Monday, January 31, 2011

A Jammu and Kashmir state policeman performs a motorcycle stunt during Republic Day celebrations in Jammu, India, Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011. The day marks the anniversary of India's adoption of a democratic constitution

dakar fans

endurance is a human feet in any form....esp at two wheels

Home Grown Round II

 This week Joel Hauenstein of Image1 Art

How long have you been riding motorcycles? Not very long, grew up around hot rods and such, got into two wheeled stuff about 5 years ago.
Why choppers? Cause stock sucks, and I just can’t leave well enough alone. For me it’s not all about ‘choppers’ necessarily, its more about making that thing interesting to me on a visual and functional level. Stock bikes serve their purpose or being a means of transportation, but in most cases leave a lot to be desired in terms of style and soul. They are mass produced, restricted, and regulated by ‘the man’ so to speak these days, I like quite a few ‘stock’ bikes, but really none that have been produced since 1974. ‘Choppers’ fit my way of thinking, they are all about the essentials and the freedom to make it as you see fit. I’m actually far more interested in subtle modifications to ‘stock’ parts than I am in outlandish ‘chopper’ goodies.
Dream bike? The next one. why? I don’t know that I really have a ‘dream bike’ per say. I have too many ideas and varied taste to say definitively that one really is the end all for me. Its always about the next one, and chasing that dragon so to speak, guess its just the addict in me. If I was pinned to say one thing, I’d prolly have to say a U model harley, something about those big ole flatheads that does it for me.
How did you end up with this bike? 72TR6 in a 68 Frame. It was/is my first bike actually. Picked it up as a roller/baskets form in all of its 70’s glory, cleaned it up and got it running, and it decided to throw a rod through the case… 3 years, hundreds of hours, a bunch of money and a few other bikes later, its back and ready to chuck more rods at me.
Describe your shop space? It’s a barn, my dad’s by definition. Its prolly the nicest shop I will ever work in/out of. Its full of tools, treasures and junk. We have a gnarly early 1900’s line drive drill press, a horizontal mill, vertical mill, 6 ft enco lathe, and a small craftsman hobby lathe as far as machines go. Press, sheet metal brake, torch rig, welder, and a bunch of other junk. Dad is a tool geek, so there are all kinds of specialty type tools available. Oh yea, its got radiant heat in the floor, I’m sooooooo spoiled, but its also the only way to make snow-hio tolerable in the winter. I basically have a corner that is my designated junk pile, but my ‘work area’ moves all over depending on what farm equipment is taking up ‘my’ shop space lol.
What’s your favorite tool you currently have? That’s a tough one really, my gut response would be my eyeballs, but I suppose they are not technically a ‘tool’, but they are def. the most important/most used. I use a little bit of everything, but always find myself gravitating toward hand tools… hacksaws, files, etc. I don’t plan/measure enough to ‘properly’ use most precision tools, so there is a lot of hand work, and I feel more connected to the work that way, and a little sweat does the body good.
What tool would you like to have the most? A better band saw, ours is pretty old/weak/worn. It would be nice to be able to make quick accurate/square cuts. There are a bunch of tools I’d ‘like’ to have, but I really can’t think of anything that I ‘need’. Tubing bender would be nice.
Last/best mc adventure? New Years Day ride out bar hopping in the cold. Put on about 80 miles, beers were drank, bull was shot, times were good.
Form of function? BOTH! It depends on the bike really I guess, yeah I know they are all ‘meant to be ridden….’ but the fact is, that many aren’t. Function is purely at the riders/builder’s discretion. If the bike is meant to be ridden, then some of the form will have to follow accordingly. Being an artist, I always struggle with this paradox to a degree. Most of the time, my ideas are based in form, and I then try to find a way to make it function ( at least as well as the part it replaces, if not better). Sometimes it doesn’t work out, and the idea gets scrapped or modified in the name of function. Not being too proud to throw an idea away is very important. I really appreciate the ‘all business’ approach to building, but still feel like there is PLENTY of room for pleasing aesthetics in any case.
Will you ever consider riding a bagger Why or why not? Already have… its transportation, I will ride/drive whatever gets me from A to B, I don’t care if I look cute in the process.
When it comes to building or customizing bikes, what’s the most important lesson you've learned? Patience. There is no such thing as a one day, or one week, or even in most cases a one month build. There is always shit that comes up in life that takes you away from your projects, and problems that pop up, and parts that get delayed, and things that need reworked. Dad always told me when estimating the amount of time required to complete something, you should ‘double it and add ten’. I fully understand the wisdom in this saying now. That same principle applies to the cost of the project. It’s hard to slow down sometimes, but it really helps to take a few days off now and then to regroup and gain a fresh perspective on the project at hand. You will notice all the small things that you ‘good enough-ed’ during that last hustle. I think that alone is a major difference between a ‘good’ build and a ‘1 month build’.

