Classic Motorcycle Maintenance

April 9, 2015

Classic American Iron Project 1930 Harley VL & Sidecar At Retrocycle

We are hard at work on a different kind of article for the all tech American Iron Garage magazine on sale in a few months. In it we are following the process, at Retrocycle in Boonton, NJ, of getting an old Harley back on the road after too many years of storage in a midwest basement.

1930 Harley VL classic motorcycle

1930 Harley VL classic motorcycle

This particular machine is a 1930 Harley VL with sidecar. It was built many years ago with whatever genuine Harley parts the builder could get his hands on, long before the wide assortment of reproduction parts we now have available.

Classic American iorn - 1930 Harley VL

Classic American iron – 1930 Harley VL

We started by removing the sidecar so we couold get the bike up on a stand to work on it.

1930 Harley sidecar that has been attached to a Harley VL for more than a decade.

1930 Harley sidecar that has been attached to a Harley VL for more than a decade.

In a matter of a day we got most of the issues sorted out and the bike running. And a few more hours to sort it out, and finish detailing the machine. Full article and lots of photos and info in the next issue of American Iron Garage magazine this summer. This is a newsstand-special issue from American Iron Magazine.

Filed under Classic Motorcycle Maintenance, Random Ideas, Trike & Sidecar by Buzz_Kanter

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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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June 20, 2014

1936 Harley VLH Rebuilt For Motorcycle Cannonball

Working with the great folks at RetroCycle in Boonton, NJ we have finished rebuilding my 1936 Harley VLH in preparation for the up-coming Motorcycle Cannonball in September.

Motorcycle Cannonball 1936 Harley VLH from Adventure Power’s Team American Iron

Here is a teaser photo of the bike pretty much ready to go. This is my spare engine, which is pretty much broken in now. So I will swap out to my competition engine and keep this one in the support truck “just in case…”

You can read all about it in the pages of American Iron Magazine, as we have been following the build for several months.

Every single nut and bolt has been off this bike for inspection, redoing or replacing. Every single one. It is mostly original stock spec with modern Continental tires and an upgraded 12-volt ignition system. For more info on this amazing 12-volt, solid state generator system please contact Robb at Retrocycle.

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

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