A couple of weeks ago Bill Rodencal, the head Restorer/Conservator at Harley Davidson, called and asked if he could visit our shop while he was in town on his family vacation. He stopped by on a Tuesday and visited for about two hours. We talked about all kinds of Harley and Indian motorcycles. We were thrilled and honored to have such an expert in the field spend time both chatting with us and checking out some of our current restoration projects. The following Saturday, we took a ride to Cave Creek, Arizona and met him for lunch. We had a great time and look forward to his next visit. Thanks, Bill, for visiting.
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.
We are making headway on Mike’s 1948 Indian Chief. The engine is balanced and blueprinted. We put all new gears in the transmission, including mainshaft and countershaft. The engine and transmission are joined together and installed in the frame. We also did the the last sheet metal fitting to make sure that there are no issues or extra holds and that it all fits perfectly prior to painting. Mike chose red and cream; he likes to refer to it as red and vanilla. Much thanks to Dave at The Shop in Ventura California. He is a long time friend and Indian guru.
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.