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Vintage bike as authentic as possible in a discreet bobber look

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

“A vintage bike as authentic as possible in a discreet bobber look.” These are the words used by German custom motorcycle shop Thunderbike to describe one of its more complex projects. Officially titled Bel-Air, it pairs some original and old Harley-Davidson parts with the benefits of more modern hardware in a unique, pure-European custom package.

Thunderbike has been modifying Harley-Davidsons for close to three decades now, and its work has oftentimes been recognized by the American company itself. Most of the time, the shop goes about transforming production bikes to customer specification, but every now and then it sets out to create something a bit more special.

That is the case with the build we have here, which started life as a Harley from 1954. It went through Thunderbike’s doors in 2016 and came out the other way looking like it does now.

The bike’s frame was molded into supporting an S&S shovelhead engine 92ci (1.5L) in displacement and rocking a Super E carburetor and an air cleaner from the same make. The entire thing was then tied to a Paughco Shotgun exhaust system.

Visually, the motorcycle sets itself apart first and foremost through the choice of colors used on the body parts. We’re dealing with a combination of red and white that was allegedly inspired by the Harley-Davidson Duo Glide and looks perfectly in sync with the Chevrolet Bel Air used as prop during the photoshoot and as inspiration for the name.

A 3.5-gallon (13-liter) fuel tank, a shortened rear fender, a Fat Boy front end, and 16-inch wheels wrapped in Avon Gangster tires complete the look of this two-wheeled machine.

Sadly, we are unable to determine how much the build cost to make. With the exception of the exhaust, endcaps and tires, which are still being sold by Thunderbike, all the other elements are custom made or adapted for this project.

The Bling Bikernet Weekly News for March 4th, 2021

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All Wild and Chrome

I’m working on a new Sam’s Picks story. He’s a cool dude, who is facing some health issues. I hope he can get a tune-up and be good as gold shortly.

I’m also working on a story about a Masonic based bike club that’s all over the country. It’s called the Widow’s Sons. And I’m packing all the rusting bling in the shop for shipment to South Dakota. I’ll take a picture of the shop. It’s getting crazy. Let’s hit the news.

With news from car haters, the NMA, the MRF, Lowbrow, S&S, Full Throttle Saloon, Flying Pistons, WindVest, Hamsters, OCC Road House, War on Parking, Toyota, the Future of Harley, JIMS Machine, Lane Splitting and we’re just scratching the surface.

Ride Fast and Free Forever,

–Bandit

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Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso’s paint shop experts create unique and fan-favorite designs for riders

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by Allison Tunstall from https://valpo.life

From custom jobs to throwback styles, Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso’s Paint Shop is a unique service offered in-store—one of the only Harley-Davidson dealers in the Midwest to house its Paint Shop right in the service center. Dealers from surrounding states from Ohio to Kentucky send their parts to the shop located on US 30, where the “Dynamic Duo,” John Galloway and Randy Melton, have been creating one-of-a-kind motorcycle looks for decades.

It is easy to see why so many riders and dealers trust Galloway and Melton with their bikes. Galloway, who started his painting career in his brother’s motorcycle shop and has continued painting for over 30 years. He and his team use only the most state-of-the-art technology and methods to create custom and industry-standard style. They are commited to creating quality, lasting work their customers love.

“We don’t do any shortcuts,” Galloway said. “We have a reputation of creating lasting work. We don’t want people to come back in a few years saying they’ve had problems, so we use the best product you can get as far as paint, primer, paint guns, air brushes, and more. Our spray booth is top of the line, which helps us get a better product out.”

“Recently, two riders brought their bikes to us and said that we’re the only ones they trust to create the look they want for their bikes,” he continued. “For years, I’ve worked with dealerships in Ohio, Kentucky, and Wisconsin, which continue to send me parts and tell me how satisfied their customers were with the job. It really makes a difference.”

Galloway and Melton specialize in repair and refinishing Harleys. If a bike has a scratch, dent, ding, mark, you name it, the duo gets to work repairing and detailing so it looks as if the damage never happened.

