Wednesday, 18 April 2012

A Piece of My Mind.... the Knucklehead

In 1996 i purchased my first restoration project, a 1949 Ambassador, a complete basket case consisting of boxes full of rusty bits.It was from those first boxes of parts that i discovered a new found passion, Vintage Motorcycle Preservation. Before i knew it there was another worn out bike in the shed, a 1926 Harley, from  this point i was gone!!! Things couldnt get much better i thought, until i saw the Knucklehead engine when i was researching the 26 JD. An absolutely mad looking engine in my eyes, with a price tag to match, way out of my league, and that was that, except for the dream of having one.
Years have ticked by since then, bikes have been added to the collection and bike shows have been plenty. I find it extremely satisfying and rewarding working on the old gear, preserving vintage motoring history that I can share with like minded from time to time.
Each bike has been rebuilt and finished exactly how it would have been when it rolled off the factory floor, and being a Signwriter has been a very complimenting and important part of the restoration process.
A couple of years ago, i stumbled apon another basket case, a Knucklehead engine in the States on Ebay, couldnt believe it, maybe, finally i could have one? 5 long days went by and i ended up winning it ! A month later, 3 boxes of engine parts arrived. Woohoo!! here's the start of the Bobber build. So, over the last 2 years the engine has been totally rebuilt by a true Knucklehead Craftsman, Rusty, from Bayside Customs. During that time the design cogs have been slowly turning, knowing that i'm not restricted in anyway as with a restoration this will be my first complete build, a custom, a creation, my signwriting dream.
I ain't building it to suit the weak at heart riders who depend on their clutch and brake levers at fingers reach, or snuggle into their ultra glide shock absorbers while they float down the road, asses being caressed by the ultra poof padded seats! It ain't being built to suit these souls, its never leaving me or the Stable.  I also ain't building it to comply with, or suit the Authorities! I pay enough to those money snatching mongrels as it is, let alone jumping through all their red tape bullshit, the over weight balding government official smuggly informs you of. I ain't going to give them the satisfaction of arrogantly smashing my dream and passion just because the rule book sez......  my 1926 HD is legal with no front brake, indicators etc so they can go and get stuffed!
This build is going to be a full custom Bobber, exactly how i want it to look, with no deadline for completion. I certainly don't claim to be a mechanic or engineer and have gotten by over the years by watching and learning from good friends in the know and restoring my classic bikes.
I hope you stick around to see it evolve through the documenting of it on this  BLOG.
Expect  phone calls from me asking what may seem  stupid questions, but i value your knowledge, experience, opinions and thoughts, all (mocking) answers will be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Jeff