Some of you already know my little project but for those who don’t it all started with a Lucas taillight i found in Spain and within a short time I met a guy who had bought out Lewis Puckett’s shop and all his race parts from the Starlite Race Team and Dick O’Brien. The motor was a basket case 1960 Harley Davidson Super 10. It had a hand made 7 spring clutch made by O’Brien as well as stuffer plates, a race head and jug and it had been match ported. Once I had the engine together I started with an old Scat frame and basically cut it apart and remade it to my own specifications with a newly stretched swing arm from a 1961 HD pacer. Up front I started with a 1948 HD girder with a 5 rubber band suspention. The front end needed to be heavily modified to get the stance I wanted and to “blend with the rest of the build.
For the headlight I started with a vintage 60’s Ducati bucket and implanted a 1954 HD speedo I disassembled and rebuilt before welding it into the headlight. The handle bars use an old Panhead internal throttle combined with about a dozen other pieces of bars to finally create a set that would seem to hover between the frame and the girder. Literally overnight I learned Solid Works well enough to make most of my bolts and a few detailed parts at a friend CNC shop after he threw me the keys to his shop with nothing but Youtube and his computer to learn by. By the morning when he returned to his shop I completed designing all the parts in 3d and he helped me load his machine and they were cut well enough for me to finish by hand.
The tank is an old banana Wassel that was split, new filler necks, mounting bungs and a 1954 HD ignition switch was welded in and plumbed through the left tank. All wiring was run down through two brass tubes along the spine of the frame and then into the base of the frame which actually became a brass box for all the electronics before connecting to the mag in the engine.
Between the split tanks I made a spare spark plug holder which doubles as the mount for a custom made leaf spring seat. After making and shaping the seat pan and making a scale leather tool bag both were sent to Ace from Back d Drop leather in Japan. He followed my, as he says “insanely detailed hand drawn directions” and remade my tool bag to match the seat cover he finished for my project. While I waited for him to finish the leather I sanded, polished, sanded again, polished and repeated that on pretty much every single part of the bike before they were plated, my friends still call me “Enter the Dremel”.
A friend named Mutt Hallam built up a race Linkert for me that I polished, made a manifold for and an adaptor for the velocity stack I got from Ian Barry. Ian was an amazing source of knowledge for a newbie like me as were so many people along the build. I can’t state enough how intricate the relationships I formed while building this bike were to keep me going, exploring and pushing further than I ever planned on going. This may seem off topic but I have Aspergers, I’m the kind of guy who might have ended up in the corner looking at a plant at a party if I was even ever invited to a party. Quickly after starting this bike I made a point of reaching out and meeting all these guys I looked up to or wanted to learn from as best I could both via the internet or locally. Forming those relationship had always been an idea I had when starting this project but honestly I couldn’t believe just how many people really responded and helped me out.
I made the exhaust starting with a HD Ranger 90* tube held on by a modified Royal Enfield exhaust clamp leading to the stock HD pacer muffler I then cut apart and rewelded back together to rid it of all the spot welds and seams then learned to braze to make a slip pipe brazed muffler brace and topped the muffler with a 44mm WW2 French artillery shell I searched out at a local gun show, chopped it up, re shaped it and polished.
The tool bag I got back from Ace was mounted with a brace I made out of an old Yamaha carb mount and some bent steel rod. I contacted Fendi Clothing Fashions and basically begged for 2 meters of their leather braided purse bolo straps, steamed and stretched them to fit as covers for both my front brake and clutch cables. I mounted a Wassel front fender over the rear wheel and hid led turning signals under the fender bill and inside the front girder. I made the plate mount from anything I had kicking around.
The paint was masked out by me with my friend Warren who details cars and he shot them before I packed them up and sent them to Shawn Long to pinstripe. Shawn was one of the raddest guys I met during this build and I can’t even explain the life lessons he shared with me, a friend I hope to keep for life. Actually I could say that about almost everyone I met both building this bike and after. Taking the bike to the 1 Moto Show, my first bike show ever, I met Hugo Eccles and Jay Donovan, since then both Jay and Hugo chat with me on the phone and share a lot of their lives and stories and really these friendships were greater than I could have ever imagined before starting this bike.
It’s strange but there are a million other details I’ve probably forgotten but you all know bikes and this bike was about setting a goal and getting there, what happened along the way really made me who I am while I was learning. No one believed I could do this when I started drafting the bike in my first year of design school and by the time I graduated I had completed the bike and taken it across America and met so many people. The name &sons on the bike was a joke between me and my parents, they were so against me getting into motorcycles, they wouldn’t even look at the progress I was making over the years, so I joked and said I was leaving the family name out of my bikes and just going with the & Sons meaning, it’s just me. lol When my bike took home two top awards at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering they finally came around and now they can’t stop asking me what bike I want to build next.
A lot of bikes in the world are a lot better than what I’ve been able to produce and probably deserve awards I’ve gotten to take home but one thing no other bike can do is what this bike has done to my life and how it has become the catalyst for me to meet the people I now get to call friends. Some people say you meet the nicest people on a Honda, for me was simply shooting for the moon and not stopping until I hit the sun and everyone I met along the way.