. The bracket is super simple. All it really needs to be is beefy enough to weld to the frame and accurately except the 2 holes in the master cylinder. Be sure to double check that you can still pull the engine and transmission after you weld the bracket on. As you can see, I placed mine between the engine and trans with enough room to yank them both. As a tip, see what lengths of brake line is available to you. It might be a good idea to move your master cylinder a bit if you can as to avoid having extra or too little brake line when you go to plumb the system.

Cut and thread the push rod linkage to length leaving some room to tread the push rod in or out for some adjustment. Hang your caliper, determine the length of the brake line needed. Bleed it though and you are done!

It's really that easy.

Like I said, just do your best to line it up and make sure that everything around it will clear and you'll be golden.

Going Home

Marks bike is going home. Leaving tonight for OKC with a pit stop at Freedom for some minor issues.

Coming Soon: Two New Biltwell Helmet Colors!

Two weeks ago Chris and I took delivery of production samples of Biltwell helmets in two new colors:

Metal Flake Orange

Matte Black

These new helmets, along with our current quiver of seven stock metal flake and two gloss paint finishes are scheduled to arrive in our warehouse the second week of January, 2008.

If you are a Biltwell dealer or a participant in our custom painter program, we strongly recommend prebooking your next order asap after the X-mas holiday. As many of our customers will attest, Biltwell helmets sell fast, and we don't want anyone to find themselves empty handed for the new year.


They Don't Have to Respect Women—They're Goddamned Daredevils!

Enough eulogies have been shared since The King of The Daredevil's demise that I won't bother adding to the pile. While researching another daredevil from my youth I stumbled upon this great site: www.cyclejumpers.com. On Cycle Jumpers you'll find great bio's on dozens of brave men and women who earned a living the hard way in Evel's insurmountable wake. The daredevil from my youth was a man named Bob Gill. Like so many other unfortunate stunt jumpers before and after him, Bob Gill landed in an Everest & Jennings after wadding up over a 200-foot chasm. In typical daredevil fashion, Bob Gill loaded his wheelchair into the custom sidecar on his handi-capable KZ900 and rode across the United States. I met Bob at a BMX event in Florida around 1977 or '78. Myself and my friends Greg and Bryan Esser and Brian Webb stayed at Bob's house in St. Petersburg. In the eyes of this 15-year-old BMX racer, Bob Gill was The Man. you can read about Bob Gill's fight to walk again on his personal website: www.bobgillwalksagain.com.


Marks Bike

There is a long history and story behind this bike for me. If you were on the first EDR you may recognize the tank. I put it on a bike I rode on the run and wore one of Marks helmets. This is the bike it belongs too. Mark Udell is a friend of mine and this is his bike. He bought it new in 91 and is the only owner. He got killed a few years ago now. He was riding this bike home from work back in OKC and got clipped by a SUV attempting to change lanes. I am putting this bike back the way he had it and it will take new residence at our friend Page's house. Here is to Mark and tip a Red Stripe, Fosters, Guiness Car Bomb, Boulevard, hell just about any beer back for him this weekend. And if you hear The Clash or The Who turn it up so he can hear it.



Harley Wiring Diagrams

I got this book around summer 89 at Freedom Cycles in OKC off of Robinson from Dale and Oil Can and its crusty but still a must have thats never left my possesion. It has all kinds of great great info and I can't count how many times I have rehttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifferred to these wiring diagrams. If you are looking for a great christmas present for a friend try and find him one of these. Its worth it! Great Illustrations from one of my all time favorites Robinson that are classic and entertaining writing from the Easyriders staff of the day. Seriously get this manual.

Easyriders Tech Tips and Tricks

74's with 2 Brush Generators

Magneto Systems with 2 Brush Generators and Regulator and Battery

Magneto System with Regulator and 2 Brush Generator

74's with a 3 Brush Generator

Electric Start Sportsters

12v Electric Start

74's with Alternator Magneto Kick Start

74's 1970+ Alternators

6v 2 Brush Generator Magneto with Battery


Searching for a decent Panhead

Got a friend lookin so anyone knows of something shoot me an e-mail. Not looking for a high priced show sort of bike. Just a good runner with a good title and clean paperwork, looks not important. Something along the lines of $7-$9 or less if its more of a project.

Swap Meet Front Wheel

So i bought a front wheel last weekend to use on my bike sometimes just to change it up a bit from time to time. I wanted to see what I needed to do axle and spacer wise so I brought my bike into the shop and proceeded to pull my regular wheel off and. . .

Thanks Rob I still owe ya for beer. and help ? ? ?

Got the frame back and started cleaning up the exhaust. I need a new tank, looking for a wassel peanut type and or an OEM pan tank no tank shift mnts so if you gots either give me a shout. Taking some time but definitely will be ready in plenty of time for EDR! Still need to make an axle too. Hey Mcgoo there is a pile of crates of nuts and bolts in the warehouse that look like a bike could be made out of them donated by Rob! I like your enthusiasm!!!!



David Mann Chopperfest 2007

I'd say this event was a total success this year. Great weather led to big crowds and loads of good machines. Some we've all seen before, some new stuff that got coaxed out of the woodwork. Mann's painting's have been forever imprinted in my mind as the quintessential biker lifestyle portraits since I first saw them stapled to the tarpaper-covered wall's of my friend's dad's garages. Here's a few of my favorites and if you want to see pics of bikes from the show, I put a couple up here on my Flickr page.