Friday, October 30, 2015

Ride old Bike, build old bikes!

Ride old Sh@t; build old Sh$t!! Nothing compares to the soul of an old motorcycle. Old Harley’s have a look and sound that is unlike any other bike in the world. It doesn’t matter where I’m at, any bike night, or any bagger show; when I pull in on an old bike like a shovel, people will come up to me asking all kinds of questions. I find even Evo’s are getting harder to find parts for at the swap meets. Maybe it’s because they don’t break down like the Shovels, or maybe people are just holding on to them. I think the Evo is the last great motor Harley ever put out. Don’t get me wrong, Twin Cams make great power and I know a lot of people that love them, but they are just not for me. Recently, a local Harley Davidson dealer, called me about buying some old bikes they had. I know you must be thinking, “Boomer you just said you don’t like Twin Cams,” but not all bikes at the dealership are TC, sometimes dealers buy old bikes too. Sometimes, they have rare finds like Grandpa’s mint FXR that he turned in because he wanted a brand new Street Glide and Harley dealers everywhere are happy to help. My friend from the dealership, JJ, called me saying the dealership wanted to clean out some older used bikes they had. That Sunday, I loaded up Josh and my wife, Sandy, in my van and off we went. They were just opening up when we arrived. They were rolling a bunch of bikes out front. JJ was there waiting. He showed us all around. Man, they had some nice bikes for sale! The bikes we went to see were in a different warehouse. We jumped in JJ’s car and headed down the road to another warehouse. There was a sea of bikes to look at. The first bike we looked at was a beautiful, 1995 Dyna Low Rider. It looked as though it had just been pushed off the show room floor. I had never seen one so clean and untouched. They had a lot of early EVO’s, some even had 4 speed kickers!! They had great a looking FXR sitting in the back, it was mint. So many bikes that would make great chopper projects or builds all in one building; ready for someone to come by and pick them up. In total we considered 9 bikes that day. I am still working out a price for them but keep an eye on our Instagram or Blog. We may be having a big Harley sale in the near future. Going home empty handed but not out of ideas, I called my internet connection Shovelhead Joe (he surfs the interweb for me). I said “hey Joe I came up cold at the dealer ship, got any hot leads for me? Joe replied “I got the perfect bike for winter!” Well we do live in Michigan where it gets cold a lot. Josh was spending some vacation time in Northern Michigan with his gal. I had promised that I would leave him alone, which lasted all of 24 hours. The bike my buddy, Joe, found was not far from where Josh was. With a little bargaining, I got Josh to stop and take a look at the bike. It was a vintage AMA Ice Racing Ironhead with a hardtail. The tires were cut to run on ice, it had a custom seat for ice racing, and it even had a side hack! Later that week when Josh got home, I left to go buy the bike. When I got to the house, I found out Mike, the owner of ice bike, also had a cool dirt drag bike he had built. This thing had a long swing arm, dirt bike tires, a hopped up EVO and a 4 speed trans to back it up. I could not get him to sell the dirt drag bike along with the ice bike but I got him to throw in a nice parts stash he had collected for the Ironhead. With a trailer full of parts and the ice bike, I headed for home with ideas of Josh and me running around the lakes… On second thought, maybe I should sell this damn thing before Josh gets hurt and wants a day off! (If you are ever interested in any bike we have, please call the shop!)
