Thursday, April 24, 2008

Weight or Stronger

I don't think anyone that built chassis's spend more time trying to make them light than I did in the early days. If I built a chassis that weight more that 26 lbs I tossed in the trash. But over the years of fancy wobbler's and welding cracks, etc. I started making them stronger and that added weight, so the weight thing was never thought about again and the chassis's got better after every one I built.

The stronger they are with the components in the right place is the way to go, if you find that secret, you've got it done.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Hey Puppet,

Here's one for you to ponder. This was my Knucklehead when it was running pretty good on fuel, it use to break and crack the frame on the bottom tube between the motor sprocket and the clutch. After checking around I found the same problem was happening to the flattrackers. It you look close there is a tube added from the left front down tube under the carburetors and back to the left rear down tube, solving the problem. I seen it one night when I went to the Fraltrack races.

The people in the picture, the good looking one in the red jacket with his back to you is me of course, then there is Bob Ebling and Bill Chambers, the girls on the left the one you can't see all of is Janie Chambers and then my Wife Pat.

Denco Triple Triple retired


That's pretty much how I heard it, there was some other things that floated around but the were a little bias and not worth mentioning. I think it was known as a little ill handling but then what really fast bike wasn't back then. But still answered like a true AMDRA Director.

Entertainment and Drag Racing

Just a note, Quote from Chris Estrada,

NASCAR knows that the sport is about entertainment — you can't rely solely on a great racing product to fill the seats and make the Nielsens tick up. Check the TV ratings — even though many fans gripe about how boring these Sprint Cup races may be, there are still many more that happily give up four hours of their Sunday afternoon to watch these guys.

But while they've been masters of publicity, NASCAR has never had their own Danica Patrick to trumpet. And since Patrick's finally put one in the win column, she and the IRL are already getting major buzz from across the media spectrum on a day where the Sprint Cup stars are having one of their rare off-weekends.

Running Two Bikes, and Spokesman for loosers

1972, Indy. I got permission from Steve Gibbs to try and qualify both of my bikes and got hurt when a rod broke right off the starting line and ended up in the hospital and Sonny Raz was in a different Hospital, the year he lost part of his hand. NHRA rules were you could not ride two bikes in the same class, I could choose one I wanted to ride and get another rider for the other but I would have put it in the trailer.

There was a bad issue at Bowling Green one year (which was a NHRA Sanction track) when TC rode two bikes in the same class and collected the money for both and left the track. Everybody came to me to be spokesman for them and we all went to the tower, about 25 or 30 crowded in the lower of that little thing and I got in a loud debate with one of the official, we were really going at it and I mention all these people would like something done. He said what people and I looked around and every body had left and I was the one that looked like a fool.

Nothing was done and I never got over that disloyalty.

Monday, April 21, 2008

MPH verses ET

Speed, ET and why did it happen.

My Double Harley ran a pretty consistent 176 MPH, give or take, at every track I raced on. Those times were with ET’s between 8.12 and 8.40 on any track, night or day.

Talking about unusual Speed’s, I did turn 181, 182 and right at 183 MPH at the Ontario Super Nationals with ET’s between 8.02 and 8.12 and at Indy I had a run of 188 MPH with an ET of 8.77. Ron Fringer ran a 187 MPH on the same bike with Injectors at Orange County Raceway with a mid eight second run.

The thing is those ET’s from the 176 MPH to the 180’s is quite a span. But, I notice on all the faster runs there was something different, it was a feel they had that I tried to duplicate many times but could not seem to do it consistently. The bike seems to have a floating feeling through the traps and was harder to get stopped so I never doubted the MPH plus they were done at an NHRA National Events.

In those days the only instruments we had was the Air Density Gage and I kept a record of all runs that included spark plug range, jetting and nozzle size, rear tire air pressure, shoe size, sh*t everything and on those runs the air density in the record book was right at 104 which was in those days was perfect air.

So, on those runs some place on the track there was a different acceleration rate that I can’t explain, I just knew there was a different feel on that run.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Early Harley Carburetors


Here is another pretty good picture of it, not bad for 1967 or 68. This was the frame I built for the Shovel and I started building that motor about this time.

That's my Ranchero.

The Knucklehead, 1968

Is this thread still active??


