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Spirit of Munro

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FEATURED BIKES 8 50

Warrior of Death Rheault King

Welcome to the Promised Pan

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ON THE ROAD Back to the American Midwest

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INTERNATIONAL Two Chains by Thom Jones

COLUMNS 80 Old School 60 Her Say

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New Generation Our Readers Editorial

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Coming Soon

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Chief Editor : Pascal Richard Editor : Geneviève Fréchette Writers :  Pascal Richard, Charlie Lessard, André Bobinas, Catherine David, Becky Goebel, Liz Leggett, Dan Lim, Geneviève Fréchette Translation : Charlie Lessard, Kathy Blais Special Collaborators : Gilles De Sève, Thom Jones, Patrick Lambie, Francis Rheault, Edjo, Jason Parker, Curtis Bennett Photographers : Suzie Gauthier, Liz Leggett, Becky Goebel, Dan Lim, Patrick Lambie, Charlie Lessard, Pascal Richard, Catherine David, Lydia Jones Models : Warrior of Death : Amélie Blais-Lafortune Rheault King : Marilou Roy Graphic Design : Suzie Gauthier, Revolution Motorcycle Magazine Proofreader : Nicole Duchesne, Lorie Richard Prepress :  Photographique MF Inc. Printing :  Imprimeries Transcontinental Distribution :   Messageries Dynamiques (french) Coast to Coast (english) ISSN 1913-0082 Copyright 2007 Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec Bibliothèque Nationale du Canada Registration number Post Publication : 41471522 Advertising Consultant :  Pascal Richard : 514 726-5742 Web Site : Charlie Lessard Social Media : Becky Goebel Revolution Motorcycle Magazine is published 4 times a year. All rights reserved. Reproduction in total or in part of any article, photo or advertisement is forbidden without prior written permission from the Publisher of Revolution Motorcycle Magazine. Our office is located at 1302 Garden Ave. Mascouche (Quebec) J7L 0A4 Tel. : 514 726-5742 Fax : 450 477-9814 email :

revolutioncustom@hotmail.com Printed in Canada

www.

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Editorial BY pascal richard

Who has not at one time dreamed of twisting the throttle on

A little behind the competition with the target clientele, but

their motorcycle to speed well beyond the allowed limit ?

better late than never. A younger, more dynamic and trendy

Because I am a responsible person, I will tell you that there

line of motorcycles was introduced for Harley-Davidson’s

are specific closed tracks where you can do this and conse-

115th anniversary. Here’s hoping that the younger genera-

quently let off some steam in the process. One day I came

tion will get on board with the “Motor Company’s” shift.

across this movie - The World’s Fastest Indian - where a guy from Australia and his Indian Scout travel thousands

A quick summary : Eight new Softail models have arrived

of miles to realize his dream of breaking the speed record

with the new 107 ci or 114 ci Milwaukee Eight motor - this is

on the famous Bonneville Salt Flats. Last August, during

going to be so cool ! Other big changes include the chassis,

the Speed Week races in Utah, to commemorate the 50th

a new carbon steel tubular frame that is 17 kg lighter and

anniversary of Burt Munro’s record on this famous track,

65 % stiffer. As for the suspension, a mono shock absorb-

Indian Motorcycle paid tribute to this man : See Liz’s article

er under the seat provides comfort and easy adjustment.

in this issue. As for being a speed fanatic; all your dreams

The other modifications are aesthetic. The big news, that I

are permissible and achievable. Why wait or delay your

am very sorry about, is the withdrawal of the Dyna model,

ambitions ? We have only one life to live so enjoy it. Like

replaced now by a new Softail frame.

Burt Munro, reach for the top. Whether you’re waiting or hesitating to buy a new bike, I

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Speaking of dreams, we have been waiting for big changes

think that you will love the 2018 models. They will satisfy

from Harley-Davidson for many years now. Well, it’s done !

your dream of owning a legendary Harley-Davidson.

Revolution Motorcycle Magazine

EDITORIAL


Text : Gilles De Sève / Jean-Michel Samson Photos : Suzie Gauthier

I was 23 when I bought my first motorcycle from my brother-in-law, a 1988 Kawasaki ZL 600. I then joined the Valleyfield Motor-cycle Association. Every Wednesday evening, I would go to their coffee get-togethers. When I arrived, the guys would always joke : “Look, Gilles is here with his boat anchor.” Their comments bounced off me, I loved to ride and that was all that counted. Seven years later, I saw the Suzuki Marauder 800 at a motorcycle show. I thought it looked great, especially with the Cobra pipes. The next day, I went to Sport Boutin, because I knew that besides Harley-Davidsons, they also carried the Suzuki

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brand. So, I met the owner Donald Boutin and told him I wanted to buy the new Suzuki Marauder 800 model. Donald knew me a bit, since the gang and I often went there to talk about motorcycles, and he said : “No, I won’t sell you anything but a Harley-Davidson.” I answered : “No Donald, I can’t afford a Harley and the Marauder is cheaper.” So I left empty-handed. I finally bought the Suzuki Marauder in Laval. One evening, I went to show it to Donald and, good Lord, he said to me again : “Gilles, one day I am going to sell you a Harley.”

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A year later, on a Friday to be more exact, I arrive with the gang at his shop and there I see it, a Harley Dyna Wide Glide, not new but a 1996 that had been built like a Fat Boy with a lot of chrome and painted by Fitto. It didn’t take long before I had my first Harley. Donald Boutin was very proud of himself. My passion for riding continued. I had been riding an average of 20,000 kms every summer, since I began riding a motorcycle. In 2001, my first daughter, Cassandra, was born. At a family party, a newcomer joined us, 21 year old Jean-Michel Samson, my niece’s boyfriend. We talked about motorcycles, then he told me that two years earlier he had machined the handlebars of his fathers modified bike. Jean-Michel is a machinist, so I asked him if it would be possible to widen my rear wheel to make a 200. Jean-Michel answered “yes” right away and began explaining how he would do it. Wow ! Lots of details ! I could see that he was a fan. We met a few times and the subject was always the same. As we talked, he told me that he would like to someday build a motorcycle from A to Z. At that moment, the idea of having a handcrafted motorcycle started to bounce around in my head. In 2003, after the arrival of our second daughter Océane, I sold my Harley to my brotherin-law, the same guy who had sold me my first motorcycle. With the money from this sale, I started buying parts : a frame for a 200-mm rear wheel, like I wanted. I brought it all to Jean-Michel’s garage. Two years went by. I bought the engine, the transmission and the three-inch open belt. Jean-Michel had started making a frame table with his father Gaétan Samson. So, the frame I bought was ditched - Jean-Michel made one instead. Same thing for the rear wheel, I ditched that too, and bought a 250-mm wheel. Jean-Michel now had carte blanche. He wanted to throw himself into a project like this and he wanted someone who would trust him. I felt the same way. He wasn’t charging me for his time and I was paying for all the parts, that was our agreement, but damn I was anxious to start riding again.