The bikes I find come from a variety of places. I find most through the bike shop or after hours of sitting and looking at the net, but sometimes, my friends send them to me. One day, I was at an auction when my buddy, Joe, sent me an ad from the internet about an old FLH Shovel Head. This was right up my alley and I called right away. That night, I loaded up my truck, trailer, and wife and headed for Westland to check out the old scoot. When I got there, I found more than just an “old FLH” it was a Hot Rod Shovel. This bike had dual fire heads, outside oilers, a 5 speed trans and a pro-clutch that put all the power to the ground. I couldn’t wait to get this thing home! The seller, Mike, had gotten the bike from a friend 10 years ago. He had ridden it around for a few years, but had gotten out of it because the bike needed some fixing up. He said he was selling because he didn’t know anything about motorcycles. He was a car guy. The old girl ran great. It lit the tire up like it was nothing, but it was an ugly old bike. I scored it for $3200. Try as we may to make it look better, it was smarter to just take the whole bike apart. I was able to sell most of the parts before Josh could even start in on it. I sold the frame, fenders, gas tanks, fender struts, battery box, and oil tank for $1500. We threw the rest of the bike online and are currently selling off the pieces. That day wasn’t over. By the time I got back to the shop, Michelle already had a lead on another Shovel for me. A guy named James had come into the store to buy some parts for his Roadking and got to talking with Michelle. They were talking about old Shovels and she told him that we are always looking to buy them. James told her about a good looking, stock FXE that he wanted to sell. James lived down in Inkster. He was a classic biker with tons of cool old photos of rallies he had gone to and bikes he had owned over the years. After looking at them, I realized that I had run into James at some biker events over the years, but I had never really talked to him before. It’s a small biker world. James had three Shovels and one twin cam at his house. I had to ask, “How’d did you end up with a twin cam?” To which he replied with a grin, “The old lady bought it for me. The down side is I had to marry her!” As the beers and tequila flowed, he mentioned more and more parts for sale. He had so many different pieces of bikes for sale: brakes, tires, frames, clutches; anything you could think of. James said if any of his buddies’ bikes went down, they would all get together and someone would have the right part to get it back on the road. He had a really cool network of Inkster bikers. James didn’t really want to sell his parts and the bike together, but we just kept talking and I ended up getting the parts too. Josh didn’t waste any time getting the bike up for sale. He shot the bike and threw it right on the interweb and got it sold. The bike is currently on its way to Denmark! (Sorry, I cannot disclose price)
Remember, we are always buying at Boomers Bike Shop. So if you’re looking for something or want to sell an old bike, just give us a call! ~Boomer

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sam Elliot

Every wonder what kind of bike Sam Elliot would ride? As I do most Saturday mornings, I was searching the net for bikes for sale. The last few weeks I had seen this generator Shovel for sale. Now I normally would call about that right away, but this bike had been for sale for almost a year; something must be wrong with it right? Well me being me, I called on the bike anyways. A man answered the phone and later that night Josh and I loaded up in our hippy van and headed north to the bike. The ride was beautiful the sun was low on the Michigan country side, farmers fields lined the sides of the roads. When I got to the house, I knocked at the door and was stunned by who answered. Now it was wasn’t really Sam but walk, talk, look, and maybe even kick my ass like Sam Elliot, this guy did; he said his name was Scarecrow. He showed us the bike, a cool gen shovel motor in ridged frame, but it was built back in 90s so the tanks and rear fender were a little dated, but still a cool bike. We got to talking over the bike and I finally asked if I ran? Scarecrow pumped the gas, turned the key and gave it a kick. That chop fired to life, he jumped on her and was down the road jamming gears, the bike ran great. After dickering for a bit, I scored the old scoot for $3000.00. Scarecrow and his wife Sunshine were super nice people; we talked and laughed for quite awhile. The ride home was one of excitement, Josh had ideas running though his head of a chopper build using this bike has a base, the sun was just setting over the farm fields of Michigan and I could not have been happier with the bike. It’s always a great day when I can score a generator shovel. (It’s still for sale) Vern was an old customer of the mine, over the years he had been in and out buying hot rod parts for his shovels and twin cams over the years. Vern stopped in one day while he was out riding looking at parts, he asked me if I knew of a good mechanic for a panhead he had. I said no but I buy them, Vern said come on over. Once at his house, his pan was sitting on a lift and was the cleanest pan I had ever seen. I could see that Ron Finch had painted it at some point, the frame was re-worked by him too; it was goosed necked. The front fender had his round bar for mounts and so did the fork stops. This was a cool old chopper much like others we’ve had in the past. The bike was beautiful, but I couldn’t hear it run, I asked if Vern had any parts to go with it, he lead me out side to two sheds filled with old shovel and pan engine cases, stuff he had blown up drag racing over the years. Vern then took me above his garage and it was filled with old transmissions and different parts he had taken off bikes over the years. We made a deal on all the parts and bike for $9000.00. It took two trips to get everything, and the timing couldn’t have been better, the Wauseon swap was the next weekend, and I knew I could move most of the parts down there. With the van loaded down, a trailer and my truck and trailer, Josh and I hauled two truckloads along with two trailers full of parts and bikes to the Wauseon swap meet. The bike didn’t sell at the swap meet but sold a lot of parts and we learned a lot of new things about parts and things like always check and see if the fence is open before you climb to the top of it, only to fall over to the other side (Ryna). Once back home in Michigan, we dusted off the pan and put it in the shop, it sold right away for $8500.00. The parts and sale of the chop made the effort profitable and provided many people the opportunity to get their much needed parts. It even got the stuff out of Vern’s so he could pursue more current projects. Good news for everybody! As I’ve said so many times, “talk to people,” especially if you have the finances to purchase. Find out what they have, what they plan to do with their treasures and make them an offer to buy. Not every purchase is a homerun but if you have the time and a little patience you’ll find that it’s, not only fun but, can be can be profitable to “Turn and Burn”. If you ever want to sell some of your old parts, or bikes, give us a call at the shop we are always buying!!

