Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Busy, busy, busy! The shop has been busy! I’m so thrilled about it! Josh has been selling bikes as fast as I can find them. The nine Harleys I picked up are all gone! So once again, I hit the internet looking for more deals to please Josh and my missis. During some Thanksgiving Day internet cruising, I found an old FLH Shovelhead, but it was way up north about 4 hours away from us. I called the guy anyway, thinking maybe I would take a road trip. It turned out the owner, Rex, was willing to drive it to me. To top it off, he had a bunch of panhead parts he would throw in on the deal too! The very next day, after we got that shovel; another guy was coming into the shop to buy two bikes we had in stock. With some quick thinking, I had Josh roll the Shovelhead out front so the guy would have to walk right by it. That was it! He had to have that bike too. It’s a hard business I’ve put myself in. I love motorcycles. Harley Shovelheads and EVO’s are two of my favorite motors every made. My problem is not the trouble of finding them, or trying to get them bought; it’s that I want to keep every one of them! If it’s not Josh wanting to keep one, or my wife, it’s me. I have seen a lot in the last 18 years in the business. I’ve seen almost every old bike come and go. I recently ran into an old friend, Gerrit. He rode an old hot rod Shovel that we called “The Freight Train” back in the rally running days. I’ve wanted his bike for a long time now. Of course, now of all times, when I’m looking for bikes to sell (not keep), he wants to sell The Freight Train. This Shovel is one of the lowest bikes I’ve ever seen. The rear fender was changed to a Fatboy rear fender and the way it was mounted made it look even lower. The motor has dual fire heads, Crane Hi-4 ignition, and a Jims 5 speed trans to back it all up. It is all black with a chrome front end. Man, it looks mean. So, late one night I sent Josh out in his new shop van we are calling “The Beast” to pick up this bike that I’ve chased for so many years. I didn’t tell Josh about my true motives. I had no real plan to sell that bike any time soon. Another bike we picked up recently was a ‘77 FLH that was in pieces. It was almost together, but still needed a few days worth of work to get it shining again. The bike had only 17k original miles on it. The guy I got it from, Murph, is a classic biker. He has run with clubs for years and lived the life. Unfortunately, he had fallen on some hard times and had to sell his bike. He had the bike painted and was half way through rebuilding it before he couldn’t finish it. The tanks were half-way mounted on the bike so he could start it to show that it did run. It was just a roller with a rear fender on; at least the drive line was all together. After dickering for a while, we reached an agreement. After Josh and Zeke took the bike and loaded it in The Beast, we hit the road headed for the shop. At first I thought that maybe I would just part out the bike. After all, it was mostly in pieces as it was, but Josh being the purist that he is, wouldn’t let it happen. He has a thing for old stock bikes. I don’t get it at times, but he wanted to get it back together, so I let him go for it. He first laid out what he had; the fun part was figuring where everything went and trying not to scratch all that fresh paint. After two days of work Josh had it all bolted back together. He went to fire it up and the starter clutch gear went out. No problem, we are a bike shop, Josh can fix that. He went ahead and changed the clutch gear. After that was fixed, he went to start it again, only to find out the switch in the handle bars went out. I have heard for years of the “AMF curse” and this bike seemed to have it. After Josh fixed the handlebar switch, the starter relay went out. It was at that point, I think I heard a wrench hit the back door. Josh will get it fixed or I’ll call my old friend T.G. Speed to help us out. Either way, the bike looks amazing and I’m starting to see what Josh sees in an old stock bike. I still haven’t told Josh about my plans to keep The Freight Train, but I think if I keep talking about it, he will start to really like the bike. I know the shop is really busy, but I’m not in a big rush to sell these bikes. I think I need to hold on to a few. After all, what’s a bike shop with no bikes??


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