Relic Moto Vintage Show

Since we moved to Chattanooga in late 2013, we’d been tossing around the idea of holding a vintage motorcycle show, in the spirt and feel of Oil Stained Brain in Melbourne, Australia, where Adam first showed his 1968 Triumph TR6, The One Motorcycle Show in Portland, and The Handbuilt Show in Austin.

In 2015, we decided to go ahead with the show, knowing there had been nothing similar in the Southeast. We set the date (September 19, 2015) and searched for a suitable venue in Chattanooga and finally settled on The Camp House because of its beautiful interior, stage at the front, great food, availability of drinks, and awesome outside patio. Given the space, we limited the number of bikes to 30 and sought submissions for a curated show. Not knowing what to expect, we placed an ad on craigslist and posted on instagram, seeking submissions for vintage motorcycles that were not required to be show worthy, but rather unique, interesting, and conversation pieces. We were super excited to receive emails from as far as South Carolina in addition to local owners and others from Nashville and Atlanta, for 16 different makes, ranging from 1929 to 1980. We had one of very few LaRay motorcycles and a Motorcycle Cannonball 2014 survivor as well as a dedicated Honda CB show on the patio, ranging from a CB305 to a CB750. The bikes were amazing, and the owners were fantastic!

The art from Conrad Tengler of Black Sheep Forge, photography by Luke Padgett (@severalpictures), and original series of paintings created specifically for this show by Paul Friedrich (@paulfriedrichdotnet) complemented the range of motorcycles.

We would like to thank everyone again for their participation, and we look forward to the 2016 show! The date and location are still TBD, but we will keep everyone updated.

To keep up to date on the 2016 show, follow us on instagram, facebook, or on the blog, and make sure to check out some of the photos from the 2015 event:

2015 Vintage 1000

Vintage 1000

There was some talk between friends regarding a 5-5-5 ride that had been planned a few years ago (? as to whether it is still occurring), during which $500 motorcycles traveled 500 miles over 5 days. It inspired the Vintage 1000 that we organized for the first time in 2015. Adam had this great idea of a 5-day 1000-mile trip on vintage motorcycles that cost <$1000 (excluding tires). When deciding the route, the Trans-America Trail (AKA: the “TAT”) seemed the perfect choice. It is a west bound dual-sport motorcycle ride across America. The Trail starts in “Southeastern Tennessee and ends at the Pacific Ocean in southwestern Oregon – nearly 5,000 miles of mostly off-pavement riding. It is not a single-track tight woods ride. It is a route using dirt roads, gravel roads, jeep roads, forest roads, and farm roads. Dropping down into dried-up creek beds. Riding atop abandoned railroad grades. There are sections of mud, sand, snow and rocks.”

Feedback from various people resulted in 3 classes: <$1000, >$1000, and teams. Although the original plan was pre-1980, requests were received to include 1980 models, so it became pre-1981.

We planned the route, starting in Soddy Daisy, TN and including 2 loops through Tennessee and Mississippi so that we could return to the origin, and identified potential campgrounds. We found a support vehicle (thanks Chastin and Lauren!) and a trailer.

The original feedback led us to believe that we were going to have participants in the double digits; however, as registrations closed, we had 7 riders, including Adam. In hindsight, this was awesome for the first year. Most of the bikes were not even running the week before the event, and the first bike broke down on the way to the shop. Adam and Mark were still finishing their bikes the morning of, and only Adam, Mark, and Chastin had their roll charts ready. A promising start…

Spencer’s transmission went 7 miles into the ride, and the support vehicle was required already.

At one point during the ride, we were down to 2 running bikes (Adam and Mark), but by the end, we were back up to 4 bikes, and everyone rode (some on the back) back into Chattanooga.

It was an epic 5 days. We did not make it the full route, and one bike burnt to the ground. We’re looking forward to next year and using this year as an awesome learning experience to make it that much better.

 
To keep up to date on the 2016 ride, follow us on instagram, and make sure to check out some of the photos from the 2015 event:

Hillside Mx

We spent Saturday in Dayton, Tennessee, just north of the shop at a private motocross track. What started out as a freezing cold morning turned in to a beautiful winter day in a fantastic setting. The original plan was for more classes, but with the turn out, 3 classes were formed: vintage, modern, and kids. Following multiple practice laps, 2 races were run in each class, 5 laps each (I think the track was ~1.25 miles). Adam borrowed a bike from a friend because his recently-acquired 72(?) Husqvarna isn’t quite functioning yet, so he ended up in the modern class. I took over the photographer responsibilities and managed to snap about 800 photos before the batteries in both cameras died. I’ll only upload some here, but if you are one of the participants and want more of you, shoot me an email (info@speeddeluxe.com), and I can send them your way. I’ve just set up a flickr account to share all of the photos from various events: https://www.flickr.com/photos/speeddeluxe/

Warming up, hanging out:

Warming up the bikes IMG_2394

Even dogs get cold
Even dogs get cold

 

 

Bandit  Yamaha  Suzuki Young rider

Riders meeting

 

 

Vintage class:

Airtime1 Airtime2 Husky IMG_2546 IMG_2535 IMG_2528 IMG_2508Kawasaki

More of the vintage class race can be viewed at our flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/speeddeluxe/sets/72157649050526967/

 

Modern class:

IMG_2636 IMG_2773 IMG_2788

More of the modern class race can be viewed on our flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129546386@N03/sets/72157649456622962/

Kids:

IMG_2935 IMG_2920

 

More of the kids’ class can be viewed on our flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/129546386@N03/sets/72157649456442872/

 

 

Next race is December 13 – hope to see you there!!

