Monday, October 12, 2009

They're Not All Worth Saving

All my rantings about preserving the old custom's aside, we all know that the majority of old custom builds (especially the 1970's era choppers) are better off being put out of their misery than trying to preserve or even rebuild. Bad design and poor fabrication being the rule more than the exception. Case in point the bike pictured here. I just picked it up a few weeks ago at a fair price without looking it over too closely. I knew that I had a good chance of getting my money back out of it because of the cast body Joe Hunt magneto and TR6 engine cases, as well as a nice looking rigid frame and old teardrop gas tank. The first thing I did to it was to take off the Yamaha forks and front wheel and chuck them into the dumpster down the street from my house. The Fat Bob rear fender was also amputated from the frame with surgical precision and unceremoniously tossed in the closest refuse container available. This build, like so many I've discovered and dismembered, was a amazing example of Jerry rigged together engineering and poor taste. The iron cylinder head on TR6 cases was a warning alarm that I should have paid more attention to. When I got the thing torn down I found out that the case halves did not match, killing the value of the TR6 stamping. Originally the engine was most likely a T-Bird that threw a rod necessitating the TR6 primary side case. The primary covers were pretty shot as well. I decided that I would sell (at close to my cost) the magneto and all the good engine parts to one of my Club Brother's that I'm helping out with a Triumph chopper build. The frame cleaned up real well when I got it all stripped down and it as well as the tanks are up for sale HERE. The frame and gas tank had the feel of coming from a earlier build that may have been a lot cooler than what the bike was now. There's a lot to be said for the old customs that were parked and preserved, opposed to the bikes that were kept on the road for decades using whatever parts were available at the time. I have about two days labor into it and not really much of any parts that I'm keeping out of it and I'm pretty much looking at breaking even on my investment. Sometimes you got to take one for the team...

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