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Friday Edition


LIFE AND TIMES OF BANDIT 2023

It's non-stop from LA to Sturgis to Bonneville, Deadwood, Bikes and Books...

By Bandit with photos by Weed
10/15/2023


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As usual, I don’t know where to start. The shop was finished and we experienced our first real winter in the Black Hills. The redhead slid off the driveway in her Subaru and it took two pickups, chains and an excavator to pull her back onto the concrete, and we don’t live on a hill…

This has been a tremendously meaningful year. Wild accomplishments, projects, violence, setbacks, death and creative inspirations. I feel so incredibly blessed to have this experience in the Black Hills.

In a sense, I was afforded the opportunity to step back in time, to experience the west . All the brothers and sisters who ride out each year get a taste, but I took it to the next awe-inspiring level and moved here. I escaped the bullshit society seems determined to throw at us and stepped back into a simpler time in amongst magnificent Jack Pine strewn historic enclave called the Black Hills.

I turned 75 this year and for the first time in my fading life faced the realities of dying. At some juncture in life, we’re all dying, some faster than others. In fact, we lost a too many more this year, as you will witness. Suddenly, you don’t know if you will live another day or another decade. More importantly it’s the style of living that’s paramount. Illness suddenly restricts your ability to move, accomplish and share. Not good. I don’t know of a class or a book about aging and how to handle it?

You start to pick your activities based on how you feel and how your body functions. Disabled veterans faced these obstructions too early. It’s all about how you handle them, based on their severity.

On the positive front, I’m still fortunate to have more better days than restricted ones. I’m serious, if you can see, hear, talk and get-around, you’re blessed. Here’s a couple of troubled examples: A 75-year-old brother took his life in our Deadwood garage just before the rally. He couldn’t handle losing his wife of 32-years and one health issue after another.

Another brother, right in the middle of trying to rebuild a Sturgis home had a heart attack and died leaving his disabled wife to handle everything on a stipend from Social Security. All the brothers in the area have stepped up to help get her pad straightened out including Laban from Legendary Electric, me, a young contractor and Irish Rich dialed in Mike’s ’84 Shovel, so she can ride. It’s the last year of the Shovelhead before the Evo took over.

I’m so fortunate to have brothers and sisters all around me in this motorcycle Nirvana.
We scramble through life, not noticing the positive or focusing too much on the negative. As a creative sort, I suppose I’m more attuned to my surroundings. I get a kick out of finding an 80s-something couple who still run a machine shop tucked away in downtown Spearfish with their son Reno. Of course this area is all new to me and I enjoy every new experience and discovery.

Reno
Reno



I found out yesterday Reno, at Clauser Machine, has a Sunnen Hone and is capable of boring my 1913 cylinders and Competition Distributing is now manufacturing a line of early pistons in all the right sizes.



Living out here surrounded by green pastures, mountain goats, bambis, a fox or two, nasty voles, Jack Rabbits, mountain lions, winding roads and motorcycles on every corner, is a rush daily. I can sense the population growing. I don’t like the billboards on the highway and fight against the bad political ones. But generally, it’s a rush every day.

Bikernet fought back...
Bikernet fought back...



The Redhead got up this morning and started bitching, because I told her about the Wicked Bitch’s new story about Old Bikers. What makes someone want to spend valuable time justifying their desire not to say, “Sure, look forward to reading it.”

With our new technology, I found out how simple it is to scroll back in the images on my phone and reminded myself of everything impacting my wild life this year. I also scrolled back through the Bikernet weekly news columns to jar my feeble memory of 2023 happenings. So, hang on as I shift back to January and the snowy winter.



The country seems to be crumbling and a friend said recently, “Most governments only last between 200 and 250 years.” Maybe it’s time, but we can’t go down without a fight. We need the truth and respect for our freedoms or die trying. I’ve always been involved in the motorcyclists rights, and I started to question and research the attack on fossil fuels, which aren’t fossil fuels at all. Call ‘em petroleum products.

Check this article I put together on the benefits of Petroleum Products: https://www.bikernet.com/pages/The_Blessings_of_Petroleum_Products.aspx

Early in the year we struggled to test the Salt Torpedo for Bonneville in August and discovered the Texas Mile.



Steve Klein, a Texas enthusiast and collector said, “You might want to give Joey a call about the track and wind issues. He also owns a Vanderhall, so he understands trikes configured like yours.”

I spoke to Joey from the Texas Mile.

The event takes place every year during the last weekend in March. He coached me on some of the requirements. Registration was not until February. He will let me know a week before registration, so we can prepare.

Joey told me some interesting facts about the track. He set several records and is working with Aprilia. It’s a stock sit-up bike and he’s been 286 mph.

We learned from Denis Manning’s new book that we will be facing frontal lift issues. That’s why I added 75 pounds to the nose.

With the help of Irish Rich, Shamrocks Fabrication, I started a classic custom Knucklehead project. He’s known for altering VL frames for big twin drivelines. Randy Simpson, from the old Milwaukee Iron wanted to buy my ’46 Knucklehead they built for me 30 years ago. So, my mission was clear, build another chopped Knucklehead. Then I spoke to Micah McCloskey. “Rebuilt Knucklehead engines cost a minimum of $17,000,” Micah said in an all-knowing, vintage Harley tone. The price has increased since our dire conversation…

I fell over, WTF.

Between Irish Rich, S&S and Matt Olsen, I kicked off my build for about ten grand. I ordered and received Black Bike Wheels for our VL,XA, S&S FL Winter project bike. I bought a front mechanical brake from Charlie or the Rust God in Boulder Canyon, but there could be an issue with the front axle. The front Black Bike wheel is upgraded with Timken bearings and the stock axle might not work. Steve, from Paughco started machining some new axles with longer bearing landings.


I rebuilt the XA front end I bought from Matt Olsen. It came with 5/8 coarse studs welded into the rear legs for risers, crazy. I had Clauser machine fab risers, while my shop was under construction. I bought a set of stock rockers from Charlie, rebuilt them, and I’m working with Randy Cramer from Dakota V-Twin and Colony on replacement brake parts and rocker bushings.