 

DiCE magazine

Dice 58

 

We also fell behind on our issues of DiCE magazine, but issues 57 and 58 are on their way and should be in the shop later this week.

Show Class Magazine

Issue 21 Cover

One of the perks of having your own shop is having an excuse to stock all of our favorite magazines, including Show Class magazine. If you haven’t checked it out, it always features some nice builds, and some nice “builds” in the why we come home section (one of Adam’s favorites).   🙂

We got a bit behind on the issues that we stock but have just ordered issues 20 and 21 to be in earlier next week. Come in and get your copy!

Jamie

 

Hondas, Hondas, and more Hondas

You tend to find that, once word gets out that you are interested in old bikes (and tend to amass them), they start coming out of the woodwork. As Adam was loading up his spoils (6 bikes – a different blog post) from an auction in Illinois, he was approached by someone who had 4 70’s Hondas sitting in his barn he was wanting to get rid of. While we weren’t looking to collect more, it was a price that couldn’t be passed up. He sent through some pictures, and we were sold. Adam and I took a trip and picked these up from central, rural Illinois (where I’m from originally).

4 Hondas       picking up more Hondas

 

We ended up with two CB350s, one CB450, and one CB125. The CB125 was the only bike that had been ridden regularly by the owner’s nephews. The other 3 had been purchased at various estate sales, and, as is usually the case, he had planned on getting them running again but never got around to it.

After we got it running well, I had some fun on the CB125 around town for a while (and it was fun), all in the interest of testing it out before we sold it. If I have to… (btw, we carry Biltwell helmets and bubble shields in the shop – I love mine!)

CB125 posing CB125

 

It was sad to see it go, but we sold it to a young man near Birmingham as his first bike. It’s funny – we saw it a couple of weeks ago at the Barber Vintage Festival, sitting on the side of the road. As we walked up to it to see if it was indeed “our” CB125, the owner walked up, and we had a chance to chat with him for a while. He was loving his bike, but, considering he was over 6 foot tall, I’d imagine he’ll be looking for an upgrade for next season.

The CB450 was featured in the motorcycle gallery and is being admired around Chattanooga.

 

The blue and white CB350 on the trailer in the photo above will be restored. It’s been torn down and is just waiting for its chance to receive some attention. The plan for the red CB350 has not been finalized, although it too has been torn down and is waiting for some attention. It is up for grabs if anyone’s looking for a CB350 that they want to ride…now’s the time to get it because you’ll have a chance to decide how it turns out!

The owner also threw in 4 single-cylinder Honda engines (XL125, SL125, CB100, CL100) just to get rid of them. All of those have been sold now, except the heads from the CB100. Seems a shame really, but we only have so much room.

If you’re wondering what’s been happening with my Ironhead, not much since I posted last….it’s waiting for its turn and a little cash infusion.

Will keep you updated on the CB350’s as they evolve.

Jamie

Evolution of a 1973 Harley Davidson Ironhead Sportster Chopper

Unlike Adam, I find it challenging to envision the finished product when looking at a motorcycle that is either in pieces or is something that starts out like this:

original condition

While this sportster was originally going to be Adam’s, for the sake of expedience, it has now become mine (my ’73 Ironhead Sportster is still in boxes, while this one at least ran).

Adam had started to turn it into this:

Adam's version

When I inherited it, it looked like this:

IMG_2178

I had already decided to turn my sportster into a chopper, although I’d never really imagined myself having a proper chopper. But the lines of the bike inspired me to have a king queen seat based on some of the photos I’d seen of other bikes in magazines. So, that’s where it began.

Of course, with a king queen seat, one must have a sissy bar. Adam, please make me a sissy bar that is taller than me when I’m sitting and a seat pan that goes up to about here. I wasn’t happy with the narrowed tank that Adam had on it, so a frisco sportster tank was in order. Next, I sat for a fitting for handlebars (ask Talon how that went):

IMG_2631

Some black paint on the tins and powdercoating on the frame, and it’s starting to come together.

IMG_2669  IMG_2686

Although each part on its own, including the trimmed seat, did not match what I saw in my mind’s eye, as it comes together, it is looking like the type of chopper that I wanted:

IMG_2690

Jerry at TJ’s Trim Shop in Soddy Daisy has made a few seats for us now and is always “excited” to see what challenge we have for him next. He was especially thrilled to hear that I wanted daisies on my seat, but he obliged, and they turned out well!

Next, finish the engine, front end, front and rear wheels (which will remain as the originals for now until I decide exactly what I want), and the final paint on the tank (will have to wait for photos for the final effect).

