Wednesday, February 21, 2018
The internet is a powerful thing. Ten or better years ago I would of called you a dumb ass if you told me I would be selling bikes off the internet. But now I can’t get Josh to list the stuff fast enough. And its funny how Instagram, Facebook seem to be the place to buy and sell now-a-days. Josh keeps trying to grow our social media present so he is always taking pictures of the bikes we buy. He took a pic of the 67 FLH and my phone blow up! People were calling like crazy! I was excited, I thought man we really got something here. As many of you know that read the article, I love hot rods almost as much as bikes. A man named Jason called me with a trade that really got me thinking. It was a 1930 Model pickup, it was all chopped and sat low; it had a Ford Flat Head V-8 Motor, 3 speed manual Trans and a factory Model A rear end. It had the Factory wide 5 wheels all the way around. It was a hell of a machine. Jason came down to my shop to check out the bike. It was a ruff bike but perfect for a chopper project, which is why he wanted it. The only problem he had was that he had just bought the car for 12,000 Bucks!! And I was only asking $6500.00 for the bike. The math wasn’t there for him but it looked good to me. I never try and screw anyone. I want everyone to walk away from the table happy. Jason had told me that he wanted the bike to build a chopper, and he wanted me to throw in my Fab Kevin hard tail frame in on the deal. I wanted to the car bad but that was a gift to me and I wasn’t going to trade a gift off; that would just bug me. But I said “hey I got another frame, I could try and see if I can get Kevin to build me another one.” I got one the phone and Kevin being Kevin said “no problem Boomer Just bring it out and I’ll get right on it.” He such an awesome friend and an amazing fabricator, Jason was stoked! Only one problem I had not seen the car in person yet. I told Jason that Josh and I would bring the bike out to him with my car trailer, that way I could see the car before me traded. So one morning we loaded up the bike and hit the road, the sun was just coming up when Josh and I hit my favorite truck stop on M15. It’s a little gas station that sells all kinds of homemade sandwiches and fresh cheeses. When we walked out the sun hit the field and the American Flag was blowing in the wind just right josh had to snap a pic. It was about another 1 hour from there until we pulled down this dirt road. I was following my GPS (which I don’t really trust them, what happen to a paper map??) it turned us down a small dirt road that was king of hilly, a sign stood by the road saying “Sunny Hills Subdivision” only there was no houses anywhere. The sign was old and kind of run down. This was starting to look like a bad horror movie but as we got to the last hill we could see one house to the right off into the woods. It had two garages, one connected to the house and the other was on the other side of the drive way. After sitting in the car for a min trying to figure out if we were at the right place Jason came out and waved us into the detached garage. The garage was nice and warm it had a super cool bar right by the front door that was all made of reclaimed wood. There was a panhead on the lift, pictures of bikes everywhere all over the walls; there was even a copy of the Horse mag hanging up!! Jason had owed a few bikes over the years included a Detroit Bro’s chopper! He had bought the panhead in a box to start making a chopper out of it. The tank had just come back from paint and I got to say was a cool chop! I was digging it but it was not the reason I was there. Jason started to tell me about the chopped Model A saying that he was on Ebay one night and thought “man that looks fun”. A few days later the car was in his drive way. But after getting it he wanted to build another bike so it was time for the car to go. I can understand that Hot rods are fun but nothing feels freer than being on two wheels. I asked Jason what was up with the sign by the road, he laughed and said that he used to live down in Detroit but just wanted to get a way, so he found this house that a builder built as a spec home for the sub; as time when on (and Jason got some extra cash) he would buy the other lots that lead out to the road until he owned all the land to the road. He left the sign up at the found because he thought it looked cool and it would throw people off. Jason stated the car for me and drove it up on to my trailer. I was very happy with the deal it was a really steel hot rod. I had it parked in Joshes garage for two days, I was talking with a friend about the bike deal and the car, and well he had to have it. He came right over to Joshes house with a trailer. I never even got to drive the damn thing but hell easy come easy go.
