Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions Morthodites-"Non Factory" Interesting "Magnum" Pic

Interesting "Magnum" Pic

Built something weird, one-off or want to? Ask or tell us about it here.
Post Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:51 am

Posts: 32
Location: El Paso, Texas
'54 KHK since 8/70
'76 XLCH since 4/85
'97 Valkyrie since 10/96

Post Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:28 am

Posts: 304
Location: Jonesville, Louisiana, USA
Cool lookin machine .

Post Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:26 am

Posts: 1538
yes, very minimalistic machine... bet it goes good as it looks..

Post Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:39 am

Posts: 1654
I'm sure that there is an explanation for the logic of spending $$$$$ on upgrading your engine, then custom-building a rigid frame and fitting a brakeless front wheel. However I suspect that words like 'rad' or 'kewl' are probably involved.

I saw this bike a while ago, and I thought it represented a great missed opportunity - a lightweight swing-arm sports bike with Grimeca or similar 2LS brakes and that Ducati tank would have been something rather special and original, but I'm afraid for me, that's 'just another chopper'
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Thu Dec 11, 2008 9:17 am

Posts: 62
Location: Texas' Big Bend country
Howdy Folks,

I'm pretty sure this bike was assembled as part of a "build-off" sponsored by The Horse; Backstreet Choppers Magazine. This is one of two bike rags I actually subscribe to, the other being The Antique Motorcycle of the AMCA. I like the unique home-builts The Horse features, and find it interesting that a new generation of riders is rediscovering the joys of building their own bobbers and choppers. However, apparently in pursuit of "authenticity", most of the bikes lack front brakes and the builders go to great lengths to fit up jockey-shifts and suicide clutches.

I started riding and working on bikes when this kind of thing was current. Guys ditched the front cable-actuated drum brakes because they didn't work anyhow. They ran jockey-tops on their trannies because they were cheap or because nothing else was available. A piece of rebar welded to the shift lug on the tranny top for a jockey-shift was easier and cheaper than gathering up and assembling all of the tank-shift parts, especially if you were going with a peanut tank. Any idiot could rig up a stomper suicide clutch pedal if they couldn't figure out how to put a friction rocker clutch together or adjust a mouse-trap.

It is interesting that these "features" are now seen a defining a time and style. I like bobbers and ride the hell out of mine, but I want brakes that will stop me in modern traffic, and, although I am sure there are those who will argue with me, I can run through the gears a lot faster with a hand-clutch and rachet-top than any hand-shifter I know of; I also see advantages in not having to take my hands off the bars to do so. I've been to too many funerals brought about by these "authentic" features, usually when used in combination with alcohol, to feel otherwise. Of course, if it's just a display piece and not actually going to be ridden...

--- Randall

Post Thu Dec 11, 2008 11:42 pm

Posts: 1654
I think that suicide clutches and jockey shifts DO define a time and style, in the sense that they relate to specific adaptations of machines of a certain period. As for modern machines so equipped, I agree with the last post.

quite why anyone can claim with a straight face, that a jockey lever on a positive stop selector, combined with red 120-spoke wheels, wide tyres and a bare steel seat pan is 'authentic', is beyond me.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:54 am

Posts: 23
Location: West Jefferson, NC

yep, that is my bike. I haven't had a front brake on several of my bikes and like it. I like rigid frames and the last 5 bikes that are mine are rigid. Yes, it was in the chop off, total cost in the bike was under $5000. weighs 311 weight.

Post Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:51 am

Posts: 767
Location: CA USA
Very nice work. Enjoyed reading your stuff about the build. Have you had a chance to run it in the 1/4 or flat out? Curious about the performance of this little 300# pocket rocket.

Post Fri Dec 19, 2008 1:47 pm

Posts: 1654
horses for courses. You can only get so far discussing personal taste in machines, and it's not far at all. My 45 is rigid but it has BSA wheels and brakes, and having ridden a stock 45 in British traffic I wouldn't have it any other way. My grass bikes don't have any brakes at all, and that's as it should be as well. I've ridden a chopped BSA with a BSA bantam front wheel, a common 70s thing, and I would never do it again, even at the time it was scary and I value my over-fed, under-exercised body more than that
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:49 pm

Posts: 62
Location: Texas' Big Bend country
Howdy BREWdude,

I actually like your 45 Magnum a lot; I probably shouldn't have engaged in a rant about jockey-shifts, suicide clutches and no front brakes in this thread. It is hard to build one of these motors so it doesn't grenade itself and I especially like the British foot-shift tranny and primary set-up. Rigid frames are light, simple, and look good. I ride mine on all kinds of roads and like it. I still don't get the brake thing though; what is it about no front brake and a marginally effective mechanical drum rear that you like?

--- Randall

Oh well, maybe its one of those "if you have to ask, you wouldn't understand" things... --- R

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