Will keep you updated on the progress….Jamie

Unraveling the history of a frame

Hello again everybody! If you read my previous post, you should be expecting a write up about the fabrication (or even the start of) my coffin tank. With Speed Deluxe being so busy during the day and the three of us having a laundry list each of things to knock out on our own bikes after hours, the “how to” for a coffin tank fabrication is going to have to wait until next time. This week I’m going to kind of “piggy back” on last week’s topic of sanding in preparation for painting and the history that can be hidden underneath.

First, I had to strip my Panhead’s Wishbone frame free of the chipping paint and cracking Bondo that covered it.

Panhead frame  Panhead frame  Panhead frame  Panhead frame

Panhead frame  Panhead frame  Removing the paint and bondo  Removing the paint and bondo from the frame

I used the same tools, safety gear and process from my previous post.

Safety first
Safety first

While inspecting what I would have to have repaired on the frame, I began to notice number and letter sets through out the frame.

photo 1-2  photo 3-4  photo 2-4  photo 1-4

photo 5-3  photo 4-3  photo 3-3  photo 2-3

photo 1-3  photo 5-2  photo 4-2  photo 3-2

photo 2-2

After writing all of the numbers and letters down and deciphering the small symbol that contains a three letter set inside a circle as DIF, I jumped on the ol’ interwebs to see what I could find out. As of right now I’ve only had a couple of things pop up. I found that the three letters DIF most likely refer to Deerborn Iron Foundry, a subsidiary of Ford motors, who would do castings. However, I did find something interesting regarding whether or not these parts where cast or forged. Most likely the frame is made of forged parts pieced together to create a custom frame because, according to a few members on the AMCA (Antique Motorcycle Club of America) website, “the grains of sand make sharp lettering almost impossible to achieve.”

I’m going to try and dig deeper and post the pics on chopcult.com or Jockeyjournal.com to see if I can drum up some information. If anybody has any input, PLEASE don’t hesitate to fire off an email or leave a comment! For now, here is a pic of the frame wearing it’s new color so damn well.

IMG_2659  IMG_2685

Until next time – Scott

Surprises while Sanding with Scott

 

 

Hello out there to everyone reading this in Internetland. My name is Scott, and I’m the vintage motorcycle service tech at Speed Deluxe. I needed to sand down and strip the paint and bondo off of the fuel tank from my 1948 Panhead chopper as part of my rebuild. I decided, with some persuasion from my boss Jamie, to document this procedure. Sit back, crack a beer and laugh at me, my first attempt at sanding and what I discovered waiting for me hiding underneath.

Here’s what I started with: a custom fabricated “alien tank” with some sketchy-at-best weld and repair jobs.

photo 1photo 2 photo 3 photo 4

 

First, I removed the tank badges. (Note the AMF name being run upside down because…well, read up on your Harley history.)

photo 5

 

Next, I put on my stylin’ safety equipment that included a face shield to protect my meal ticket, a respirator to protect my lungs and work gloves to protect my digits.

Safety gear

 

Then, I got crackin’! The tank began to reveal her secrets to me…

photo 2 - Copy photo 3 - Copy photo 4 - Copy photo 5 - Copyphoto 1 - Copy (2) photo 2 - Copy (2)

 

Check out the metal warping and all-around gnarlyness in that last pic. The boss-man, Adam, said it was more than likely due to someone heating and hammering the metal in an attempt shrink it.

photo 3 - Copy (2) photo 4 - Copy (2) photo 5 - Copy (2)

 

After getting all of the old paint and bondo removed, I closely inspected the entire tank with Adam only to discover we had a LOT MORE repairs and time to put into the tank than previously estimated. Since we’re on a pretty tight build schedule of a couple of weeks, Adam suggested that I instead try to tackle the repair job during winter and simply use a different tank now. We both agreed that since Speed Deluxe usually follows a “Built-not-Bought” credo, we should go ahead and plan out what kind of tank we would build from scratch.

Next week: HOW TO BUILD A COFFIN TANK!

 

Transitions

We’ve been fairly quiet on here lately. Through the first months after opening, we would have people stop in and ask if we serviced older bikes as well as build them. Given the slow process of builds and limited interest in them to start, we realized that we needed another revenue stream to help keep us going. So we picked up some service work, helped a few people get their garage builds or garage finds going. How do you balance what you want to do (building bikes) with the necessary work to stay in business, in terms of both time and money? Adam and I realized that there was a demand for work on older bikes, be it service or more major repairs/updates, and that he couldn’t do all of it and keep everything moving on a good schedule. In the meantime, we had a number of people stop in wanting to work in a shop like ours. We finally decided to take the plunge and bring someone on to help. Scott started with us a couple of days a week until we felt ready to commit having a full-time employee. He’s now been with us for a month, and it’s working well. The dynamic in the shop is good. We have things rolling through. We’d like to thank all of our customers for their patience during our time of transition.

We also realized that the godaddy web building tool wasn’t working with our vision of our website, so we bartered for some web development. It’s taken some time and isn’t quite the finished product yet. But, Scott, Adam, and I will be blogging on a regular basis now. So, please check back to read about what’s happening in the shop!

Until next time,

Jamie