Thursday, February 8, 2018
I look at a ton of bikes in the search of cool old Harleys, but not every bike I look at is a 10. Like a bad night out at the bar, you see some bikes that you would cut your arm off to get away from, you don’t want wake it up, you just want to get out of there. So how bad can a 10 second drag bike look? I got a call from Uncle Joe, I grab josh one morning and headed north. Uncle Joe lived way out in the country about an hour from us. As I was looking for the house Josh look up and said “Man that looks like a old bikers house!” the house was a bit run down and there was trash all over. A 73 Chevy pickup truck was in the drive way, and a falling down fence was next to the garage. Low and behold that was the house I was looking for. I sent Josh to the door; I was already not really impressed; nothing seem to jump out at me. The truck was hit on the front end and the yard was a mess. Josh knocked on the door and…no answer. I yelled from the car knock again! Well that second time did the trick, Uncle Joe slowly opened the door with no shirt on, and Josh said no pants either. Josh explained why we were here and Joe just said “I’ll see ya in the garage” shutting the door behind him. Now it was at this point josh was getting a bit frustrated, but I just kept telling him “hey it’s a 10 second drag bike.” Joe Opened the garage door and started to roll bikes out of his garage. The first was a custom Goldwing that didn’t look bad at all, the next bike was the drag bike. I had walked back to my car so I didn’t see the bike until it was out in the day light. Truth be told I don’t think seeing it in the dark would of helped any. The bike had a car wheel on the back, a frame that look as if any metal that was laying around Joes house was used to make the bike. The front end was a Honda 450 front end, according to Joe. It had a huge dresser seat mount to a spring system and another solo seat mounted on the rear fender. The air filter was squished down, so I asked Joe “was the bike laid over?” Uncle Joe looked at me and said “no it’s so my leg will fit.’ Everything Joe had told me on the phone was hard to see, “it’s a 10 second bike” and “it does wheels from there to here.” Well where is there to here? Needless to say I passed on this one but if anyone out there is looking for a 10 second drag bike, I can send you out to Uncle Joes house, and all it will cost you is $4000.00. Joe was nice a guys a little out there but hey I think we are all a little out there to love riding something that can kill us in a min. But the wind in my hair and the sun on my back will always give me a sense of freedom that I just can’t live without. Even though that didn’t work out I had a guy bring me down a shovelhead from Clair Mi. He had taken apart a shovelhead to build a chopper, but he fell on hard time. Adam had read about me in the mag, how I am always buying shovelheads! I was happy to help. Adam gave me a great deal on the parts, and I think I made a new friend. Not every bike I look at is a ten but most of the time I do ok but that’s the name of the game, if it was easy everyone would do it.
Friday, December 22, 2017
Karma, do good thing to others and good things will happen to you. It’s an old saying but it’s true, you never know how one interaction with someone can come back around to you. Not too long ago, I pulled Josh from the shop to go look at bike. A guy called me calming that I knew him and he had a bike for sale, it was just some old sportster and I said I’d take it. Now I hate to admit it but I am getting a little bit older and sometimes I can’t seem to remember everyone I meet, off the top of my head. So on the way to see this bike, Josh and I stop to grab some lunch. My phone rang again; this time is was someone new calling about bikes for sale. I wasn’t really interested until he said he had a 1967 FLH and a 1978 FLH for sale. I got really excited, I almost forgot I had to go pick up that Ironhead. I told the gentlemen that I would be by later that night. Josh had not seen the Ironhead that we were on our way to see, or how I had already told the guy that I would take it. We pulled into the house, there out front chained up a tree was this old rusty Ironhead that looked as if it had sat outside for 10 years! Everything was rusty, Brake rotors, cylinders, chain. The paint was faded and chipped. It was a ruff bike to say the least. Once the guy came out I realized how I knew them. One of the first shovelhead I bought many years ago was his dads. I still have the bike and his dad has sense passed. His dad was at every event I put on. Josh was digging though all the parts next to the bike when he looked up, I seen the look in his eyes it was a “what the f*ck are you doing??” I felt as if I needed to buy it for 2 reasons. Number 1 his dad was a good guy and I knew his son need some help right now, number 2 I told him I would take it and I am a man of my word. I paid him 1500.00 for the bike and we loaded the bike up, we had to hit the road again. The whole ride to the shovelheads all I heard about was how bad this Ironhead was, Josh’s famous line is “we should be able to get a good 1000 bucks out of the bike “ or “ the way you become a millionaire in the bike business is start with two million, you’ll be down to a million in no time.” All joking aside, he wasn’t wrong that Ironhead was ruff but I had to focus on the next bikes. We pulled in front of a house in the middle of a suburban subdivision. It differently didn’t look like a place where two old shovels would be hiding. An old man came to the door with a heavy Louisiana accent. I said “that I had talk to someone about some old shovelheads for sale.” The old man replied “that be me I’ll meet you boys in the garage.” He went back into the house and the garage door open. As we walked in I saw a sign, for a landscaping truck that said “FUBOB”. I laughed and said “does that say F U BOB?” He replied “yea I’m FU BOB!” FU Bob was 73 years old, he owned his own landscaping company. He worked it every day until about 3 weeks ago he was cutting a tree and fell right out of it, straight on his back and broke two ribs. He said “that got me to thinking I need to sell these old bikes, and one time I came to your shop you guys where closed but I was looking for someone to do some work to the 78”. Than he pointed at Josh and said “come to think of it you help me out and gave a number to John Maxwell” FU Bob went on to say “man John has been great to me and you said to call you if I ever wanted to sell my bikes, well I’m calling today.” I was happy to answer. The 1978 FLH was all black and Bob just had Maxwell build a brand new motor for him and put it in. It fired right up and idle perfect. The 67 FLH was very very ruff. It had the starter and oil tank removed from the bike. All the chrome was peeling off and rust over everything that wasn’t painted. It was ruff. But it was still a 67’ Shovel. I had to asked “Bob how did this bike get to looking this way?” Bob went on to tell me about how he took the bike down to Louisiana to his brother house. His brother didn’t have a garage so the bike sat out under a lean tube off his house. He was so close to the ocean that the salt in the air ate away at the bike. But it is a 67 shovel! I think my dreams get ahead of me, because I could Josh bolting that bike back together and me riding down the road, but after getting it home…. in the light….. let just say it looked better in a dark garage, but hey it’s still a 67 shovel. Man I’ll tell you sometimes a deal is to good to be true maybe this one of those times, so I don’t know what I going to do with it yet. I may take her apart and send her back out into the chopper world!!