The Paint Shop also offers custom jobs, like the signature Harley-Davidson hot rod flames and custom graphics and airbrushed work. Galloway remembers a bike from a few years back that was Celtic-themed with Celtic symbols around the entire bike. They even recreate beloved styles that Harley-Davidson no longer makes. Currently, Galloway and Melton are recreating a stock paint job, one that is no longer available, on a 1997 bike.

“Tastes change and styles come back now and again,” Galloway said. “Harley-Davidson came out with a CVO with the Harley-Davidson number one on the gas tank, which was a little different than styles before. I’ve recreated that paint job probably 15 times. The hot rod flames come and go. Some people know exactly what they want for their bike, some people may only have a general idea of what they want and will let us run with it. For jobs like those, we spend a more time on doing a good job for them to make sure, in the end, they have the bike of their dreams.”

“I’ve had so many customers who are just overwhelmed and excited about the work we did,” Galloway said. “It’s gratifying to hear customers tell you that your work is even better than they could have imagined. I don’t interact with customers as much as I have in the past, so when I do, I love seeing that twinkle in their eyes when they see their fresh bike for the first time.”

Stop in the Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso Paint Shop today to see what Galloway and Melton are creating. Make sure to say hello to Willow, the dog, who comes to work with Galloway every day.

For more information about Harley-Davidson of Valparaiso’s Paint Shop and how to make an appointment, visit their site at https://www.hdvalpo.com/Services/The-Paint-Shop.

Tennessee Motorcycle & Music Revival in May 2021

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A 4-DAY RALLY HELD IN TN, THAT SHOWCASES THE AREA’S DEPTH AND DEVOTION TO MUSIC, MOTORCYCLES, FRIENDS, FAMILY AND GENUINE SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY.

The Tennessee Motorcycles and Music Revival is located at the majestic, 3,500 acre, Loretta Lynn’s Ranch & Campground, owned by country music legend, Loretta Lynn, and home of the AMA Motocross Championships. The Revival will showcase the area’s depth and devotion to Music, Motorcycles, Food, Art, Entertainment, and Southern Hospitality. Join us as we host 4,500+ on-site campers on 400 acres of manicured countryside that adjoins the meandering Hurricane Creek.

A one-of-a-kind experience with a backstage vibe. Nothing better describes the feeling of attending TMMR like the word REVIVAL. It brings you back to what we love the most about Motorcycles, Music, and Friends. Join us for Tennessee’s biggest and best bike rally and music festival wrapped up in one 4-day event!

Live Music featuring Nashville’s Next * Outlaw, Country, Rock, Bluegrass * Singer-Songwriters * Hooligan Racing * Biker Games * Harley-Davidson Demos * Pan America * H.O.G. Pin Stop * BC Moto Invitational Hand-Crafted Custom Motorcycles * Enduro Off-Road Loop * Wall of Death * Speed Shack Bar * Waterin’ Hole * Loretta’s Roadhouse * Bonfires * Bike Shows * Hurricane Creek * Tour Loretta’s Ranch * Swimming Pool * Full Liquor Bars * Food Trucks * Vendors * Official H.O.G. Pin Stop & Much Much More!

The Tennessee Motorcycles & Music Revival is proud to host the 4th edition of the BC Moto Invitational during its celebration of all things “Motorcycles and Music” at the historic Loretta Lynn Ranch. Bill Dodge’s “BC Moto Invitational” is a custom motorcycle showcase featuring hand-selected craftsmen displaying some of the country’s best custom motorcycles. It will be aptly situated in the unique setting of a picturesque, creek-side horse barn at Loretta’s.

Click here to purchase your general admission tickets and camping accommodations.

Custom Harley-Davidson Flying Shovel 1957 FL

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by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

When talking about the exploits of that European Harley-Davidson custom shop by the name Thunderbike, we’re usually treated with reinterpreted modern motorcycles. Occasionally, we also get full custom builds, based on their own frames, and somewhat rarer, conversions of earlier Harleys.