Cabana Dan was kind enough to sell me this roller for the 1914 Single I’ve been hanging denims on for the last 20 years. I can now make it into a little speed racer. Again, this area is packed with guys who love restoring early Harleys, like Cabana Dan, a Hamster who is a magnificent motorcycle artist, fabricator, rebuilder and restorer. He’s restored drag bikes from the ‘70s, Excelsior-Hendersons from the teens, and built new, award-winning customs. And now his wife, Leah, is the boss of the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum.


Cabana Dan was also working on three V-twins builds. One is a 1913 Excelsior-Henderson twin and then 1914 and 1913 Harley-Davidsons. They are all ground-up builds, and I started to report on his progress. I’m already learning a lot about early builds. This project introduced me to other players in the industry including Lonnie Isam senior.

During the second cross-country cannonball Lonnie came face to face with the whole crew as they passed through Sturgis. He rebuilt over 70 J-model top ends in two days. Two days after the gang departed for the west coast, he collapsed. Arthritis, stress and overwork attacked every joint and he ended up at the Mayo clinic. Actually, a Mayo clinic doctor has an office in Rapid City, and I hope to see her.

My son, Frank and my Grandson Frankie ride.
Grandson Frankie has a new M-8 street glide and considered a major or minor upgrade. He’s either going with a cam, tuner and pipe or a major 114 to 129-inch engine upgrade. Hang on. He’s working with Danny Wilson, the Collective in Phoenix, FXR Division. 


I’m now surrounded by serious builders and in touch with more Hamsters who are pro-builders including Carl Pussar. Carl recently gave me his pipe chroming tip. He coaches his chromer not to copper plate his pipes but double nickel plate them. Then he coats the inside with heat paint to help insulate the outside of the pipes from heat and thus prevent bluing.


In January, we published a piece about the state of the Chopper magazine market on Bikernet. As usual, when we delve into a topic, shit gets crazy. It’s the nature of every industry. Fifty years ago, life was simple, but exploding. It’s still exploding and more complex. Much of it has to do with increased population and demographics.

You know and face it daily. Go buy a refrigerator. Now there are a thousand options, sizes and brands. Hell, try to buy a new pair of jeans from Wrangler. Okay, so there are more riders than ever before, if we’re not banned tomorrow. Each guy or gal has their own style of riding and machines. Tomorrow there could be a magazine for every element of our growing industry. A new sport-bike magazine just kicked off.

Then we come up against technology including the internet and social media. Every time something surfaces it divides the market and with each new technology, we have opportunities and obstacles. The benefit of magazines is the large visual images. Web sites can’t do it like a magazine does. When websites were forced to be phone compatible, that messed with them even more.


 
Speaking of printed material:
We sold out of my second book “OUTLAW JUSTICE.” I started the process of having it set up on Kindle, so I could print more.


As Valentines Day hit in February, I scrambled to post more chapters of my Chance III book, and it looked like I might write a non-fiction Life-and-Times book about a good friend I met in Daytona in 1971, Rogue. He’s had a colorful life between being the president of an M/C to protest fights for the freedom to choose to wear a helmet or not.

Book efforts took a pause, behind the rally, Bonneville and the economic realities of writing and publishing books.

Quick, join up. Just click and go.
Quick, join up. Just click and go.

 
My Cantina episodes rolled over 100 chapters. Did you read the Cantina Episode, number 102? It’s sorta important, and I would like your input, but unfortunately, you need to join the Cantina and support Bikernet content.



As we rolled through February, I started to post stories about building the VL, XA, S&S FL project. Making progress, I posted a story about the few things needed to prepare the Salt Torpedo for Bonneville. I looked into installing a GPS Speedo. We looked hard at the options for test runs before Bonneville.



I helped Ann Robinson publish another piece about her husband, Hal Robinson. He was and still is the motorcycle pen and ink master.



Speaking of motorcycle magazines, I found myself with the opportunity to work with several magazines and photographers. Most magazines including Cycle Source, Choppers Mag and more would love to have a connection with Sturgis and the riders and bikes from the Black Hills. I discovered Buck Lovell, the former editor of Hot Bike, working as the deep sink man in Scott Jacob’s Brewhouse in Deadwood. He was the editor and main photographer for several mags and turned to photography of the west.

I introduced him to a couple of magazines and we started to work on featuring local bikes in national magazines.


We were tasked to complete a couple of little projects on the Salt Torpedo for our test runs in April. Carl Pusser suggested a support bracket for the S&S carb. I completed that.


I also need to install a GPS speedo, and I bought a cheap bastard on Amazon. There’s no way to mount it, except on a dash. Shifting to plan B. Someone suggested RB racing. The Redhead suggested a bicycle GPS handlebar speedo. That’s worked so far.



Shortly after I encountered the cost of Knucklehead engines in January, I ran across a deal for a ’48 UL classic chopper. We loaded the briefcase and blasted out to Paughco’s Plant in Carson City, NV. We made the deal and got to see the Billy bike trike they were building. They can turn any classic chop into a Trike.

 
Got to spend some time with Ron Paugh, who has been in the chopper world longer than I have. He’s still at it, helping bikers all over the world build their dreams. And Paughco builds only quality, American made products.




The Redhead kicked up an Elk Steak dinner for Valentines day. Killer. We could have gone to the Midnight Star for a $50 buck a plate feast. Fortunately, it was snowing.



I’m making progress in the shop on my VLXAFL5. That’s like the secret serial number. I just bought a Vulcan 205 welder and had to buy tips for the gun. Irish Rich came over to coach me and check it out. He was impressed. These tips came from Arc-Zone.com. It’s a cool welding supply company.



Rich and I tried to break into this Miller hood plate to replace the batteries. I wondered why there was no YouTube film on replacing the batteries. I probably busted it trying to peel it apart. Miller hoods are expensive and replacing the battery was bullshit, but I got it done.