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It was 2006, and things hadn’t progressed as I hoped they would, but I did understand. Jean-Michel married my niece, Mélanie Vernier, in 2005. My father died in the same year. I got married in 2006 and a third child was born in 2007 (my son Alexandre). In 2009, Guylaine, my wife, contracted the H1N1 flu with streptococcus and spent three months in intensive care. In the meantime, Jean-Michel and Mélanie’s family expanded to four children : Mégane, Lory, Mérédith and Olly, and he built three houses by himself. However, the project was not abandoned. We moved forward ! I call JeanMichel for news and tell him we could meet sometime and order more parts. Afterwards, I would go to his house on Friday nights and I see the project progress, slowly but surely. Without any plan to show me what the next step would be, what I could see was incredible. But still I wondered, “Will it ever be finished ?” Jean-Michel is very meticulous about details. Sometimes we would just talk or look at parts on the Internet, which meant evenings without even touching the motorcycle. He made an English Wheel. Wow ! You had to hold the metal plate firmly to be able to make it rotate on this machine, along with good blows from a hammer. It was not easy, but he managed to make the gas tank. Jean-Michel has amazing talent. As the project moved forward, we could tell that this would be no ordinary motorcycle. Jean-Michel showed great creativity, for example when he designed a part to hide the wires and hydraulic lines entering of the handlebars. Also for the rear lights that were quite a challenge. He made them to measure, directly in the fender. Same thing for the oil tank; it sits at the front of the bike as does the oil filter. One evening in early 2014, at Michel’s father’s garage, we decided that the project was ready for the home stretch. We talked about presenting it in Toronto, at the biggest motorcycle show in North America. Now we really had to get moving. Then, I wanted the best possible airbrush paint job on the bike. So, I called Martin (Fitto) Bouchard and said that I wanted to win the “Best Bike Award” at the show. He asked me what I would like, and I told him, “skulls and a medieval theme.” He took notes and I gave him carte blanche. The following year, once the motorcycle was assembled, Gaétan, JeanMichel’s father was our man for the wiring, as he had done it on his own motorcycle in the past. He still had his diagram and he helped us a lot. The moment of truth had arrived; we tried to start the bike. I filmed the scene to immortalize this great moment and vroom ! Both my arms were in the air as I shouted, “YES !” Then fifteen seconds later, nothing. “Three starts with always the same result.” The motorcycle started and then stopped and… nothing. We didn’t find the problem until the fourth day. The new spark plug wires were no good. We could not have known since they were hidden in the frame. After replacing them, the moment had arrived for the road test. I gave Jean-Michel the privilege of being the first to ride the machine. When he returned, something else had gone wrong; the front brake did not engage to its full power. After several attempts to solve this problem; we had to disassemble the fork to realize that the hydraulic line bent when the fork compressed. Once the line was changed, everything worked fine. Once the testing stage was finished, we had to dismantle everything to send the parts to the paint shop. Mario Léger did the moulding and base painting, after which I brought the painted parts to Fitto. Fitto called me in a few times so that I could see the progression of his work and each time I was speechless as I watched the masterpiece take shape. Wow !

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OWNER CITY

Gilles De Sève Valleyfield, QC

AccessoirIes

GENERAL Manufacturing Year / Make Model Assembly Time

J.M. Samson 2016 Softail Chopper J.M.G. Too long

ENGINE Year Model Builder Ignition Displacement Lower end Balancing Pistons Heads Cam Lifters Carb Pipes

2016 Rev Tech Rev Tech Twin Tec 110 c.i. Rev Tech Rev Tech Rev Tech Rev Tech Rev Tech Rev Tech Rev Tech Vance and Hines

Transmission Type Shifting

Rev Tech 6 speed

painting Painter Airbrush Color / type Special

SPECIFICATIONS

Carosserie Mario Léger Airbrush Fitto — Airbrush Fitto

FRAME Year Builder Type Rake Stretch Shocks

2016 J.M. Samson FXST Drop Seat 45 degrees 6” 2”

PhotographeR

Suzie Gauthier

Bars Scorpio — Handlebar Controls — Headlight J.M. Samson Tail light Dakota Digital Speedo — Dash Battistinis Pegs J.M. Samson Electrics J.M. Samson Gas Tank J.M. Samson Oil Tank — Oil System BDL Primary Stéphane Jean Seat J.M. Samson Front Fender J.M. Samson Rear Fender Rivco Mirrors Battistinis Grips

forkS Type Size Builder

Inverted Fork — American suspension

WHEELS FRONT Size Wheel Tire Brake

21” DNA Avon 80/90-R18 American Suspension

REAR Size Wheel Tire Brake

18” DNA Avon 250 / 40-R18 Performance machine

OTHER

Chocks : Custom cycle controle systeme (SAS) Special thanks : Gaétan Samson, Mario Léger, P.J. Machinage, Harley Vincent Model : Amélie Blais-Lafortune

Back at the garage with the painted parts, the most delicate work began because the paint cannot be scratched. Piece by piece, the motorcycle took shape and everything was progressing well. Oops ! As we put the fork back together, we realize that the painted patterns don’t line up properly, we forgot to tell Fitto that there was a particular way of putting the fork tubes in place. The option would be to remove a minute amount of paint at the end of the tubes with the lathe. Jean-Michel looked at me and said, “It’s your decision because there is a risk that the clear coat or even the paint could peel.” I crossed my fingers and told him, “Go ahead.” First fork tube - nothing happened. Same thing for the second tube. We put the tubes back into place and this time the paint patterns line up correctly. The project is finished. We were sitting down looking at the bike and Jean-Michel says, “Well, I certainly won’t be embarrassed to show what we did !” I sincerely thanked him and his father, Gaétan. Without them, this could not have happened. “If this bike wins any cash prizes, I will share it with you 50/50,” I said. And then we gave it a name. We chose “Warrior of Death”. Two days later, we left for the North American International Motorcycle Super Show in Toronto. Results : 1st Place - Best Metalwork / 1st Place - Best Paint / 2nd Place - Best Set Up / 2nd Place - Best in Show. Subsequently, Fitto invited us to exhibit the bike in his booth at the 2017 Bike & Tattoo Show in Laval in April. Once again, Jean-Michel’s work was rewarded as he finished first in the Radical class. Fitto also won the grand prize for painting, awarded by international renown bike builder and painter Dave Perewitz.

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Text and photos : Liz Leggett

In the 100 plus years of land speed racing on the salt flats of Bonneville there are many names that are synonymous with world record speed. Cobb, Campbell, Thompson, Breedlove, Arfons, Gabelich, and others, but you could be excused if they were not all familiar to the causal spectator. One name that is known to even those who may not be able to locate Bonneville on a map is Munro, Burt Munro.

A crusty old Kiwi from New Zealand who built a race bike out of an old 1920 Indian, Munro was perhaps more of an American ideal than many people in the States. He was a rebel, a bit of an outlaw, self-made mechanical whiz who never took “no” for an answer. He was working in a small garden shed, so his Indian Scout was an unlikely record setter bound for glory on the other side of the world on the barren surface of a scorching salt desert. He got his speed record at the age of 68 in 1967. The epic feat could have ended there and it would have been legendary like many other racers before and after him. Bonneville is filled with legends and stories of victory and defeat against the clock. But Burt’s story continued on, even after his death in 1978.Burt’s unlikely rise to fame introduced the slightly obscure sport of land speed racing to the world when Anthony Hopkins portrayed him in the 2005 feature film “The World’s Fastest Indian”. People around the world who had never seen a motorsport in their life became a fan of racing on the salt. Cars and motorcycles were constructed, records were set and dreams were broken simply because people’s hearts were captured by the true tale of Burt Munro. In 2013 the Indian Motorcycle Company decided to celebrate the upcoming 50th anniversary of Burt’s record run by constructing the “Spirit of Munro” based on their modern Indian Scout with a Thunder Stroke 111 engine modified by the Indian Motorcycle engineering team. “Burt and my granddad are first cousins, so their dads were brothers,” explained Lee Munro. “He was just sort of a relative who was into motorcycles that had a few trophies and was quite good. That was pretty much it while I was growing up.” Things began to change when word got out that Hollywood was interested in old Uncle Burt. “Before the movie came out it is hard to say you knew of his fame because I didn’t know anyone from Bonneville and I was only just getting into road racing myself. My first race was in 2003. I had a few people ask me if I was related to him in the following years because of all the hype surrounding the movie when it came out. People were saying there was this documentary about this guy, and asked if I was related ? I’d be like yeah I am but just didn’t think anything about it. He was just that guy who was related to my family, had some trophies and rode motorcycles.” Lee Munro may have been a rookie to land speed racing when he first sat on the Spirit of Munro at El Mirage CA but he was no stranger to racing motorcycles when he was approached to join in on the project with Indian Motorcycles. “I was pretty late getting into racing. I didn’t start downhill racing until I was 25 or 26. I was 28 when I started racing motorcycles,” said Lee.

