Old Gold Garage Company's Dan Collins is a familiar name around here, and several of his motorcycles have been ChopCult features in the past. Like most of us, for years the bike on top of Dan's dream list has been a Harley-Davidson knucklehead. Finally getting this pile of crusty parts turned into a running, riding, freedom machine just before the EDR meant that Dan could shake it down the hard way. A cracked gas tank and a couple minor issues gave our friend something to do in San Felipe, but nothing could stop an oil-soaked Dan or his old motorcycle from completing their mission in style.
Photographer Michael Schmidt and Dan found some neighborhood dirt roads in Ensenada and came back with these stellar images. Thanks, Michael.
Owner name, location: Dan Collins, Ventura, Ca
Bike name: The Velvet Hammer
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1945 Harley Knucklehead EL stroker motor (80" UL flywheels)
Frame: Early Panhead Wishbone
Fork: Chromed Knucklehead springer
Chassis mods: Shaved and molded frame
Tire/wheel size and style: 21" Avon Speedmaster 16" Beck
Favorite thing about this bike: It's mine (took me 20 years to realize the dream of owning a knuckle, even if it is a dirty pile of parts). Also it waterproofs your jeans while you ride.
Next modification will be: Anybody's guess. But I have a VL frame in the shop attic...
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: S&M foglight, tailgunner taillight (modifed for brake/ taillight duty) Old Gold Garage stainless TIG welded drag bars, Old Gold Garage "tuna can" air cleaner (named by Bill), Linkert carburetor built by Kiyo at Garage Co., original Wassel tank from my '51 BSA barhopper, '36 ford spare tire cover used as rear fender, original Bates seat pan found at El Camino swap for $5 recovered to it's original glory, diamond P pad also $5, '39 knuck cam cover, Old Gold Garage brass foot pegs, hand made peg stands by me, panhead clutch and brake levers, clear red plug wires with rajah terminals.
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: I rode the piss out of this thing on the EDR and it never left me stranded. That was my shakedown run. I fucking love this bike.
Thanks to: Mainly my right hand man Gordon Chappel who got it running right and handled the wiring duties. Also big thanks to Kiyo at Garage Co for being a great guy and hooking me up with a super running linkert so I could shitcan the SU. And Kurt from Ventura Motorworks for the small parts I needed to rebuild my distributor etc. And lastly to all of my friends who made sure I had a great time in Mexico and had food to eat and beer to drink when I didn't have a penny to my name.
See more of Dan's work here
Big Thanks to Michael Schmidt for the killer photography