Bikernet Blog Search Bikernet
Ride Forever - Bikernet.com
Thursday Edition


Remembering Dick Allen

The Socal Custom Master

Photos and Text by Bob T.
4/5/2007 12:11:14 PM


Share this story:

bizcard
Dick’s biz card.

After watching “The History of the Chopper” Jesse did on the Discovery Channel, it brought back memories of Dick Allen back in the day.

I was fresh out of the Marine Corps in 1971. I bought a H-D three wheeler and chopped it up. Saw the Dick Allen Springer front-end around the South Bay and had to have one. But I could not find Dick Allen. He must have been in jail again. I did find out about a machine shop on Artesia Blvd, in South Redondo Beach, where Dick worked in his early years. It turned out to be true.

pops
Pops at 3 rivers run, Bob T in background.

I went in and asked the old machinist for a Dick Allen Springer front-end. He said, “Go ask Dick Allen.”

classic

My response, “Dick is nowhere to be found, heard he was in jail.”

He yells back, “sound’s about right.”

I Came back the next day and went over the build for the new Springer. A few weeks went by when I got the call and the front-end was done. It still was a Dick Allen Springer because this old guy worked hand ‘n hand with Dick at the beginnings of the front end.

trike

The Springer was in the corner of the shop. Going over to it, I yelled, “Where’s the chrome.”

His come back was, “Does this look like a chrome shop?”

Off to find a chrome shop I go. Then I mounted it on the old trike.

springer
Dick Allen narrow springer front end side view—a classic.

Eights months later I sold the Trike for enough money to buy my new Shovelhead. As time rolled on I met Dick Allen with some of the South Bay guys I was riding with. Going to his shop was always an adventure. I learned always bring beer or other party favors with you; this was a good trade for work.

Collectorl
Dick Allen collector

I picked up a 12 spoke, 15-inch mag (Magnesium rim off drag cars) for the rear of the rigid Shovel. All of us knew him as “POP”. He was the only one, at the time who adapted the car wheel for a motorcycle. Being a 15-inch wheel there was no motorcycle tires on the market, so we ran a car tire, a 155/15 or 165/15. I ran a 155/15 Pirelli radial with low PSI for better handling.

Car radial
Dick was the first to introduce large tires. This was a car radial 15.

Dick was definitely ahead of his time. He developed the Belt Drive, Disc Brakes, the long narrow Springer front-end that worked, Stainless steel one piece oil lines, 2-into-1 exhaust collector and many other items which he never got credit for. Pop lived the life to the fullest each day.

12
12 spoke mag with a 15515 Pirelli

I am still running the 12 spoke mag today except with 15- inch Avon tire. His shop was a cool place to hang once in awhile, we never knew what he would come up with next. Once he took a Chevy 327 and put it in a H-D trike, rolled out and hit the throttle. It had so much torque it twisted and threw the trike into a telephone pole. Just another day at the shop.

12Avon
12 spoke mag with an Avon.

One thing that stands out was about 1974. We left the South Bay for the Kern River Run on Memorial Day weekend. Meeting up with a bunch of the So. Cal. Guys, we stayed a day at Kern River and than split to Three Rivers up north where there was a party on someone’s property. Can’t quite remember. A band was playing and there were lots of party favors. Everyone was loaded to the sky.

run

At night a barn fire was blazing, I remember everyone was dancing in the blaze of the fire including Pop. It was one hell of a weekend run, one of many. Monday night it was homeward bound for all. Running in the holiday traffic I missed the turn-off for fuel and ended riding by myself in this madness home. But then, in my rear view mirror, I noticed a light flicking in the distance moving fast down the white line of traffic. It was Pop, he slowed that old Knucklehead down looked over at me said, “Hey kid, lets go.”

classic
Classic Pan from the era.

I was in my early 20s then. Off we went down the white line so fast the cars looked blurred. I swear it was the Twilight Zone. I guess I was as loaded as Pop. I will never forget this. Dick Allen was a pioneer for the industry. He was a true biker and rebel.

REST IN PEACE

--Bob T

Tribute girl
Dick Allen Tribute Girl from Sam Dixon

Share this story:



Back to Profiles, Special Reports




Reader Comments


I grew up on Cannon st. in Rockford ,Ill. just down the street was Dick Allen (known as Workie if I remember rite). Always working on cars and bikes back then. WAY back then. Always let us kids hang out.

patrick v ferguson
avoca, wi.
Sunday, August 8, 2021
Editor Response Very Cool, Dick was a classic!
--Bandit
I grew up on Cannon st. in Rockford ,Ill. just down the street was Dick Allen (known as Workie if I remember rite) Always working on cars and bikes back then. WAY back then. Always let us kids hang out. My son and his Son worked together at Elco tool company in Rockford. Of course that was Much later years.

patrick v ferguson
avoca
Sunday, August 8, 2021
Editor Response Do you have any photos from that time? Maybe we could put a short story together about when you knew him and what he was building at the time.
--Bandit
Knew the man quite personal and intimate was a mentor of mine a father figure and a good friend South Bay Originals

Fred Saunders...Hollywood
Torrance,Ca. South Bay Originals , CA
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Editor Response And Phil Ross.
--Bandit
THERE IS A GUY NAMED FAT LOU? AKA DINASOUR RACING? I THINK IN LAWNDALE GARDENA CA... HAS A SHOP IN THE BACK OF HIS HOUSE I THINK HE HAS A COUPLE OF DICK ALLEN BIKES. DOES THIS INFOR SOUND FAMILIAR?


JOSH
HAWTHORNE, CA
Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Editor Response No, but I'll look around.
--Bandit
Page 1 of 3 (12 items)
Prev
[1]
2
3
Next

Your thoughts on this article

Your Name
Email
City
Country
v
State/Province
v
Comments
Anti-Spam Question:
Please enter the words you see in the box, in order and separated by a space. Doing so helps prevent automated programs from abusing this service.
Submit
Clear