Thursday, January 31, 2019

A knucklehead!

A knucklehead! I’ve bought and sold bikes for years all over Michigan but I’ve never bought a knucklehead. Josh and I were working on a new bar I bought, Josh had the van full of tools, I should point out that I got the call in the morning from a buddy who owns a motorcycle dealer ship in the next town over from me. He called and said I got a knucklehead for sale, it’s a customer of mines bike and he owns me some cash for some work we did on another one of his bikes. The dealer ship sells new Kawasaki’s, so I kind of blew it off thinking “come on, there is no way this guys has a knuckleheads its most likely an iron head for sale.” My day went on I was running around taking care of things while Josh was fixing things at the new bar, I had asked my buddy to send me a picture of the bike. It was late in the afternoon and I had just gotten back to the new bar to talk with Josh when the text finally came though. I looked at my phone and almost dropped it, Josh looked at me and said “whats wrong did you just get a nudy pic?” I just turned my phone to show the picture and there sitting in the back of a dimly lite back room in a shop was a Knuckle head! I said “we got to go, bring the van!” Josh said “It’s full with all my tools, but I’ll make that fit!” It wasn’t but 6 miles from the new bar to the shop where the knuckle sat. I ran inside I didn’t even wait for Josh; I didn’t want to lose the deal! I was looking the bike all over when Josh walked in with a flashlight and man i could tell he was trying to keep his excitement down. The motor was blown up and it looked like it had stoker plates on the bottom of the cylinders and the cylinders had let lose. The cases needed repair but they were not bad, it had an S&S oil pump on it and a later carb mounted on it but the heads and trans were good. The motor and trans were in a wishbone frame with an extended hydro front end off an Panhead. The gas tank was an old mustang tank and the rear fender looked like it was done over a Finch’s shop. It was an old chopper at its best. Everything was there just a bad cylinder. And I was happy to buy it. As we were checking it out I found out I that the title wasn’t signed off yet, I got a little up tight after all the title was a big part of the deal. A knucklehead is great but a knuckle with a title is even better. I had to leave but Josh stayed and waited for the guy to show up and sign off on the bike. He got to talk with the guy for a while when he got there, he told Josh how he had the bike since the 60’s and how he had rebuilt it with the frame it was in now. He said that bike was like a member of his family and it was hard to sell her but he was very happy we were buying it and it was helping him out of a jam. Josh got the bike loaded it in the back of the van, tools and all. The next day we unloaded the bike at the shop and talked what to do with the thing. Knuckles are cool but I’m a Shovel man, I didn’t want to put the time into rebuilding the whole engine. So we decided to just sit on it for a bit until we got a good plan together. I was texting some friends of my mine trying to figure out what was the bike worth. Brain a guy I met from instagram said he would give me 7500 sight un-seen for that motor! Another buddy Junior told me he would take it if brain didn’t. Knuckles are hard to find up in the Midwest, not a lot of guys are die hard knuckle guys, and you tend to see them more out in California. So to find one less than 10 miles from my shop was insane. The best part was that the dealership had advertised the bike for sale on Facebook and no one even called about it, now you might think it was the price that scared guys away from calling on the bike but I’m here to tell you I paid asking price and I could of bought a Sportster for what I paid for this bike! I was sad to see the knuckle go so quick but it is coming into winter and the shop does slow down this time of year. I would of love to have had it hang around awhile, who doesn’t like an Old knuckle hanging around? Maybe I just got lucky one this one or maybe it just goes to show you that you always need to be looking to see what’s out there, you never know what is hiding in your neighbor’s garage or just 6 miles down the road!

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