Here's one shows the old three wheeler and very early Sportster Carburetors a little better. I was successful with these in the beginning on fuel. They were the Carburetor S&S use to design there first Fuel Carburetor with.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Visit with Baz and Friend

John Noonan supplied this photo, & John has one of the fastest street bikes on the planet with a turbo Suzuki busa that has run 259 plus MPH on street tires at Bonneville in fact John holds about 17-20 different records in either the DLRA, ECTA, SCTA, AMA, or BNI and is a lifetime member of four different 200 mph clubs. He currently is the fastest record holder on two different continents with them being the USA and Australia.

He also holds the fastest open air record at 229 plus MPH and this was done in the dirt at El Mirage.

John was with Baz when we had our get together at Laidlaw's Harley Davidson. I'm told this is an original picture of Twin Triumph Double Trouble and Pat Presitti rider and owner.

Strawn and AMDRA days.

Roy Stress. That's what I used to call you, the job you had put such a stress on you that it sometimes showed but you stuck it out to the very end. Good man!!

Here is another you might like.;topicsee

I was wondering how long before you showed up. Guys like you and me are full of all kinds of Drag Race sh*t from the old days. I can remember in the early days of the AMDRA when a few of us sit around the Knights of the Motorcycle Drag Race Round Table at the NHRA Office in Hollywood California thinking we had all the answers and some are still trying to be solved today. No matter it was the best days of my life.

This is me and you in those days both trying to be the boss, man were those the times.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

This is the first frame I ever built, 1967. It was all one inch, 049 wall 4130 tubing. I built it around the front fork assembly, complete empty motor, empty transmission and rear wheel assembly with the slick on it. Cut the tubes with a hacksaw, bent the tubes with bending pressure after getting it red hot with a torch and tacked it together with a gas welding torch. Put the whole thing in the back of my truck and drove to a heli-arc welder and he welded it as I took it a part. It was real ugly when it was a bare frame.I ran a 102 inch Knucklehead in it with steel cylinders that came from S&S Cycle. It ran a best 158.98 with a 9.44 ET. One weekend I put screen door closers on the front forks to hold the front end up longer to put more weight on the rear tire, I could adjust them to go down slower or faster, it was at the time a good ideal. It did work because I was on a really good run but I had them to tight and the front end stayed extend and I went into a wobble and the bike went through the lights on the left side of the track and my body tumbled through the right side of the track and clocked 142 MPH loosing to the bike.After fixing it this is the guy that bought it, I had put a 102 inch shovel in it and he ran gas with it. He has his new Red Leathers on and ready to go,

M&H tires today

Yes, but also some one futher back on this thread mentioned that M&H would make some if that had a order for 50 or more. When I was testing tires for M&H they made different compounds you could get, I tested many for them so I know they make them. All the racers should put there heads together and figure what will be the best all around tire and order 50 or so.

Tires coming from M&H

I don’t know if you already do this or not but the first time I did it by accident I went quicker and faster that before.

It was during the time of four inch wide slicks and I was testing tires for M&H and those numbers you mention were some of the compounds they sent me. At the time I was smoking an Avon off the line, High Gear only. I had mounted two different compounds for Saturday night at Irwindale Raceway. One soft and one hard which was softer that the Avon at the time. I had the hard one on and got ready for a run, pulled down the fire up road, came around and staged. Got the light and was a little late with the clutch and the bike bogged off the line and I just left the throttle on and finished the run, sitting on the bike discussed waiting for my wife for toll back and here she comes down the return road with the head lights flashing and the horn blaring.. A normal Avon Tire smoking run was in the neighborhood of 9.25 to 9.40, on that run I ran a 9.04.I spent the next two weeks learning to let the clutch out first and then turn the throttle on afterwards, I killed the motor a few times on the line and I went up in smoke a few times. But I finally got where I could do it every run. It called for great timing and I had to kind of roll the throttle on after I found out how much to give it at first to keep from stalling the motor.

It was a lot of fun learning how to do that and in the end I ran the in between hard/soft, I be darn if I can remember but numbers I remember the most were 325, 250 and it seems there was 280, but I really can’t remember. I also running 26 lbs of air was right for me.

Picture from Trade Show

Hey Mike,
Was that a picture I signed for him in the old days?

Laidlaw and Baz

I got that visit from Baz, we met at Laidlaw's Harley Davidson for lunch and a afternoon of Bench Racing.
That's Laidlaw in the middle, this is not a very good picture, that's my excuse because it looks old or something does.
All this month is Bob's Birthday Bash on Saturday and 50 Anniversary with Harley Davidson.

