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Military speedo from SpeedoRat

Moderators: Curt!, Pa

Post Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:41 am

Posts: 27
Location: Australia
Hi again fellas.

I have stripped down and starting rebuilding my '42 U model (ex African front). One of the few things that I didn't like with it was the Custom Chrome speedo and some months ago I purchased a basic military repo without the HD logo at the bottom. I have also been looking around for an original military speedo, as I would prefer something more authentic.

I have noticed that occasionally on ebay a "rebuilt" speedo will appear from a bloke calling himself SpeedoRat. Does anyone here have any info on the authenticity of these rebuilds? I would prefer an original unit, but they can be pretty hard to come by in Oz.

Cheers in advance.

Post Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:20 am

Posts: 607
Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin, USA
His name is Janus Napierala and he is out of Ontario, Canada. I've had him do many speedos and as a rule I have been happy with them. The one that had a problem he promptly fixed. Give him a call 905 659-6434


Post Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:53 pm

Posts: 27
Location: Australia
Thank you for the input Jerry.

So can I safely assume that they are the real deal in speedo's and not after market item? I ask this because over the last couple of months, another bloke (cannot remember his name) advertised a NOS speedo that he had two of and keeping one for himself. Then a little while later the same ad appeared with the same description from the same bloke and it was not a re-listing. I don't know how many good condition NOS military speedos are being found these days and I suspect that they may be repo's. That particular bloke had a few bad scores on ebay for items not as described.

I don't mind paying a fair price for the real deal and am even happy with a good repo at a repo price, but am not fussed with the idea of being ripped off and not actually getting what I believe I am paying for. I suppose ultimately, what I am after is a good looking item that will work and give my ride back some more authenticity.

Post Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:48 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 5547
Location: Ohio USA

As with Jerry...I will vouch for the man also. He is very good at rebuilding oem speedometers. Pa

Post Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:31 am

Posts: 27
Location: Australia
Thank you Pa.

I am seriously looking at that option then. One good thing is that word of mouth from those in the know and not just gossipers is worth alot. Also due to the wonderful world we now live in, there are those I'm afraid, that would tell you any load of crud to make a sale.

I am rebuilding the outfit from ground up, but not going "totally authentic". It is an original military U model that I purchased from Africa, but with home made skirts tacked to the guards, a classic chrome speedo and a civlian ignition switch. I have returned the guards to original and stripped the bike down completely, getting the frame, tin ware and engine done completely from scratch. I found a good engine bloke in Brisbane Called Rusty of Rusty's Bayside Custom Cycles, but he has had a delay with a back problem. Mind you I am happy to stick with someone in the know for flatties and they appear to be hard to find. Rusty is honest and a good hand. I also have him tuning my 841 and most likely will get him to do my 344. The harley will be made back to original apart from being painted midnight black, with some airbrush work on the tank depicting its history. Thus the reason for a decent speedo.

I shall post a photo when complete.


Post Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:21 am

Posts: 1604
I owned a 45 in the late 80s with home-made skirts on the rear guard and a period repop front mudguard, typical 1950s / 1960s Fred Warr machine. I sold it to contribute towards my shovelhead project ( a shovel cost around 3 times the price of a 45 in those days !! ) and I've often regretted it.

I went around a long, expensive arc involving a series of shovels and panheads ( at one point I had three assorted Big Twins ) and while it was a lot of fun, it did rather lead me to the conclusion that I preferred 45s, on the whole. Hence my current Ariel/45 project, to build a 54" 4-speed 45 around 100lb lighter than a stocker.. a WL-era K-model, if you like.

I'd quite like a set of K top ends for it but these seem to be quite unobtainable in UK, and given the actual power increase vs what can be achieved using porting and relieving on WL barrels, and since I have several sets of these, I don't suppose that will happen at this stage.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:49 pm

Posts: 693
Location: somerset, oh usa
I paid 300 for my k top end about 1 1/2 years ago. Needed cleaned up, painted, bored and spark plug holes repaired.

Post Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:45 pm

Posts: 2677
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Speedo Rat also has some real good reproduction speedometers. 99 out of 100 who look at them can't spot them as repops.

Post Fri Jan 08, 2010 1:12 am

Posts: 1604
37ULH wrote:
I paid 300 for my k top end about 1 1/2 years ago. Needed cleaned up, painted, bored and spark plug holes repaired.

I don't have a problem with doing that kind of work, most old flathead top-ends need refurbishing. But, I haven't seen one for sale at all in the UK, and the ones I have seen pass through ebay have been around $600, incomplete; you can double that by the time it has been through UK customs and the shipping on such a heavy item is expensive, too.

if anyone has a set that I could source at a sensible final cost, I'd be interested to hear it, but I'm not holding my breath
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

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