the smoke out

The road to the “Smoke out” is a long and winding one, coming from Detroit Mi, sounds fun as hell doesn’t it? Well that’s what we thought at least. For weeks Josh and I had been working like crazy at the shop, and at my bar getting ready to leave. For as long as my wife and I have been married (12 years now), I had never taken 8 days off in a roll, that’s not something I did. Stay and work, that’s what I always say, you can relax when you’re dead! But I do love North Carolina, the mountains roads windee and long, not to mention the views. So we rode and like years past we started in the rain, which didn’t last too long, just all day off and on. As nice as Ohio is, it seem determined to claim an EVO. Josh’s 94 dyna was the first to start acting up when his coil came loses and started arcing on the frame. He just grabbed it and kept on riding into what looked like a tornado. We finally spotted a camp site on the side of the road and the people there had a nut and bolt, he was back on the road, but the bike would cut at 3000 RPM. So he limp’d it down the highway to Lima Ohio and found a hotel for the night. The next day we spent some a few hours at Lima Ohio Harley Davidson and I cannot say enough good things about them, not other did they open early for us; they had a ton of parts in stock for an EVO motor. What it turned out to be was a short in the harness, but while Josh was working on his bike I couldn’t help but poke around at the bikes. I found a 1991 FXR completely bone stock from 91’. Try as I might we just couldn’t make a deal on the scooter. On the road again and things seem to be going great, until my battery blow-up going down the road, along with my ignition, coil, head light, tail light and speed-o . No big deal, just stuck on the side of high-way and no way to move the bike. As luck would have it, a guy driving down the road with a trailer seen us and stopped to help out. He was cool enough to take us to a nearby bike shop, O.D.’s Cycle Shop. These guys were awesome, not only did they stay late to help diagnose the problem; they helped us install everything on the bike. The owner was a wiz, one of those guys that have been doing it forever. Without a blink of eye he had that new ignition in and timed. Josh asked him how do you the bikes all in time, he just looked at him and hit the starter button; the bike came straight to life. We jumped back on the highway, riding like the wind, and made some great time. Now that all the bikers were running great, there was nothing stopping us, we made it all the way to middle of Kentucky in only a few hours. While riding though North Carolina, on our way to the “Smoke Out” we stopped at Wheels Though Time where we met Dale Walksler of the hit TV show “What’s in the Barn” and owner of the Wheels Though Time museum. He was such as nice guy; I didn’t even make it in the door before he had me on a Panhead that raced at the “Jack pine run” in Lansing Michigan. Dale’s museum is amazing, and like me he loves old parts along with vintage motorcycles; it wasn’t long before Josh and I were digging though some old trailer, looking at parts and trying to strike a deal. Rockingham is a little over 4 hour ride from Maggie Valley, there’s really no straight shot and it’s a lot of highway riding. After getting lost and ending up in South Carolina, we eventually end up just outside of Charlotte before the rain came down…again. We spend about two hours under an over past hoping it would stop, but to no luck. So we rode, rode down the highway in the rain at about 40 MPH, just looking for a place to stop for the night and dry out. After another few hours of riding in the morning, we finally made it to the green leaf hotel. When we had pulled up I was a little un-easy as it looked like we had pulled in to a golf course, thoughts ran through my head that we may not get to have much fun and would have to stay in at night. After walking to the front door I was not disappointed, guys were still passed out from the night before, and beer cans filled the lobby. We through our stuff in the room and jumped back onto the bikes as quick as we got off them; we were Smoke Out bound. Motorcycles as far as I could see and the sounds of drag racing filled the air; The Smoke Out was in full swing. After watching the races for awhile we made our way over to Ron Harries of Chop Docs Chopper’s booth were we had some soda pops and looked at parts. After walking though the swap meet and checking out the wall of death, it was getting late. We made our way back to the hotel for more drinks and food. The night time was nothing short of a Biker “B” flick movie standing around the bikes enjoying the night, people ran through the hotel partying a talking motorcycles all night. As much as The Smoke Out is fun I think the best part is hanging with like minded people that enjoy motorcycle riding and building them, not for fame or to get on T.V. but to say “yeah I built that”. As morning came again I could see all the fun that had happened the night before, beer cans filled the yard, guys passed out in the lobby, toilet paper strong over bikes; it had been a good night for sure. The ride home, bikes of all kinds, filled the highways. The road was long and guiding us to where we would lay our head that night, as much as my head was hurting, I wasn’t ready to go home. We had been to so many places and met some of the coolest people, seen things that I have only every read about in books and magazines. How could I just go back?? But I was ready to get back to the shop and work on finding new bikes and vintage parts. That’s part of the life I love, building and riding is fun and cool but I love the hunt, bringing the old to the surface so it can be used again. I’ve made a good business out of it over the years, and it’s kept me going.