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“John, Burt’s son, gave me a call last year around September and said if I would be interested in riding this bike. Indian is thinking about doing this tribute and John dropped the idea that it would be nice to do especially if Indian would put a family member on the bike. So then they (Indian) looked into my history and it was like OK, he can obviously ride a motorcycle, uh, it makes sense I suppose to have a Munro from Invercargill NZ, related to Munro, ride the Spirit of Munro,” explained Lee. “I dealt with John basically, I didn’t deal with Indian too much until we got the go ahead and everything was confirmed, which was in January of this year,” continued Munro. “Once we got the confirmation we began to have conference calls and started talking about what the bike would originally be and what we would expect from it.” The bike is a modified 2017 Indian Scout with a stock frame and bottom end for a motor with custom cylinders displacing 1299cc (the class limit is 1350cc). The top end is all custom with a unique intake and an exhaust that dumps directly out the side of the bodywork ahead of the rider. That sleek fairing is part of the streamlining to reduce the frontal area of the bike. The handle bars were narrowed to further reduce drag. The fuel tank is now a giant air box and the gas is carried in the custom tail section behind the rider along with the battery.

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The rear shocks have been replaced by solid aluminum struts of various lengths that allow the engineers to “tune” the ride height. Lee Munro’s introduction to land speed racing happened at California’s El Mirage dry lake bed months before Speedweek at Bonneville. The surface is dirt rather than salt but the purpose was to get his SCTA (Southern California Timing Association) license, a process of incrementally faster passes on the dusty course. He did exactly that while the engineers gathered vital data and Lee set a record of 186 mph. It was time to focus on the salt flats. “I’m not afraid to go fast, the only thing is you wonder what is the surface going to be like, it’s not apprehension… more like you have a vague curiosity about it. Before I rode the bike obviously I didn’t know what (the bike) was going to go like or be like but once we went and rode at El Mirage, the bike proved it had a lot of potential and I was quite excited to get to Bonneville and have a bit more room to stretch the legs of the bike and see what we could get out of it. Actually going to Bonneville, I got a chance to do something special and it happened to be with the same people that Burt stamped his mark on the world with. It was a very special thing to be part of and that wasn’t lost on me at all,” said Lee.


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A very special bike was on display in the Indian pit area… looking like an old tangle of bike parts from a scrapyard it was instantly recognizable to any fan of the movie. One of the two replicas of Burt Munro’s race bikes built for the movie was there to bring the hairs on your neck to attention. As the sun dipped behind the mountains that flank the race course, the film was shown with director Roger Donaldson present. “I watched the movie that night on the salt. I watched it with John (Munro),” said Lee. “And we were stoked with the reaction that we got, the joy that it brought people, the laughs. It was all good, a special moment for sure,” Lee continued. The harsh race course offers no sentiment for old bikes or old racers and it was soon time to get serious again. The tracks were quickly degrading under the abuse of thousands of horsepower from the competitors. “We got two runs on the long course. I qualified for the long on my first run. So we chose to run the short course just to test something. The second pass on the short was just to get data and that gave us a theory for the next day. The very first run of the long course was really, really bumpy and the bike would just bounce off the ground and the motor would spin up. Every time it would spin up you would have to get off the

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throttle a little bit and let it track again, and then start winding it on again and so it was hard to get the thing wound full on all the way because of the wheel spin,” said Lee. The organizers moved the course by several hundred feet after a major incident involving a car - good hard surfaces were becoming difficult to find. “All we got was one run and I think it was at about Mile 3 where it all went a bit south and I got a big slide and she shimmied me out but I got her back on track again; it was about 182 miles an hour. I didn’t lose any speed, but back up at 182 or so I got another big slide sideways. That was about Mile 3-1/2 or 4. I thought oh well, bugger it, we’re wasting time out here, we’ll get her back in and hope for better conditions tomorrow,” said Lee. Despite their efforts and hopes, the Spirit of Munro would not achieve the goal of breaking the 200 mph mark and the reward of a coveted red hat awarded only to those in the 200 MPH Club. Was Munro and Indian defeated ? Not by a measured mile ! “The record we set at El Mirage was 186.681 mph and our first run on the short course, my very first run at Bonneville was the fastest at 191.286 mph. From the start we were lucky to have had good conditions. On our second run, the track had just turned to mush, you know, the water had come


up and the salt had gone quite mushy; it was almost like wet snow and the track had got quite bumpy. All we could do was like 185 and 187… it was awesome but a little frustrating that we couldn’t better that first run,” said Lee. With the combination of a 10 mph headwind and the equivalent of an altitude of 6,000 feet with a soggy track surface, there was not going to be a run better than his first. “We only had a budget to be there as far as having the team and the bike there for the first three or four days. So come Tuesday, our mechanic guys were testing their own bikes and the team guys had all gone home by then. We were pretty much all packed up and on Wednesday. The bike was gone so we couldn’t have got any more runs even if we wanted to. We know it would have been keen to have been there the whole week and just do continual runs but at the end of the day, it was a big group of guys and to take them away from work for so long, well you can’t do that you know. They’ve got a business to run ! We achieved what we wanted to do and

that was to come down and do 190 plus miles an hour. So we were lucky we got the conditions right on the first run. It was pretty hairy but good fun, you know. It just made me more determined to come back and be stronger next year hopefully, if you know what I mean. If we get a chance to use their bike again and get the guys from Indian to back it, I’ll be there in a heartbeat. I have unfinished business with Bonneville. I have a red hat to get,” laughed Munro. Will he return with Indian and the Spirit of Munro ? “It’s in the pipeline, it’s something we’d all like to do but obviously there are people who make those decisions. We’re looking at doing some more stuff with it. It’s not ready to be put in mothballs yet,” said Lee. As old Burt Munro was known to say, “I just want one good run.” It looks like the addiction of salt fever has infected another generation of the Munro clan. Lee Munro will no doubt be back to that great white desert looking for his next good run.

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Speedweek for 2017 was another race filled with unknowns for the racers… the usual questions in the minds of builders who had worked for a year of more to squeeze more speed out of their ride or the uncertainties of a completely new bike. Would this be the year for the joy of a new record or the agony of a mechanical defeat ? First and foremost on everyone’s mind… what would the salt be like in August ? The surface was extremely fragile in 2016 after two consecutive years of cancelled racing due to flooding. Had time allowed the natural surface to heal sufficiently for record speeds ?

