Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Scott Craig and I put our heads together and, with the help of an aircraft windshield maker friend of mine, hand vacuum formed 12 of these clear big twin outer primaries. This was a fun project but sadly I got the short end of the stick and only ended up with one for all of my effort. I still have that one cover in the garage. It was fun working with that machine and cutting out the forms on the bandsaw. They turned out great: that I remember. We took them to Japan and I don't think we sold even one there. We were sure they were going to be a hit. (kind of like the lighters! Ha!) They eventually ended up at some shop of Scott's in Echo Park where they got lost or were stolen or something to that effect. Either way, it was a cool experience with a cool product for the scene. I wonder where they all ended up?
Thursday, December 9, 2010
This is a project that has been on the top of my OCD list for the last three or four years. I started out playing music with lyrics from a 60's club members point of view and that turned into a three camera, two car shoot from California to South Dakota to interview the original members of the Venice and South Bay Heathens Motorcycle Family. Crazy. I couldn't believe I was going to actually do it while I was coordinating the camera crew and renting vehicles. If someone came to me and said "hey, I'm going to hang out with this motorcycle gang that I met. You want to bring a video camera and film it?" I would think that guy was crazy. Motorcycle clubs don't put up with that shit. Well, this group liked me enough to let me sit down with them and tell the story of the rise and fall of their club in the 70's and 80's. Hours and hours and hours of video footage, interviews, hundreds of vintage photos collected and too many crazy stories to tell in one sitting. That turned into the book that you see here. It turns out editing is extremely expensive and this movie is going to take a good chunk of time in the editing booth. Toru, a friend I met thru Mooneyes and my trips to the Mooneyes show in Yokohama, took the time to lay this out for me and it is up on the web and selling a few a week. www.asphaltgods.net Maybe this movie will get made after all.
The goal of building bikes has always been to look cool, go fast, and hopefully, in the end, contribute to motorcycling and custom style in a positive way. Hopefully, someday, could be tomorrow or 20 years down the road, someone looks at the bikes my friends and I have done and are inspired to continue a true 60's style. My favorite style that I hope lives on with these two bikes. # 272 February, 2011 Biker Magazine
This was my first cover and it was a big deal to me. I really love Biker Magazine. It's as close to the old magazines as you can get. You can tell every issue may be the last but the editor and contributors just won't let it die as long as clubs continue to run around the U.S. I hope that my contributions to this great magazine added to the cool factor. When I designed this sissybar, everyone and their uncles told me that would immediately vibrate itself to death and break off. It took years to actually bust off on the offramp to a bar I was riding out to for Scott Craig's birthday. The bar was called the TeeYee. I pulled up at the bar and 'damn', I thought. 'Where the hell did that go?' I rode home that night with a hope that I would find it on a trip up the freeway in the morning. LaLa and I jumped into the ranger and did 20 miles an hour in the fast lane from my house to that off ramp and back for a second pass. I found it on the damn offramp that took me to the bar. I put it back on and a year or two later it broke off on the 22 freeway at about Magnolia heading West. I felt it break off and faintly heard it tink tink behind me into nowhere. I pulled over and turned the bike around on the shoulder and started riding the opposite way on the freeway. Not very smart but I have been known to make bad decisions. Anyway, riding the wrong way on the shoulder I come upon a honda civic facing the wrong way with a flat tire, parked in a pool of radiator fluid. The elderly asian man is standing in the iceplant with his hands to his head as I pull up. I jump off the bike and he comes up and tells me that 'a shiny thing popped his tire and killed his radiator'. I bent over and looked under the car but no sissybar. I wished him luck and continued on down the freeway on the bike in the hopes that I would find the sissybar. I got stopped by the cops at Harbor and was told to keep going on foot or turn the bike around and follow the flow of traffic. Ok. I hoofed it one more exit but no dice. The sissybar attacked the honda and disappeared into thin air, never to be seen again. # 241, November, 2006 Biker Magazine
I have been thinking back, over the last few years, and going over all of the stuff that I did, tried to do, wanted to do and didn't, thought of doing and forgot to, obsessed over, and so on and so forth. Let's look back on a few of these things. I thought that these zippos were going to be the last word in cool. They didn't sell worth a damn in Japan. They sure were fun to design and lay out. I found a guy down a back street in a bad neighborhood in Saigon. A referral from some other shady dude at a used zippo shop. The engraver guy, his son, and I negotiated, haggled, went over designs, kicked around this and that, ate pho, haggled some more and finally came to an agreement on eight designs and a logo thrown in on the backside. Looking back, it was a really good deal at the price I ended at when you break it down per zippo but I could have done better if I had more time to source the zippos. I decided to do this two days before I was to fly out so I was on a tight schedule. Drew the designs out on a bunch of napkins in a noodle joint under the shadow of New World Hotel. I'm sure it was humid as hell. Takes me back to that shop every time I watch Apocalypse Now.
Friday, November 26, 2010
First off, the 47 panel has passed on into other hands now. A guy and his dad came by and showed the cash so off it went. They were old chevrolet truck guys so it went to a good home. They mentioned leaving the two-tone primer job so keep an eye out. In it's place is a 1960 Ford Starliner. Very nice. I got it running and did the brakes up, had the worst of the rust dealt with and all of the trim is out at the polisher/chromer as you read this. Juwan has it so pray for me. I'll be cloning the late, great starliner, 'THE GALLEON'. Those of you in the know remember this grand chariot crushing the streets from Fullerton to Huntington and all points in between. Built by Joe Kennedy in '95, it was sadly sold to some rockabilly goof who stashed it in a garage until he hit the lean times and sold it to a car shop who completely tore it apart and made a SIMA sympathy wagon out of it. I'll be slapping a nice white paint job on it. Top to be bronze. White leather interior. Astro supremes to be sure. The Undertaker will be putting the brush to it at some point. The beautiful LeBaron is now officially for sale. 2k for that incredible machine.
