This project has been a really fun machine to build and is finally wrapped up. Starting with brand spanking new components like the S&S SH93, Baker trans and a pile of nice parts from Drag Specialties and Lowbrow Customs made the process smoother and less stressful than usual. There wasnâ€™t much parts hunting to do and thatâ€™s generally a very time consuming process. This left time to focus on a few neat details like the internal wiring guides, building forward controls, stainless trim on oil tank and the hidden coil with frenched plug wires. Everything was built with durability and serviceability first and aesthetics a close second. Simple things like robust exhaust mounts and properly routed wires and lines result in less time fussing with it in the future.
I did as much of the work as possible, but definitely got plenty of help from some talented friends. I enjoy the collaborative nature of the process and Iâ€™m always amazed with the skilled group of friends that Iâ€™m surrounded by. Of course itâ€™s a show wagon for our parts and I used a bunch of â€˜em: Whiskey Throttle, Kung Fu Grips, RE-Bars, Stainless Seat Hinge, Builderâ€™s Pipe Kit, Model E Tail Light, and Norman Pegs.
Rouser Rob pitched in on some of the early stuff last fall and then we cranked on reassembly together for a couple days before he headed back to surferâ€™s paradise in Costa Rica in March. Heâ€™s a great mechanic, so tapping his knowledge and experience is huge to me.
I built the two-piece seat pan so that I can easily flip it up and access the battery, oil filler and circuit breakers. Duane Ballard and I shaped the foam together and we used this weird physical therapy mat foam for the first time and it feels ridiculously comfortable. Way more expensive than regular foam but I think itâ€™ll be worth it on long days. I made the tolerances on the pan too tight and after DB covered everything, it just didnâ€™t fit. Rookie mistake on my part, but I learned in the process and thankfully Duane lives close and didnâ€™t kill me for asking him to re-cover the back half after we massaged the pan to fit. The nifty little pouch on the back of the seat is a leather-covered steel box that holds a ever-useful Gerber multi-tool.
The paint was a big challenge for Matt Ross and his girlfriend Jen Hallet. I know it sounded weird when I described the concept: creepy trees, twilight metallic teal color, etc. They watched a few Bob Ross videos, scratched their heads a little and then just murdered this thing. Iâ€™m so happy with this paint. Itâ€™s weird. Iâ€™ve never seen anything quite like it. I love flames and traditional paint, but it feels like weâ€™ve seen it all so I just wanted to do something different. Matt remarked that it was one of the best ideas heâ€™s ever been given by a customer, so thatâ€™s a neat compliment. His molding work on the frame is world class and I know he had to be cussing me with over 40 perfectly blended joints on this frame.
Kosovo Joe and I did the fab work on everything, including: building the sissy bar, brazing on the Lowbrow cast bungs, gas and oil tank mounts, modifying both tanks, adding the brake stay, seat hinge mount and a pile of other fab bits that hold everything together. Iâ€™ve learned a lot from Joe over the years and it was nice to show him a trick or two on this bike and fun to work together. Heâ€™s now inspired to build his first chop.
Westy is our product manager here at Biltwell and a devoted motorcycle and tech nerd. He can also wheelie pretty much anything. When I brought him a shitty sketch of the 3-D printed wiring guides that I wanted to do he understood the idea immediately. Iâ€™m not big on internal wiring, but I wanted this bike to have a more show-quality appearance and since these widgets completely recess into the hole in the frame, thereâ€™s no sharp edges to rub the wiring raw. We went through a couple resin prototypes before we got the shape nailed. Once we were happy with â€˜em we ordered them 3-D printed in aluminum and polished â€˜em up. A few people have asked if we would offer these as a Biltwell product and thereâ€™s no way to make them cost effective. We did put them up on Shapeways website though and you can grab a few at cost ($20 in aluminum) if you want: http://www.shapeways.com/shops/clutch-inc
Dalton Walker built the wheels and I love â€˜em. Ovalized 0.120" wall tubing for the spokes means these things are beefy. We covered this process in the first Mile Muncher video episode, and itâ€™s worth watching. Dalton builds insane show bikes that I canâ€™t even wrap my head around. The level of detail and depth of his fabrication skills are sincerely inspirational. Iâ€™m happy to build a sissy bar or radius a fender and old Dalton builds a whole truck from scratch to haul his Born Free bike. Iâ€™m not sure how he finds the hours in a day to pull it all off, but he does every time.
