August 19, 2014

Fine Tuning Classic Harley Linkert & Spark Plugs 1936 Harley VLH

As I continue to fine tune my 1936 Harley VLH there are basically two areas I am still focusing on – the carburetor and the oiling.

Classic Harley spark plugs burning lean

This is what the plugs looked like a few days ago. The near white insulators tell me it is running too lean. So I adjusted the high speed needle 3 clicks richer and checked – still a bit lean. So I fattened the carb up 3 more clicks and the plugs look a lot better. (See below)

Spark plugs burning better from classic Harley

Now that I have the plugs looking about right (at least for the conditions here in Connecticut) I need to focus on getting the total loss oiling system dialed in on my rebuilt 1936 Harley VLH. I leave in less than 2 weeks for the start of the Motorcycle Cannonball. This year we are riding over 4,000 miles from Daytona Beach, FL to Tacoma, WA.

I will be riding this bike as part of the four vintage Harleys (2 JDs and 2 VLs) Adventure Power’s Team American Iron. Wish us luck.

You can read about the building of this motorcycle in American Iron Magazine – available in print (back issues at or in digital delivery.

Filed under Cannonball Motorcycle Diaries, Classic Motorcycle Maintenance, Random Ideas by Buzz Kanter

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August 10, 2014

Recent Update on Team American Iron & Motorcycle Cannonball 2014

The third running of the coast-to-coast Motorcycle Cannonball is less than a month away and this one is going to be amazing. Covering over 4,000 miles it runs from Daytona Beach, Florida to Tacoma, Washington. (Map and details at

Buzz Kanter's 1936 Harley VLH for the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball

Buzz Kanter’s 1936 Harley VLH for the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball

My plan is to ride this totally rebuilt 1936 Harley VLH. We rebuilt it from one end to the other at Retrocycle in Boonton, NJ and followed the progress in the pages of American Iron Magazine.

In addition to rebuilding the chassis and entire drivetrain, we installed an amazing and virtually invisible Retrocycle 12 volt upgraded electrical system so I can actually use the lights to see and be seen. Our team sponsor and battery supplier is Adventure Power, the tires are from Continental, synthetic oil from Amsoil, and general support from the folks at Wheels Through Time.

There are four bikes and riders on this year’s team, name Adventure Power’s Team American Iron – American Iron Magazine columnist, and return Cannonballer Cris Sommer-Simmons on a 1930s Harley VD, her husband and rock star (Doobie Brothers) Pat Simmons on a 1929 Harley JD, 3 time Cannonballer Paul Ousey on his 1925 Harley JD and me – publisher of American Iron Magazine, Motorcycle Bagger and Motorcycle magazine, on this 1936 Harley VLH.

Buy a 2014 Support Staff T-Shirt for Team American Iron Motorcycle Cannonball

Buy a 2014 Support Staff T-Shirt for Team American Iron Motorcycle Cannonball

You can buy a blue or gray Support Staff t-shirt – while supplies last – to help support the team and get a cool shirt. Click SUPPORT to order yours.

You can follow our progress on Youtube on the Buzz Kanter channel HERE. I will attempt to upload new videos from the road every few days if I get the opportunity.

You can subscribe to American Iron Magazine, thw best selling Harley magazien in the world, in print by clicking PRINT, or in digital delivery worldwide by clicking DIGITAL.

Here is a “walk around” video of the bike

Filed under Cannonball Motorcycle Diaries, Events, Random Ideas by Buzz Kanter

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July 12, 2014

Classic Harley Racer – Knucklehead VL Land Speed Racer Project?

It’s not like I don’t already have my hands full with other motorcycle projects when not publishing American Iron Magazine, Motorcycle Bagger, Motorcycle magazine and running the publishing business. In addition I am prepping a 1948 Harley Panhead for the 2 day Kickstart Classic ride in 2 weeks AND a 1936 Harley VLH for the 4,000+ mile Motorcycle Cannonball endurance race in September.

Possible future American Iron Magazine land speed racer project motorcycle

I can’t say if I was more intrigued by what it was or how it looked, but I loved this crazy Harley Knucklehead/VL racer from the first sight. The seller explained it was built out of “this and that” to make a few passes at the now defunct Maxton Mile in North Carolina. He even has the East Coast Timing Association (ECTA) tech stickers on the fork leg.

Left side of the Land Speed Racer Harley project

The engine is a mix and match Knucklehead configuration mounted in a mildly modified and braced Harley VL frame and Harley springer forks with no brakes. Harley front wheel and some kind of race car rear wheel. Newer 4-speed transmission with belt drive primary, foot clutch and jocky shifter. The carb is a Linkert M74B off a standard Panhead, 12 volt electrics and a total loss charging system.

View of this classic Harley racer from above

The gas tanks were from a Harley Sportster Peanut tank. It was cut in half, welded up and plumbed to sit low and have plenty of gas to make a couple of passes. The handlebars are creative. They flipped over a set of risers, cut down a set of old bars and fit them to work like old time drop bars. Very cool in deed. No front fender, and a trimmed down rear one.

I just got iy home, so the first thing I plan to do is roll it up on the workbend and clean it from one end to the other. This gives me the chance to see what I am working with and to find things I didn’t notice before or need to change. All in all I love the stance of this bike and its attitude. Comments are encouraged – plus and minus.


Filed under Buzz Kanter Classic Motorcycle Blog, Competition Motorcycles, Random Ideas by Buzz Kanter

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