SHINYAH KIMURA

The answer was soon apparent on the first day of speed trials. Rumours turned into reports of a very rough track on the short course, the one most often used for motorcycles. Traction was tough to find within the first mile due to the moist salt. The mushy salt was increasingly rutted after each pass of a car, truck or bike. Soft spots could be found anywhere along the five miles reaching to the white horizon. This would be a tough year on riders and their machines but no racer is tougher than a Bonneville rider. They travel from around the world to face the blinding light, unrelenting heat and pure white salt under the dazzling blue sky. As if this were enough to thrill any racer or mechanic, this year saw the return of the most famous name in Bonneville motorcycling history… Munro. The family lineage of Burt Munro who rode his hand-built streamlined 1920 Indian Scout to fame on the Utah salt lake was back and back to race for a record. World famous thanks to the feature film, “The World’s Fastest Indian”, old Burt’s spirit was felt by everyone.

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It’s impossible to know for sure but that one movie has inspired untold hundreds of motorcycle builders and racers to try their hand at setting a land speed record of their own. To this day there is a disproportionate number of bike entries at Speedweek even though there is a “bike-only” event dedicated to the pursuit two-wheeled enthusiasts just two weeks later. People want to be a part of this crazy mix of long distance drag racing and the Burning Man festival. All shapes and sizes of machines compete in dozens of classes with engines as small as 50cc up to dual-motored twin monsters with blowers and turbos fuelled with nitro. Harley’s are a naturally perennial favourite with their big cubic inches and loads of torque. They are a well suited for the horsepower required for Bonneville. Some people come to bonneville on a quest to make their mark in the record book, some led there by the exploits of their family like Lee Munro racing for Indian. Then there those who are quietly completing unfinished personal business. Richard Klinger held two records and had plans to race there in 2017. He passed away just months before Speedweek but his father Frederick was there for his son. Wearing leathers for the first time in seven years, Frederick paused for a moment at the starting line with his head bowed in silence. The big twin roared to life and with a nod from the Starter he road down the course with his son’s ashes strapped to the frame. One more pass down the salt. That’s just the kind of place Bonneville is. By the end of the week of racing, 52 new records had been set by 37 motorcyclists.

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international

Text and photos : Becky Goebel @actuallyitsaxel

Thom Jones was born in Longview, WA and has been in the Pacific North West area ever since. He has been building bikes since 2010 with his first build being a 63’ HarleyDavidson Panhead. This year, Thom was invited to build a bike for Born Free 9. We saw it at the show and knew right away it needed to be featured in Revolution Motorcycle Magazine. The chopper scene in Washington is a bit bare but with Thom’s skateboard, chopper and furniture-building background, the guy has wicked style and built a bike to prove it. “I grew up pursuing a career as a professional skateboarder, but pretty much wound up being a professional drug addict. I got clean, went to Parsons in New York, started a furniture company in 2000, then spent the last 17 years trying not to go broke. I’m probably best known for my furniture. I got into bikes as a way to escape my wood shop and still be creative. It quickly turned into a sickness for which there was no end in sight,” Thom said.

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Thom has had enough time in between running a furniture business and starting a family to build his fair share of old Harley-Davidson choppers. His builds have been featured in large motorcycle magazines and shows across the states and Canada. His claim to fame was building bikes that looked like they were recently “dragged out of the ocean” so for him, this Born Free bike build was a bit of a contradiction and he’s showed that he can pretty much build anything. As Thom explained, “I built this bike as an invited builder for Born Free 9. It was a bike I had wanted to build for over five years but because it was going to be such an immense pain in the ass, I needed a good reason to build it. Born Free was that reason. If you are going to be invited to do a bike for the biggest vintage motorcycle show on the planet, you need to bring the heat.” His “Two Chains” 45’ Magnum Chopper was Thom’s first Born Free build. This bike is a 45’ Flathead bottom end with a 57’ Ironhead top end. Aside from the paint done by Denis Babin, Thom is a fabricator and pieced the thing together

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himself. Because the bike is so much different than what Thom usually builds, he wanted to go over and above, and tried his best to throw in as many “firsts” as he could. “I am most proud of the frame, front end, engine and throttle. As far as I know, no one has ever done a VL wishbone frame (using 45’ VL and BT frame parts), a low bend Finch VL springer, a dual front head magnum engine (there has been plenty of dual carb magnums, but never a dual front head magnum as far as I could find) and finally a dual Superpractic B throttle (they made a dual cable, but it didn’t look anything like this and as far as I know, no one has ever been stupid enough to do this to one),” Thom said. As Thom built this bike from the ground up, he started posting his work online through his Instagram : @semigoods. The first thing that viewers noticed was the frame he posted up when he first announced he was an official Born Free builder. “My favourite part of the bike is the frame. I spent over 150 hours sweating apart two frames and cutting up another to


make this one single frame. I had no idea what I was doing or how hard it would be to do this. So when it actually got accomplished, I almost couldn’t believe it. It was definitely my proudest moment ever as a metal fabricator,” Thom said. There’s a lot of complicated work on this bike so I asked him, “what was your biggest hurdle ?” His answer : “Everything… I have never done anything like this and it completely kicked my ass. It’s still kicking my ass, to be honest, and I don’t think

I will ever do this again. I’m gonna go back to building Panheads and Knuckleheads that go fast, they’re much easier.” I rode my Sportster chopper down to Seattle to see Thom’s work space, his other bikes and get to know him a little bit better. His little two-car garage is filled with choppers, little dogs, engines, tools and all the collectables you could imagine. It’s the place he gets most of his work done and it’s something to see.

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“It’s actually a walled-in carport, so it’s smaller than an actual garage. It has super low ceilings, no wall space, and is pretty much the definition of 10 lb of shit in a 5 lb bag. It’s a miracle I don’t kill myself working in there, it’s such a nightmare,” Thom said. I was at Born Free 9 for the last issue of RMM and noticed right away that this bike seemed to sit in the shadows from photographers, viewers and the media. I asked Thom why he thought the bike wasn’t as much of a hit as it should have been : “People definitely weren’t ready for this bike. Well, at least most people weren’t. People think it’s a Sportster, and I don’t have time to explain to them all the work that went into it, so it goes unnoticed. If it’s not a Knucklehead, nobody gives a shit. This bike took me five years to dream up and almost a year of working every single day to make it happen,” Thom said. We appreciate the bike Thom ! Thanks for putting it all out there for us. I can’t imagine being a builder and starting another build from the ground up after putting so much work into a bike like this but when I got to Thom’s place, I noticed a fully pieced together Knucklehead in his garage. “I am finishing up a 1945 HD Knucklehead race bike for a client in Canada who is going to The Race of Gentlemen to take a crack at stomping some boys on the beach. I’m extremely excited about this one. I am also building a full show 56’ Panhead for a client in California. Those bikes along with my own projects should keep me pretty busy in the next year,” Thom said. Over the past seven years, lots of iconic bikes have come out of Thom Jones’ walled carport. We’ve been keeping in touch with him and will be posting lots more of his bikes through our social media pages. Keep your eyes open : Revolution Motorcycle Magazine Instagram : @revolutionmotorcyclemag Revolution Motorcycle Magazine Facebook Page : Revolution Motorcycle Magazine Revolution Motorcycle Magazine Twitter : @RevMotorcycleM

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INTERNATIONAL


Text and photos : Dan Lim @themotofoto

For the average person, the words Freedom and Machine conjure up many different visions. For me, and for those who love the life on two wheels, these words have more significant and perhaps, specific meanings. Straddling a tank full of gas, with a hot combustible engine beneath you, with an endless road as far as the eye can see would certainly be one of those visions. So when an event like Freedom Machine Show comes along, well… the instant images from a biker’s point of view is nothing short of over the top excitement.

