A birthday ride: Let’s take the 73 year old bike, shall we?

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MeRide, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. MeRide

    MeRide Me like bikes!

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    NOTE: the original attached photos were dropped during the ADVrider server conversion in early 2009 (?) so I've updated with replaced photos.

    The backstory is here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=378601


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    And now for the ride intro&#8230;&#8230;..

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    This won&#8217;t be a ride report of places exotic and wild (to most). Nor will the ride be of a long duration. Just a day ride. But it will be one with a bit of a twist. What&#8217;s the twist? Well&#8230;.the bike I chose for this ride isn&#8217;t the usual late model big bore dual sport we see on ADVrider. No, there was a time when adventuring on a motorcycle was just that, adventuring. There was no such term as &#8220;dual sport&#8221;. Heck, motorcycles were simply another solution for economical transportation that didn&#8217;t involve a horse. A rider used their motorcycle the way they had to or desired. Yah, you see where this is headed.

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    So, the bike I chose for this ride is one you won&#8217;t typically see on the roads these days. Maybe all shined up and fully restored sitting behind a velvet rope in a museum but not on the streets. Its a 1935 Harley-Davidson model VLD. Check out that backstory thread mentioned above for more details.

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    As an aside, let&#8217;s forget about the ruffle of Harley vs non-Harley and the culture qualms. It&#8217;s all about motorcycling, isn&#8217;t it? So much disdain and speak of those that don&#8217;t ride the brand the speaker rides. In my book it&#8217;s about riding. Period. Don&#8217;t care if its 50cc or 2000cc (or more appropriately for the sake of this thread, cubic inch displacement), what country it&#8217;s from, or brand name it wears. Now, let&#8217;s dispel some myths, shall we?

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    This isn&#8217;t about a &#8220;bike show&#8221; or &#8220;who can win the local yokel shiniest machine&#8221; award. It&#8217;s about experiencing the machine for what it was when it was. Yah, everything can and has been improved in the motorcycle world but maybe things weren&#8217;t all that bad back in the day? Just different. I could ride the late model BMW for my birthday&#8230;.. Nope. Too &#8220;usual&#8221; and &#8220;been there done that, can predict the ending&#8221; (a great ending! But....). Done this sort of thing before with other old vehicles. Run them as they were the way they were. No modernizing, just enjoy and respect them for what they are.


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    #1
  2. EvilClown

    EvilClown Reality show stunt double Super Moderator

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  3. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

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    Happy Happy Birthday!

    Beautiful motorbike!

    Have fun, Mark H.
    #3
  4. MeRide

    MeRide Me like bikes!

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    As per standard Ride Report format we start with a gratuitous BACON shot while I wait for the coffee to perk :rofl


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  5. MeRide

    MeRide Me like bikes!

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    It's definately Fall here in New England. The weather is forecast to be 67 degrees and sunny. But the sun hasn't come up yet so it's only a "crisp" 40 degrees right now. :eek1
    #5
  6. GB

    GB . Administrator

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    Thanks for the intro :thumb Let's see pics of that bike on here!! :deal

    :lurk
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  7. MeRide

    MeRide Me like bikes!

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    Click on that backstory link listed in the first post of this thread. Plenty of fun mechanical pics over there. :wink:

    Good idea though. Oh, there will be plenty bike pics later today from the ride but I'll put one up taken yesterday to hold you for now. Enjoy!


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  8. trumpet

    trumpet Group W Bench

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    So cool :lurk
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  9. MeRide

    MeRide Me like bikes!

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    Let's do some pre-ride checks on the bike and gear while the sun rises and the commuters clog up the roads.

    The dash of the '35 is pretty sparse. Its populated with an ignition switch, a light for the ammeter, the lighting switch for headlight and tail lamp, and the ammeter gauge. Both switches take a key (seen in the switches in this photo). The key basically attaches the lever to the switch. Without the key the levers will simply spin around and around while the switches just sit there. Basic stuff back in the day.
    #9
  10. MeRide

    MeRide Me like bikes!

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    The neck lock was made by Briggs & Stratton. Yup, the small engine maker. Harley used Briggs locks on their motorcycle neck locks and later their ignition locks for many decades. Note the address, Milwaukee, which probably had something to do with it. The other funky looking key is for the toolbox. Basic stuff, isn't it?

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  11. Putts

    Putts Gettin' there.

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  12. MeRide

    MeRide Me like bikes!

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    [​IMG]I have some leather saddlebags for the bike but I've never mounted them. That's another project for another time. So, today I'll be humping my gear in a backpack. Sorry for the mess!
    #12
  13. MeRide

    MeRide Me like bikes!

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    More pre-ride checks.


    Oil goes in here..........

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  14. MeRide

    MeRide Me like bikes!

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    Kind of ugly outside. Still cold.


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  15. dlrides

    dlrides 1:1.618

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    I really enjoy your outlook in riding these old motorcycles ! :thumb

    Looking forward to the rest of your report.
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  16. Stinez

    Stinez Rhymes with Heinz :D

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  17. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

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    Come on man, I have a beer going cold as I sit here waiting for the tale of a Fall Bimble:rofl
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  18. MeRide

    MeRide Me like bikes!

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    Wow! What an excellent ride. :clap It was just what I wanted to do. I had a successful bimble about the countryside. Normally I have a destination like a lunch stop so I ride there, eat, and ride back via a different route. Today I packed a lunch and simply zig zagged around with no set route plan.
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    I’m writing up the Ride Report and will be posting pieces as I write. Enjoy!
    #18
  19. Jamie Z

    Jamie Z Long timer

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    Is that an aftermarket or otherwise add-on speedometer?

    Jamie
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  20. MeRide

    MeRide Me like bikes!

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    The speedometer is an original Harley-Davidson speedometer. Actually, the Corbin Screw Corporation in Connecticut made them for Harley as well as other motorcycle manufacturers like Indian Motocycle. It's the 100mph speedometer with a face light and maximum speed hand. It was an optional accessory which cost $17. To put that into perspective the bike was $320 back in 1935. I'm pretty sure this speedometer was purchased originally with this bike as it has the same patina as the rest of the machine. It's definately the correct speedo and rear drive for the bike. It was common back then for accessories to be added when new and also in the following years. Riders would even replace tank graphics with later model graphics a couple years later to "update" their motorcycles. So, even back in the 1930's riders liked their "farkles" :thumb
    #20