DMF’s Blog

February 8, 2009

New England Winter Motorcycle Ride


I wouldn’t normally blog about a simple Sunday local ride, but after 2-3 months of VERY cold weather in the northeast, a simple local ride is a BIG deal for me! I haven’t been out in months, and the temperature spiked into the 50’s today and gave me the opportunity to hit the road — even though it was still chilly and a bit sloppy from the snow melt. My 1959 Panhead and sidecar rig doesn’t fit in my basement for winter storage, so it was sitting there ready to go. I also figured that 3 wheels would be my best bet on More on New England Winter Motorcycle Ride

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December 13, 2008

Dusting off a ’67 Shovelhead (Continued)

(Before Pic Above – After Pic Below)

I have been working on my brothers ’67 whenever I have had time — 15 minutes here, a half hour there, or even an whole hour if I am lucky, I have made some real progress and here’s how the bike looks today.   The rear brake is now refurbished and works well (always good to have brakes that work!). I had to install a new master and slave cylinder and new brake lines and give everything a good cleaning.  The unusual model HD carb also seems to be working well and the diaphragm mechanism it has instead of a float isn’t leaking or causing fuel flow problems at this point.  I’ll keep my fingers crossed as this bike sat in poor conditions for many years. In addition to brake parts, I had to buy a new battery but otherwise, this bike is back up and running as is and seems to behave better every time I take it around the block.  After getting the engine and brakes tuned up, I turned my attention to some much needed cleaning and leather conditioning.  The beautiful saddle seat and bags were very dirty, and with some elbow grease, I cleaned them up and also managed to bring out some of the chrome that I actually thought was beyond saving.  I was surprised at how little actual rust and pitting I found once I got the different pieces buffed out.

As you can see in this pic, the tire rims and spokes are pretty badly rusted.  I cleaned the rear one up when I had it off the bike for brake work and did what I could on the front rim while it was up on the lift.  I was actually using a wire brush and some light sandpaper to get the rust off it was so bad.  If anyone has any rust removal tips let me know.  The bike definitely has some “character” that it didn’t have before and its appearance in some ways tells the story of its age and multi-year neglect.  The rusty push rod covers I’m sure will be a conversation starter with many curious riders as they walk over for a peek.

I must say that there is something so rewarding and satisfying about a project like this.  I am putting another vintage bike back out on the road and gaining new maintenance experience at the same time.  Most of my work has been on panheads, so getting into a shovel has been a blast. Since I knew and rode this bike a lot growing up, It’s just a great feeling to bring it back to life and get it back out on the road again.  Its 35 degrees in the northeast today, but its dry and clear as a bell.  Not sure if you noticed, but if you look closely at the last pic, the bike is happily running and you can see the exhaust in the cold air.  I road it around the driveway once, but I might just have to throw on the ski pants, heavy jacket and full face helmet, and go for a winter ride…..

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November 8, 2008

Dusting off a 1967 Harley Shovelhead Motorcycle


Back in the early 1990’s my brother bought a 1967 Harley from our dad.  The Shovelhead was a runner, probably the best in his collection, and it didn’t have any issues for several years.  He rode that old Harley quite a bit (as did I before he bought it) but he didn’t put much time into the care and maintenance that we all know these older bikes require.  To make a long story short, it got to the point where the bike wasn’t running well at all, and he ended up parking it under a tarp in the back of his garage.  I estimate that was around 10 years ago.  Last week, I asked him if I could come pick it up and get it running for him. Above are some pictures of the bike just out of the trailer after I got home from his house.  The bike had literally not seen daylight in 10 years. I’ll be back with more posts and pictures as I clean it up and get it running. 


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