We hung out in Deadwood for Mardi Gras Weekend. Had a blast attending diners and the parade.






Here’s a shot of my grandson's booth at Huggie’s David Mann Chopper fest in Ventura recently.


Can almost see the burnt Panhead patio table as the snow subsides.



Okay, So this year is packed with projects, bikes, writing endeavors and there’s the fight for Scientific Integrity and the freedom to ride and build what you want, goddammit.

Just added Nash Apes and P-pad to the Pandemic.
Just added Nash Apes and P-pad to the Pandemic.




So, between my efforts to fight for government truth, test for Bonneville, build two bikes, grapple with book projects and study motorcycle fiction and the classic westerns, I kept busy.

My question about the outlaw plight of the biker is an interesting challenge. I wrote a story recently called Rode Alone:

https://www.bikernet.com/pages/Rode_Alone.aspx

We just rewrote Rode Alone and the magnificent Wayfarer edited it.

https://www.bikernet.com/pages/Rode_Alone_Revisited.aspx

Then we started a series of articles, some fiction, some called Why We Chop. Here’s one example:

https://www.bikernet.com/pages/WHY_WE_CHOP_SERIES_Chapter_3_.aspx

I’ve often thought biker stories would take over for the Western movie genre. I started test my theory with Western story lines. Is the chopper rider the romantic loner, who makes his own way and rescues the girl? We’ll see. I’m working on it. I worked that theory with Rode Alone, but I’m testing it some more with other story lines.

It was minus 9 degrees in the Black Hills. I went outside and swept the walk, fresh…

 The girls went on the wine/chocolate/cheese tasting extravaganza in Deadwood. We trudged through the ice to John’s storage shed and tried to start his 45 trike. We succeeded with some starting fluid and a lot of kicking. He wants to sell the trike and start a new project.



One weekend could house a game changing convention in Orlando and Rogue is on his way to cover it. The 15th International Conference on Climate Change. IS THE TRUE CRISIS CLIMATE CHANGE … OR CLIMATE POLICY? We are searching for the truth.


This convention is all about the fight for Freedom, humanity and questioning the doom. We’ll see what the results are and report back. I find all this shit, nuts. Any sane government would question the motives if someone ran in the room and shouted, “We’re doomed.” Instead they shout, “You’re right, quick kill half the population they fart too much.”

We rolled into March and I was inspired by groups all over the country stepping up to fight Climate Doom. I started to dream.
What if a few guys got their heads together and put together a resolution, which demanded Scientific Transparency? It demanded that our government put a panel together to determine whether there is a Climate Emergency or not.

I’ve studied this issue for over a decade. I’m not a scientist, but I saw the tail-tale signs of control freaks trying to take over. We have all witnessed the destruction of our country and we know the movement is planned. Plus, bikers don't fuck around. We step up and demand answers.

Although, there’s tremendous apathy, it’s so interesting to stop and talk to anyone, see what they’re thinking. It’s all over the place, from guy who feels our bikes are evil and we don’t deserve to be free to ride, to guys who know the Doomsday is wrong, but WTF we’ll just ride until we’re dead. Let the younger crowd deal with it. Bullshit.

We’ve recently been introduced to WolfPack Publishing. Specifically, to Mike Baron, who writes adventure books about Josh, who rides a chopper.

I’m reading Not Fade Away (Biker Book 3). You can read my review at:

https://www.bikernet.com/pages/Book_Review_NOT_FADE_AWAY.aspx

I was also reading a book called the Suggestible You about your mind. If you keep an eye on yourself you can see your moods change and why. You can also find ways to control pain.



If you were waiting for a Sugar Bear frontend and it was late, it’s because he broke his shoulder. He could have replaced it and lost range of motion. He’s working through the healing process and through the pain without medication. He has learned to deal with the pain and focused on healing and strengthening himself. Be patient.


Trying to upgrade my grinder and buffer didn’t turn out to be an easy task. The wheels for the grinder are too wide at 1 inch.
Again, I faced a thousand options. I ended up going with a coarse wheel on one end and a super-fine wheel on the other end. It actually worked out to be perfect.

This dense Scotch Brite replacement pad was like $130?

I found myself working with the Deadwood Historic Preservation committee on fixing up the basement under the Bullock Hotel. They want to go with a Vice theme, so I suggested this print of Kat Von D with my touring chopper I built with Jesse James.

This effort turned into something else. I discussed my involvement in the early days of the Sturgis Rally and Mike Rungy, from the Deadwood Preservation Group wanted to interview me for their archives. It tested my memory and I reached out to Billy Tinney, the editor of Tattoo Magazine and Kim Peterson the editor of In The Wind magazine. Kim covered the rally for Easyriders first in 1978.
 
 
 
1978

Our first coverage of the Rally was in the December issue in 1978, the 66th issue of the magazine. The story and photography was handled by Kim Peterson. His experience in Deadwood was completely wild.

Kim pointed out how open the area was and that many events around the country were sequestered to one restricted area. The Sturgis rally spread out over the vast plains and into the Black Hills.

At the time I was the editor.

1979

So far, I can’t find our coverage for this year. It was the year of the riots. We looked in the first issue of In The Wind Magazine, but nothing. Kim is checking the second issue of In The Wind which was published in ’79.

1980

The rally was well covered by Billy Tinney and Wino Joe. Joe wrote a story about his ride out to the rally, the girls, the cops, the rally and the ride home. Joe twisted each element into a story of struggles and love.

Joe complained about the cops in Deadwood, $50.00 bail and open container charges. To him the rally was reminiscent of a motorcycle tribal gathering like with the Indians 100 years ago.

Everyone said Fuck Daytona because of the South Dakota openness and real hospitality. It was the only rally in the country everyone had to attend. You could smell and taste the warm spirit, and the freedom that spread over the land.

1981

I quite working for Easyriders, but according to Mike Lichter, he went to the rally with Billy Tinney.