Other details on the bike include moving the seat post mount for the oil tank up higher, raising the tank, building in two additional mounts on top and frenching a hole for spark plug wires to pass through to the coil hidden underneath the tiny Anti Gravity battery. Thereâ€™s also a couple resettable off road circuit breakers in the tank. This keeps everything tidy and while it is pretty tight, everything is serviceable without removing the fender or any of those kind of show bike compromises. The gas tank is an old Santee that I got from CZ Big Scott. He schooled me at our parking lot sale earlier in the year about how perfect these old ones are shaped with no flat spot on top and Iâ€™ve been enamored with them ever since. The forwards were a beat up old set with weird mounts that I threw away. I made new mounts and designed some spindles that Mikeâ€™s Precision Welding here in Temecula machined up so I could mount our Norman pegs to â€˜em and they also act as the pivot point, complete with bronze bushings. I thought a Honda CFR450 brake caliper and master cylinder would look lighter and work better than old Harley junk so thatâ€™s what slows things down up front.
Drag Specialties is our exclusive distributor in the USA. That means that shops all over the country stock their shelves with our parts and gear that they buy from our friends at Drag. They have a massive catalog, actually several of them, and my favorite is the â€œOld Bookâ€ that came in real handy on this build. Big things like the BDL clutch system all the way to small commodities like throttle cables, wiring bits and gaskets and seals, Drag had it and ordering was easy.
Weâ€™ve been friends with the Lowbrow crew for years so of course we used as many of their parts as possible. Little stuff like bungs and isolated rubber gas tank mounts go a long way towards making the bike building process so much easier. Their Manta Ray fender is burly and well made. I love the little fork cap and steering stem bolts that use a 3/8â€ ratchet. Nicely crafted problem solvers like these never go out of style.
The Baker trans is a true work of art. This damn thing is made with pride. Itâ€™s not all just good looks either, it shifts smooth as glass and everything fit with it perfectly. Their customer service crew was great to work with when making such an expensive decision and it was confidence-inspiring to talk to a tech who can guide you through the process. I chose the four speed because this is a foot clutch bike and I enjoy the wide spacing with less gear choices and didnâ€™t feel the 5 or 6 was needed. Keep it simple, right?
Starting a bike for the first time never gets old. Especially one you have to kick. I sweated my ass off getting it to fire the first time, but once it got oil and fuel moving through its guts, this monster farted to life, and Iâ€™m getting the starting sequence more wired every day. Once itâ€™s broken in properly itâ€™ll be even easier. Riding for the first time was equally elating. I had the clutch pedal adjusted way too far back so it was a bitch to start out but I wasnâ€™t gonna let that stop me even if I looked like a kook. This 93â€ mill with 90hp out of the box rips and I was relieved that the ergonomics fit me just like I had hoped. I was instantly comfortable and that goes a long way towards the goal of munchkinâ€™ the miles. The whole idea with this bike was to build something funâ€“a look that is inspired by proper vintage choppers, but loaded with modern, high-quality parts, disc brakes and a rugged and serviceable design on everything: a Go-Bike, not a Show-Bike. Parts List:
S&S Cycle SH 93 Engine Forged pistons 8.5:1 Super E carb Hydraulic valve train and roller rocker arms Super Stock single fire ignition system 585 camshaft Cast gear cover Biltwell Whiskey throttle Kung Fu grips RE-Bars Stainless seat hinge Builderâ€™s pipe kit Model E tail light Norman pegs
Drag Specialties Paughco frame BDL clutch assembly Metzler ME 88 Marathon tires 39mm fork legs, 4" over PM rear brake caliper Rear master cylinder All lines, wires, fittings and cables DID O-Ring chain Chrome sprocket, brake rotors
Lowbrow Customs Bungs, cast and machined Isolated gas tank mounts Fork caps Steerer stem bolt Steel manta ray fender Gas Box air cleaner backing plate Cable guide for brake line
