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Thread: Pretending to know what I am doing - 1947 FL

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    24

    Default Pretending to know what I am doing - 1947 FL

    Hi. I'm Liam. Until Saturday, I was a chopper guy only. I've built a few bikes before. In the garage presently are some Shovels, a Big Twin Evo, and a Big Twin Flathead. I'm 32, which I believe makes me a newborn in the AMCA. (I kid, I kid.) Choppers have been cheap and fun and I never wrecked a bike to make one... I just pieced them together out of crap I found. I like that you can be creative and a cheap bastard and still make a bike.

    A very good greybeard friend of mine (the fella who built my flattie chopper) offered to sell me a bike that he's never offered to anyone: a 1947 Knucklehead. He's a very dear friend, and the bike is very special to him, so by extension it is special to me. He rode many miles on it as a younger man. I went into hock up to my eyeballs. I begged, borrowed, and stole, and scraped up enough money to buy it from him.

    I hauled it home. It's in pieces. Everything is rough, but it's all there. I thought I'd try to put together a build thread to sort of give back a little. I shoot pics as part of my job. I'll try to take good ones, but I'm not going apeshit editing them all. They'll be good, not great.

    Base information: I am trying to keep the bike as my friend rode it. It's mostly original, but if there's something amiss, don't freak out. It's never going to be judged; I'm just trying to stick a bike together. I'm not chopping, nor am I restoring. I guess I'm just going to wipe the crud off, clean things up, and make it mechanically presentable. There will be some incorrect stuff on the bike; que sera sera, you know?

    I'm broke as a joke right now, so this won't be a super-fast build. Current plan is to break it down to the frame and get that solid, then square up the front end and wheels so I can make a nice roller to hold the other expensive stuff.

    I guess we should start at the beginning so you guys can see what I hauled home. I think this might be a military bike. The greybeard says it's an old Conservation Dept. bike. It has a First Aid Kit that is falling apart on the rear fender, but my buddy Hutch says he thinks that was a Harley option. It also has a front fender that is not drilled for a fender lamp, which further reinforces the cop-bike thing.



    I believe what I have here is a late-production '47 frame as it has no bullneck and a UU casting. Here, look:



    The frame needs repair. There's a big cracky right around the bottom of the seat post tube casting. There's also a less-than-beautiful repair at the base of the seatpost tube, so I would imagine cutting out and repairing is probably the way to go. Pretty sure this is a structural hose clamp.



    Front end...



    ...and again...



    Here's my kid trying it on for size:

    Last edited by govmule84; 10-31-2016 at 11:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Now let's see what came along with it.



    This motor mount is busted. Rats.





  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    24

    Default

    These jugs are sleeved...





    That's it. I'm doing paperwork tomorrow for the title. After I pay the ridiculous amount of tax and my wounds heal, I'll start doing something to it. Right now is "disassemble and clean" time.

    I am in PA. If any old guys want to help a younger fella out trying to learn how to do this "don't chop it all up" thing, I'm a very willing student and I like to buy beer.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Beautiful Northern New Mexico
    Posts
    2,215

    Default

    That is an Indian Headlight Liam, so it will only work when going backwards....
    Nice bike, I have a late '47 myself.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Indian, eh? I was confused when I looked at it, because the bucket doesn't say doodly-squat. It has a sealed beam in it now, but it came with a reflector and a lens that says "Guide" and "Cycle Ray" on it, like I woulda expected on a Knuckle.

    Thanks for the help! I got a long way to go, but it's a good start. I have a lot of pieces I need.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    9

    Default

    Very nice project bike; looks fairly complete. Possibly some type of law enforcement bike due to the siren cutout on the rear fender, first aid box, and front fender nameplate. You might want to get a copy of Bruce Palmer's book;" How To Restore Your Harley-Davidson". A lot of good info there. You probably know about the meet in Oley, Pa. in April. Great meet!!
    Looking forward to your build and good luck!
    Dave

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    344

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by govmule84 View Post
    Indian, eh? I was confused when I looked at it, because the bucket doesn't say doodly-squat. It has a sealed beam in it now, but it came with a reflector and a lens that says "Guide" and "Cycle Ray" on it, like I woulda expected on a Knuckle.

    Thanks for the help! I got a long way to go, but it's a good start. I have a lot of pieces I need.
    Is the headlamp stamped on the bucket on the top of it "Motolamp"?
    AMCA #765

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    563

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubone View Post
    That is an Indian Headlight Liam, so it will only work when going backwards....
    No, no, no... too confusing explained that way. What Robbie means is that the Indian headlamp is normally in the lead and so the Indian rider is looking backwards to make sure he doesn't lose anybody.

    And that is a nice project! Keep us posted.
    Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Ha!

    I do have Palmer's book. We're becoming good friends, that book and I.

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