1987

I came back to the publication in ’87 and attended the 47th Rally. The subtitle of the article was “Three More Years to Go.” I wrote the article under a pseudonym.

I was the editor at the time.



Just into March of this year I started to help my son, Frank, buy his first home in Austin, Texas and I said, “Ship me the Chevy in trade.”



“No problem,” he said and found himself in a struggle with Russian gangsters who ship cars. Be careful.

Check this from Ray in Australia. He’s navigated from being an Olympic Champ to a major industrialist, to a philosopher. I met him in Sturgis in 1987 at the Sturgis airport and we’ve been friends ever since.

"Difficult times in life are like washing machines; they twist us, spin us and knock us around, but in the end, we come out cleaner, brighter, and better than before."

--Ray Russell



I was working on my third Knucklehead chopper tech, and something dawned on me. I just turned 75 and beheld all the cool stuff I can do this year. I can build a modern S&S Knucklehead in a modified vintage frame with an old stock XA front end, including old and new parts. Then I can build a 1913 H-D board-track racer, because vintage shit is being manufactured all over the world. I can write another book, go to Bonneville with the Salt Torpedo, build metal art, work on my home in Sturgis, drive a lowered ’58 Chevy, learn the history of South Dakota and write cool articles on Bikernet every day! What could be better…




https://www.bikernet.com/pages/NCOM_Biker_Newsbytes_for_March_2023.aspx

Make sure you read the Bill Bish Legislative report from Bikernet. Bill passed away this year and I hope like hell someone keeps up his NCOM Legislative news.

 
Trying to reprint Outlaw Justice, the second book I published turned into a major project. We discovered the version on the website was an early one, before editing. This has been a challenge, but we’re getting there.

SEMA-Supported Bill was Introduced in U.S. House of Representatives to Prevent Internal Combustion Engine Bans.

U.S. Representative John Joyce (R-PA) introduced H.R. 1435, the “Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act,” a bill designed to protect Americans’ right to choose the technology that powers their motor vehicles.

The bill was introduced in response to the California Air Resources Board’s plans to ban the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035.

The Preserving Choice in Vehicle Purchases Act would restrict the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from issuing a waiver for regulations that would ban the sale or use of new motor vehicles with internal combustion engines.

This effort had its merits but didn’t focus on the premise of the issue. Besides, although it ultimately passed the House, no-way it will get through the Senate.

 
 
 I started to work with Irish Rich, Carl Pussar and Cabana Dan helped out while attending the Donnie Smith show in Minneapolis.
 

 
We tried to build a 4-Speed case, 5-Speed guts transmission that will work with an Evo primary. S&S quit casting the cases and JIMS bought the rights. I started to wait for the first JIMS rendition, and then stumbled onto an S&S case in a box in my shop. We went to work piecing a trans together.

 
If you’re interested in one of these cases, reach out to JIMS. They are about to cast their first run.

Advertisement
 

 
 
 
I spoke to my genius pal this week who has three PHDs and his wife is a master Gourd artist. As it turns out 45 John in Deadwood grows gourds. He still has one of his classic trikes for sale. Ladd the intellect, passed away a couple of months later. He will be missed. What a great guy…

John sold a trike and bought a 1960 Panhead roller. I rebuilt his M-74 Linkert carb.
John sold a trike and bought a 1960 Panhead roller. I rebuilt his M-74 Linkert carb.




It snows like every three days here during the winter, but the sun comes out and it’s magnificent. When it hits 36 degrees, we think it’s a heat wave.






We’ve ordered some spirit bells since my point covers from Chopper Dave were delayed. Hell, we’ll have Xmas gifts for the next two years. That’s one way to look at it.


 
Throughout the year I’ve worked with scientist regarding Doomsday. The CO2 coalition attended a Teachers Conference and brought teaching materials for kids.
The material was critical of the association’s position that climate science should be taught as an absolute consensus and never presented as having any uncertainty.

Greg Wrightstone, president of the CO2 Coalition, refused to remove the offending material and was escorted out of the building.

“We accused them of censoring science, and then they confirmed it,” Wrightstone told Cowboy State Daily. Greg offered to attend a motorcycle rights rally, but the rally coordinator said he might not fit his agenda. Major government agencies are going to ban internal combustion everything and Greg is at the forefront of scientific truth and he doesn’t fit the agenda. WTF?


Karley, my step daughter has her own Sportster and just learned how to rebuild the carb. She works at the Chowder Barge in the Port of LA, a floating barge with her mom, Nyla, my ex.

Toby's Sportster in front of my old Wilmington building. I heard they are building the water front for the people of Wilmington. Only took them 20 years.
Toby's Sportster in front of my old Wilmington building. I heard they are building the water front for the people of Wilmington. Only took them 20 years.




A brother just asked if I had a running Shovelhead. Yep, it’s dusty but runs like a champ. JIMS machine rebuilt the engine and the trans.


MAN WHO CREATED THE DAVID MANN CHOPPERFEST PASSED—

Dave “Huggy” Hanson who owned The Shop in Ventura for over 40 years died behind a diabetes attack in the hospital in Ventura, California.

Huggy ran a predominately Indian restoration shop and was a master with old Indians.


Okay, I kid Irish Rich about getting close to final welding. He’s already at the powder-coater with his project. I’m way behind… Worked on a battery tray and kickstand.

My son and his two daughters in All Saints Tattoo in Austin, Texas.
My son and his two daughters in All Saints Tattoo in Austin, Texas.




Last week my family in Austin attended the Hand Built show. These are my granddaughters, Max and Olivia.



The ’58 Chevy will be ready on Saturday, and across the street we will pick up a cherry pie from the bake sale to be delivered to a neighbor in Boulder Canyon. He’s a great guy and his wife Dawn is the boss of the Deadwood Chamber. He’s got the big C and needs a cherry pie bad. We delivered it, but unfortunately Ron passed a month later.

Ron is gone and so are his horses. They will also be missed.
Ron is gone and so are his horses. They will also be missed.




