Black KH’s Blog

March 28, 2010

My Journey So Far With A Classic Harley Davidson

Well, to start it’s been less than a year since I joined this forum and had the pleasure of getting my Dad’s KH out on the road again (Damn I wish he could see it out there on the road now…).  This might not be much for you older guys on the forum that grew up with these bike and know them like the back of your hand, but for somebody getting into a bike that is from 1955 at the age of 35 I must say today was a pretty good day.

I wasn’t a virgin with a wrench in my hand before I started working on this bike, but for some reason it made me a little nervous working on a motorcycle when I first started.  Growing up my Dad was a good teacher, but mostly on cars.  We had bikes too, but I will admit openly, he did most of the maintenance on them because he liked to do it and had the time…

Few months ago I rebuilt the carb with a kit from Into the Wilderness and replaced the plugs and wires, those were the first step for me.  Over the winter I read and gathered some of the books that I needed to learn more (Thanks to people like Rubone for the book, Sarge for the CD just so I could read some other old stuff unrelated to the K model).  Also I asked quite a few ‘basic’ questions that helped out a lot too.  Couple of weeks ago I tackled changing out the handlebars – this was an experience and led me to a couple of others.  Last weekend I took off the front and rear wheels for the first time to check the brakes and just to ‘have a look’ at things.  Cleaned up some dust, realized I needed some rear brakes (still need to get these) and figured out how to adjust everything so stopping was in order.  Also prepped up the battery that I bought last fall – added some acid and set it on the charger to zap it up for the first time.

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March 6, 2010

New Handlebars for a Vintage Motorcycle

Yesterday I ordered the first parts for my 1955 Harley Davidson KH project.  I ordered a new set of “Speedster” handlebars from Faber Cycles.  These bars will replace the ‘buckhorn’ style that are currently on the motorcycle.

One reason I am replacing them is that the current bars are for a later model, they have the holes on the right side bar for a button.  The other reason is that I am hoping it will keep me from feeling so cramped when riding.  Next week, I’ll have a picture with them in my hands, but for the time being I’ll put up the image they provided me when I was communicating with Faber over e-mail.  BTW – questions over email were answered very promptly and I’ve been really happy with the customer service thus far.

speedster-bars

The next step of the project is going to be a rewire that I posted earlier on this blog.  I plan on ordering those wires next week.  After the rewire, I will charge up and install the battery I ordered last Fall.   Hopefully I’ll have everything done in the next couple of weeks as the weather is starting to warm up some around these parts!

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January 26, 2010

Harley-Davidson Museum Visit By Arthur H. Davidson

I picked up on this story and thought it would be good to share here on Classic American Iron.

Talk about history!  The blog over at the Harley Davidson Museum has a short story about the son of  Arther Davidson taking tour around the facility.

Shortly before the Museum opened in the summer of 2008, I received a call from Arthur H. Davidson (the H stands for Harley). I recognized his name as the sole surviving son of one of the original founders of Harley-Davidson, Arthur Davidson. He said he had some “junk” to donate to the Museum. I drove out to his house on a beautiful summer day and met him and his wife Gertrude. The “junk” turned out to be the original passports his father used in the 1910s and 20s to travel overseas and build the foreign dealer network. Had he not recruited so many dealers around the world, Harley-Davidson is not the company it is today… if it’s here at all.

Since then, he and I kept in contact about getting him here to the Museum. Just over a week ago, it finally happened. Arthur is now 95 years old and an absolute joy to talk to. During his visit, he shared knowledge of company history and items on exhibit that weren’t recorded anywhere. For example, the company disbursed its first More on Harley-Davidson Museum Visit By Arthur H. Davidson

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