Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions K-Models K Model Linkert - Painted or Not?

K Model Linkert - Painted or Not?

Moderators: Curt!, Pa

Post Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:46 pm

Posts: 71
Location: Northern IL, USA
I am still restoring my 1956 KHK and am getting closer. My Linkert is unpainted but I have been told by another collector that they were painted black. I have also been told they were left unpainted. What is the real deal?

Thanks Dave Swanson
1956 KHK

Post Wed Mar 15, 2006 3:01 pm

Posts: 587
Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Hi Dave,

I had a 53 KK dead original, and still have a 54 KHK, both Linkert were as cast, brass body and alloy float chamber.

Still, can't swear that was the original finish...

Patrick

Post Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:23 pm

Posts: 71
Location: Northern IL, USA
Patrick, thanks for your info. I do believe it was standard to paint the FLH linkerts black during the same time frame, but the K model may be a different story. Any stock bike may have had the carb in carb cleaner many times over the years. A definitive answer is out there.

Dave

Post Wed Mar 15, 2006 5:11 pm

Posts: 587
Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Dave,

I still veer towards the K carb not being painted by the factory: my 53 KK when I got it in 1996 only had 11 000 miles on the clock, std bore, engine apparently only been split once to fit the improved gear cluster (good old black sealant on reassembly by dealer, probably in 1954). I traced its history back to 1966 when it was swapped for a boat by its 1st owner. 3rd owner brought it in G.B. in 1979.

Only thing on it I could not swear was not 1953 on that KK was the speedo, it was was rubber mounted... The book says that they appeared in 1954 but who knows, I've seen stranger things ...

Can't see the carb having been soaked that many times in such low mileage...

Patrick

Post Wed Mar 15, 2006 8:09 pm

Posts: 2685
Location: Los Angeles, CA
All Linkert carburetors, except the DC series, were either painted or plated depending upon year of manufacture.

Post Wed Mar 15, 2006 11:51 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5772
Location: Ohio USA

Both of my 55KHK's bodies were the pertiest red brass color you could feast your eyes upon, especially when they were freshly polished up. Pa

Post Thu Mar 16, 2006 6:15 am

Posts: 3118
Location: Central Illinois, USA
Hey Chris!

There was recently an NOS M88 on ebay displayed with ordinance packaging that had a natural finish, patinas and all.

And many non-HD (Indian) Linkerts were bare as well (as per Hatfield)...

The only absolute in vintage motorcycling is that there are no absolutes.

....Cotten

Post Thu Mar 16, 2006 7:42 am
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5772
Location: Ohio USA

Image

Post Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:18 am

Posts: 71
Location: Northern IL, USA
Pa thanks for the picture. We know of at least one official unpainted and unplated Linkert.

Patrick. I think you are on to something. My original to the bike Linkert has a nice bare brass patina with no evidence of paint anywhere. I believe I bought a timer from you for the KHK last year. Are you aquainted with Ron Johnson?

Dave Swanson

Post Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:08 pm

Posts: 587
Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Hi Dave,

Is that Ron as in Ronald, the man who swears by big S.V. stockers and fast Miller dirt track/Indy cars? If so, yes, I LIKE his enthusiasm!!! I like the Millers a lot as well but can't afford any of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There's a bloke in G.B. who's got a Kurtis Offy roadster that did 6th or 7th at Indy in the early 60's...what a sight!!!

Hope you'll make good use of the KH timer... it came out of my 54' KHK, redundant now as I've finally got a complete Wico, found a very sick XV 1922 about 15 years ago in Holland ($ 50.00...), couldn't find any bits for it so it sat there doing nothing... then came ebay where I bought last year an NOS tractor one and fitted the H-D bits on it, eh presto, a very cheapo alternative... can you believe the prices these XV 1922 fetch????????????

Any one out there wants to hear about some strange bits fitted to early 54' KH by the factory? I could start another thread...

Patrick

Post Thu Mar 16, 2006 12:24 pm

Posts: 54
About 30 years ago I bought 2 unaltered 1956KH's. They were original army machines. Nobody had done any modification or serious maintenance on them. Carbs were black but probably not really painted. Could it be that they were chemically blackened or blackadized?

Post Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:41 pm

Posts: 71
Location: Northern IL, USA
Well Patrick, you certainly have my curiosity piqued. Let's here the details about the '54.

Dave

Post Thu Mar 16, 2006 2:47 pm

Posts: 71
Location: Northern IL, USA
Patrick, I emailed your comments to Ron, and he sends this in return.

Hey--tell Patrick I bought a mid-thirties wire-wheel sprinter last fall----Model A Ford drive train--destined for the street. That might take priority to the 392 hemi in one of the sprinters at the aerodrome 9also for the street), or the other sprinter up there destined for the Sweepstakes 289 Stud Hawk power plant I roared around in from 63-86.

Post Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:33 pm

Posts: 2685
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Cotten,
How come all of the cadnium plated parts on that NOS M 88 are so crappy looking and rusted yet the bare body is sparkling clean? Looks fishy to me. Have you ever seen a NOS carb that was not in a box? Highway Choppers in AZ had a shitload of NOS carbs of any number you could ask for. They were all either painted or plated. No bare bodies.

Post Thu Mar 16, 2006 10:40 pm

Posts: 2685
Location: Los Angeles, CA
hans56kh,
What country's military were they from? There is no documentation of the US Government having any 1956 K's. The US did get some 1952 K's but dropped them like hot rocks.

Post Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:48 am

Posts: 3118
Location: Central Illinois, USA
Chris!

The lowspeed knurl is rusty, but the rest of the cad is immmaculate.
I have photos and examples of carb parts soaked out of the same pack of goo that display cad coverage from perfect to nil, and every degree between.

(I have also opened sealed rod sets to find solid rust. Cosmoline was for hiding blems and seconds, y'know! )

None of that carb is "sparkly clean"; The bronze has a brown finish consistant with dry storage, as is the chalkiness of the cad.

In an ideal, perfect world, all post '39 HD units would have been enamelled, with absolutely no descrepancies for twenty five years of production. Wake me up when the world is perfect again!

....Cotten

Post Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:10 am

Posts: 2685
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Cotten,
That is like saying that all post 1939 Harley-Davidsons were supposed to be painted. But ocasionally one slipped out bare.

Post Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:46 am

Posts: 3118
Location: Central Illinois, USA
Chris!

Ever work a production line?

If one tenth of one percent of all the HD Linkerts slipped through out-of-spec, it would still be hundreds.

We all share your reverence for the workmanship and ingenuity of the times, but these were human beings, the generation of many of our parents, some still living. They were not gods.

....Cotten

Post Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:50 am
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5772
Location: Ohio USA

Sorry fella's. I only saved this one particular pic. There were several other photos of the carb with the original box but alas....this is the one I chose to keep. As far as the cad rust goes.....only just recently, I removed factory wrap and cosmoline from an nos rear 45 cylinder and the threads on the intake nipple were totally gone. I know it wasn't plated but it does show how cosmoline is not perfect sometimes. I don't see any marks on any of the adjustments on this carb, just corrosion. Pa

Post Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:13 am

Posts: 54
Chris
The army of the Netherlands (Holland) bought something like 10 or 20 1956 KH's. The HD importer told me that they did not survive very well under GI treatment. All of them needed a rebuilt after a surprisingly short time. They were then in storage for 10 years and subsequently sold off.

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