Figured it’s about time for an intro and to pay my respects to all who take the time posting such valuable information to keep these old machines running. Thank you very much!
I was not on a motorcycle from 1980 to 2005. Five of the Harleys I owned were for only short periods of time. All flatheads. Purchased a basket K-model in the late sixties, got her running just fine. Came with a bolt on rigid. Added a 45 Springer with 21” up front. Had to sell shortly after joining Admiral Zumwalt’s Navy in 72. It was either the Navy or be drafted for Vietnam.
While on a Westpac cruise aboard the Kitty Hawk, I came across Toby in the Philippines where I purchased two put-together 45s. This was about five years before the Sep 79 Easyriders article came out about Toby. Email me if you’d like to read the article. In those days, the Navy would let you ship motorcycles back to the US aboard ship. I know of two other 45s, two Indians and probably a Knuckle were brought back compliments of Uncle Sam. Unfortunately, I had no time to get either on the road and ended up passing both to my younger brother, who eventually sold them off.
In 76, and totally by happenstance, I came across members of the Seattle Cossacks motorcycle stunt team (Dave Eady is the only name I remember) while walking down the streets in Bremerton, WA while still aboard the “Hawk” in drydock and ended up purchasing two 33VLD rolling baskets. Dave and his buddy had purchased a trailer load of old Harleys from a widow in Pottstown, PA. I think Dave said they bought about 10 bikes, a used truck and trailer and carted all across the US back to Seattle. I had no idea how valuable a 1933 model year Harley was at the time. I think I paid about $800.00 for each. Ended up taking these to my next duty station in Hawaii, but after leaving the Navy for a civilian job, ended up selling both around mid-1980 to a father-son team from southern Maryland. I have regretted that decision ever since. The last time I contacted VL Heaven, neither was registered on Steve Slocomb’s list.
Along comes 2005. Well, to keep this somewhat short, I have a 40 UA (love those Flatheads!) that is in various stages of rebuild. It won’t revert back to it’s military garb, although I did come across the one year only M-65 carb. Trying to take things slow. About a year ago, I came across my “other flathead,” a 1970 Yamaha YDS6B (only made two years) in a barn. The story behind this is published with thirty-nine other and more exciting great motorcycle barn find stories in a book, entitled “The Vincent In The Barn,” by Tom Cotter.
I’m not much of a mechanic nor would ever consider myself a “wrench.” I’m capable of only the basics. I’ve found answers to nearly all my questions by either researching this forum, or asking my fellow Highlands Chapter members. It’s a great resource you all provide. Proud to say I did change out my tranny kicker arm bushings using the oven, right size socket and hammer. Although, fortunately another Highlands member volunteered his time, expertise and machinery to do the reaming. This was a first for me. I do rely heavily on the kind members of this forum and also my understanding fellow Highlands members. Hopefully one day, I can return the favor in kind, even if only a small one.
Ride Safe, Ed