Secondly, I have a new guitar from my friends at Hidecore Leather. All class.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Dang. The time goes by so quick. I had to back out of the trike build. I gave the front end back to Drews and leaned it up against the wall again. I'm hoping to knock it out next year. There is just too much going on to press the 'build it in a month' button. KrylonJohn and I shot the Biker article at the AvalonBar the other day. Setting that up was a drag. Two models just decided not to show up. One was named Sunshine. She works as a dancer at California Girls. The first scheduled shoot she called up last minute with a story about seeing some girl stab another girl in the head at the club. Ok. Let's reschedule. The day comes. No show. No call. No nothing. Sheesh. Strippers. I was warned. I will say that. Fast forward a month. I put an ad out on Craigslist for a topless model. (surprising how many girls will send nude photos from a random ad) I picked two. The first was a no-show. No call. No response. Nothing. I had all the lights set up and the bike out and in the bar and I wasn't giving up so easy. I called the second girl and she shot out from L.A. in an hour. Got the shoot done. She was great and very cute and photogenic. Tall. Thin. I hope it gets cover. If so, it'll be my second in a row. Can't say for sure yet. Terese still has to sign off on it. I'm not exactly sure what I'll post on here now. I guess if the book gets done, I'll let you know where to buy it. If I finish another lamp I'll post a photo. I am working on the 53 chevrolet truck so I'll take a photo of that. See ya.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
Sunday, June 6, 2010
Thanks to Mr. John Candy Edwards for the shaved and filed wide glide trees. He put some hours into these, that is evident. That saves me time and allows me to put more time into the lower legs. The trees were 200 bucks and that is a fine deal. He also put two sets of lower legs into my hands. One an untouched and stock set and one that has been turned down. I want to take material off of a set but need to make sure that the turned set has enough meat left. I'll mic the stock set and put that up to the turned set to tell me the difference. Stuff those into the lathe and see where we end up! I can't wait. I have had a springer and a narrow glide. This is my first wide glide and I think they look good if they are done in the style that I prefer. Stripped and lowered is what I like. Engraved would be nice but I can't afford it on this build. (or can I?) Rodney and I had lunch yesterday and kicked around the neck de-rake and seat frame construction. Stretch, if you read this, please compile some tank-molded-onto-frame trikes and choppers for me, will ya? I need some points of reference on the tank.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
I was able to take a few hot laps on the monarch today. It's fast and it's dangerous! I also got to stop over at a friend's shop for the first time. Holy crap! Is that a B24 engine or something? Incredible stuff when you get up close!
Monday, May 31, 2010
I had Tran stitch up a headliner worthy of a deluxe panel. It's not done but I am very impressed with the progress up to now. Junko and the goat are impressed too.
I am adding a photo of the completed interior with t pieces attached and of the fenders painted. I need some new stainless clips to re-install the trim package and then I'm almost done with it. On to the next project. I do really like this panel. Not as much as Grant, Candy, Drews, etc., though. They own it. I'm just fixing it up for them.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
This is the chassis I will be starting my build with. The frame came from Walker's Frame Shop at the 405 and the 710 freeway interchange, if I remember correctly. I purchased it a few years ago. At the time, Scott Craig and I were collaborating on a clear outer primary cover and in passing, I mentioned to him that I wanted to build a big twin trike. He told me about a frame that he purchased but returned to Walker's Frame Shop. I guess Walker is quite an abrasive fellow and Scott and he had a few words which, for whatever reason, made him return the frame. He warned me before I made the treck out to the shop that we would get in some sort of argument. I could see where Scott was coming from. Walker started out with the usual "what do you want, kid?" and "that old frame? I can't sell that." We talked a bit and he cooled off. I gave him the run-down of what I wanted to do with it and he agreed to sell it. I think I paid 750.00. As for the rear end, I bought that in a midnight deal at Negotiable Parts in Riverside. 200.00. I had seen it at Long Beach when he used to drive that box van out full of stuff. I got his card and set up a time to buy it out at his shop off of the 91 I think. I was pretty stoked to get that rear end. The chrome isn't good enough to run but it is complete. The rims are genuine servicar. Mason bought those from Ty and brought them over for the project. I think I paid 60.00 for the pair. I guess they are pretty rare and are in great condition. Well, that's my chassis story. Hope you enjoyed it.
Sunday, May 23, 2010
I've decided to knock out the big twin trike that has been standing up against the wall in the garage for the last two years for one last run at Mooneyes and another Biker Mag cover. That's gonna be it. The next bike I do will be a living room build in front of the wood stove for the kid's college fund. I am looking forward to putting some time in with Rodney again and getting the front end tricked out with John at Banzai Machine. It won't be on such a crazy time schedule like the last but I'm sure it will have it's usual ups and downs. The frame is a stock servicar rear end section mated to a swing-arm neck and downtubes. There is significant rake on it presently but now that I have decided on a front end, Rodney can put it up on the frame table at RSD and kick it back to stock. I was considering running a Indian Chief girder but I just can't get around the single spring. Little things torture me and that spring bothers me enough to abort mission. I have decided to modify a stock early wide glide since this is going to be another 60's flashback. The rear end is a fully chromed stock unit with chain drive and hydraulic brakes. The seating arrangement is going to be totally mental. I'm stripping it down and building my idea of a perfect early custom panhead trike. I'll make my usual lane splitting tiny controls and I would like to get another gsxr master cylinder from Rodney for the brakes so we'll see what happens.
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