Monday. Lets get it started

Ice storm threats for this week, gotta love winter 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chicken bones

Joel (Image1) has been busy getting the skeleton of the chicken rebuilt  

Friday, January 28, 2011

Tubbed out

High Life Friday

Got these as a gift from a good friend last night. Super cool stuff. Not sure how old the can is but it's like an oil can. Better pics of it this week.

Thanks OBMF!

Check this shit out

Roll over to  bikerMetric and check out the writeup about some shitty business "sometimes this must be done. i have a friend who is building a beautiful bike. he was in need of a certain and hard to find part. he looked..."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

New Feature

I've been thinking about doing this for some time now. Here at Suicide Wheels we hit lots of areas relative to speed and thrills but our main focus is and always has been garage built bikes. With that in mind, I wanted to feature some bikes that really came out of garages and some thoughts from their owners. I wanted to get a prospective from the guy who isn't famous for it and is still doing it for the love of it and not so much the hustle of making a buck.
First up Robb Morrison and his Ironhead 

SW: How long have you been riding motorcycles
Guess it depends on your definition of motorcycles. Got my first motorcized 2 wheeler at age 3. Rupp mini. Followed a few years later by a Suzuki rm50. First street bike was an 81 Suzuki Katana 550m. Couldn't leave anything stock!
 SW: Why choppers
To me choppers epitomize the rider and the lifestyle. Anybody can go buy a motorcycle, but choppers...not your OCC, fat tire, billet barge, credit card cafe cruiser, but things that have actually been cut, ground, welded and fabricated, those reflect the rider and his personality. A bike isn't yours until you truly make it yours and adapt it to your riding style like a glove. Most easily done on choppers.
SW: Original model/year of your current ride
Frame is titled as a 1970 Harley XLCH Sportster and Engine is a 1985 XLCH Sportster (Ironhead)

SW: How did you end up with that bike
I had gone for a while without a bike, about 6 years, and we finally came up with some scratch to grab another one. Found an '85 Sportster on eBay that fit the bill and started from there. Took everything off and kept the motor. Sold all the pieces for some more scratch and started piecing it together.

SW: Describe your shop space
Right now my space is the 2 car garage attached to our house (wife reminds me all the time that my "smells" permeate the house). Table lift, jack lift, 3 work benches, drill press, band saw, small lathe, belt and disc sander, chop saw, gint air compressor, mig welder, oxy-acetylene setup and tool boxes. but I'm looking for a new house with appropriate shop space separate from the house.

SW: What’s your favorite tool you currently have
It's a tossup between the angle grinder and the mig welder simply because they pretty much work as a tag team in my shop!
SW: What tool would you like to have the most
I'd like to have a Bridgeport mill. The opportunities a machine like that open up are fantastic!

SW:  Last/best mc adventure 
Haven't really had any big adventures lately and any time I can ride I make it the best adventure I can. But I would probably have to say Run 4 Your Life. A bunch of like minded chopper guys whose bikes are as varied as their personalities. No big sponsors or vendors, just a bunch of guys riding and partying as it should be!
 SW: Form of function
Always try to find the happy medium, but when all else fails ALWAYS go with function. Form over function gets you a TV show on the Discovery channel, but broke down on the side of the road!!!

SW: Will you ever consider riding a bagger
I'd like to think not, but when it gets to the point in my life where I have difficulty riding, I don't think it would matter. I'd rather see someone out riding and enjoying it than just worrying about what they are on! Otherwise, they're still just faking the funk!

Thanks Robb 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday: Lets get it started

Tubing and Wheels 

Nasty engine 


Saturday, January 22, 2011

10°F today

So i'm digin through my hard drive for pics. 

Shot of Red 

Oh and I made this sissy bar for the Sporty project I have goin 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Reader Submission

 Frank sends in some shots of his Sporty with High Life high lites 
 Thanks for checkin us out Frank and keep livin the High Life

Oh and for all you skeptics out there 


Two things you should never do.

Molest Alligators (they can't be tamed) 

Heckle power lifters 

Standing up on a motorcycle however, perfectly acceptable 

A public service message from your local Suicide Wheels