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Thread: New member from Northern California

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Near the windmills in Northern Ca.
    Posts
    19

    Default New member from Northern California

    After several years of saving I finally decided it was time to get my dream bike. Yes, a nice old Harley. A 1935 VLD in fact. Well, not using a whole lot of smarts I spotted one on the web (ebay) and just had to have it. I called the guy a couple of times and had seen that he had ran it through Mecums auctions in Las Vegas in January and was going to do it again in June, so I talked my brother into driving with me to get it. Oh, I was so mesmerized by the shiny red and black paint, single seat and springer forks. I just had to have it. I made several huge mistakes when buying anything and probably the biggest mistake is trusting someone that I didn't know. This bike was put together to sell, it definitely wasn't intended to ride as I quickly found out on the few rides I took it on before I started my complete tear down. First time out a couple of nuts and bolts came off and on my final ride a wire to the coil had come off. During my half mile push home the light bulb in my head finally turned on, maybe I should go over the whole bike and see what else is loose or not right. I didn't know a whole lot about VLD's, in fact, nothing about Flatheads, Knuckleheads, Pans, Shovels or any other beauty that Harley Davidson put on the road in the early days. Fortunately shortly after I got my bike I was told about AMCA's Dixon event. Drove about an hour and a half and spent the whole day with so many GREAT people that truly LOVE old bikes. Lucky for me there were several guys that where eager to talk to me about how much enjoyment I will have owning, riding, learning about, and of course working on my bike. As I take more and more of my bike apart, I continue to find things that were broken, left off or just put together with no grease, because they didn't care. I know all of this sounds bad, but the last couple of months have been a great learning experience and I'm sure the next several months will even be better. Again lucky to have gone to Dixon, so many guys pointed me in the right direction......"get Steve Slocombe's book, get Johnny Sell's book, get in touch with Dave "Rat" at Harbor Vintage, get in touch with Tom at Replicant metals" . Well, all those guys were right, the books really are helpful, especially for a guy like me, who knew nothing and still has A LOT to learn about vintage Harley Davidsons. As for guys that truly love these bikes, I couldn't speak more highly of Steve Slocombe, Dave Scherk and Tom Feeser who all I have called more than once to bend their ear. Most of my parts have come from Tom and Dave, just because they are here in the United States. I'm sure Tom from Replicant metals is close to blocking my number and red flagging my e-mail as much as I have contacted him. Well, time to get outside and work on the bike! Gonna include a couple of pics. of what she looked like when I got her and what she looks like now. Happy ridin'!

    Chessie Jake
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Canyon Lake, Tx
    Posts
    541

    Default

    I've had my '35 VLD for 23 years, still sorting it out between-and during some fantastic rides. Welcome to the addiction!
    Rich Inmate #7084

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,042

    Default

    Welcome to the AMCA. VLs are great bikes, and once you get it sorted out, and dialed in, it can be as reliable as a VW. I had a '33VL on 19" wheels. That bike always started easy, and shifted surprisingly smooth for a crash box. I loved how long, high, and narrow it was which made you feel like you were really on a motorcycle. I know everyone that loves their bike thinks the same thing, but the VL seemed to capture that feeling as well as any bike I have been on.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Near the windmills in Northern Ca.
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Rich,
    thanks! I had to laugh a little at a word that couldn't be more fitting.

    Frank

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Near the windmills in Northern Ca.
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Thanks Eric. Wow, that's great! because I grew up working on VWs, being that my first car was a 65 bug. I'm hoping to have her back together in the spring, but the way things are going, who knows what I'll find next.

    Thanks again,

    Frank

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    1 mile east of the Rocky Mountains.
    Posts
    831

    Default

    Welcome Frank! you'l find a great group of guys willing to help. i admire and respect your devotion to your new acquisition! sucks that you're finding stuff that's not right, but nothing like getting to know your bike by taking it apart and seeing what makes it tick (and what doesn't!) imho, getting to know your bike the way you are going at it is the only way to go!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Near the windmills in Northern Ca.
    Posts
    19

    Default

    Steve,
    Thank you! I appreciate your welcoming and inspiration. I'm looking forward to the day I can make a couple of great videos like yours.

    Frank

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    231

    Default

    Welcome to the AMCA Forum Frank. If its not here just ask. One thing you might find helpful if you get in a rut during the project of pulling the VL back together is to follow some of the member threads in the Member Build forum. The member build threads I find, help me see that problems can be overcome and progress made. The other good thing is that members presenting their stories frequently offer tricks of the trade, DIY tools, more resources of other members etc. These in my opinion can be worth the AMCA club price. Good luck this winter.

    Mike Love

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, CA.
    Posts
    68

    Default

    Welcome Frank. Glad you enjoyed Dixon and got some good tips on sorting out your new/old bike. The Dixon show is put on every year by our chapter, the Fort Sutter chapter. If you'd like to come join us, we'd love to have you. We meet on the first Saturday of the even months at 1 pm at Sams Hof Brau in Sacramento. You can learn more about us at http://www.fortsutteramca.org. And keep us posted on your bike. Hopefully it will soon be running as good as it looks!
    Eric Olson
    Membership #18488

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    402

    Default

    May I add that when you get it sorted out and ready to rock and roll that you join us for the Yerba Buena national road run in Monterey, CA. next September. It's what we do with these old bikes. Ride them with like minded folks. Good luck on your project.
    DrSprocket

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