Visit from my Aussie Friend, Baz

When Baz came to visit me he brought his friend John Noonan who supplied this photo to me. Does anyone know who it is?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Is that Joe or Gordon

1976, Ron Fringer


Two Speed vs Three Speed


I believe Dennis was right, but speaking from a Harley guy, glad he didn't have the three speed in it. Boris could have done the ride too. He's a good rider.

Did they ever run fuel, that might have taken care of that bog. Personally, I thing the bog was due to the fact that those motors are all RPM, it might have still had the bog with another gear.

They sure ran some good numbers on "parts wash" though.

Story from the Past


Your story reminds me of the first night I ran Fuel when Clem Johnson and I were a race team in 1957 and it was at the Old Colton Night Drags. The first race I had that night was against the original "Double Trouble" Twin Engine Triumph. We were in the staging lanes waiting to race and the guy that road it was named Tex, he had a slight limp and while waiting our turn I'm sitting on my bike and he walks up to me (I'm already scare because of running fuel) and looks down at me and says "do you go pretty straight" and I stammer back, most of the time. He's still looking down at me and he says "well look out because I'm all over the strip" and walks away. This really startles me and Clem says "that's OK Joe, after the race he will be limbing on both legs". We beat him so bad that I didn't even see him after the race. On the run I went 138 MPH, 10.80 ET.


I think anything with two or three motors is going to go fast. My Double was a blast.

Yes, I knew about that Triple and Boris, he ran some amazing times with it. He could ride almost anything and do a good job but it still sounded like a whole bunch of grass cutters.

The Big Three


Yes, I recall all of them especially the one with the three on the front cover. That was a day that I will never for get. Those bikes at the time were called the "Big Three" and the pictures were taken at a Studio in Hollywood California. I remember that I wanted to be the last one to show up but I think Russ and TC had the same Idea, as it was we all got there about the same time. The picture shooting was going along OK until we got to the point of the three together and then there was some discussion on who was going to be in the middle. We all three had our reason for who should be there but it turned out to be Russ because his bike was bigger and it looked lopsided when his was on one side or the other. Of course I had the only real legitimate reason to be in the middle. It was the only USA made bike there. HAAAAAAAAA

Anyway, it turned out to be a great day for me to be included with Russ and TC which were really getting hard to beat at the races. There was six Bike Magazines that I has front cover and that is the only one I have, the others seemed to have got lost in the shuffle.

Two Cycle

Man, I really hated that sound, the first time someone fired one of those things up in the pits everybody started to run, they thought it was Killer Bees.

Lot of the guys started rolling there cars windows up, they thought it was the clean up guy with one of those dirt blowers. HAAAAAAAAAAAA

Proof reading


Yes, I did that too but don't recall ever getting to proof read a one of them. It might have been because I was hard to get a hold of because of the tour racing, I don't know. Most were close enough that it was OK but there was some I would like to have burned down the store. It's like the news media calling guys that race on the street, Drag Racers, boy do I hate that.

There is a Magazine in Brazil doing a thing about me right now that is suppose to be in the racks this month, I ask to proof read it and still haven't heard from them.

Old Friend

OK, this is Doug Gall, ran a Top Fuel Harley in the old days. Anybody know if he is still around????

No, I was the first on front cover

That's OK Fastlane, it's just me and my pride showing.

Also, anything the media says on there hand held weapon or puts in print is always right even if it's not and if they have there favorites it even more uncontrollable. That's how it was in the old days. Not to mention any names, trying to stay out of trouble, but a guy with the name that rhymed with Book was the worst. I always loved it when the poor guy that won all the marbles in the biggest class running would get little or no mention, not even a picture. In my day, a lot of that went on and there was a reason for it!?

Name this guy

It's not a very clear picture but can any of the old timers remember this guy. He was from Minnesota and can you tell me his name and if he's still around.

Slim is now Tevis

In other words the Slim I knew in the old days at the drags is dead, he made some changes and is now, Tevis, is that right.

Slim is Dead

Are there two Steve's, Slim is alive now? Sure makes me feel better after posting about him in kind of a jest, the hat, the hair.

In all the years I was racing, I never seen Slim without that hat or that hair, he was an intense guy and very loyal to Russ.