We just want to extend a huge thank you to everyone that came out last weekend to support an event that we've kept going somehow for 9 years now! It means the world that anyone would come and spend their hard-earned cash to help us put this thing on for everyone to have a good time year after year. It couldn't happen without you! And a huge thanks to everyone that lends a helping hand during the show; it's the greatest crew of people and friends we could ask for. Also, all of the insanely good bands and sound crew that kept us rocking all weekend, thanks a bunch! Can't forget Oakland Valley Speedway for having us and putting up with the shenanigans, and all of the vendors and sponsors that set up and keep the masses happy and fed! Congrats to all of the award winners as well! We'll get some more photos posted up as we get them, here and on the Instagram - @strangedaysevent. For now, here are a few that the super talented David Carlo snapped during the weekend; this is just a sample, check out the rest on his site at:
From our friends at the NorCal Cycle Swap - "Come out on July 21st to the FIRST EVER Nor Cal bike and CAR Swap. Gates open at 8:00 AM. $10 per person, for general admission. Free parking. Located at the West Wind Drive In Theater at 9616 Oates Drive, Sacramento, CA (Bradshaw exit from Hwy 50). Ride your pre-1970 motorcycle and get free entry! This is an established motorcycle Swap Meet that we are opening up to the car culture. We'd like to welcome hot rods, trucks, low riders, classics, VW's, 4x4,s, you name it!
We will have all car customers in their own separate lot to avoid crossover and confusion. If you don't want to see motorcycle parts, you don't have to. And vice versa. Want to be a vendor and sell your stuff? Register online at www.norcalcycleswap.com or, you can show up with cash on the day of the swap and get a spot that way. Pricing is available online.
We will also be hosting our 2nd Annual NCCS Motorcycle Show during this swap meet. If you have a bike that you'd like to show in one of the classes, please bring it out, we'd love to see it. Should be some really cool prizes from our awesome sponsors, so you'll wanna be there! Winners will be announced at 11:00 AM!" - @norcalcycleswap
Biltwell AlumiCore grips are available in two styles to fit select make and model-year Harley-Davidson motorcycles: Throttle-by-Wire (TBW) and Dual Cable. AlumiCore grips will not fit any other non-Harley Original Equipment or aftermarket throttle or hand control. If you have never disassembled or serviced the hand controls on a Harley-Davidson motorcycle, we recommend consulting a professional mechanic for this procedure. Harley throttles and hand controls are precise components, and assembling them incorrectly can lead to serious headaches.
These instructions show how to install TBW AlumiCore grips, but the steps and procedures are similar for Dual-Cable hand controls. These tips DO NOT show you how to remove your old grips. If you don't know how to disassemble the hand controls on your motorcycle, DO NOT try to install AlumiCore grips - consult a service professional to do the job for you. INSTALLING ALUMICORE GRIPS
STEP 1: Carefully disassemble the left- and right-side hand control clamshells that hold the old grips on your motorcycle. Remove old grips and clean both bar ends with contact cleaner and a ScotchBrite pad to remove dirt, grease, glue and other debris. If your handlebars feature aftermarket bar-end attachments (mirrors or sliders, for example), remove these pieces -they will not work with AlumiCore grips. Slide the left (clutch side) AlumiCore grip onto the bar end until it bottoms out against the handlebar.
STEP 2: Capture the left grip's locating flange inside the clamshells, making sure both halves of the hand control assembly engage tightly with each other around the inside end of the grip. Make sure the buttons inside the clamshells are seated properly, and that the clamshells don't pinch any of the wires inside. Reinstall and tighten the bolts that secure the clamshell assembly to the handlebar.
STEP 3: Insert the wedge mechanism of the left (clutch side) end cap assembly into the hole on the end of the AlumiCore grip, making sure the end plug is completely seated against the beveled end of the grip's aluminum core. Hold the end cap firmly in one hand and tighten the Allen bolt until the wedge cinches tightly inside the handlebar.