The Flying Shovel, as the one we have here is called, is part of that last category. Originally a 1957 Harley-Davidson FL, it was transformed into something the shop describes as a “true old-school Bobber with rigid frame, but reliable engine.”

What you see before your eyes is the frame of the FL, wrapped around an S&S shovelhead engine. The powerplant is linked to 4-speed gearbox from RevTech and topped by an S7S Super E carburetor also from S&S. The powertrain spins 18-inch wheels of Thunderbike make.

Other than the engine and frame, many of the other parts on this build have been custom-made for it exclusively. We’re talking about things like the exhaust, handlebars, grips, pegs, fuel tank, oil tank, rear fender, all of which have been designed specifically with the Flying Shovel in mind.

Some of these parts, made in brass, were wrapped in nickel, or given an old-finish look to have the appearance the bike belongs to another age, and for the most part, the shop succeeded.

In all, there were around 30 custom bits and pieces that made it into this two-wheeler, but because most were specifically designed for this project, very few of them are available commercially. That means it is extremely difficult to estimate how much it cost to put this thing together, and as usual Thunderbike makes no mention of the cost.

The Flying Shovel was built for a customer, and sadly the world lost track of it since it was completed about three years ago.

Modified motorcycles roll into Packard Museum

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by Andy Gray from https://www.tribtoday.com

Some people aren’t satisfied with a motorcycle straight off of the lot.

Collectors and motorcycle enthusiasts often modify those dealer purchases, restore damaged bikes that look like scrap metal to everyone else or build their own motorcycles from scratch.

The 21st Vintage Motorcycle Exhibit at the National Packard Museum celebrates those kinds of machines with “Roll Your Own,” which opens Saturday and runs through May 22.

“Last year when we were working on the exhibit ‘Two Wheels at the County Fair,’ we realize there were a lot of bikes that were highly modified, that guys got real crazy with,” museum Executive Director Mary Ann Porinchak said. “We decided to show off some of that creativity.

“The challenge was to find enough bikes, but once we started, they came out of the woodwork. It snowballed and had a life of its own, and there are some truly unique pieces that came about … One bike was built from the ground up from just a pile of parts. That shows a determination to ride and a fair amount of ingenuity.”

For the restorers, it’s a point of pride. Bruce Williams, a past organizer of the motorcycle show, has reconstructed several machines from most humble beginnings.

“People see you have half a motor (and ask), ‘What are you gonna do with that?’ I’ll build a bike,” Williams said. “They’ll say, ‘You’ll never do that,’ and a year and a half later, there it is.”

That doesn’t mean it’s easy. For one 1906 motorcycle he rebuilt, Williams had to hire a guy in Holland who could build the rims and back pulley he needed. Since that kind of rim was outlawed in the U.S. in the 1930s, the guy in Holland wouldn’t ship it to Williams directly. The parts were shipped to England and then to the U.S., and Williams had to pay duty fees on the parcel twice.

“I had $2,000 (invested) in two bare unfinished rims and a pulley, but it was the only guy I could find in the world who could make it for me,” Williams said.

For another restoration, he found a photograph of the motorcycle model when it was for sale in England. He knew the size of the rims, so he had the photo blown up to actual size and used it to create the bike’s frame and the other parts he needed.

A full list of the motorcycles usually is included with the preview story, but some of machines on display truly are one of a kind. One was built around 1922 Villiers frame. Another was assembled from parts from various Triumph motorcycles from the late 1960s and early ’70s and started with a single bolt.

Some of the motorcycles featured this year are a 1902 Sylvester & Jones, 1905 Riddle (with a Thor motor), 1908 Crouch, 1912 Indian Beltdrive, 1922 Agricycle, 1923 Douglas Model W, 1928 Indian Scout, 1949 Harley Panhead, 1951 Vincent black Shadow, 1954 BMW R-25/3, 1967 Triumph T-100R, 1968 Triumph T-100C, 1971 BSA Diesel 2 cylinder, 1971 BSA-A65 Lightning, 1974 Triumph T140V, 1974-75 Penton Custom, 1976 Yamaha TT 500 Hill Climber, 1976 GS750 Suzuki, 1984 BMW R80 RT and 1996 Buell ST Lightning.

