Irish Rich is the owner of Shamrock Fabrication, a "no frills" custom motorcycle and fabrication shop. Rich has been involved with custom motorcycles and hot rods for over 40 years, and is a member of the Sinners, out of Southern California. Rich and his motorcycles have appeared in Street Chopper, DicE Magazine, The Horse, Easyriders, and the Jesse James documentary "The History Of The Chopper". He also currently writes, and has written tech articles and feature stories for many of the custom motorcycle publications, and writes an ongoing column for Greasy Kulture Magazine.
Once that's finished, Steve and I will move to the front of the frame. looks like we're taking 2" out of the backbone stretch, re-align the front downtubes, and possibly taking 3 degrees out of the neck rake - we'll have to see once we get the front end on it.
Yeah, it's a lot of work you say, and why doesn't Shawn have somebody build him a frame to match his dimensions? Well, even with the labor to modify his frame + his initial cost, he's actually bucks ahead on the whole deal, and he can work with me to get exactly what he needs as far as fit and final bike profile goes.
And, speaking of profile........
Back in the August '07 issue of Street Chopper I had a nice 5 page feature article by Justin Schilling on a traditional fatbob-style bike I built for a client, titled Bringing Back Bob.
"If someone were to ask you to name one style of custom motorcycle that you thought had been perfected over the years, your answer would have to be the timeless beauty and simplicity of the fatbob Harley. The combination of classic line and utilitarian road-ability of a fatbob-styled Harley-Davidson can't be denied."
I may have been a little ahead of the curve in '07, but I sure seem to see a lot of guys that are long distance road trippin' on their customs ditching their little peanut tanks (and all their extra fuel bottles) in favor of a set of fatbobs.
I know I've retro-fitted up quite a few 3.5, 4.2, and 5.0 gal. tanks for guys lately. It was inevitable, as everything that was old and time proven.....is new again to another generation of builders. During the gas crunch in the middle '70's, it seemed as if everyone was tossing their tiny tanks in the corner for a set of fatbobs. I'm seeing this style of bike coming full circle again.Yep, we're mounting a set of 4.2 Softail flatsides on Shawn's bike.
Wishing you, the faithful readers of Applied Machete, a bountiful Thanksgiving.
Oh, and if that actually was my family in this photo back in the early '60's......my Dad would be passed-out face first into that turkey, my Grandma would have already picked several fights with my Mom out in the kitchen, and my sister would have had the wheels of one of my friction-drive cars painfully wound into her hair by now.
It started out as a Pan frame, then somebody added those elongated new wishbone downtubes (actually, all the way to the bottom seatpost crossover), that swooped forward half-way up to a sketchy Knuck bullneck. For good measure, they decided that the backbone should be 1 1/4" tubing to tie everything together, then there's those "mounts" hanging on the backbone - I was told the lower one was the top motor mount, and the upper was a coil mount (?).
Everything over the years on the frame from the seatpost-forward has been cut, bent, and welded over numerous times, but actually, the frame wasn't bad structurally overall, it just needed a lil' rehab.
The client wanted to keep some of the original "flavor" behind the old mods, but he needed to keep the rake about the same, because he has a vintage long Denvers springer to use. All I have left on the frame is to do is the splice welds, and to make a nice triangulated top motor mount from 1" tubing for it.
I replaced the old downtubes with straight ones, went back to the 1 1/2" backbone, and slipped that over a short section of the old one at the seatpost, and ordered one of John's (Hardtail Choppers) OEM-style raked replacement necks for it. The client is thinking a set of OEM 3 1/2 gal. fatbobs on this, but that may change. Should be interesting......
Check out how sweet this neck is! John can do his OEM-style necks in any rake from 30 to 45 degrees. This one is a 40 degree. The raked necks take a little while longer to set up and cast, so keep that in mind if you order one.
The only difference between this casting and his standard 30 degree neck, is that there isn't any lock boss on the other side of the neck, both sides look the same as the photo above.
Give John a call if you're interested in one of these OEM-style, pre-raked necks. Make sure you tell him you saw it on my blog:
Dr. Sprocket, sitting centered with his trophy winning bike, posing with some of the C.M.C. inmate bike show crew. Doc is mentioned in the article as "Richard Hostrender", obviously one of his many aliases he's used over the years....
About 30 bikes participated in the show that day, the majority of them ridden the 200 miles to the C.M.C. . All the inmates that wanted to were allowed to freely mingle with the riders, and see the bikes up close. Everyone that day also enjoyed a chicken lunch, while they watched a screening of the movie Easyrider, arranged by Big Bike.
The inmates made all the trophys, and both the inmates, and the C.M.C. staff decided the winners of the show by popular vote. Our very own Dr. Sprocket was in attendance that day, and came away with the C.M.C. Staff Award for "Best Road Jammer".
A nice shot of the very cool inmates-made trophy awarded the Good Doctor that day. I wonder if he still has this?
Some of the people who were there told me that Doc came away with another award that day, the very prestigious "C.M.C. Hairy Bear Award".....whatever the hell that was for. Doc doesn't talk about that award, and says "It was a long time ago......". Haha! KiddingDoc, just kidding.........
In the April, 1973 issue, Bunch did a feature on Motor Mouse's fresh build, with a '64 Pan/Shovel combo for power. As I was looking at the feature (and I've looked at this dozens of times over the years), I read the part of the article that said "Up front, Mouse chose an early (Note from me - notice it said early) DickAllen 15 over springer, which runs on an 18 - inch tire and spool hub". Then I looked at the photo of Mouse's Dick Allen springer on his bike again.......do you notice what I did? Look at the distance separating the top springs.....it's a Dick Allen-built WIDE springer!
I pulled this photo out of Joe Hurst's article on his White Bear bike out of the July 1973 issue of Street Chopper. Joe's DA springer had been on his bike since '68, so if there was an early DA front end (besides Dick's), his would be a good example. The thing the early DA front ends were noted for, was narrow. So narrow that a Buchanons spool hub barely fit between the rockers. Take a look at the spacing between the upper springs, and the round bar (the most common) spring perch for the lower springs......
Now, look at the spacing of the upper springs on Mouse's DA front end. See how far apart they are? Dick built Mouse's front end just about as wide as an original springer was. Also note, that the lower spring perch bar is square - not round, and about as thick as the lower triple tree is.
I "borrowed", as you can see, part of this photo from the MC Art blog, to show how close the rockers actually came to the front wheel's hub on the DA springers.......
Now look at the spacing between Mouse's Buchanons spool hub, and the inside distance between the rockers on his DA front end. The spacing here is about what you's find on an original springer.
I've seen all kinds of Dick Allen springers, and sure, Dick was building these one at a time, and yeah, I'm sure if you asked, you could probably get one any width you wanted if Dick was in the mood to accommodate you. I've seen several DA springers that are a little wider than Joe Hurst's, but not much. This is the widest Dick Allen springer I can remember ever coming across, and also being referred to as being an early built DA springer to boot.
Here's one of my favorite photos - Cindy and I at the premiere of the Harbortown Bobber documentary, that we were both in, back in October of 2009, in Santa Monica CA. I'll tell you, Cindy's segment in the HB just flat-out stole the whole show. I'll leave you with this video......