 

Warmer weather crept into town, and we took a gamble this iffy weekend and prepped the Salt Torpedo for test runs in Sturgis, South Dakota on a road outside the magnificent Buffalo Chip.
 
 
 
We tested the Salt Torpedo with the help of Randy Cramer of Dakota V-Twin in Spearfish, Woody from the Buffalo chip and our team. Micah flew in from California for the action and used my 2014 Indian to get around.

We attended the magnificent flag raising ceremony at the Chip just prior to the rally.
We attended the magnificent flag raising ceremony at the Chip just prior to the rally.



We faced cross winds of 45 mph but still made two highly successful 80 mph, 2-mile passes.



 
In my life, I have lived, I have loved, I have lost, I have missed, I have hurt, I have trusted, I have made mistakes, but most of all: I have learned.

--Ray Russell
Senior Monk
Emerald Temple
Australia




He passed away this year. But every week is incredible. I’m working with Paul Cox on a chain drive primary system using a single 530 chain. I was blown away when I saw it. Our major issue with this project has been alignment from the engine to the rear wheel.






We had some fun this week. I traded my Shovelhead rat custom for a ’48 Panhead at an MMA run in Fresno about ’74. The owner reached out this week. This David Mann painting captured the ’48 after I messed with it.

 
Death has been a significant player this year. It forced anyone to review their position in life. I mentioned the Suggestible You book and how we all feel differently about everything. But through meditation you can change you mind about anything. That’s not bullshit. Through neuro-placidity in our brains they can be trained, like lifting weights for muscles. Read a book about it and get to work if you have any issues you wish to correct.

I have a batch of these CO2 pamphlets. If you would like one or some, reach out. Bandit@bikernet.com
I have a batch of these CO2 pamphlets. If you would like one or some, reach out. Bandit@bikernet.com



Greg Wrightstone is sending me 100 of these. He’s also working on a new one. I’ll make them available to anyone interested.


As we slipped into May, we ran across the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web. A country in Europe wants to ban farming. The Fed raised the interest rates again. California is trying to add a tax on how many miles you drive. I went to pick up my ’58 Chevy. As I rolled onto the freeway a wheel fell off. The same tow truck driver came to my rescue.


We are going to run a Tech Cycle wild chain primary drives on our VLXAFL5 Knucklehead project bike. A brother was concerned about strength and no compensator sprocket. I reached out to Paul. Here’s what he said:

“No reason for concern.

“I thought of that issue when I first started making these 20 years ago. The power at the motor sprocket is less than any load carried by the final drive chain through the gears. Only in Top gear is the load even equal, as those are 1:1 ratio gears. In any gear below Top, the load on the final-drive chain is more than that of the primary drive chain.

“So, this is why I had no worries about adapting final-drive chain for use on the primary.”


Paul Cox Industries
Port Jervis, NY


Side note for May: Biden Energy Secretary is cracking down on dishwashers to save the planet from climate doom.
 

 

Bikernet works with a journalist, Royal Enfield rider in India. This year he bought an old RE. Here’s an early report:
 

 

“I wish I could send it to you. Enfield India started assembling these motorcycles in 1955. When the UK company went defunct in 1970s, Enfield India was already manufacturing them under license.
 

 
“Soon they owned the British company because we wanted these -- the economy was closed and Japanese and other companies including CocaCola were not allowed entry to protect the closed market. After liberalization in economy, it meant cool Japanese bikes and cars for all. Enfield was forced to either reinvent themselves or become extinct like its colonial ancestor.”

---Dey




Finished our ¾ base road to the shop the other day and arranged for more parking. Started to look into an enclosed trailer for the Salt Torpedo.






Tim Crandall, who operates a welding shop in Spearfish made flag pole chunks to slip over the concreted dish pole in the yard, too close to our new propane canister. Yikes…





This is show weekend at the Black Hills Motorcycle Show at the Mountain Grand in Deadwood, SD. Jason Mook and his band of renowned have taken over the historically Rapid City Show. It died because of covid, but now it’s Saturday in historic Deadwood and brothers from far and wide are coming to see it.




Howard Knight made a new sheath for the massive knife Gearhead gave me for my BD. Had to give Gearhead credit on the back.


We discovered scrutineering issues with the Torpedo and our team stepped up. We also discovered another bad ground and the engine wouldn’t turn over without a jump. We created a system to jump the engine from outside the Torpedo.




As we rolled into June, I actually started to learn Silicon Bronze welding with my TIG welder, or is it considered brazing. It’s very cool.



After the bronze and barbecue paint it began to look sort cool. I’m still waiting on the primary drive elements from Paul Cox, so we can perform final alignment.



The Dicey Knuck drew some attention at the show last weekend.


There’s another bike project in the wings.
Got some good news from Brian at Departure Bike Works, in Richmond. It's about the Bonne Belle, my 45 flathead, Bonneville project. The wheels and rods are Sportster and the cases wouldn’t mate. They are making progress. They build engines for Billy Lane and Jody Perewitz. This puppy will be too cool.


It’s sunny and almost in the 80s one day and cool and rainy the next. I asked someone recently about the season’s emotional impact. She just shook her head in terror. Even today, the mercurial madness is blossoming in the Black Hills. I’ll check my weapons and whiskey supply.


I built a plank from one of our moving crates. You know, when someone needs to walk the plank… It should lead to a shallow grave.



I’m tinkering with my UL, prepping it for a photo shoot for Choppers Mag. I adjusted the rear fender, shortened the drive chain and adjusted the brake. It’s just about ready.


We are working on scrutineering issues with the Salt Torpedo. I ordered a battery shut-off switch, jumper connections, etc.

The Famous Atomic Bob about to light-up and get creative.
The Famous Atomic Bob about to light-up and get creative.




Atomic Bob handled my VLXAFL5 Knuck project concept illustration. I had it framed at the Scott Jacobs Gallery. It found its place in my office. I'm getting close to final welding, I hope.



