February 20, 2010

Classic Harley Jigsaw Puzzle or Parts Donor

Hoping to build it as my Motorcycle Cannonball motorcycle, I bought a mix and match early Harley several months ago. It was a blend of 1914 engine, 1916 transmission, late teens frame, fork and tin and later wheels. We have followed this on the classic Harley forum side of this site.

Possible Motorcycle Cannonball Classic Harley

Possible Motorcycle Cannonball Classic Harley

We finally got the bike shipped from the left coast to the right one (ahem!) and with the help of my pal Dave Fusiak, we began to disassemble it to see just what we were dealing with.

As suspected, it is a mix and match bike. But it was all I had to work with to get ready for the Motorcycle Cannonball Run in September. Turns out the frame was OK but needed some work in the damaged seat post area. The forks were bent. The engine had a number of home made and non functional parts, and lots of other issues. I still was (and am) pleased that I bought it but became growingly frustrated with trying to track down the right or missing parts.

Then I found a correct, real and running 1915 Harley at a decent price (at least decent for a 1915 Harley!) and bought it. The bike is fine to ride around the neighborhood, but not up to the task of a cross country ride. So when it arrives in a week or two Dave Fusiak and I plan on carefully taking to apart to inspect and redo what us needed.

Classic Troxel Bicycle Seat On Harley

Classic Troxel Bicycle Seat On Harley

I have already removed and sold this old Troxel bicycle seat for more than I thought it was worth. In researching I found you can identify this as a bicycle seat based on the round stock of the mounting hardware while the motorcycle version uses flat stock there. The early Troxel seats for bicycles and motorcycles looked pretty similar. I have another, more comfortable seat coming soon that is being custom built for me by the folks at Heather’s Leathers, to use on the Motorcycle Cannonball Run.

I did not buy the “1914” Harley with the plan to turn it into a parts donor, but when working with these very early bikes I have learned we need to stay flexible. And if it takes two good bikes to build one great one with spares, then that’s what we will do. Either way, I will not harm or damage any real parts as they are so rare.

There are a number of parts on the red “1914” that we might use on the 1915, and others we will probably carry as spares on the ride. More details as we figure this all out.

Filed under Cannonball Motorcycle Diaries, Random Ideas by Buzz_Kanter

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