The Art of the Engine #3 & 4, Grime Time

It's been a long time since I last did an Art of the Engine post, so here's two old crusty nuggets.

A recent non running barn find. 1948 UL in a '51 frame.

A 1938 Knucklehead Bob Job at Born-Free 3. It features many chromed parts including the forks, which leads one to think it was a real pretty bike back when it was first bobbed.... It's still a beauty in my book.

I actually prefer old bikes with their "earned patina" over ones that have been freshly restored. At most gatherings, bikes like these usually get more onlookers than clean fresh bikes, but many still don't get it and hastily erase all the signs of time and originality. The guys that get my goat, are the ones that take real nice original bikes, and repaint and re-plate them just because they ain't perfect. Keep in mind, any old pile can be re-plated or painted but an old motorcycle or part is only original once!

The place to be.

Remember When... were different, a rebel, or thought it was cool to wear a Harley shirt?

From the Pre-Evo era. I bought this one at the Orange County M/C swap meet around 1979-80.

A friend of mine (not pictured) had this one. This design was being sold around the same time as the one above. In case you can't make it out, it's a big Harley tattooed arm squeezing three little cartoon (and not very flattering), Japanese dudes. Their hats read, Honda, Suzuki, and the other either said Yamaha or Kawasaki ? (from the Harley Porn photo page)

I thought this one was funny and wore it until it was a tattered rag. I believe it's dated 1988. Acid wash and graphics certainly date it.

I'm sad to say, I pretty much stopped wearing factory shirts about 10 or so years ago. It felt like it went from cool to bandwagon way before that. I just don't dig to be lumped in with the stereotype image of today's Harley rider or how corporate or marketed it's all feels. Most of the new shirt's designs aren't my style to boot.

Now don't go thinking I'm ALL anti the Factory or new bikes. Sometimes I cut them slack and sometimes I don't. Maybe it's just because "Nothing's Cool Anymore"!!

Noot's Dresser

Actually, he just thought I'd like this old school '67 dresser from Sturgis. The tail piece is outrageous and those lanterns really crack me up. It's cool to see these old land barges are still being ridden.

Blog Blahs

I've been slow posting. Once you start one of these dang blogs, you constantly feel obligated to keep posting new stuff all the time. Usually I have a bunch of stuff to post and feel like I'm holding back, but lately I just haven't felt like spending the time scanning, or photo editing, or writing. Maybe it's just August. It's the month of no holidays, nothing much happening and everyone goes on vacation before summer's over. I kind of hate just throwing photos up, but...

...For now, here's a groovy space filler. Retouched photo (removed photo insert), of the cover feature bike.... make that trike, from the Feb. 1972 Street Chopper.

I need to "snap out of it"!


Did ya make your way down to Biketoberfest in Daytona, only to follow the suggested routes given you by Daytona’s Chamber of Commerce? It’s their job to keep you in the area so they can reap the rewards of their efforts to get ya down here to Florida.  That’s all well and good, until you’ve ridden in the same grid so many times you feel like you’re in your own version of “GROUNDHOG DAY”.  

 So I’m here to give you a few more options to riding in the Central Florida region.
Many newcomers to Daytona stay within the confines of the party.  They ride to Main Street, then to Beach Street and attend the parties, visit the vendors and watch the parade of characters that ply the streets.  They ride to Ormond to visit Destination Daytona.  Here they walk the parking lots of Rossmeyer HD and JP Cycles, visiting the various tented venders. When the shopping is done, they leave the opulence behind, turning their front wheels toward The Iron Horse Saloon and the Broken Spoke, and the White Eagle Saloon. Upon arrival they leave their steeds in dusty lots and mill about the masses of humanity exploring the venues. They will find food, drink, bike shows and live music. 

If you’re here for 7 to 10 days, don’t you want to ride? I believe you do!  I recommend you gather your sweetie or best friend, mount your steed and discover Florida. You’ve come to celebrate the advent of fall so how about discovering Florida’s swamps, lakes, space shuttles, gators and manatees?   Let’s ride the “REAL FLORIDA”.  

A ride I enjoy quite a lot is in Brevard County: Brevard lies just south of Daytona by about 55 miles. When I’m in the area, I try to fit in a trip to the Kennedy Space Center.  I like capturing my Lil Girl in front of the Space Shuttle on display there.   

After visiting the Space Center, a must ride is North Tropical Trail south from the Cape to SR-528. This is a pleasant stretch of road with Spanish moss hanging from stately oaks along the trail. You’ll also find historic churches and a county park (Manatee Cove) with a lagoon where Manatee stay during the winter months. I recommend you park your bike here and walk the edges of the lagoon, allowing you to visit with as many as 20 manatees sunning themselves near the water’s surface!  

After a visit with the manatee, I re-join North Tropical Trail just south of SR-528 and continued south, crossing SR-520. It’s here the name of the road becomes South Tropical Trail.  This part of the trail is magical. The beauty of both the natural and the human habitat coincide with each other. It’s a magnificent ride to the finale of this visually delightful road.   

There is a marina and a swing bridge at the end of the trail. I generally stop and walk over the bridge to observe the sail boats as they roll gently over lapping waves while lying at anchor on the river.

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Later I ride to SR-513 East toward A1A North for Port Canaveral.  I recommend stopping at the port to enjoy Grill’s Seafood Deck and Tiki Bar near Flounder Street.  They love bikers! From here it’s an easy trip back across the SR-528 Causeway to US.1 north to your vacation abode.

 The next day I rode into the splendid Ocala Forest. The route I took was SR-40 west to US-17 North. I travelled to Satsuma, Florida to visit with a great friend, Banshee.  Banshee led me to 2 cemeteries; both are the final resting places for soldiers of the Confederate States.  I am a huge fan of old or forgotten cemeteries as well as a collector of the images of decaying headstones dotting the American landscape.

After leaving the cemeteries we arrived at a biker bar far off the beaten path called Hermit’s Cove Marina. It can be found near the Seven Sisters Islands which are off small roads known as East Buffalo Bluff Road and St. John’s Court.   The bar fronts the St. John’s River; enabling you to sit on their dock, have a few beers, perhaps some BBQ and enjoy the gorgeous view of the Seven Sisters.  

Central Florida has many roads that explore the REAL FLORIDA.  I mean the Florida where history comes alive, where swamps, wildlife and river culture combine.  ARE YA WILLIN’ TO COME RIDE THE REAL FLORIDA?

Gunther's Knuck

A little while ago, Joe Hurst sent this shot of a buddy's Knucklehead from an old car/bike show.

Joe was a judge at the show and gave it First Place in it's class. When some others protested it was favoritism, Joe replied, "show me a nicer bike"!... they couldn't.

Looks cool, I'd like to see the whole bike. Dig the paint and the skinny matching seat.

IRON WORKS MAGAZINE/Riding in the Appalachians