Sportsters SUCK!! Or that’s what most guys riding their fully dressed Bagger would say. Sure it wouldn’t be my first choice to jump on and ride out to California, but they are great bike to chop up, or beat the hell out of doing some city riding. The Sportster is a great power plant for anyone building a chopper, they are cheap and reliable, even I hate to admit it but, these bikes seem to run forever, they are inexpensive to modify and are pretty comfortable with very few changes to the factory geometry. Just last week we found this cool 1996 rigid Sporty project with a Harley springer front end; online. I called the guy right away. Matt had started building the bike some time back and just lost interest in it. He ended up bringing it down to the shop for $1200.00. Wasting no time, Josh put it on the lift and started taking the springer off and swapping it for a narrow glide we had lying around. While he was at it, I had him change the wheels. Matt had some 130/90-16 front and rear on it and just wouldn’t work with a narrow glide. He put a Fatboy wheel out back and an old Shovelhead 19” up front the bike was starting to take some shape. We found a pipe in the pile of parts that came with the Chop, and while it didn’t look like the coolest pipe in the world it did give the bike a look, good or bad, but added some personality to an otherwise common looking Sporty. We sold that old springer online for $1250.00 bucks and with a few other parts that came with it, we made just about $1500.00 just from the parts. So I was feeling pretty good on having a roller Sporty Chop hanging around the shop. While at the Sins of Steel Show I decided to do a burn out in my 68 Cadillac, not my best decision, the old girl didn’t hold up to it. The rear end gave out so I was in need of a car. My buddy Joe had a nice old 95’ Camaro that he wanted to get rid of. Now I’m not the biggest fan of that year Camaro but with a 383 stroker, built transmission and a tall rear end I thought this might be fun. So I traded Joe that sporty chop for the car and some cash. Now I have a nice 1995 Camaro for sale, only drive to church on Sundays and it gets great gas mileage, if anyone is looking. As many bikes as we find online or people bringing them to the shop, sometimes you find them when you’re not even looking, I got a call from a friend of mine named Corky last winter. Corky’s dad had passed a while ago. I knew his father for some time and had some really great times with him, I also knew how much he and his son, Corky, had worked on bikes together over the years. When Corky called, he was trying to help his mom out and was selling his dads old parts off. We made a deal on all the parts; I got Josh and my buddy Terry to come help me move all the stuff. While we digging though some cool old chopper parts, which included some Ron finch parts I hadn’t seen in years, I noticed some trailers out back. What I found in them was some of the coolest trikes I’ve ever seen all were old shovelheads but one was crazier than the rest it was called the Rickshaw. This crazy trike was a Panhead wishbone frame front half with some rake to it and a Servi-Car back half. The motor was Generator Shovelhead Motor, the trans was a 4 speed. It looked like something Finch would have made back in the days of old. Corky told us all how his dad built the bike in the garage and took it to a few shows around the area. We are still not sure what to do with this bike. I think it is one of those bikes that are ”biker lore”, the ones you hear stories about sitting at an ol’ bar, with a gray beard, hearing about days gone by. Like a lost David Mann painting.