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Bill's Bikes

Four Decades of a Dedicated Rider's Rides

By Bill May

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‘60 Cushman Eagle, January 1963
‘60 Cushman Eagle, January 1963

Here’s some of the bikes I’ve had since the late ‘70s. There were several more, but they were just something to roll over and make a few bucks. I am currently buying a ‘98 1200 Sportster slightly wrecked for $1000. I’ll send pictures of what I am doing to it to make money to build my rigid project. When I move it, I’m buying a ‘34 Ford hot rod. If my health holds up.

Wow Deadwood. My old friend Dave Ruth lived there. I was there hanging with him at s
Sturgis 2010. He passed away in 2012, but his son is still there working at the casino. His name is Dave also. They have a ‘76 electraglide with a 96-inch S&S motor.

It’s great in the summer if you can stay in SoCal in the winter. Some 20 below ain’t fun. Been riding my new/old Dyna. It’s almost perfect, but I lost the right hand lid off the old style saddlebags yesterday. It got ran over and crushed. They are from VTwin.

Guess I’m going to break down and buy a good set from BB reproductions. Check out our shop on Facebook it is linked to mine, Independent Cycle in Nashville. He has some of my old bikes down there.

I put bagger air shocks on the Dyna. Because of the different leverage they ride like a caddy with about 80psi in them and lowered it about 2 inches. Lots of those available because people are always putting something else in their baggers.

Check out some of my old iron:

Aunt Betty’s ’70 Electra-Glide
My ‘70 ex Shriner bike. I kept the wheel lights and chain cover. Put a factory 80-inch kit in it in 1979.
Aunt Betty was my mama’s baby sister. She was like an older sister to me. She was a singer and played guitar and keyboard. She never actually rode a bike but her son and two stepsons followed in my footsteps. 
She married a much younger man about 30 years ago. She died in May at age of 84. Her husband died Halloween night at age 69. My ex Donna died in April and although she was married to another man for 17 years she made me the beneficiary of her state retirement which allows me much more freedom these days. It was a very strange year.
 It just make you realize every day on this earth is precious. I still remember you hitting that deer. I rode the highway between Custer and deadwood several times in 2010. Watching George Christi on History. We have emailed a few times. He remembers my first story about riding to Oklahoma in 1969. I was really flattered. I think he reads all your stuff.

‘76 and ‘79. I owned the ‘76 earlier then sold it to my friend Ross Collins. And traded a ‘47 Indian for the ‘79. I regretted that almost immediately.

I stretched and lowered this for Donna. We didn’t keep it long. Money was always the problem.

Donna on the ‘76 Electra-Glide in ‘82

Only picture I could find of the Indian. Summer of ‘83 I think. The gal is Donna my ex-wife, before I married her. The little girl is her daughter I had lots of problems with. Donna passed away in April 2019. It was pretty hard even though we had been divorced for 17 years.

Bought this new in ‘85 in Reno. Wrecked it on the toy run in December ‘85.

Same FXR after the wreck. They said I couldn’t put a wide glide on it

I bought this from a junkyard in Parumph, Nevada around 1994. Gave $300 for it. Got it running and sold it for $1100 with a bill of sale.

Just before I sold it in 1995 for the second time. It is still running in Austin Texas.

’76 Super Glide 1996.

'50 Panhead in 2000. 

‘51 Panhead. Sumer 2001

I lost Donna and aunt Betty and my old buddy Buzzy Payton last spring. I hope 2020 will be a better year.
Saw the stories. That is so cool thank you. You are making me famous. Got the Sportster today it is great just needs some cosmetic stuff.
By the way, George and Phil Kaufman had almost identical flathead choppers in ‘73. I asked George if he got his from Phil. He said no. I asked if he really rode it to Sturgis. He said yes. That was real class. Those old flatheads are bulletproof and they would run with any stock Panhead. I had two of them briefly in 1970.

--Bill May

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Reader Comments

Thanks a bunch for posting this stuff. I am so glad your business there has been successful. I want to hear more about your move to Deadwood. I’m sure I will be going back west somewhere in a year or two. I like the Las Cruces area. Winters are warm down there.

Bill May
Nashville , TN
Thursday, January 9, 2020
Editor Response Hang on. More reports coming.

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