STEP 4: Slide the right (throttle side) AlumiCore grip tube onto the bar end, making sure the forged aluminum gear interface inside the grip tube engages completely with the end on the TBW mechanism. If you're installing dual-cable AlumiCore grips, please refer to a Harley service manual for the correct make and model-year of your motorcycle. Harley-Davidson dual-cable throttles vary by specification and model year, and require fine-tuning after assembly for safe operation.
STEP 5: Capture the right grip's alignment flange inside the clamshell assembly. Hold the clamshells tightly around the alignment flange on the grip and twist the throttle to confirm smooth operation. If the grip twists tightly or does not snap back smoothly, something may be pinched or misaligned inside the clamshell assembly. Open it up and double-check cables, wires, buttons, and other internal components to make sure nothing is out of place. When you're confident the AlumiCore throttle grip functions correctly, reinstall and tighten the bolts that secure the clamshell to the handlebar.
STEP 6: Put a drop of blue LocTite or medium-strength thread compound on the threads of the recessed Allen cap screw for the throttle grip end cap and screw it into the end of the right AlumiCore grip. Hold the end cap firmly in one hand and gently tighten the bolt with an Allen wrenchâ€”do not over-tighten.
Step 7: Before riding, double-check all the hardware that secures your hand controls and grips to the handlebar. Check the Allen bolts that secure the end caps on your AlumiCore grips. If the rubber sleeves on your AlumiCore grips moved on the knurled aluminum tubes during assembly, gently twist and pull the sleeves so their molded flanges touch the inside edge of the end cap and grip flange.
REPLACING ALUMICORE RUBBER SLEEVES
The rubber sleeves on Biltwell AlumiCore grips are injection molded with Thermoplastic Vulcanizate (TPV) rubber. This pliant yet rugged synthetic material is soft enough to ride bare-handed, but tough enough to provide exceptional durability, even under extreme riding conditions. When the comfort sleeves on your AlumiCore grips show signs of wear from friction or damage due to heat, moisture or sunlight, replace them with Biltwell brand AlumiCore grip sleeves ONLYâ€”do not try to use other grips for this purpose.
Step 1: Remove both AlumiCore grip end caps by loosening their mounting screws with a 3/16" Allen wrench. The Allen bolt/end cap assembly on the right (throttle side) grip will detach completely from the throttle tube. Loosen but DO NOT REMOVE the left (clutch side) end cap bolt only enough to allow the internal wedge assembly to slide out of the handlebar. Carefully cut off the old grip sleeve from the right (throttle side) AlumiCore grip. Repeat this step on the left (clutch side) grip.
Step 2: Carefully clean the exterior surfaces of both AlumiCore grip tubes with contact cleaner and a ScotchBrite pad to remove old glue and rubber debris. Do not spray contact cleaner directly into the end of either AlumiCore grip tubeâ€”doing so could make the left grip slip on the handlebar and/or compromise throttle performance.
Step 3: Spray a quick blast of aerosol WD-40 into the open end of one new grip sleeve. Wipe any dripping fluid or overspray off the TPV grip sleeve before moving to the next stepâ€¦
Step 4: Quickly slide the open end of the lubricated grip sleeve onto the end of the AlumiCore grip tube. A firm twisting and pulling motion may be necessary to seat the new grip sleeve flush against the knurled grip tube's inside flange. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the remaining grip sleeve.
Step 5: Insert the 1/2-inch-long Allen screw through the right (throttle side) end cap and apply a drop of blue Loc-Tite or medium-strength thread compound to the threads. Screw the end cap assembly into the right-side grip tube and tighten the Allen screw.
Step 6: Insert the clutch side wedge/end cap assembly into the end of the left handlebar, making sure the inside of the end cap stops firmly against the grip tube. Hold the left end cap tightly in one hand and tighten the Allen bolt.
If you hate dry instructional text and boring spec photography, we've created two videos that summarize both installations processes right here: