mandag 28. januar 2013

It is not gold all that glitters

Let us go back in time for a moment.
It's late forties and and we have still not entered space age, plastic and all related is new and what people want. It is like carbon fiber in the early nineties.
Now we know neither plastic now carbon fiber will last forever. Plastic rottens, gets dried by the sun and carbon fiber suck water and get a grey look when exposed to the sun (check out any Duce used in rain and sun).
When Harley made their windshield bag for the Panhead, there was no doubt it had to be made in a plastic material resembling leather, this to ensure it was up to date.
Today we would name this product imitate leather, and to make the product even worse for generations to come, Harleys imitated leather was stiffened by gluing it to some sort of paper that eventually will suck water and change shape when it dries.
By no means could this product be softened by some leather grease and brought back to life again.

These facts are not obvious when looking at the prices of original windshield bags on e-pay.
As I have had a couple of days waiting for needle rollers for my gearbox I found there was time to look into recreating a windshield bag for Bessie based on an original sample

As my sample was in a pretty bad condition, making a new bag in leather included making all the steel work except from the silver on the lock`s front plate, all GREAT FUN!

Below is a step by step procedure, this including visiting a friend who owns a more than 100 years old leather sewing machine made by Singer, and YES Roald really knows how to operate this sewing beast by its foot pedal.
Those Singer guys for sure knew how to make a quality product, imagine how many people have once earned their daily income by working on a machine like this!

  Original Windshield bag by Harley!
 Hardware kit in SS.

 Cardboard samples makes the next one simpler to do!
Leather is cut!

 Sewing in progress.
 Have lasted for more than 100 years, in daily use. Beat that!!
 My leather tools.
 Roald the saddler!

 Adding the stainless hardware.
 Jewela and leather trim from Dixie!
 Detatchable fastener for Buco shield.

Mounted to Bessies Buco windshield.

My bag is made to fit a original BUCO shield, anyone fancy one bag like this PM me and I will consider making a small batch. All steel work is stainless offshore quality A4. Jewels and leather trim is old Dixie products, except from the stars.

mandag 21. januar 2013

Parcel from Japan

Got a parcel from Tom at Junk motors in Saitama Japan today!
Thanks a lot Tom for your help and for stickers.

torsdag 17. januar 2013

A day for milestones

Today was an important day in my 48 Panhead`s resurrection. I did the last repair job, not that there is no more wrenching to be done, nope I did the last cut, weld, file, drill job that was needed.

As I am back on track working on the gearbox it was time to repair the shifter shaft. As most holes, this was not even close to be round. Replaced half of the shifter shaft plate with a piece of rock solid offshore quality steel, will last for years.

Had to celebrate this with an extra beer!!

onsdag 16. januar 2013

Loosing focus

Be damned! 

I lose my focus way to easy. Finally, some days ago I got started with Bessie girl`s gearbox that I have avoided for several weeks, then all off a sudden I find myself playing with some silly accessories that is Bling only, and will never get me anywhere.

Still, I do admit they are great fun.

Time to get back to the gearbox, spring is just a couple of months away!

I love the sound of a STERLING SIREN MODEL 39R and of course the reaction of people when its turned on.

And if I hadnt other stuff to take care off I made two stainless 1/4" trim rails.

tirsdag 15. januar 2013

Christmas present from Fritz

Our good friend Fritz von Harleysons sent us the best Christmas card ever! A bottle of Held Vodka, the taste is unrivaled, hereby recommended.

According to specialists (Fritz) Held should be enjoyed un-chilled. We enjoyed our Held in the woods next to a fire when temperature read 15 degree Celcius below, the Held was what we needed to stay warm!

Life might be on the bright side even if it is winter and snow outside, just add Held to it.

PS. We had to carry the bottle inside the jacket to keep it un-chilled!!

fredag 11. januar 2013

Gearbox for my Panhead

OK, enough nonsense as accessory balls and other lull that will not be part of what brings you from A to B.

Hey its only the gearbox job left, better continue with that then.

The gearbox is not any different from what the rest of ol Bessie was like when purchased, worn and abused, can only be better that is what it is like.

Started with the kicker pedal, severely worn in the outer bushing area, that bushing is lubed by sand only as per Harley design (wonder why they bothered to form a location for an external grease nipple when they cast the cover without completing the job??).

Anyway, kicker have to be ground in the lathe to an even measure on its shaft, the fact that there is a center punch in each end excuse the lack of a greas nipple. Turning the kicker pedal between two centers is a dangerous business, I apply some tape to its end to be aware of its rotation.

Having ground the kicker it is time to make two new bronze bushings, I used two o-rings between the bushings to prevent oil from leaking out around the kicker shaft (now its play is 0,04mm). In the outher bushing I cut a cross from the grease point to allow grease to enter the bushing evenly around its surface.
I love old Harley parts without wear.

Next task is to make drivers for bushings in the gear box housing as well as gears, lathe work is always OK.

Main gear, I will rebuild my main gear to the shorter bushing and add the after 65 oil seal to keep oil in the case.
The main gear roller bearing surface had slight pitting. Ground off 0,02 mm and its fit for another fight.
Same thing with main shaft where the main gear bushing have caused wear, another grinding job as well as refreshing its threads and main shaft is ready to go.

It`s bedtime, continuation will follow!

More recent finds

In the now 31 years where I have been involved with old motorbikes I think there is just a handful younger guys that I personally have convinced to play the same game, hardly a handful to be honest.

It is mostly the same old guys playing with the same old bikes, rarely anything new under the sun.

Stop, Erik is a recent addition to this game and he is young as well, and he even convinced himself that old motorcycles are cool, not one bike only, no, more more (like the rest of us, one is to few).

Having ridden a old Norton 16H for a summer he came across a Harley J model (hey that was one of my projects!!!). Soon after, he managed to convince the owner off a pre Romanian military Harley 45 to sell (damned, that bike was on my list too). This bike will now metamorphose itself from olive drab to a bobber/racer.

You think this is all in this short time, nope. Erik working as an ex-pat in Azerbaijan (oil related) soon talked to his native colleges on old bikes rather than their recent role in the European song contest. Yeah you guessed right, old WL`s are still in the Azerbaijan sheds, lacking wheels as they have been used for the milk trolleys but still relatively complete, and furthermore - the price, oh the price!

OK Erik, the next Azeri WL will be for my stroker engine, you promise me?

 Ex-Romanian WL

Azeri WL