Picking up our Bonneville Torpedo trailer tomorrow, E-brakes connected. Rock and roll.


My Paul Cox, Cycle Tech single chain primary drive arrived. May start assembly this weekend. Not so fast, the sprockets were 1-inch out of alignment. Talk about a challenge. The bearing support only came within a half-inch of the case. Ultimately, I discovered that the ring gear was a ½-inch from the bearing support plate, which meant the starter wouldn’t work.

Also, the front frame holes for engine mounting didn’t line up and the top motormount from Pauchco needed to be modified.
 

 
Buck Lovell, the master, shot my ’48 UL for a Choppers mag feature. Choppers mag is the only sheetfed Choppers mag on the market. It’s a bigger format than most mags and thicker paper. Check it out online. You won’t find one at 7-11.


 
I’m scrambling with work on the liner. With the help of Jared and Terry Components, I installed a jumper system and an ignition/battery cut-off switch. It’s surprising how much of a power difference your battery cables can make.



I needed to reach out to the crew at BMST to check on my registration for Bonneville, just after the Sturgis Rally.

 
 This is an interesting one as you will see. The motorcycle rights world is waking up and getting together to fight for our rights to ride against the Alarmists untruths.

Life is a game of words. From the time when we were kids and bullies called other kids names from fat to whatever. We remember as young bikers being called biker trash and worse. Now, it has to do with environment. Either you’re a die-hard environmentalist or you’re destroying the planet, a denier. Bullshit.

Unfortunately, the Doomsday proponents are wrong on every account and that forces them to be even more ardent and terrified. The rest of the public sat around drinking beer, while suspecting the radicals were wrong but not knowing for sure. Well, now it’s time to get educated and involved.


Here’s and interesting INTERVIEW WITH KEN DEGRAAF (Colorado General Assembly) BY CLINTEL--

What would climate policy ideally look like in your view?

It would be decoupled from CO2. Climate is an existential threat—it threatens our very existence. We live our lives protecting ourselves from the elements. It takes energy to do anything, especially to stay alive.


Ken is a representative in the Colorado General Assembly. “In the 2023 General Assembly, I presented a bill to revoke CO2 as a pollutant.”

I wrote to Ken regarding our resolution.

Hey Ken,

I just read your interview with Clintel, amazing. What happened to your revoke CO2 as a pollutant bill?

I’ve been trying to put a resolution before congress to force the truth. I’m just an old biker who escaped California to Sturgis, SD three years ago. I’ve always been a freedom fighter for motorcyclists.

I felt if Climate doom could be smashed, perhaps freedom and truth would shine again.

Here’s his response:

Thanks Keith! I’ve spent some time up in Sturgis. My wife did an internship there and my FIL helped with starting a new church.

The bill was expectedly, unfortunately quashed in the ideological filter they call “committee,” but I was able to put the verbiage into some proposed amendments for other bills that at least made the Dems squirm a bit.

I agree with your resolution, but I was generous in my assessment of science literacy in the political arena. The main issue is that they don’t want to know the truth because the truth doesn’t give them the moral authority to confront an existential threat. An “existential threat” is one that threatens your very existence, so their “solutions” can encompass the totality of your existence.

I stand by my assertion that “there is no problem the government cannot make worse with a “solution.”” Because if the “problem” they’re solving isn’t real, the “solution”’for it will be a real problem.

One issue with your resolution, although I agree with the sentiment, is that laws based on untruths are inherently unjust, but not meaningless. Laws based on untruths are the foundation of tyrannies and invariably create great misery whether they’re meant to or not.

Per our Declaration of Independence, “governments are instituted among men (to secure these Rights) deriving their just power from the consent of the governed.” It’s a very tightly prescribed box within which government can govern without lapsing into tyranny.

Getting people to get on board is the crucial part of your resolution. Maybe you need a booth at the bike rally for “Bikers against climate B$.” You know the greeniacs & carbonistas hate Hogs (I’ve not driven one, but in a prior life I flew them). We need the populous to understand that they are coming after every aspect of our lives to be put under their control, and the virtue-preening Care’ns (“I care more than you do”) will justify their tyranny by baseless compassion.

--Ken


My neighbors, Randall and Jordon and their kids helped me install my flag pole before the 4th of July. It reminded me of one of those harrowing YouTube videos with that bomb of a propane tank inches away.



I tested my copper oil bag the other day with gasoline and it held tight. I need to clean it thoroughly. Howard Knight has my seat pan, and I’ll bet I will be at powder coating when the rally rolls around. That didn’t happen. It’s now October and I’m about to wrap up the driveline and head to final welding.





I just received Willie's new book about his history with the family, factory, industry and bikerdom. Can't wait, and I will write a review shortly. I’m half-way through it.



BUCK LOVELL, COMMITS SUICIDE—Former Editor of Hot Bike Magazine, 1948-2023 passed this week of a shotgun wound.




Here’s what his Boulder Canyon Neighbor, Greg Robley said: My family really loved Buck. He would always bring my son hot wheels and other toys and my son Casen would watch for him to drive by so he could go wave to him. I really thought Buck was doing better and getting through his mess. I called him Wednesday and talked. He sounded like he was making progress.

Buck was a helluva photog. We used his shots on our billboards and he shot our bikes for features. He loved the cloud formations over the Black Hills and anything representing the old West.


The crime scene after clean-up.
The crime scene after clean-up.




I appreciate the many great conversations with him over the last six years. He was one of my favorite people to talk to.

--Greg Robles
Custom Painter
Sturgis, SD


My grandson is riding in through Oregon and Zion into Colorado to the Rally. He’s hanging-out in the Deadwood house, where Buck did the deed.



Arlin and Donna set up shop in downtown Sturgis, and he turned me onto a couple of these massive Mudflap girls. I turned one over to the master of the Monday night Hamster auction to support the kid’s hospital in Rapid City. The girls said the guys would love it…




Tim from Flat Earth Art came over to handle some Salt Torpedo Lettering. He did a magnificent job.




