Great place for OEM parts. Had stuff the dealer didn't. Get schematics for any part your working on.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Final Words

I can still smell Betty's exhaust as she rode off with her new owner.

After putting about 50 miles one her, I found that she was under geared (only a 4 speed), too small, (had to sit on passenger seat and spread my legs) and incomplete ( still needs fine tuning and some other stuff.)

I enjoyed riding the Harley but it wasn't the greatest ride. The Vulcan is much more comfortable and reliable. Plus I don't need to go through the hassle of getting a title for it.

The icing on the cake was when my wife told me that I looked good on the Vulcan and silly on the Sportster because it was so small.

I'd had fun with her, but I'm glad she's gone.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Parting Ways

I've decided to sell Betty and keep the Vulcan.

I just received the front brake master cylinder in the mail and once I install it, she's going to a new home.

I rode her around a little back and forth to work once. I decided I like the Vulcan better. Betty still needs a little work and is still a little on the ugly side.
Another major reason I'm selling it is because I never got the title for it, the guy I'm selling it to has gotten bonded titles before and though it's a pain, it's worth it if you really want the vehicle. He wants it more then I do.

I did ride it a little. A total of about 20 miles. ( with no front brake... not for the weak willed.) I felt like a real bad a$$ with the ape hangers and LOUD drag pipes.

I'll be getting a few hundred dollars more then I invested plus another bike in good condition. Part of the sale includes a 77 KZ650. This is reminiscent of the KZ750 I rode in High School. I'd say the Kawi is worth $600 or so.

All in all, it was an excellent experience and though I didn't see the project to 100% of my vision, I had alot of fun and am completely satisfied with the result.

Had I got the title as promised when I bought it, (Shane is a giant douche), things may have been different.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Glamour Shots

Took her out for a little ride.

The Carb still isn't right it runs very rich.

Also still no front brake.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Now we're real close

I can count on one hand what I have left to do.
  1. Mount the newly painted rear fender (this also includes attaching the brake light and licence plate bracket)
  2. Fine tune the carburetor
  3. Install the front brake master cylinder (it's in the mail). And of course bleed the brakes afterwards.
  4. Stitch the seat (sticks out like a sore thumb in this first picture). It's not a tare, the stitching has just pulled out.
  5. Clear coat the gas tank. (instead of painting it, to match the fenders I put a stripe on each side to cover the chipped paint. It doesn't look half bad.)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

First 3 miles

So I took the clutch cover off and hit the clutch with a rubber mallet a few times and pried the clutch plates apart a little bit. That freed up the clutch.

I rode it around the block and it shifted just fine. The carburetor need to be adjusted and I'm still with out a front brake lever (that's why I only went 3 miles). I'm watching a few levers on Ebay I should get one here in the next week or so.

Monday, May 21, 2007

On Hold

I thought I was going to finish (except paint) this weekend but as it turns out the cluch is siezed and there's something wrong with my front brake master cylinder. Unfortunately, I'm out of cash.

I'm a little frustrated with both the Harley and the Vulcan. There's some kind of intermittent electrical problem that stosp the Vulcan from running. So here I am, I've got 2 pretty nice bikes and I can't ride ( or fix) either one. I think I'm gonna step back for a while.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Oh So Close

I've probably put in 9 hours on Betty in the last 24. Who needs sleep anyway?

All the electrical is ran except for the tail light and I'm still waiting for a headlight glass.

The brake line I bought is too small, I'll try to get out to Butterfields this weekend and get the right size.

I'm also waiting on a chrome chain guard.

I still need to add fluids to the break lines and the clutch needs adjustment.
Turns out the chrome pipes don't fit on the stock bracket.

I'll either fabricate a bracket or more likely, get a different set of pipes

Oh yeah and the tank and rear fend still need paint.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cheating: Sneak Peak

After I mounted the rear brake and foot pedal, I wanted to check to see if the pedal would hit the exhaust pipe.
A note about these drag pipes: I bought them from an eBay seller in Chicopee Mass, and they were actually manufactured in Palmer Mass, the town I went to High School.