Not all of the motorcycles are vintage. There are a few 21st century bikes in the show, including a 2021 Triumph Scrambler inspired by the motorcycle featured in the upcoming James Bond film “No Time to Die.”

William Dennis, president of the Packard board, has his 2015 California Custom show bike on display.

“Every piece of bling on there is an accessory that’s in their catalog,” Dennis said. “It has every accessory they make except for the fringe seat. Every piece of chrome on there is an add-on. The paint is a custom color. It emulates a Harley-Davidson paint scheme from years and years ago.”

Dennis said he and his son bonded over their mutual love of motorcycles and they’ve restored several bikes over the years.

The annual motorcycle show is popular attraction, and it’s earned the National Packard Museum several awards, including the Antique Motorcycle Foundation’s highest honor, the Award for Excellence, as well as three consecutive first place awards in the Interpretive Exhibits Category from the National Association of Automobile Museums.

Dennis is one of the people who became involved with the museum because of the motorcycle show, and he said he would like its success to guide the museum’s future programming by preserving the Packard history but also exploring other areas.

“I would like for this museum to be a mecca for transportation,” he said. “The people who own Packards are older … You ask young folks today about a Packard, they think you’re talking about Hewlett Packard.

“My thought is looking backward to move forward. What did we do in the past that worked and what can do in the future to keep going?”

One new challenge in organizing this year’s motorcycle show was the COVID-19 pandemic, which kept the committee members from being able to meet and interact the way they normally do.

“With the motorcycle guys, their excitement and enthusiasm feeds off each other,” Porinchak said.

As a result, there aren’t as many supplemental items accompanying the motorcycles compared to past shows, but one addition for 2021 is a piece by Youngstown artist Guy Shively that is part of the permanent collection of the Butler Institute of American Art.

“It’s a black-and-white piece, a pile of just motorcycle parts,” Porinchak said. “One of our committee members remembered seeing it there and said let’s see if we can borrow that piece and hang it up here. It’s the epitome of what we’re doing with this show. It’s a nice partnership, collaboration with them.”

If you go …

WHAT: 21st Vintage Motorcycle Exhibit — “Roll Your Own”

WHEN: Saturday through May 22. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

WHERE: National Packard Museum, 1899 Mahoning Ave. NW, Warren

HOW MUCH: $8 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and children ages 7 to 12 and free for children 6 and younger. For more information, go to www.packardmuseum.org or call 330-394-1899.

Lowered Harley-Davidson Greyhead

By General Posts

by Daniel Patrascu from https://www.autoevolution.com

Audi is famous for a lot of things: it is known for things like quattro, or the high-powered stations wagons it makes, but also for something that’s a lot more visible, a special shade of gray called nardo gray.

The shade, or variants of it, is not exclusive to Audi, and was used over the years, including as an aftermarket choice, on a number of cars, but people generally associate it with the four-ringed brand. Just type in the Google search bar nardo gray, and see what suggestions are made.

And yes, there are bikes wrapped in it as well.

Take the Germans from Thunderbike, an unstoppable garage in the business of remaking Harleys. They used nardo gray on a number of their projects, and we must say, the color looks right at home on the limited real estate provided by a motorcycle’s body.

Case in point, the Fat Boy Solid Dude they got out last summer. Or this here Greyhead, one of their even more recent releases. Once a Breakout, it got extensively changed, with the addition of some 30 custom parts and no-nonsense use of nardo gray on the headlamp fairing, fuel tank, rear fender, and elsewhere, combined with black on most of the other parts.

The new visual impact achieved with the paint is boosted by the lower stance, made possible by the use of a Stage 2 lowering kit, which brings the two-wheeler down by 30 mm.

As said, over 30 custom parts were used to make this, most of them of the German’s own design, including the headlamp, and covers where covers are due.

The entire affair cost around 7,000 euros ($8,500) to put together, but that does not include the base bike, the exhaust system, man-hours that went into it, and probably a host of other parts we’re not told anything about.