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NEW GENERATION


new generation

The Freedom Machine show, now in its 3rd season, is all about showcasing vintage, custom and antique motorcycles of all makes and models. Classic restorations, retro bikes, choppers, bobbers, and cafe racers, showcasing the extensive and varied talents of builders from all over Ontario, Quebec, and New York. Even the majority of bikes from the attendees, were in one way or another customized or modded out, to reflect the personality of the owners. How appropriate that hashtags #stocksucks, #builtnotbought hold true, in the spirit of Freedom Machines. The show was conceived by lifelong friends, Jay Tyrrell, Neil Lounsbury and Ivo Zielinski, to share their love of riding, motorcycles, and the moto culture with an ever growing moto community. I was invited to be a show artist to display my photo work in the art tent in year two, but I’ve been coming to this show since the beginning. Right from the inaugural year at Frontier Ghost Town, you can immediately sense that this was going to be something special. A faux western town (used for concerts, music festivals, and private functions), with all its grittiness, dirt roads, ramshackle buildings, infused with some Haight Ashbury hippie vibe lends itself as the perfect backdrop to host this iron horse event. In fact, getting dusty and grimy from the dirt road as you roll in, is part of the course, as that seems to set the tone for the day’s event.

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Lined up in front of the saloon building on Main street, is where all the featured bikes by the invited Showcased Builders were displayed. Bikes as different as their creators, all fabulous works of art and superlative craftsmanship. Some of these bikes incite the urge to jump on it in a nano second and rip on it hard and fast as it was designed to do. Others look so beautifully crafted that I can proudly see it displayed on my living room floor like a piece of art sculpture, with all the intricate details, admired over and over again. Machines created by incredibly talented builders like Jason Parker Race Cars,

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Cycleworx Custom Motorcycles, Ted Hale and Clockwork Motorcycles, just to name a few, were the perfect eye candy for a bike porn photographer, like myself. In particular, Jason Parker’s late 50’s, early 60’s chopper style 1958 Panhead with the “tangelo” pearl orange, with a candy fade paint job by Connery Custom Paint, was a show stopper. The colour contrast with the abundance of polished chrome acted like a beacon from four corners of Main street, a stellar bike, as you would expect from a build by Jason.


Grant Schwartz 1980 Shovelhead named Hdn4hell

Robbie James’ winning entry in the Rat Bastard Build-off

Jason Parker’s 1958 Panhead

Hdn4hell, a stunning 1980 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead Hardtail build by Grant Schwartz with its Paughco Springer front end, and killer paint job by Don Straus of Tonto Designs, were among my favourite builds for this year. You know a bike is speaking to you when you can picture yourself riding that beauty all over town. New to this year’s edition of the Freedom Machine show was the Rat Bastard Build-off. As the name would infer, The Rat Bastard Build-off was an open invitation competition to

anyone with a big enough mojo to build a bike (chopper, tracker, cafe racer, or whatever your mind can conceive). Any bike. The criteria was to make it a rideable, road worthy bike with an extremely tight deadline and to a maximum budget of $1,200.00 ! This criterion is quite the challenge, forcing the entrants to think outside of the box. Congratulations to Robbie James on being crowned Champion, for the first annual Rat Bastard Build-off ! I can’t wait to see what next year’s entry will bring simply because you never know what you’re going to see at the Freedom Machine Show.

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Christian Newman’s Knucklehead

Back for the second year of the show is the Homegrown Heroes section. Builders who build, not as a means to a living, but create for their reasons and gratifications. At first glance, you’d think these bikes were also part of the Showcase Builders, and you wouldn’t be wrong in your estimation. The obvious labour of love to these machines was evident in the quality of the build as well as the creative eye behind the aesthetics of the bikes. Christian Newman’s Knucklehead left me speechless ! This bike takes “custom” to a whole other level of “Holy shit,” unabashed gawking. An engineer by trade, Christian designed, fabricated and assembled what he needed for this bike. About the only things that were original were the 1940 motor, transmission, tires, chainring, brake rotor and some hardware. With the attitude of “it ain’t right till it’s right” in the eyes of the creator plus about 3500 working hours into the creation of this bike, the result speaks for itself. And that, ladies and gentlemen, tells me everything I need to know as to the passion and determination of this very cool, funny and understated Dude. It’s no wonder The Stainless Knucklehead (aptly named) was invited to be one of 26 invited builders to Born Free 9 where he won for Best Knucklehead as well. Bravo Dude. Bravo !

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As always, one of the highlights of the show is the giveaway bike. This year was no different, of course. A custom 1978 Honda CB750, beautifully reborn from the highly skilled hands of Rob Cloutier at Bullit Custom Cycles. I saw this bike before its reincarnation and let me tell you; I wish I had taken a before and after photo to show the difference. With help from Honda Canada, Hustle Machine, Prong Built, Sturgess Cycle, Allstate Tires, Dime City Cycles and Black Widow Custom Paint, the collaborative effort with Rob at the helm transformed the CB into a sleek, black and green, stunning beauty of a cafe racer. Highly anticipated, often humorous with comments from the eager crowd before the draw, you can feel the excitement from everyone hoping that they have the golden ticket in their possession. Although they would be happy for the eventual lucky winner, you know that secretly in their hearts, there’s a tinge of jealousy because they didn’t win. That’s how beautiful this year’s giveaway bike was, and the other two bikes from previous years. Oh, and by the way, the lucky winner was Amanda Rose. Fist pumping, yelling, jumping all the way to the stage and beyond. I really couldn’t be happier for her (wink, wink).

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No motorcycle show is ever complete without the customary vendors and sponsors. The show is steeped in its grassroots vibe, so it was fun to see a major sponsor like Honda Canada stepping into the fold seamlessly with its selection of bikes curated specifically for the show, which took nothing away from the independent vendors who bring a lot of personality and swag to the table. The likes of Hog Town Cycles, Town Moto, Chop Cult, Rolling Chaos, Chop Shop Industries, Le Cafe Racer and all brought their “A” game along with returning sponsors Lucas Oil, Blackhorse Cycle, Resurrecxion Cycles, Revolution Motorcycle Magazine, Sturgess Cycle and Dalton Timmins Insurance. This year the Freedom Machine team brought in a gorgeous lady barber for those who wanted a free haircut. You could try your hand at chucking an axe to release some frustration or bragging rights that you can hit the target, put on by the fine people at BATL. By far Freedom Machine Show is my favourite event that I look forward to attending every year. Not just for the fabulous bikes and vendors, but also to hang with old friends, and always making new ones in the moto community. The after party band, The Greasemarks, played its brand of hardcore Rockabilly music, hard and furious much to the delight of the attendees. Those who camped overnight were treated to a bonfire, partying and socializing to wrap up the night’s festivities, well into the morning. About the only negative aspect of this year’s show was the weather, 2017 being the riding season of rain, it wasn’t entirely shocking the day started out in the rain. Fortunately, the weather did not dampen the excitement, nor did it take away the chill and relaxed vibe from all who came to the show. As Jay Tyrrell said, “The people that braved the weather to come to the show are the people that really wanted to be here. We are just the caretakers of Freedom now. It is the participants : the people, the riders that make the run up to Frontier Ghost Town on their timeless vintage styled custom choppers, bobbers, cafe racers and antique motorcycles. The Showcased Builders and Homegrown Heroes that own the show and make the show what it is and what it will become and for that we are humbled and truly grateful.” Well said, Jay. Well said. See you next year, Freedom Machine Show !

