Thursday, April 30, 2009

Gone but not Forgotten

This post is dedicated to my good friend:

Leonard 'Lemmy' Clark.

Len died Monday November 17th, 2008 at the age of 44.

This picture of Len and Lemmy Kilmister was taken after a show in April of 2000.

The Motörhead show had ended and we went across the street for a pint. After leaving we decided to head back to the theater where the bands bus was to see if there was anyone else out and about. As we walked up, the bus door opened and Lemmy walked out. All I can remember Len saying was "what's with the white boots man?" I don't think Lemmy heard us because he signed autographs and posed for a few snaps.

Here we are at the 'Leefy Lodge' in Oak Lake. Tequila shots for the boys. I was taking the pic so it was Snakes turn for a shot. There's Woodtick with his 'Kenora Dinner Jacket'. Lennys wondering why he ever sat down at the table. And Danno is just chilln' awaiting his turn.

Lenny loved life, loved his mates, loved it when we 'offered' free booze or food (which was cool by us) loved to travel and of course loved Motorhead.

We saw the band in concert a number of times together. After college I moved to another city and even though we didn't always keep in touch, all I had to do was pick up the phone, call Len and he'd find a way to get to the next gig.

Every time I hear the 'Ace of Spades' (actually any Motörhead song) I think of Lenny.

This is one of the coolest pics! Just loaded and camera in hand! All the boys in black and ready for the weekend at the 'Leefy Lodge'. Beer drinkers and hell raisers!

God speed Len - You are missed

Ace ♠

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Transformation Page #1

Creating the Motörheadster

The transformation began in the winter of 2008/09.
As mentioned in previous posts I purchased the Gimp handle bars first a few years back. I closed out the '08 riding season with the new bars on the bike.
Once I put the Harley up on blocks for the winter, I began the process of installing, fabricating and painting all the parts and new goodies.

The 5 1/2 inch Harley-Davidson headlight bucket was the second purchase.
The 'OG' head light, with it's classic eyebrow just didn't fit the look I was trying to achieve.

Nothing says bobber / custom like a big chrome headlight. It looks great and was relatively cheap. I bought it from a guy on a local buy & sell website.

The cost $30. The bucket came with it's own bracket, bolt and wiring.

You can see the internal wiring in this picture. Feeding the wires through the bars was easy.

I hid the wiring (from the bottom hole in the bars to tie into the head light bucket) using the black plastic tubing that covered the wires when they ran from the hand controls to the light.

The next item on the wiring agenda, the coil.

Moving the coil is no big deal, all you need is new plug wires and a bracket.

I picked up the wires from the local Harley shop, used a piece of metal off my garage door (cut it into shape & ground off the rough edges) and it was done. I simply made the bracket so it would fit on the existing motor mount bracket that doubles as a choke bracket. Again, another inexpensive and easy project you can do in your garage.

The next project I tackled was the seat.

The pictures just don't do it justice. It really came out well, even though it looks a little jagged with flat edges.
Don't get me wrong I'm no Paul Cox (incredible custom leather designer & bike builder) but it works.

Again it doesn't look great in the picture but what do you expect from a do it yourself job. I wasn't sure if I wanted to tackle it but after I realized my stapler could penetrate the vinyl and the seat pan, I grabbed the pliers and started pulling out old staples.

The seat now sits about 2" lower. In this picture I put the old foam next to the new seat and you can really get an idea of just how low it is.

The biggest surprise, in spite of the fact its only about an 1 1/2 high, it's actually comfortable! No kidding! I've hit some big potholes and driven on some rough roads (not intentionally) and I was shocked that I didn't break all the teeth in my head.

I'll add more pictures, if I can find them all, but for now that's it.
Please check out the other Transformation pages


Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Legend behind Motörheadster

The band is Motörhead, the man is Lemmy Kilmister. If you know anything about heavy metal, you'll know there is one name that's synonymous with the genre... Lemmy! I have been a fan since 1980. The first Motörhead album I bought was 'Overkill'. I have bought every album and disc they've made since. No matter the line-up, no matter the year... this band and it's front man mean one thing: "Everything louder than everything else".

In my opinion, there is no other band that optimizes what rock & roll is all about. While many so called 'Rock Icons' have either sold out, called it quits to live off their millions or they're simply playing reunion and/or final tours to squeeze as much cash out of their fans before they dry up and die... Lemmy rocks on! As you read this, I can all but guarantee Lemmy has just poured another Jack & Coke, lit up a Marlboro and is tuning his bass guitar for the bands next gig!