 
Sugarbear called this morning about his property out beyond Bear Butte and his plans for the rally. He brought Tree’s long-tall chopper out and it’s for sale. Tree was a monster of a guy and I featured his first chop back in the early ’70s. The bike is set-up for a big guy, faux Evo powered, runs great and a big guy classic with a Sugarbear springer front end. If you’re seriously interested for $35,000 it’s yours. Drop me a line to Bandit@bikernet.com.


Bikernet fought back...
Bikernet fought back...

 
 Our billboard went up in Deadwood, and I’m already getting calls.



REPORT FROM SPEED WEEK—

We didn’t set a record. Track was exceedingly rough. We managed one pass with Dennis driving and one with me at the wheel. On the return road I hit a huge pot hole going 96 mph and cracked the water tank. It took 45 minutes to get from the end of the road to our pits.

SAYING GOODBYE TO BILL BISH--

To all who knew him, the family wished to share this as Bill's last NCOM Newsbytes column. You can use or share it as you wish. Ride Free. Love & Respect to all, the Bish Family

Bill’s last NCOM Column…

OBITUARY

William H Bish

September 29, 1957 – August 4, 2023

SALT TORPEDO FIRST BONNEVILLE RUN—

One of my assignments included rewiring the JIMS fan to prevent excessive head to the heads, making a cap to prevent inadvertent ejection of the parachute and working with Luke to set up the parachute cable release system.



Micah made me promise to tie-wrap the fire extinguisher pin. "It'll kill me," he said...




SALT TORPEDO CHECK LIST

Check front end, and steering fasteners
Check front wheels
Check Tire pressure
Check for fuel leaks
Check fuel level
Check oil level.
Check rear chain, tire and axle
Safety wire rear axle
Check all pilot controls for lose fasteners and adjustments

That’s a start. We accomplished most of the above items and I’m hoping the Rieker’s Tilt switch will arrive today, it better. I’m still checking and tightening fasteners. About the time we check one challenging item off the list, we add three more.



Tomorrow afternoon, we will test load the Torpedo in the new trailer. Luke and I started loading the 5-Ball van yesterday. We will need lots of straps and bungie cords. I may need to modify a couple of wheel chocks for the front wheels.

Had to switch out all the 5-Ball Racing logos. They said SoCal, and now they support South Dakota.
Had to switch out all the 5-Ball Racing logos. They said SoCal, and now they support South Dakota.




 

We scrambled for Bonneville preparations. I asked around and ended up at Taylord’s new, one-man shop in Spearfish. Luke mounted my new Mickey Thompson tires, but we didn’t know what the hell the speed ratings were. Mick Thompson tires are now owned and manufactured by Goodyear. We called, they said we could go as fast as we want… That’s not the answer the inspectors require.


After riding my funky ’69 Panhead for 100 miles around the area, it was a blast to work on it, to take my mind off the Torpedo for a minute.






Rain is a major issue in Bonneville and it rained in the Badlands the other day and we experienced a double rainbow behind our new flagpole. We are keeping our fingers and toes crossed regarding Bonneville.

 
We snuck out to the Full Throttle Saloon, the world’s largest biker bar the other day to check the action. Rode past it on my way to SugarBear’s Chopper Flats a handful of miles beyond.

Everyone needs to see the Full Throttle Saloon. It’s amazing, the massive equipment, the bikes the whiskey, you name it. This joint is outrageous.



We had a pow-wow with the famous Mr. Bear, at 83 he has a burning desire to build a tribute to the history of the chopper. We will bring you reports about his efforts and progress.



DIRECT FROM THE BONNEVILLE MOTORCYCLE SPEED TRIALS--

I wanted to reach out directly to you, the participants. For many of you I know your race programs, how they have grown, and what you are looking to achieve at the event. For our newest participants I was looking forward to meeting you and learning about you and your objectives. Everyone has a story and a goal, and I want to facilitate and support you in achieving them.



A small core crew of racer volunteers have been working here in Wendover the past few days as part of the assessment team, and also prepping gear and trailers to support 2024.

We have significant new improvements we were planning to debut (including new mile marker flags) that we have prepped for implementation next year. As of Thursday, this team is heading back to their homes and we will be spending the weekend unpacking and getting the next items in our cancellation process underway.



I will begin contacting each of you early next week about our plans for 2024 and cancellation options to support the event. It takes a lot to support world class racing and I thank you for your patience with this all volunteer operation as we shift gears into closing 2023 and planning for 2024.


--Delvene Reber

Event Director/Owner
Deliciate Promotions LLC
Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials



We were so ready to go. Luke was excited to see the chute deploy properly.

Here's a shot from the Breakfast, from the left, Micah our Torpedo Pilot who just completed the Cannonball on an Indian Scout, Keith Terry, on the museum board and breakfast organizer, SugarBear the magnificent, Jay Allen, 44 Bonneville records and was inducted this year, and finally Dave Perewitz, the self-proclaimed president of the Hamsters. Bada Bing...
Here's a shot from the Breakfast, from the left, Micah our Torpedo Pilot who just completed the Cannonball on an Indian Scout, Keith Terry, on the museum board and breakfast organizer, SugarBear the magnificent, Jay Allen, 44 Bonneville records and was inducted this year, and finally Dave Perewitz, the self-proclaimed president of the Hamsters. Bada Bing...




The bros came over after the Hall of Fame breakfast to check the action, including Nick Trask. We discussed installing a Turbo on the Torpedo for the fast round. He mentioned wanting to become a Bikernet Sponsor. You’ll see more of him around here.

George Fleming made a new logo for 25 years of Bikernet.
George Fleming made a new logo for 25 years of Bikernet.




I reached out to Baker regarding our VLXAFL5 alignment issues. Linda said because I’m running a ’79-84 5-speed shaft for a rear belt drive the shaft is longer and pushing the clutch basket out. Is there a shorter 5-speed shaft? There is a tapered shaft, but that didn't work?



