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Thread: Hello from MD

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default Hello from MD

    Hello all,
    new member (AMCA and forum) from Maryland. I picked up a late 40s(?) framed '37 UH last Fall. It's definitely a "bitsa" but it runs and I like the look (and most importantly I could afford it ). Looking forwards to learning from you all about flatheads and the earlier bikes.
    -Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    412

    Default

    any pics of your bitsa ? nothing like 'ol flatheads!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    High in the B.C. Rockies....
    Posts
    5,353

    Default

    Welcome aboard Steve! We are kinda pic hounds around here... and stories... definitely into the stories....
    Cory Othen
    Membership#10953

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Thanks. I just uploaded a pic to my profile, and I stuck it at the bottom here too. I rode it to work last month and a friend had his new camera so he snapped this great pic.

    The story behind the bike (and I'm paraphrasing from my bad memory here) is that the uncle of the previous owner ("PO") got it pretty much like this in the 80's or 90's. At some point the PO got it but (I think) it had been neglected (or maybe parts taken off it until it was a nonrunner? blew up?) and decided to put it back the way he remembered it. The guy was a real flathead-head: he had another perfect looking (to my eyes) UL and a restored 45 (including rifle mount) and another stroked 45 bobber and even a couple of flathead trucks. He rebuilt the motor and gearbox and rewired the bike. Parts that were missing he used what he had laying around. For instance it had a Sears Allstate headlight on it, which I replaced with an aftermarket one pronto, which is why the light looks so new - it is. It also has an aftermarket speedo that's the wrong ratio - or else it's get's to 60 MPH faster than any other bike I have!

    He rode it around a bit to break it in and make sure it ran but decided to sell it, I guess because he had other flatties to ride, and to drive. He put it up on ebay (some of you may have seen the auction last October) but it didn't make the reserve. I contacted him later to see if he was willing to sell privately and there you are.

    It's pretty beat up looking, but so far runs well, and I like the rat bobber look myself. The motor is a '37 UH (Flathead Power cylinders, cast iron heads), unknown vintage 4-speed gearbox and the frame and forks are (I was told) from a late 40's panhead. PO told me that for one year they used the newer frame and the only thing needed was a (factory part) spacer under the front motor mount, which is why the frame is unaltered. Not sure if this is true as I'm new to pre-Shovelhead HDs but given how the motor looks "right" the way it's in there I believe it, plus no reason to think he was wrong given his love for flatheads. Maybe someone here can clue me in exactly what year the frame might be?

    It's been converted to foot shift (the shift-gate mounts are gone from the tank thanks to dents and bondo - this tank's seen a bit of "action") and the bars are homemade (at least the chrome parts, I *think* the center part that mounts to the forks is original).

    I haven't ridden it that far or fast yet, still making sure it's all good, plus the weather in DC hasn't been fully cooperative yet, but I'm pretty excited to put some real miles in. I got a cheapo 1:1 speedo at a swapmet to put in, and I was thinking I'd save my pennies for some aluminum heads but now I'm wondering if I should go to 18" rims first - I've read that the 16" can be problematic at 60ish or so. I'd also like to put original bars or get these fixed - the angle of these are a bit weird for my tastes.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    298

    Default

    I like it!
    Bob Selph
    1933VC/1934LT Sidecar
    1940 Sport Scout
    AMCA#15215

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    High in the B.C. Rockies....
    Posts
    5,353

    Default

    Right on Steve! That was rather prompt! I'm digging that bike! That frame could very well be an early wishbone. I see it still has it's sidecar loops... Some pics of different angles of your bike should get most of your questions answered. Thanks again for taking the time to catch us up on your cool flattie. I've got 16's on my Panhead and have not noticed any handling problems at higher speeds. I do hear great things about the 18's though. Oh, and I'm betting you'll thank yourself for an original set of bars! Another option may be to contact Tom Faber (he's on the forum). He makes the best bars out there.
    Cory Othen
    Membership#10953

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Thanks guys, here's some other pics:

    UL_12_12_12_800600.jpg

    Front_800.jpg

    EngineRight_800.jpg

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    1,267

    Cool

    I like it! My opinions.... go with the 18" wheels and leave the cast iron heads on it! Gotta love the flatheads.......pic is last year heading to an overnight camping trip to a Panhead party.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Louie
    FaceBook >>>Modern Antique Cycle
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    Make Plans to Attend the 10th Annual Southern National Meet May, 2019
    Denton FarmPark, Denton, NC

    http://www.amcasouthernnationalmeet.com/index.htm

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    S.E.N.Y. State American side of Hudson River
    Posts
    474

    Default

    I like it too. Don't hafta worry 'bout scratchin' the paint. That's the way I like'em. It's pretty darn neat. Other than the 18s I wouldn't change much, maybe a jockey shift on it.
    D. A. Bagin #3166 AKA Panheadzz 440 48chief W/sidecar 57fl 57flh 58fl 66m-50 68flh 70xlh

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    High in the B.C. Rockies....
    Posts
    5,353

    Default

    I would wait for confirmation from the better educated but I would hazard a guess that your flattie is sitting in a '48 rolling chassis. The info on the castings should tell the exact story. I just can't rattle them off the top of my head like some folks around here. The experts should be along shorty... I'm diggin' the kicker pedal and I really see what you mean by the bars now. Is it just me or does it look like somebody grafted some low rise apehangers onto that front end and maybe backwards too???
    Cory Othen
    Membership#10953

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