Anyway, I get the pipes on and I say, humm... lets throw the tank and air cleaner on and how about the fender and struts too.
Then I took a picture, looking good.
I've been calling her Betty for a while, perhaps I should drop the Ugly part entirely.
Sorry the garage is a mess. I'm too excited about finishing to bother to clean up.

Rear Brake Caliper

Got this on ebay. I paid too much. ($70) but it was the only one I could find that wasn't $150 or more. I painted the bracket but instead of painting the caliper I polished it. I thin it came out pretty go. Certainly as good as any paint job I can do.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin...

I finally got the brake caliper bracket which completes the required parts to install the rear wheel. I then put on the kick stand and dropped the lift. Smooth rolling chassis.

(Like that chrome speedo?)

At this rate, all I'll have left will be paint by the end of the week. I'm gonna try to have her ready to drive to work on Friday the 25th. That gives me 10 days to finish up.

In reality I still have to:

Install the front and rear brake calipers.
Prep and paint the rear fender and tank.
Install the headlight, taillight and wiring harness.
Connect throttle, choke and air cleaner.
Repair seat stitching.
Chain guard
Battery tray and cover.

Most of that is pretty easy. The painting will be the only real time consuming part.

Here's a shot of my boy in his first Harley shirt

Monday, May 14, 2007

I'd say I'm over half way there

I'm still waiting for a rear brake caliper so I can mount the rear wheel. Although, I also need to mount the rear fender too. I have been procrasinating the fender, I don't like to paint.

Whats left?

-Paint: Fender, tank and, headlight bucket

-Install front and rear brake. ( need to buy an after market brake line for the front to make up for the ape hangers.


A few parts I still need: Transmission (drive gear) cover, head light visor, exhaust pipe clamps and battery strap.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

The Work Continues

That front end looks pretty sharp.

I decided to flat black the engine covers rather then springing for the chrome. I'm looking at over $200 if I got new covers. Maybe later.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Progress is Made

I've stripped and painted the frame. (black) No pics sorry. I've go the rear shocks cleaned and mounted.

The tree has been polished and mounted and I'm now working on the forks. It's been a couple days since I lasted worked on it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Speedy Disassembly

Last night, I got home from work and with in 2 hours, I had Betty all in pieces again back down to the frame.

I'm prepping the frame to paint now. Hopefully I'll have the frame finished by the end of the weekend

Monday, April 23, 2007

Oh Yeah! She Runs Like a Raped Ape

A little hard to turn over, had to jump start a dead battery but she fired up!

I was told the the top end was rebuilt not long ago and there's a performance carb on this thing.

There's a fire in Betty!

Had it running a couple minutes. My friend took a video. I'll post it when I get it.

My plan now is to strip her down again and reassemble piece by piece, restoring each part as I go.


Sunday, April 22, 2007

She's alive

I got her started tonight. It was 11pm so i just let her run for a couple seconds.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Looks Can Be Deceiving

I put some more parts on and painted over some of the rust. Looks good eh? Well, this thing is still light years away from being road worthy. The wiring is gonna be the biggest headache.

I did get an oil tank for it but it's all chopped up. There's some real winners on eBay.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Don't Try This at Home

I put the motor in tonight. Boy that thing was heavy.

Though it was way heavier then the cb 350 engine, it was easier to get in. More room in the frame. Still, I recommend getting a friend or at least a spouse to help. I'm pretty sure dead lifting that thing into the frame wasn't too good for me.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Playing After Midnight

I started to assemble Betty partially 'cause I want to and partially because she'll take up less space when assembled.

I'm definitely missing some parts, most notably an oil tank. Fortunately, there's one on eBay for $20 ending in a couple hours with no bids.

I'm also missing spacers for the axles. It's possible that they're in that big box of crap.

It took only 2 hours to get to this point however, the wheels will have to come off again once I locate spacers .

Wednesday, April 4, 2007


My Dad used to have an 84 Sporty Shovel Head 1000 XLX. Red, just like this one.

He used to have nightmares that he sold it to me and came home from work to see it all in pieces. Life can be so ironic some times.

Don't fear Dad, I'll do ya proud!

Ugly Betty's New Home

1983 Sportster XLX 1000 Shovel Head.
Total basket case.
$1040 delivered.

My first HD!!

Hey Dad, look at me now!