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Thursday, November 30, 2017
Going through my Rolla deck one fine afternoon, I came across a phone number for Stubbs. You may remember him from of our old issue, he had an attic full of Harleys and a ton of parts to go along with them, so much so that it wasn’t all at his house; he also had an airport hangar full of parts. We purchased it and Josh and I (and some friends) loaded up two trucks and trailers and headed for Wauseon Ohio one of the biggest AMCA swap meet. I always wonder what Stubbs did with all those Harleys he was hiding. Just to name a few, he had a 1983 FXDG Willie G disk glide, a 1981 Sturgis, and a 1977 FXS, all where in mint shape. So me being me I called him up to say Hi. It wasn’t too long before I was heading over to have coffee and a chat about the bikes. Once I got over to Stubbs, he confessed he was thinking about selling his bikes, but Stubbs wanted to sell them all at once. He didn’t want people stopping by and kicking the tires, he wanted someone who would appreciate the history of the bikes, and take them all at once. So I offered up my services, Stubbs was more than happy to sell them to us. Josh loves the history behind bikes and I love buying old shovelheads!! Now making the deal was the easy part, getting all the bike out of his attic and from the basement was another story. Stubbs had added a room about his garage many years ago; he wanted to put the bikes in the room for safe keeping. So he cut the floor joist out but framed around them so that the joist still ran along with the other, The end result was that it looked as if nothing was there, but while he was in the above room he could hit a switch and the section of ceiling would descend downward to the garage, making a perfect plank to put bikes on and rise them up stairs. It was a cool elevator system and Stubbs came up with it; all on his own. The bikes in his basement presented another problem. There were only two ways in, one small little door in the garage and a sliding door which faced the lake. There had been a lot of rain this year and the water was almost at the door. We had to cut plywood and lay out a run way as to no sink in the flooded back yard. It took some time but Josh and I got them all pushed and lowered into the garage. The bikes looked better in garage lite than they had in that attic or basement. I was very happy with the FXS, the silver tanks were in perfect shape, along with silver rocker boxes and nose cone. It even had the stock two into one on it, in perfect shape. This bike looked as if wStubbs just bought it home from the Harley dealer back in 1977. The other bikes were just as nice, and it was cool buying a real Willy G disk glide, 1 of only 810 ever made. But this FXS really caught my eye. I got lucky this year at Wauseon, an opportunity came to me and I jumped at it. I know a lot of people in my town; I’ve been here my whole life. Tom was an old Hot Rodder and bike collector from way back. He had been going to AMCA swap meets longer than me. He and he friends always set up at Wauseon but the last few years they didn’t bring anything to sell. Tom wanted to get out of it but didn’t want to lose his spots in case he wanted to go down again. I was happy to buy the spots from him and they ended up not being far from where I normally set up at. The only problem I had was I didn’t have enough parts to spit the booths. I had enough for one. I have ran my shop for year and only used a small 12ft trailer to do everything, all the swap meets and picking up bikes. We’ve always used this trailer, 12ft is pretty good and we can squeeze two bikes in it but it very tight. Tom had another deal for me, he not only wanted to sell the spots but also the 28ft car trailer he used to full the spots. The trailer is a all-aluminum Featherlite trailer that tom had fully customized for camping / hauling in. This thing has it all, two drop down bunk beds, a couch that folds down from the wall, the whole trailer had lights and shelves the folded down from the walls. It has an awning the comes off the front so you can sit out and sell your stuff, it has A/C for those hot nights of camping and even a shower that you can set up in the trailer. It has everything a man could want while at a swap meet or rally. Tom gave me such a good deal on the trailer I couldn’t say no. So I had a grand idea, I would bring 5 motorcycles down in this trailer and Josh could bring all the parts down in the little trailer. I had “BOOMERS CYCLE SALES” at the swap meet, and it went huge I sold the Sturgis before it even came off the trailer and a FLHS the next day. Josh did very well too; we cleared out a ton of old parts that we had been dragging around for a while. All in all it everything worked out for the best and Wauseon was good to us again like always.