4 score and a few months ago.... just kidding but for real what a busy summer, it just seem to fly by. From weekends driving around in my van up north to going to the smoke out in North Carolina. I didn't get to ride as mush as I wanted to but hey sometimes it goes that way.We spent the summer working and we sold more bikes this year than we have in years past. It was fun play with each and everyone, weather I was cleaning them or fixing them, I always got a test ride out of the deal. well the days are getting shorter and soon I will only be pushing snow. but that always gives way to a great summer.
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Sometimes the ride is better than the parts you find. Jamming down the road in an old van, the summer wind flying in with the windows down; it’s a beautiful thing. Seth from Disorder Studio, got a hold of me, he said he had some parts for sale. You know me I love hunting for parts and bikes. I never seem to take a day off and that is because I really do love what I do. I also love the ride, seeing new placing, meeting new people (It’s amazing feeling when people email from across the world and I can talk to them hi Rusty!!). As much as I live to be on 2 wheels I still love riding in my van with Josh making jokes and seeing the landscape. Seth’s shop was about two hours from me, I grab Josh and we hit the road! (Yes we were in the old van). His house was down a long dirt road, I should mention I never met Seth before this so I didn’t really know what to expect. As we drove up the drive, there sat a cool black van, and an old barn. Seth and his buddy Jim met us out front we talked for a while about bikes and what not; Seth led us into his shop which was filled with motorcycle and old Harley poster and pictures everywhere. Man it was cool. Seth loved to fabricate, he was working one a few bikes, building custom parts for them and one bad ass frame. We talked for a while more about projects he had going on. As we talked I lost track of time, as always I had something going on back home, Josh and I picked though the parts Seth had laid out, unfortunately most of the stuff was metric bike stuff that I don’t normally buy. Most of the time I would take the good with the bad but I just didn’t feel like making Josh lift all of that stuff into the van. We bought a bunch of parts and by the time we were done pricing out all the parts we wanted, we would have just been better off to of bought the whole lot instead of piecing it out one by one. As this may have been a bad business decision I didn’t mind it so much we got some good parts to sell and Seth gave us a nice deal on the stuff, best of all it was a nice drive down a back road and I got to meet some cool dudes! It always worth a drive out to see what a guys got, maybe it’s the old trucker in me but I love hitting the wide open road, especially when there is a motorcycle at the end of it. Hey guys I know this was a little short, we haven’t bought some cool old machines in a while, so I got on the phone and called my buddy Stubbs. You may remember him I bought all his parts out of his house and an airport hangar. It took us two trips and most of the day to get everything, by the time it was all done we had so many parts, I didn’t even want to bother to unload them I took two vans and two trailers to Wauseon to sell. Now here’s the kicker did you catch the part where I said he had an attic, that’s right, an attic with 8 vintage and rare Shovelhead and EVO model bikes. Now did I get your attention? Stay tune for next month issue so I can tell you how this tall tale unravels……
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
If you wait long enough and buy enough bikes, you eventually will see bikes you have owned, or ones you had a chance to buy. I like to think when I can buy an old bike back; it’s like its coming home. Like an old friend that has long left the home town. One that has come to stay for a while, making a new life for them self, it’s always good to see an old bike again. I got a call to buy an Ultra Classic off an old customer named Mike. I had sold this guy a cool shovelhead a few years back, and remember the bike. I bought it from a guy named Terry who loves to read the mag (The Horse BC). Terry built the shovel from swap meet parts. The frame was a swing arm pan frame that was molded and racked out, the front end was a 33mm about 4 over. It was a kick only bike and an 80 inch shovel! It was a beautiful shovelhead at the shop, I told Mike I didn’t really want to buy the ultra but I would love that shovel! Mike quickly said “Nope! Not for sale!!” So I lied a bit and told him I’d come look at the ultra. In the back of my head I was going to buy that shovel back! Mike lived way out in the country down a long dirt road. He lived in a house with a horse pasture, and one horse running around named Boots. The bikes where in the basement of the house, you could enter from the garage in the back of house down in the horse pasture; I should mention that mike had 5 bikes total. To get to the gate that let you into the pasture, we had to drive the truck down a hill that, without 4x4 we would not of made it back up (well with 4x4 and a tractor.) Once we made it down the hill and though the gate, and fought off the horse. I made it into the basement only to see Josh chasing boots though the pasture. Josh drove a plow truck out there to tow the trailer, his plow truck had little flags on the end of the plow, Boots had bit one and ripped it off the mount, Boots was chewing it as Josh chased him around the yard. Josh eventually got it back and came inside. Mikes basement is a maze, while wondering around Josh came across the Shovelhead. He called out for us, trying to find Mike and me that was all I need to change the conversation. The bike was in horrible shape, Mike had towed it home on an open trailer, on a wet day and there was salt still on the road (In Michigan we use salt to melt the snow off the road). All the chrome was rusted; all the polished parts were oxidized. Not to mention all the dust the bike collocated from just sitting for two years. Mike was in shock, he knew the bike would be dusty but all the rust and oxidation. After that he was happy to sell the bike back to me, in hopes I’d get her back to her former glory. We loaded the trailer, and hooked the truck in 4x4 but it wasn’t enough to get out of the pasture. Mike had to hook up his tractor to us and pull the truck and trailer out of the pasture, though the gate and up the hill. (I’m sorry I didn’t get any pictures, Josh was the one in the mud hooking up the truck, sorry buddy.) The shovelhead now sits in my shop on display, not as a bike gone bad but as a cool barn find. Customers always come in and check it out; I never thought dirt would make a bike look cool. If you read Turn and Burn a lot, a few issues back you remember a Shovelhead Drag bike I found on one of our parts scores. Chris was the guy who owed it, it was his and his dad’s bike, and they raced together. Chris at the time didn’t want to sell the bike. But time goes on, people want different things in life, Chris wanted to move north and need money for a cabin. I was happy to help; truth is I never stop thinking about the drag bike. I love drag racing and I can remember going to the Harley Drags over the years it was always a blast. To have the honor of owning a real drag bike was awesome! Chris walked me though the startup, how much air to put in the air shifter, and the safety shut offs. The bike had no charging system on it so the battery on the bike is just for the ignition, a car battery is carted up to the line, then hooked up to the bike though a connector on the side of the bike, and this is how you start it. It has a Barnett clutch it in, after you lunch the bike you just hit a button and with the air shifter it without pulling in the clutch. It is an amazing machine, the best part….. It’s a shovelhead!!