Category Archives: Vintage

A Salute to the Harley-Davidson Factory in York, Pennsylvania

Birth of A Harley
The cover shot for the article “Birth of a Harley: An Inside Look at the AMF Harley-Davidson Factory at York” printed in the 1970’s

Yesterday Harley-Davidson announced they would be laying off 200 employees, the majority coming from the York, Pennsylvania assembly plant. While I fully understand and agree with the downsize I think for many it’s easy to forget these numbers represent people and families.

York Factory Worker
A Big Twin neck casting gets machined by a York factory worker in the mid-’70’s

 In recognition of these hard working Americans I dug into my archives and did some research on the York plant and it’s workers who’ve helped make Harley-Davidson what it is today. The majority of the information and all of the pictures I gathered came from an article printed in Custom Chopper Magazine in the mid-1970’s. The contributing editor listed his name as Bud Wiser.

The York plant has a colorful and Patriotic history that began when it was a Navy production Continue reading A Salute to the Harley-Davidson Factory in York, Pennsylvania

Project Knucklehead : Reviving a 1946 Harley-Davidson Part 3

If you missed Part I of the Project Knucklehead series or you would like a recap click here. To read Part II click here.

1946 Harley Knucklehead Project
Project Knucklehead on day 1

With the heads out for machining, work on Project Knucklehead has slowed down. I pulled the remainder of the chassis apart and now have a bare frame to work with. As before, almost everything was finger tight or missing fasteners. The seat post gave me the most grief because the bike had bottomed out at some point and mushroomed the end of the retainer stud threads. Some work with a file and thread chaser cleaned it up enough to get it apart but it will probably have to be replaced. Continue reading Project Knucklehead : Reviving a 1946 Harley-Davidson Part 3

The 1978 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead Project

Shovelhead motor rebuild
I’ve been so busy working on Project Knucklehead I’ve ignored my Shovel motor

Someone recently asked me why I wasn’t taking my Knucklehead apart on my table lift. Embarrassed, I had to admit it was because my lift was covered with a half assembled 1978 Shovelhead motor. My ongoing project for the last couple years, the Shovel gets moved around put on the back burner, and at times ignored. Of  course now that the Knucklehead project is stalled until some parts come my way its time to put in some work on the Shovelhead and get it assembled. Continue reading The 1978 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead Project

Throwback Thursday: Vintage Harley-Davidson Advertising From 1988

The 1988 FXR Superglide. One of the best handling bikes of all time.
The 1988 FXR Super Glide. One of the best handling bikes of all time.

As I was looking over my archives (AKA the piles of stuff in my office) I found an original 1988 Model Year Guide with fold out posters of every bike available at the time. This is fitting since the 2017 model year bikes have just been released, making the bikes in my catalog 29 years old.

As I thumbed through the book I couldn’t help but notice how much of the lineup, 5 different models, was devoted to the now cherished FXR line. The current “it” bike everyone wants to get their hands on was in it’s production prime in 1988. This made me wonder if today’s bikes will stand the test of time and be relevant 29 years from now. Continue reading Throwback Thursday: Vintage Harley-Davidson Advertising From 1988

2017 Marks the 40 Year Anniversary of the Harley-Davidson Low Rider

Low Rider Hangtag
From 1977: This was intended to be hung from the handlebar of the new Low Rider model

Recently I came across an original AMF Harley-Davidson hang tag for the 1977 Lowrider FXS. This was the original tag sent to dealers to showcase the features of the new model. These were great looking bikes and I consider them the Godfather to the modern Dyna that is so popular today. This new model came from the factory with longer front forks, a 2 into 1 exhaust, drag bars, a low 27″ seat height, dual disc front brakes, and mid-foot controls. A few other key features of the bike included: Continue reading 2017 Marks the 40 Year Anniversary of the Harley-Davidson Low Rider

Project Knucklehead : Reviving a 1946 Harley-Davidson Part 2

If you missed Part I of the Project Knucklehead series or you would like a recap click here.

knuckle PicWith the motor now out of my 1946 Knucklehead the rebuild can begin. I am turning this part of the build over to Tim Willems, an Knuckle2excellent all-around technician with over 20 years of experience. At first glance its easy to see there are no pushrods and several missing fasteners including rocker cover screws, cylinder base nuts and cam cover bolts. One of the motor mounts is also broken off but is repairable. Continue reading Project Knucklehead : Reviving a 1946 Harley-Davidson Part 2

Project Knucklehead : Reviving a 1946 Harley-Davidson

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You might recognize my 1946 Harley-Davidson as the cover model for The Cycle Blog

For the last three years I’ve had a bike patiently sitting in the corner of my garage. To the untrained eye it probably doesn’t look impressive but underneath the oil and grime, sits a diamond. This bike, a 1946 Harley Knucklehead, has sat leaking oil and gathering dust waiting for me to get the time, money, and vision to get it back on the road.

The story began about 5 years ago. Out of nowhere a guy, about 28, started riding it to my shop on weekends. Continue reading Project Knucklehead : Reviving a 1946 Harley-Davidson

BSA Triumph Service Bulletin Archive

Vintage Triumph Service BulletinThumbing through my archives I found this Triumph Service Bulletin from February of 1973. Keep in mind, I’m publishing this purely for entertainment value, not for reference or operational use. It describes upgrades they made to their 5-speed gear set and changes in parts availability. One of the biggest challenges for any manufacture is keeping their dealer network aware of real time changes and upgrades. Service Bulletins are just of one of the many ways they all still communicate with dealers today.

I have always been a fan of these retro-styled bikes and vintage or historical advertising or service literature. I think this qualifies as both. Enjoy!