THE BIKERNET 100-WORD FICTION CONTEST—

This is a blast. Think about it and give it a shot. Think about something that happened to you with your motorcycle and see if you can describe it in 100 words. Send it to KRB@bikernet.com. We give a bling package to the winner once a month, publish your story and make you famous. Here’s an example.

--Bandit


Been There Done That
by Steven Sanner

Well, I didn’t think it could happen to me. Everyone has had the feeling of deja vu at least once in their life. Some have had it more than once.

There I was, just sitting on my old rigid Shovel at the red traffic light, just enjoying the day when I got the feeling that I needed to get off the bike and run, and that’s what I did. I bailed off that thing like there was a rattlesnake under my ass. When I did there was a loud crash and I saw what was left of my bike flying through the intersection.

(publication dated 24-May-2023)




The funky Panhead survived its first 100-mile test run with only minor issues. The transmission dipstick threads were shot, gone, toast. I thought I could fix it, until I took it apart. The cover was rusted to shit. Some of the mounting bolts were badly rusting and the clutch cable threads were a mess.




I gave up trying to salvage it when I saw the throw-out bearing area. I replaced it with a another one. It’s now good to go, but I wanted to fix a crack on the exhaust system and cleaned up the welds with Silicon Bronze.






I remember Wolfman Jack saying to the girls, “Are your peaches sweet?” It’s the season and the local peaches are amazing and as big as softballs. I have peaches with breakfast, in my protein shakes and for desert with yogurt. Incredible.




The national AMCA run came to the Black Hills this year and was hosted by Carl and Matt Olsen. I should have a story shortly. It rotates annually. These guys love to ride old shit.






I didn’t make it to the Meeting of the Minds Panel Discussion. I apologized, covid attacked me, but here’s the introduction and conclusion I created.

 
Internal Combustion Engine Bans, where did they come from? I have been on the case for over 15 years. I watched Al Gore’s compelling documentary in 2007 and was impressed, but I asked questions and discovered Al might have lied to kids all over the world for power and personal gain. His wealth skyrocketed from a few million to over 400 million.
 
His CO2 doomsday has caused an attack on every form of our well-being from heaters to gas stoves and in particular Internal Combustion Engines. I started to let my Bikernet readers know the scientific truth and searched for solutions.
 
It wasn't until this year and through the leadership of the MRF that I started to see a small light at the end of a daily darkening tunnel. We witnessed leaders of the MIC waking up. We watched SEMA, the largest automotive organization stand up and last week with the help of the MRF HR 1435 passed the house of representatives 220-190 to stop ICE vehicle mandates. The National Motorist Association questioned the doom rhetoric. 
 
But the premise remained. We are doomed unless we change the climate by eliminating CO2, which is not a pollutant. Inspired by the growing number of organizations fighting back, I created a resolution to force congress to challenge and study the bottom line on a national stage. With the help of Kirk and the board of the MRF including Rocky their lobbyist, I made minor successes in South Dakota. All we want is the truth, to expose the untruths, level the playing field and make Freedom a priority again. 
 
The three major strong-holds for freedom and truth in the motorcycle industry attended the panel discussion in Harrisburg, PA: Kirk Willard and the MRF, The Cycle Source Empire with Chris Callen at the helm and now a new effort to strengthen the aftermarket shops with Bob Kay.
 

Here’s my conclusion:
 
 
Just to wrap it up, I wanted to mention that we’re not alone in the fight for ICE vehicles and scientific proof. There are scientific groups all over the world stepping up, including 1600 scientists, including Nobel prize winners who have signed a declaration, “There is no Climate Emergency.” But we must be vigilant. Three weeks ago in Montana, a judge sided with a group of kids who were paid to sue the state to take control of the entire energy sector. 
 
I immediately reached out to the MRF and ultimately to Rocky the lobbyist. I also reached out to a physicist in Montana, Ed Berry, who last year beat an alarmist lawsuit in Montana. I also reached out to Greg Wrightstone, the executive director of the CO2 Coalition, a group of scientists who are trying to spread the good word about CO2 and prevent misinformation. 
 
Rocky immediately spoke to a legislator’s staff in Montana, and between this legislator, the CO2 Coalition and Ed Berry a team is in place to defeat this ruling during the appeal process. The MRF was on the case.
 
Finally, a presidential candidate is stepping up against the doomsday movement. Vivek has publicly stated Climate Alarmist are wrong and he will address it. With the MRF at our backs freedom will ride high once more.

 
There you have it, a slice of the Life and Times of Bandit 2023. Did I miss anything? Hell, the year's not cooked just yet. I'm going to meet with Senator Rounds office today. I'll report back.

--Bandit
 
 

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Reader Comments


hhhh

Ann Baysinger Robinson
Long Beach, CA
Friday, December 1, 2023
Am enjoying reading this edition of "Life and Times of Bandit "and always love seeing Hal's great work. The perfect drawing; "Monster Headache"

Ann Baysinger Robinson
Long Beach, CA
Sunday, October 29, 2023
Editor Response Always the master!
--Bandit
Wow quite a read. I think you have packed more into less than a year than most accomplish in a lifetime. You are very fortunate to be able to do what you do. To coin a phrase you have never worked a day in your life because of the love you have for the life.

I truly understand that at 75 you realize as I do at 73 that there are less days in front of you than behind. So I guess the trick is to get the biggest bang out of each day. I think you are all over that

Continued health


Rhys
South Daytona, FL
Tuesday, October 17, 2023
Editor Response Thanks much. I just ran into a struggle with pain. It cuts your mobility severely and suddenly you struggle to tie your shoes. Made me look at everything from another perspective.

You can't ever give up. The key person is Dr. You, because the only person really trying to solve any health issue is you. I kept trying stuff and struggling until I received a cortisone shot. Suddenly, I felt like a human being again. I need to stay on top of this until it's resolved, even if it means another hip replacement.

Always good to hear from you.
--Bandit

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