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Text and photos : Patrick Lambie

Cruising along at 36,000 feet somewhere over Colorado heading home to Calgary, it is an ideal time to reflect on my first visit to Hollister, California and the annual Independence Rally. It seems surreal that it was just three days ago when a very delayed flight deposited me in San Francisco and the pilot’s arrival announcement of the 64-degree temperature left me scrambling to try and remember how to convert between Fahrenheit and Celsius. Fortunately as San Francisco and the bay area fell into the rear view mirror, the perpetually overcast sky cleared and the temperature quickly soared to 100. I still haven’t mastered the conversion, but it was definitely hot. Disappointed that the realities of travelling on a holiday weekend, would delay my Hollister experience by a day, I took advantage of the downtime and spent a few hours researching the history of this rally that celebrates what has been referred to as the birthplace of the American biker. Other rallies can claim to be older or larger but the events of the 1947 July fourth weekend in this small town located an hour and a half south of San Francisco are permanently cemented in the history of motorcycle culture. It all started on the Thursday evening when motorcyclists began arriving in Hollister for an American Motorcyclist Association rally. It quickly became evident that the town and in particular their minimal police force of seven officers were not going to be big enough to accommodate or control the crowd which had swelled to more than 4,000 riders. Undoubtedly a significant amount of alcohol was consumed and the types of behaviour associated with large alcohol fueled gatherings of this nature, such as public drunkenness, fights, and general commotion ensued. Hearing of the happenings in Hollister, it wasn’t long before reporters and photographers descended on the town anxious to get the story that would put them on the front page. This is the point where accounts of the weekend diverge. According to reported statements from witnesses the resulting media coverage was overly dramatic in its coverage, relying on embellishment and exaggeration to create a more newsworthy item. In fact arguably the most famous photo taken that weekend depicting an intoxicated motorcyclist sitting on a bike surrounded by empty beer bottles was discovered to have been staged after it had been published in Life Magazine.

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While the exact details of the American Motorcyclist Association rally held on that infamous weekend 70 years ago will forever be clouded with questions and speculation as to the extent that it was sensationalized by the media, it is a fact that the so called “Hollister Riot” was the subject of a Frank Rooney’s short story that would serve as the basis for the movie screenplay of the Wild One. The groundbreaking 1953 movie starring Marlon Brando as Johnny Stabler, the misunderstood leader of the Black Rebels Motorcycle Club, was the original biker film and is regarded by many as the launching point of a cultural phenomenon that continues to impact fashion, lifestyle and America’s love affair with the motorcycle. In 1997 the city of Hollister decided to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Hollister Riot by holding the Hollister Independence Rally. The rally ran annually until it was cancelled in 2009 but returned in 2013. While no accurate counts of participants are available, reported estimates of attendance during the three day event range as high as 100,000. Arriving in Hollister early the next morning, I was eager to experience and document this annual pilgrimage of ten of thousands of motorcyclists arriving to pay tribute to the home of a biker legend. Sitting empty the downtown streets are a reminder that the construction of shopping malls and power centres on the outskirts of bedroom communities like Hollister often results in desolate downtown cores that the local tourism bureau prefer to describe as historical character. By 10 a.m., the four blocks of San Benito Avenue designated for motorcycle parking started to fill up. There is no shortage of activities at the Hollister rally, with vendors set up along adjoining streets, a beer garden, stunt shows and multiple bars, including the Wild One’s namesake Johnny’s located right in the middle of the strip. Looking to try and win over some new customers, Indian Motorcycles had by far the most ambitious display at the rally, taking over the Veteran Memorial Building and grounds with motorcycles, apparel, entertainment and a bar. However the main attraction is the thousands of motorcycles parked on and cruising along San Benito Avenue. By midday, it has become an unbelievable sea of chrome, paint and leather. While Triumph was the motorcycle of choice for Mr. Brando and the gang members in the Wild One, this rally is a naturally occurring advertisement for HarleyDavidson. While there are some other brands and even the odd sportbike, for every non V-twin motorcycles, there are at least 100 that are and the majority of those were made in Milwaukee by the manufacturer with the famous bar and shield logo.

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Working my way along the street photographing the sights and sounds of this rally that was now in full swing, there is everything from perfectly restored vintage machines to the most recent models to one of a kind ground up custom builds that can only be described as works of art. I also noticed that while it is still all about the bikes, a lot of other things have changed since over the last 70 years. While the some of the facts of the 1947 rally remain open to debate, thanks to the advent of the cell phone modern days, motorcycle rallies are apparently among the best documented events on the planet with literally every bystander, passenger and even a few riders in non-stop selfie and video mode. For those who were capturing their memories on video, I am not sure how the audio component will work out. Put this many motorcycles in the same place and the combined sound of the engines is both raw and contagious. Adding to this aural sensation in 2017 is the increasing quality and prevalence of sound systems housed on board many of the motorcycles at the rally. The resulting blend of roaring V-twins with a simultaneous offering of heavy metal, country, blues and Caribbean music definitely defies description. One generally agreed fact about the original rally was that the local police force did not have sufficient manpower to properly oversee the safety of the participants or bystanders at the rally. In 2017, it was a different story all together. The police presence during the rally was substantial, highly visible and effective. During the two days I spent at the Hollister rally I did not witness a single altercation between law enforcement and motorcyclists. Despite the attendance of some 1 % motorcycle clubs (not to mention another 100 or so other clubs and associations), one member of the Sheriff’s Department, I spoke to confirm that the crowd was well behaved and explained that one of the main priorities for law enforcement was to maintain crowd control and keep a clear path on the main strip to accommodate the bikes cruising back and forth. By 4 p.m. on Sunday, the 2017 edition of the Hollister Independence Rally was largely wrapped up with most of the remaining activity coming from vendors trying to sell off their remaining event t-shirts to the last stragglers. I spent some time talking with a couple of Hollister residents who are hopeful that the rally will continue. City council’s decision to proceed with the 2017 rally was not made until December 2016 and was the subject of substantial debate. Ultimately the financial influx to the city swayed the decision towards a positive result. While the locals understand and acknowledge the monetary impact, they also hope that the decision makers understand that the Independence Rally put Hollister on the map and they would like to see it stay there. I for one hope they get their wish, because I would really like to go back.

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FEATURED BIKE


FEATURED BIKE Text : Francis Rheault – Photos : Suzie Gauthier

This 2014 custom Bagger took shape in May 2017. The Rheault Motorcycle team wanted this bike to be a project out of the ordinary, so we ordered an impressive list of parts. In the meantime, Daniel Héroux, one of our clients from the L’Assomption region, contacted us and expressed his desire to own a distinctive Road King. We had previously sold him a Night Rod No Limit Custom turbo with 300 mm tire. A few days after discussing his Road King project, Daniel came to the shop and we put all the ideas together. Then the project took off. We put everything we had into making a dream bike for Daniel Héroux.

