Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Obstacle 1 Found

I had a strange feeling something had been done to the front end of this bike. I'm actually still not sure if the set of trees on this bike are factory or not. They appear to be aftermarket clamps because they are billet aluminum and much nicer than any other stock sporty clamps I have looked at closely.

It appears the clamps on the bike are putting the forks at an 8.5" spread as opposed to the sleak 7" spread I am looking to accomplish. These beautiful clamps are going to be featured on e-bay sometime in the near future and I will be trying to hunt down a set of stock narrow glide clamps.

Sporty in the House!!!

On Christmas Eve, I started locating various 98-03 Sporties scattered all over Southern California. Using a combination of Craigs List and The Cycle Trader I was able to make a list of about 20 sporties that suited my needs. Those being a low mileage 883 or 1200 with spoked wheels, a straight frame, clean engine, and straight forks. Craigs List was much more helpful and I probably found 16 of the 20 bikes I was interested on that site. I also found out that the actual printed Cycle Trader is Southern California based and not just by county. I picked up two different copies that had different covers just to discover they were the same damn thing. You can also find any motorcycle that is printed in a Cycle Trader on their website, so you don't have to waste the money on the printed version if you don't want to.

Anyways, I got to work on contacting a few of the listers on the 27th. The first 3 bikes I called on were already taken or at least I am guessing they were because I did not get any calls back after 2 days. This was getting a bit discouraging, but I had 17 more bikes to go so I got back on it on the 28th. The first bike I called on was probably one of the best and worst deals I found. It was a 2003 883 with 2,500 miles on it. The big problem was that it had been laid down in a "low speed" accident which rendered the bike unrideable and it was also in Palm Desert. This meant that I would have to drive a 100 miles either to be stoked on a good find, or really pissed because the owner had not been upfront about how bad the bike was damaged.

Yesterday morning, I set off to Palm Desert with my hopes high (probably a bad idea) and my Dad, John Ellis (master of all thing mechanical), to check the bike out. We showed up to find a pretty clean bike which certainly had low miles on it and was certainly not rideable. Riding it would have been good, but I knew that as long as we could hear it run and it did not make any horrific noises it would be fine. We got the bike started by jumping it using the current owner's Subaru Outback. The bike sang like a bird and I was sold. We promptly completed the transaction, loaded the bike and got going back to Temecula. Here's some pics of the mighty steed.

Hardcore biker bullshit was sprinkled here and there all over the bike. Its an 883 Sportster, there's nothing hard about it.

Can anyone say, "Any Which Way But Loose?" Doesn't this guy know that if he runs with the Black Widows he's gonna get a beatdown from Filo Beddoe?

The only scratches found on the motor from the low speed crash. I'll replace this cover and take some emery cloth to the main cover and she'll be back to new in no time.

This is the reason the bike sat for so long and only has 2,500 miles on it. The owner did not want to get this shock bolt replaced. I'll bet even a Harley Shop couldn't of charged more than $200 to get this fixed. Oh well, I'll be cutting that off anyways.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Let the Hunt Begin

Since starting at Biltwell I have been getting a lot of heat from Bill and McGoo for not actually owning a motorcycle and embracing my inner outlaw. So, after 3 months of busting ass I wrangled up enough cash to buy a Sportster donor that I could start chopping up.

I am searching for a 98-03 1200 located somewhere in Southern California and it seems like they are everywhere and the price range is all over the board. Some going for $2500, some going for $8000. $3500 is my magic number and I'm sure I can get something at that price.

In the mean time, I have assemble a pretty dynamic build team of expert craftsmen that should really help me get this build going in the right direction. Check out the pic of me and the gang below.