This motor came from an original unrestored 1939 Knucklehead. The customer wanted to keep the original patina on the motor. We disassembled the motor, cleaned the inside, rebuilt all the internal parts, but left the outside in its original condition. This will look very nice in his unrestored, original 1939. Below is the start-up video.
This customer is from Pennsylvania and brought us this motor that had supposedly just been rebuilt, but he was leery so he wanted us to take it apart and check it out. We found many issues with the motor so we completely rebuilt the motor again. Below is the start-up video.
We are restoring this for Larry. The motor went through start-up already. We installed the motor and transmission in the frame and are continuing the restoration process.
This is a motor that we completely rebuilt, balances and blueprinted. All finishes are correct for 1941.
We have a special guest writer for this newest post. We met Tandy approximately 15 years ago when she came in for some help with her Knucklehead, and she has been a faithful customer and friend ever since. Enjoy.
I bought my bike in 1981. It was love at first sight and I bought her before I could even kick-start her. The current owner started her and despite the suicide/jockey shift, I rode off as if she had been mine for years.
The first few years I lived on her but then life happened ….. my family all sold their bikes but I kept her and rode alone.
I made seat, fender, and paint changes to her over the years but could never find anyone that really seemed to understand her until I met the guys at HWC. They kept her running well for years then one day I had the money and they had the know-how to rebuild the engine and transmission, as well as make some chassie modifications.
Thanks to the guys at Highway Choppers I will be riding my scooter for as long as I possibly can. And yes, a ridge frame at 50 is not as easy as it was at 20 but it is still just as much fun!
This is Chris V.’s 1947 Kuncklehead partial restoration. We are rebuilding the motor and transmission and installing it in his chassis. We are also installing new handlebars as well as replacing his aftermarket tanks with original ones. After all the changes are made the final step will be painting to match.
This is the first time the engine ran after restoration.
These cases were brought to us severely broken, and the customer wanted to save them. We have the capability of repairing these cases almost as if they were new. As you can see from the pictures, the top part of the case was broken completely off. In order to repair them, we fit them back together and dovetail ground all the cracks. Then we proceeded to weld the case back together. Early Harley cases are extremely difficult to weld due to the quality of aluminum used in the castings. We have a very talented certified welder, in house, that makes it look easy. Once the cases were repaired, we fit both case halves together and finished alining all surfaces such as motor mounts and cylinder deck. Once the machine work was complete, we went back and refinished the surface to give it a factory original look.
Here are some before and after photos.
This is Buddy’s 1947 Knucklehead restoration that we completed. This is one of several motorcycles that we have restored or worked on for Buddy. We worked on this project for about two years off and on between other projects for Buddy and other customers. The bike is painted Skyway Blue (one of three original colors offered that year). We were very pleased with the way it turned out, as was Buddy.
Below is a video of one of the initial tests we did on the engine on our run-stand.
We test ride our bike projects several times before the customer picks it up.
Before and After Slideshow
The Tale of a Knucklehead
By Denny McLain
June 15th, 2008 Father’s Day
I hadn’t really thought about writing something like this but early on in the restoration process with the Harley it was strongly suggested by Dave at Highway Choppers. He said getting the bike fixed back up was only half of my responsibility. I owed it to the bike and to the family to write down everything that I could remember about growing up with it. That way, long after I’m gone there’s still a connection to the family. Along the way each member of the family that takes on the responsibility to care for the bike will add their own pages to the story. They’ll add their own pictures and maintain the history. Continue reading