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We developed custom handlebars for a sporty riding position with a sleek look. The frame was modified in the shop and a HHI short neck was installed and welded by the Rheault Motorcycle team. We then ordered a 30-inch oversized wheel from SMT Machining and to ensure customer safety, we added a dual caliper 18-inch disc brake system from Wilwood. The paint work was entrusted to DL Custom Cycle, a young company with great potential located in Ste-Sophie, Quebec. Daniel wanted the Candy Apple Red colour - the same as his corporate logo. Daniel works in the construction field, more specifically in insulation. The number 48 at the front represents the 4th and the 8th letters of the alphabet, that is to say his initials D and H, hence the name of his company “DH Isolation.” The Harley-Davidson logo on the back of the bike was changed to “No Spring Limit” instead of “Motorcycle” and obviously derives from the term “No Speed Limit.” Why replace “Speed” with “Spring” ? Because Daniel’s nickname is “The Spring.” His snowmobile racing buddies gave him the nickname because he was “the” guy to beat on the lake. The motorcycle seat was made by expert Rod Alves, using premium Alcantara leather, as is used for Ferrari seats. The cells are embroidered in red to represent polyurethane cells, which represent his insulation company. On the performance side, we installed a turbo brand Trask Typhon in this beast and changed the cams, which enables a hefty 130 HP. Ferguson Performance engine modification expert Yvan Ferguson modified the engine heads and exhaust ports to facilitate expended gas and thereby improve performance. If you add muscle to the engine, you have to add muscle to the clutch system so it doesn’t slip during acceleration. Ferguson Performance modified the clutch by installing a high-performance Barnett Lock-up system. The photo shoot for this motorcycle took place at the Brasserie McAuslan on the banks of the Lachine Canal. The Terrasse St-Ambroise offers a magnificent view of the canal and is part of the Brasserie. A very nice place in the city, to stop and have a beer and enjoy nature.

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FEATURED BIKE


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OWNER CITY

Daniel Héroux L’Assomption, QC

AccessoirIes

GENERAL Manufacturing Rheault Automobiles Division Moto Year / Make 2014 Harley-Davidson Model FLHR Road King Assembly Rheault Automobiles Division Moto Time 8 weeks

ENGINE Year Model Builder Ignition Displacement Lower end Balancing Pistons Heads Cam Lifters Carb Pipes

2014 103 pc Twin Cam Harley-Davidson Stock Stock Stock Stock Stock — 255 SE SE Trask Typhon —

Transmission Type Shifting

OEM —

painting Painter DL Custom Cycles Airbrush Rheault Automobiles Division Moto Color / type Candy Apple Special —

FRAME Year Builder Type Rake Stretch Shocks

PhotographeR

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SPECIFICATIONS

2014 OEM Short Neck HHI 26 OEM + 11 Tab + 9 — Air Ride Front and Rear Suzie Gauthier

MV Precision Bars Arlen Ness Handlebar Controls Speed by Design Headlight Tail light Rheault Automobiles Division Moto Dakota Digital Speedo Rheault Automobiles Division Moto Dash Custom Pegs — Electrics Gas Tank Rheault Automobiles Division Moto — Oil Tank — Oil System Arlen Ness Primary Rod Alves - Custom Upholstery Seat Front Fender Rheault Automobiles Division Moto Top Shop Bagger Rear Fender Mirrors Arlen Ness Grips Précision MV

forkS Type Size Builder

Stock — Harley-Davidson

WHEELS FRONT Size Wheel Tire Brake

30” SMT Machining Vee Rubber 18” Rotor, Wildwood Caliper

REAR Size Wheel Tire Brake

OTHER

— OEM — — Turbo Trask Typhon Kit Model : Marilou Roy


Text : Charlie Lessard – Photos : Courtesy of HOGTUNES

Ok, so yes I ride a flat-black bagger. I call it my RMM work truck. It carries my change of clothes, rain gear, sunscreen, glasses, gloves, bungee cords, a map book (yes, I still have one of those), my camera bag, some spare magazines, a cooler, a few tools and some lube. Anyhow I like my bagger. It’s comfortable as fuck, I can ride for hours without getting tired, I can pack a shitload of gear “and” I can listen to my favorite tunes while rippin’ down the road. Yes a “radio”… my bike has a radio. Now before you go calling me a pussy or believe I wear leopard motif underwear, or think that I get pedicures or assume that I trailer my bike to Sturgis (not that there’s anything wrong with that

), I’ll have you know that I’ve earned the right to have a radio ! I have !… I’ve crossed Canada on a 1984 FLHS, rode

(1)

my 1989 FXRS to Sturgis, racked up the mileage on my 1996 Road King “and” in a few years from now I’ll be eligible to start getting 10 % senior discounts at the pharmacy ! Ha ! So there, I’m entitled to a radio damn it ! My favorite part of riding a bagger is having the option of pulling over by a river or lake, cracking open a cold beer and listening to some of my favorite music while having a swim on a hot summer day. Music sure adds pleasure to any motorcycle journey.


Speaking of radios and music, check out this kick-ass audio upgrade you can now get from HOGTUNES. It’s call Wild Boar Audio and it’s their new high power, high end brand for use on 2014 and newer H-D models. I must admit that I like my stock H-D sound system but riding at warp speed down the 401 and passing semi-trucks can sure muffle the incoming melodies. HOGTUNES has been around for the past thirteen years, and in that time, this Canadian company has accomplished unyielding research and development - not to mention that they are a great bunch of people to talk to. Wild Boar Audio is guaranteed not to damage your stock motorcycle’s charging system while providing increased amplification. With 6.5 inch and 6X9 speaker options that feature real carbon fiber woofer cones, extra-large magnets, external crossovers and high-power amp solutions Wild Boar Audio can and will deliver the sound. Music to your ears ! As the company says, “this is a game changer in the motorcycle audio world.” And you better believe it ! Another high-quality product from HOGTUNES (2); components for the motorcycle environment since 2004.

Now get out there and, “pump up the guitar, bass and drums !” (1)

There is but I’m being politically correct here… Pfff ! Trailering your bike to Sturgis ! Ha !

(2)

HOGTUNES is distributed exclusively by Drag Specialties, Parts Canada, Parts Unlimited & Parts Europe.


Text and photos : Charlie Lessard

Never ever throw away those old Harley parts. Pack ‘em, stack ‘em and keep ‘em in sight, they will be worth something to someone, someday ! Looking at the beautiful example you see on these pages, it’s hard to believe that most of its components were found amongst piles of used or new old-stock (NOS) parts. Ed “Edjo” Leslie, known for searching high and low at swap meets, garage sales and by way of phone call tips, not to mention friend’s attics, backyard sheds and old barns, has amassed a collection of parts that would leave many lovers of old HarleyDavidsons crying with envy. After sixty years in the business of building prestigious award winning choppers, bobbers and vintage motorcycles, it’s not hard to see why Edjo is revered as a “Master Builder !” Harley parts that mean nothing to certain individuals more often than not mean everything to this true vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle connoisseur !

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OLD SCHOOL


OLD SCHOOL BY CHARLIE LESSARD

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The 1938 Harley-Davidson you see before you is considered special to Ed due to the fact he waited so many years to finally add this missing link to the long line of Harley-Davidson Flatheads he owns. How many does he own you ask ? Well the honest truth is that he owns twenty-five, and I can vouch for this as I’ve seen them with my own eyes. A grandiose collection one can only dream of having ! From a blue 1930 to a Congo green 1950 and every other classic colour under the sun combined with gleaming chrome and leather – a feast for the eyes ! So, how long ago was the year 1938 ? Well that year saw the birth of Canadian music superstar Gordon Lightfoot and the wild and wacky motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel (R.I.P.). Back then the average apartment rental cost for a family of five living in Toronto was $25 while the average cost of a 6-room house in the City of Vancouver was $2,539. The year 1938 was also the one when Superman first appeared on the cover of Action Comics. It was also the first year that the Jackpine Gypsies Motorcycle Club had a rally in the beautiful Black Hills of Sturgis, South Dakota. Furthermore, it was the year that a 23-year-old Frank Sinatra was arrested and charged with seduction and adultery – the horny little bastard ! This bike started out years ago as many vintage motorcycle reconstructions do : in boxes ! The skeletal remains of this 1938 Flathead were procured from an individual in Toronto who had brought ten of them back from Indonesia. “This was the last one he had,” said Edjo. What was found and purchased was the frame, front springer fork, tanks, transmission and an engine that had seen much better days. In fact, the left and right engine cases were considered by Edjo to be beyond economical repair and relieved of duty.