The Motorcycle Australian Exhibit

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Passion, Desire and Action

Curated by US-based design curator and physicist Professor Charles M Falco and writer and filmmaker Ultan Guilfoyle in collaboration with QAGOMA

Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) opens the world exclusive exhibition ‘The Motorcycle: Design, Art, Desire’ tomorrow, featuring 100 exceptional motorcycles from the 1870s to the present.

Queensland Art Gallery, Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) Director Chris Saines said ‘The Motorcycle’, showing until 26 April, 2021 celebrates 150 years of motorcycle history and included multiple interactive experiences for all ages.

‘Curated by US-based design curator and physicist Professor Charles M Falco and writer and filmmaker Ultan Guilfoyle in collaboration with QAGOMA, the exhibition features pioneering motorcycles and classic commuters, off-road bikes and speed machines, as well as custom creations and numerous electric bikes heralding the future,’ Mr Saines said.

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Triumph Over Tragedy For Local Motorcycle Company

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by Kelly Wise Valdes from https://www.ospreyobserver.com

Jared Weems from Riverview is no stranger to adversity. But, as Albert Einstein said, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” No one knows this better than Weems. The 42-year-old is from a fourth-generation vintage motorcycle enthusiast family. He explained that the passion for all things involving vintage British motorcycles runs in his blood.

Weems was born in Tampa, but ultimately he was raised for the majority of his life in South Tennessee. After high school, he returned to the Tampa area and eventually joined the Army in 2003. He proudly served his country in Special Ops and spent a majority of his military time parachuting from airplanes. It was during this time that he married his wife, Breanne, and they had two children—a son, Austin, 13, and a daughter, Adelaide, 11.

After the onset of some health issues, Weems was medically discharged from the Army in 2018 and moved to Riverview. Unfortunately, his health issues proved to be serious and he was diagnosed with a brain tumor that caused seizures. It was at this time that he hit a low point in his life. “I sold my motorcycles and was unsure where my life was headed,” said Weems.

A pivotal moment took place when a friend came to visit and brought a painting from a famous artist, David Mann. Mann’s work mostly featured Harley Davidson bikes and his paintings were published regularly in Easyriders magazine for more than 20 years. During his lifetime, Mann painted only two pictures of a Triumph bike, and Weems was holding one of those pictures.

“I wanted to build the Triumph bike that Mann had painted,” said Weems. “The painting was something of Mann’s creation—it wasn’t a bike that ever really existed.”

Weems was motivated by his new goal—a ground-up build of the 1952 Speed Twin Triumph from the Mann painting. Weems used this new purpose and his shop as a place of refuge and healing. His intention was to use his savings to build the bike, take it to bike shows, then sell it to recover his costs. The other good news is that Weems’ health had stabilized, and he has now been seizure-free for nearly three years.

Subsequently, his return to Riverview also gave Weems the opportunity to join the staff at The Chapel at FishHawk, currently serving as the director of ministry and leading community-based life skills classes.

It was through this outreach that he met with Cindy Tilley, founder of Forgotten Angels, a nonprofit organization that focuses on helping children that have aged out of the foster care system. Tilley was looking for fundraising ideas to raise money to help build more tiny houses on a property for the foster children.

During the meeting, Weems had an epiphany. “God’s voice said to me, ‘Give them the motorcycle.’”

The ball was rolling, and Weems even had several of the young men from Forgotten Angels help finish the motorcycle build with him. The motorcycle is now being raffled off to support Forgotten Angels.

The raffle is underway until Friday, March 19. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at www.weemsmotorco.com/raffle. For information about preservation, restoration, repair or custom builds of vintage British motorcycles, visit www.weemsmotorco.com.

Harley-Davidson Track Racer Is an American Muscle Bike

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The Harley-Davidson V-twin Racing Street Custom, or VRSC for short, is a bike like no other in the Milwaukee company’s portfolio. Born in 2001 as a means to mainly fight off the Japanese muscle bikes (but others, too), it stayed in production long enough to draw in a massive fan base, but also to stir an entire custom industry based around it.

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