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Part 2: Cabana ’13, ’14 Twin Builds Report

We hit the ’13 Harley Twin build this Week

By Bandit with photos by Wrench
2/14/2023


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The term Town and Country comes from the days when motorcycle mufflers had on/off switches. When you got to town, you turned the muffler on...
The term Town and Country comes from the days when motorcycle mufflers had on/off switches. When you got to town, you turned the muffler on...



Editor’s note: If you want to see how this whole mess started click here: https://www.bikernet.com/pages/Cabana_Dans_1314_Builds.aspx


We gained access to the hidden enclave of Cabana Dan’s motorcycle shop and collection. Last week was a nickel-plated hive of activity with the Mecum auction and a buyer whisking away with two of Dan’s vintage drag bikes. Hell, a local Deadwood City official is in the process of buying a 45-flathead basket from Dan.

Back at the auction, Dan scored two early H-D Twin engines and a ’13 Single in the quiet rooms behind the auction stage, while some 2000 bikes, one at a time, rolled onto the auction platform for bidding.

Here are the muffler guts with cast bronze end caps.
Here are the muffler guts with cast bronze end caps.



This week we will focus on his 1914 Twin project. He recently received his first batch of nickel-plate linkages, pedals and misc. components. Also, too-perfect handmade, re-pop handlebars with internal controls were delivered.

Handlebars and controls were much more complicated.
Handlebars and controls were much more complicated.



Precision Faber bars, sweat-brazed together.
Precision Faber bars, sweat-brazed together.




These bars are accurate and sweat-brazed perfectly, unlike back in the day when factory bars were bent by hand in crude fixtures. These precise bars are pricey from Faber Cycle and Dan will send them out for nickel plating and then run the cables for internal throttle and spark advance.

This bike did not have a transmission, but it still had a clutch. Finding original plates will be almost impossible. Re-pop will be called for to make it a running unit.
This bike did not have a transmission, but it still had a clutch. Finding original plates will be almost impossible. Re-pop will be called for to make it a running unit.





Many mechanical parts are available from Competition Distributing and he ordered and then machined the crank. “Some of the old stuff like axles has been messed with over the years,” Dan said and showed me an axle. It had multiple thread patterns and some wore very thin. He could either machine a new axle or buy one from C.D.

I want to see this process of Cleco riveting to the finished fender.
I want to see this process of Cleco riveting to the finished fender.



The rivet stash.
The rivet stash.



This tool allows you to pick the distance between rivets. It's flexible enough to bend with the shape of a fender.
This tool allows you to pick the distance between rivets. It's flexible enough to bend with the shape of a fender.






Dan was in the process of fitting the fender struts to the rails and brazing them. He showed me the Cleco Fastener tools. They guide the drilling process and hold the fender valences in place while they are drilled and the rivets installed.

Dan had to handle some of the machining on this crank axle. Note the piece in the lower left. It was cast onto this unit, so it could be chucked into a lathe. Ultimately it will be cut off and discarded.
Dan had to handle some of the machining on this crank axle. Note the piece in the lower left. It was cast onto this unit, so it could be chucked into a lathe. Ultimately it will be cut off and discarded.



Other re-pop parts are available from Sweden. Since these bikes are going for large bags of gold, this industry is expanding, which makes for delicate issues. A purchaser needs to know what he’s buying and what level of re-pop he is willing to accept.

Often, in the process of restoring a bike, part break or are worn out and need to be replaced. Don't lose these until you have a replacement.
Often, in the process of restoring a bike, part break or are worn out and need to be replaced. Don't lose these until you have a replacement.




In the next episode, we may see this '13 twin torn down.
In the next episode, we may see this '13 twin torn down.



Soon Dan will remove the engine and tear it down. The cases will be sandblasted and perhaps polished some. The cylinders will be removed, fins replaced on the heads, then blasted and tumbled to completely clean. Then Dan will finish the cylinders in a dull electroless finish.



The rear wheels had bicycle-styled brakes. Here's a rear hub broken down.
The rear wheels had bicycle-styled brakes. Here's a rear hub broken down.



All the other exterior steel linkage pieces and caps will be nickel plated. The goal is to have the bike look brand new when finished. The collector’s issue will include the number of re-pop parts used, which detract from the value, but could be required to finish a bike of this vintage.



As Dan decides on a finish, he will insure no stamped labels are polished away or concealed by a finish material.
As Dan decides on a finish, he will insure no stamped labels are polished away or concealed by a finish material.




It will be a running piece of Harley-Davidson history with a touch, better than original, when he it is completed. We will bring you another report soon on engine progress and paint.



As we start to tinker with these early engines, I will be looking for spare parts to make my 1914 single more complete for my 1913 Hot Rod racer project.

I will need a batch of re-pop or original fasteners for my 1913 racer. Competition Distributing has them.
I will need a batch of re-pop or original fasteners for my 1913 racer. Competition Distributing has them.




Remember the House Mouse. Well, we have a shop Hamster.
Remember the House Mouse. Well, we have a shop Hamster.



And the next report might include info on Dan’s 1913 Excelsior-Henderson or the other ’13 Harley twin project. I get sorta confused, but the reports will keep coming, and will ultimately make historic sense…

When you buy old shit, you need to score the little pieces and fasteners. Don't leave that box of rusty stuff behind.
When you buy old shit, you need to score the little pieces and fasteners. Don't leave that box of rusty stuff behind.



--Bandit

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