Some background:

Ian Fraser Kilmister or Lemmy to his friends and fans was born in Burslem, one of Stoke on Trent's northernmost towns, in 1946 and then lived in Newcastle and Madeley in the early years of his life.

And that's where the story of the front man of the loudest rock band ever started.
Son-of-a-vicar, Lemmy by degrees then became front man, singer/song-writer and bassist in the rock business - as one leather-clad, cigarette-smoking, Jack Daniels-swilling rock monster

That being said, when I bought the 98 Harley XL last year, I had no idea it would turn out like it did. I knew I would be chopping it up and customizing it but I didn't truly anticipate my favourite band, Motörhead would lead me to create the bike I know use as a daily driver. I bought the band decals on eBay and wasn't sure if I was even going to use them on the bike. They were for my truck. I guess it was destiny. All right... it was desperation!! They were the only decals I had at the time and I didn't want to leave the tank bare.

In the end, I can't imagine not having the decals on the tank and the Snaggletooth on the battery.

As the song goes... "The only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud" and when I roll up on the Motörheadster... it's good & loud!

Ace ♠

The Before Pictures

Well, here she is... the 'OG' 1998 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL 883 Hugger.

The bike was stock except for the bars, front turn signal mounts and pipes.

This is what the tank looked like before I took the sander to it. Not a bad paint scheme, it just didn't fit my idea of a cool bike.

Here is how the speedo looked in it's original position(it's now on the side of the engine). I have seen smaller gauges mounted on engines, but I still wanted all my lights and didn't want to pay big bucks for some thing I already had and worked just fine.

Notice the dual mirrors.
Now I have one, it's reversed and under the handle bars and I painted it black (of course).

The only modifications I made were the Gimp handle bars from Nash Bros. Motorcycles. I bought them for my XS650 project and decided they'd look a hell of a lot better on the Sporty.

The pipes are Screamin' Eagle. The original owner installed them and they sound great. There was some rust on the back side of the pipes and heat shields. Nothing sand blasting and paint couldn't handle.

The 'OG' seat was over stuffed and the buttons make it look hokey. I'm old school, so it had to go. It added over 2 inches to the ride height, however it was very comfortable.

(I will add more information in the near future)

Ace ♠

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Motörheadster (Read first it defines my Blog)

Welcome to Motörheadster.

This blog is dedicated to my two passions in life... Motörhead and my Harley-Davidson. I have combined both to create one sweet ride called the Motörheadster! My posts include everything from Motörhead's most recent tour dates, news about the band and their concerts... to customizing my bike, my motorcycle adventures and all that is related to motorcycles, metal and general mayhem. Enjoy.

Post update
**I have since painted the front lower legs black - check out the posts 'Lower Legs Painted' & 'Nice legs, Shame about the Face' for details and pictures**

Ladies & Gentlemen... "The Motörheadster"

1998 Harley-Davidson Sportster XL - Engine is stock
Two-tone paint, semi gloss black & flat black, white pin striping, vinyl decals from Rotten Remains eBay store.

12' Gimp handle bars (Nash Bros. Motorcycles) internal wiring
Front turn signals mounted on a bracket on the frame above the horn
Fork boots (gators) from Harley-Davidson

Cast aluminum 13-spoke rims and pulley were sand blasted & powder coated semi-gloss black
Low profile seat ('OG' seat pan just modified with new foam and black vinyl)

Heat shields were sand blasted, drilled & painted flat black
Sprocket cover is drilled, chopped & painted flat black

'OG' air cleaner painted flat black & pinstriped

(click on picture for close up)

Speedometer moved to lower left side of the engine, the bracket is painted flat black
'OG' coil moved to the side engine mount next to the choke.

The 'OG' gas tank has been raised above the original mounting holes (approx. 2") it gives it that "Frisco" look.

License plate Mounted on a bracket & moved to left rear lower shock bolt. License plate lights from Kapsco Moto eBay store.

Ignition ('OG') moved under the battery tray

5 1/2 inch chrome headlight bucket from Harley-Davidson

**I did all of the fabricating, painting, wrenching and soldering & wiring.**

Ace ♠