Bikernet Blog Search Bikernet
Ride Forever -
Tuesday Edition

Bikernet Bike Build: BETSY'S REVIVAL STORY Part 2

Scooter Tramp Scotty moved past Betsy but fans can't let her go

By Fenton Fadeley

Share this story:

     Once that trailer gate hit the driveway back at home I could see tired ol' Betsy begging for another chance at life! As I walked around the trailer she lay resting after the 1500 mile journey back. I assessed the impending task of making this Ol' girl right again.
"Rode hard and put up wet," I said to myself thinking of all the journeys and adventures she served Scooter Tramp Scotty through. As I took in every line every worn out part of this soul serving machine I tried to imagine all the places she saw, all the landscapes, the women who made passenger, the endless white lines stretched for over half-a-million miles. The nomadic vessel of freedom that is this motorcycle I now have the honor of sorting out to make whole again.
     I lugged the broken pieces of this '88 Electra Glide into the garage one by one. With an enthusiastic fire burning inside that I've become a master at harnessing, I went straight to rearranging the shop for accommodation of the new project. The work bench was cleared and the sorting of parts began, one-by-one. The bike "formally known as" Betsy quickly became a shell of her former self. The quest to get to her skeleton was my frantic goal, because there is where the worst lie waited to be healed. The evening faded to night quickly and sleep was beckoning.

Tomorrow would be a new day but with it came the disruptive chore of work so Betsy would lay waiting for my 6:30 return from the daily grind.
    I pulled in to the house with anxious anticipation to strip her down to that rusted and broken frame. As all parts lay categorized on the bench, I was left staring at 20 years of grease and road grime thicker than the remaining paint the MoCo laid down 29 years prior. Before I could send this frame to repair, I had to get the layers of gunk off.

Thoughts immediately flooded my mind of just how many states and how many countries this dirt belongs to! As I started scraping and compiling clump by clump into the jar my imagination raced again into the tapestry of visions stretching from Panama to Alaska where this trusty companion carried her rider faithfully. I was holding in my hand crust of the earth scooped up by Scooter Tramp Scotty's gypsy journeys traversing the entire North American continent for two decades. WOW!
    Now of course you know all of this has been documented in pictures through social media and through that incredible juggernaut I was able to reach. I announced to Facebook land my intentions with Betsy and the response was overwhelming. This resurrection would only be possible with help of the great people who reached out to aid in this reconstruction.

With the frame in real bad shape, it became my first and most important part of the restoration. An unsuspecting buddy reached out to me. Little did I know, he had been following the unfolding of the Revival of Betsy. Mr. Steve Brownell of Brownell Metal Studio, who has been a great friend of mine for a number of years extended his professional welding expertise. You see Steve has been in metal manipulation for over 30 years doing high-end architectural and structural work for some of Virginia's finest establishments. A master welder and fabricator in every type of metal from brass, stainless, bronze, aluminum and steel, his craftsmanship is upper echelon in the industry.

     Bringing this exhausted carcass to his hands of healing was a no brainer. I asked Steve, "Can you fix her road ravaged frame, brother?" He smiled ear to ear responding, "Of course I can." "I'll have her back together better than the day she rolled off the assembly line." My confidence in this revival mirrored the words from Steve's mouth at that moment. I knew this was the beginning of Betsy's second coming!
     Steve wasted no time in tackling the task. Explaining to me how he had been following Scotty's adventure, as many have, he was piqued by the Scooter Tramp's offbeat lifestyle and was excited to be a part of Betsy's rebirth. First line of business was to bead blast every square inch of the frame to expose any unseen rot or cracks laying camouflaged beneath the patina'd paint. Steve went to work uncovering what would soon become a little more than a broken frame rail.
With three portions of the frame cracked and the bottom section of the frame rails looking like Swiss cheese, Steve cut out the cancered sections and replaced those portions with upgraded stainless steel meticulously melding the two metals together in one seamless blend of strength and integrity that won't see rust again at least in those portions. Hand shaping a few new panels to replace and reinforce the swingarm junctures and a kickstand mount ready for another twenty years of parking lot profiling, restorative fabrication COMPLETE!
Mr. Brownell even offered, as an added bonus, to give her a two coats of primer, a fresh coat or three of paint, and shine her up with plenty of clear. She will once again be the prettiest girl at the ball or rally. I only saw the process in pictures as you are now, but all I can say is..AMAZING! Putting thirty plus years of quality experience breathing new life into a piece of true biker Americana, Steve Brownell, executed flawlessly.
     I got the call about a week after drop off-- the surgery was a success. The following morning I anxiously drove out to Brownell Metal Art Studio anticipating the unveiling of Betsy 2.0. Upon arrival I had that knot in my stomach as if meeting a girl for the first time..fucking was like the morning of Christmas as a child all over again.
As I walked into the shop Steve met me upon entering with a shit eating grin, I knew it was going to good. I said to him, "I see things went well."
He replied, "Piece of cake."
We walked over to the other half of the shop and lying in the middle of the floor resting on a piece of cardboard as to preserve the fresh paint from being damaged, sat the old girl. At first glance, I searched for a rusted worn out hunk of metal until my gaze fell upon the gleam of the newly painted frame sparkling under the shop lights.
HOLY SHIT!..I couldn't believe what I was seeing I had to double take. As I walked over to inspect Steve's handy work I looked back at him reciprocating the same "shit eating" grin. I was floored. Having to remind myself that this is indeed the same rusted wore out tubes of iron I dropped off a week earlier. We took our time and carefully loaded the fresh chassis into the truck making sure all was secure and photos were taken.

      A huge expression of gratitude goes out to my friend Steve Brownell for selflessly donating his time and materials to bring this Gypsy Machine back from the dead. As a fellow biker himself Steve reiterated to me a manta I hear and have used time and again, "That's what we do, brother." With a new lease on life I closed the tailgate behind the NEW girl, gave Steve a big appreciative hug, then drove off waving as I watched Steve and the crew in the rear view sending us on our way to future adventures yet to come.
     On the ride back home I glanced behind me whispering, as if that frame was my girlfriend, in no time she will feel whole again.
"She's a cheating Bitch," Scotty.

Share this story:

Back to Tech

Reader Comments

I have a 2001 ultra classic CUI, I couldn't part with her either lol

Christopher Hudson
Salem, OH
Thursday, September 16, 2021

Your thoughts on this article

Your Name
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.