Summer of ‘16 The engine case that holds together the heart of this machine was donated by one of Edjo’s good friends. After years of searching for the “just right” elusive component, the creation of Edjo’s missing link could now begin. Edjo’s friend (name withheld to protect the guilty) takes pride in the fact that he helped in the process. “I’ve been holding on to that engine case for years. I’m glad it’s now in the right hands,” he said. It didn’t take very long for Edjo to roll up his sleeves and start working on this project. Only a couple of days after receiving the matching engine case, Edjo proceeded to blast away the decades of old grime and filth that concealed the flawless alloy. “No cracks,” he shouted after close inspection of the 78-year component. A great start no doubt. Once the inside of the engine case was coated with Glyptal the “picking” of the engine parts began. Every engine part for this build was meticulously cleaned, examined and prepared for assembly. A set of faultless genuine #5 heads were found and used to complete the top end.

As I mentioned, Edjo has amassed quite a collection of vintage parts and the cartons that held the components for his hard-to-pin-down 1938 were patiently waiting on his shop’s stock room shelves. “When I’ve bought parts I usually bought extra so that I could plan for the next build,” said Edjo. Like picking bones from a better day, the tool box, the handlebars, the exhaust system, the floor boards, the crash bars, and the centre stand (just to name a few) were brought down to the assembly table. The double seat pan was sandblasted and then sent to North Carolina for a perfect reupholstering job. Edjo rebuilt the wheel hubs then bought the rims and used Harley spokes and bearings, “when I go through them I go through them good you know,” said Edjo. Also 1928 JD brake cables that Edjo had for another project were used to bring out a little more “special” shine. Notice the pistol holster ? It’s a perfect fit for the bike’s assigned title. The holster is an original piece from none other than the boys in blue. It was donated to Edjo as part of a complete police uniform that was given to him by a retired officer. Edjo has a Police Harley-Davidson FL motorcycle in his collection and that bike sat in the museum that Edjo directed in Niagara Falls, Ontario a few years back. The retired police officer liked the bike so much that he thought a uniform would fit perfect with the museum display. Meticulous painter Dewey Spooner who is based in Havelock, Ontario is responsible for the immaculate black and blue paint work while Mayfair Plating, the family owned business that has been operating in downtown Toronto for 35-years, is responsible for the beautiful sparkle and shine. I think you will agree that Edjo recaptured, to a perfect degree, the splendor that once was. They don’t make ‘em like they used to but I am glad that people like Ed “Edjo” Leslie are still here to teach us about our treasured American motorcycle history. Harley-Davidson Flathead engines were manufactured between 1929 and 1974. Flatheads didn’t have overhead valves like todays engines. Instead, the valves ran alongside the cylinders and opened upwards into a cavity at the side of the combustion chamber. The advantage of a Flathead was simplicity — a less complex system which didn’t require valve rocker arms, and the head was a simple casting with a hole machined into it for the spark plug. A typical Harley-Davidson Flathead engine had a displacement of 45 cubic inches (742 cc) and produced about 22 horsepower. “My favourites are Flatheads. They are really reliable and they’ll go forever,” Edjo says with a smile. For more history on Ed “Edjo” Leslie, have a look at issue number 15 of Revolution Motorcycle Magazine. A TRUE ORIGINAL !


Text and photos : Charlie Lessard

Jason Parker has always been into bikes, cars and all things that would go really fast. How fast ? Well, drag-strip fast, thank you very much ! Never having a problem getting his hands dirty, or smelling like oil and gasoline for that matter, it wasn’t long before Jason embarked on building his very own speed machine – a 1969 Beaumont to be precise. Jason was fifteen years old. From that first tire shredding burnout onwards his motivation brought him to build race cars and American as well as Japanese motorcycles. Working relentlessly, this gearhead rented a storage space where many a motor vehicle was modified. With time, bigger shops were rented and a reputation was built. Today, after twenty-nine years in the “bizz,” Jason proudly wrenches in a very busy shop that displays his name. Concentrating specially on Harley-Davidsons (Pans and Knuckles being his favourite), 67 Ward Road in Brampton has been home to Jason’s filled to the rafters shop for the past eighteen years. His establishment appears more like a museum of vintage, classic and hot-rod Harleys than a full functioning motorcycle workshop. The place makes all lovers of old Harley’s walk around in astonishment ! In 1999, combining the look of large tire race cars, Jason found himself building a fat-tire, rigid framed, drag bike looking Panhead chopper. This was before the fat-tire chopper craze of the earlier 2000s. Feeling embarrassed by it all, Jason never got caught up in the obese rear tire TV fad. “I missed all that good money,” said Jason with a laugh, “I was always building skinny, fun bikes.” Jason has been building classic bobbers and choppers for a long time now and as he puts it, “I’ve got a good footprint in Ontario with the guys of my generation.” If Jason is not building full ground-up customs or restorations, he is building

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motors and transmissions as well as fabricating custom one-off parts. Jason also does a lot of work for other shops, although not many people are aware of that. “I’ve always had fun with it and I really like the history of the stuff and the bikes,” said Jason, “I don’t have ‘a job’, this is what I do seven days a week, fifteen hours a day – I love it !”

That Fuckin’ Orange Bike A 21-inch Avon Speedmaster front tire leads the way from the past to the present. The mechanical brake wheel is firmly secured to a genuine Harley-Davidson ELC military bike springer front end. The ELCs had springers that were 2 and 3/8 inches longer than the usual stock springers of the day. The Aris rectangular headlight is equipped with newly fabricated mounts done by J-Park himself. The mini ape-hangers are 7/8 inch in diameter. Different from the usual 1-inch handlebars we typically see on Harleys these are a 1950’s Flanders product. Jason welded up the risers and made the right and left grip rings which replicate the old Harley styling. The smaller diameter handlebars give the bike a sleeker look and a lighter feel. The internal throttle is a nice touch. The Wassel peanut gas tank is pure ‘60s era. But what you don’t know is that it has been reworked extensively. Jason chopped, channeled and tunneled it into flawless perfection. “I shrunk it in every direction,” said Jason. “Choptastic !” The oil tank is genuine Harley but Jason modified it to accept banjo-style oil line fittings. The diamond pattern seat is a classic Selle Giuliari product. This Italian made seat was once supplied by Dixie Distributing out of Ohio, a legendary motorcycle parts company (for you history buffs).


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The rear fender is a “new old stock” Wassel unit for the 1960s as well, “it was the last one I had from a bunch I bought from Ron Finch fifteen years ago at the Detroit Swap Meet. He was moving shops if I remember right and I bought a bunch of Wassel tanks and fenders – as much as my arms could carry – for like twenty dollars each back then,” said Jason. Jason reshaped and stretched the fender to fit the Avon 4.50/18 tire. Do you like the sissy-bar ? Another unique piece Jason shaped and welded using half-inch rod and ball bearings. It reminds me of a trident, the weapon of Poseidon the God of the Sea in classical mythology. An authentic piece for sure and it’s what helps make this custom creation stand out from the rest. The cool little stoplight is yet another in-house conception. Jason’s good buddy Victor, who works as an aircraft mechanic, gathered up some LEDs that were laying around the shop and wired them up to the machined housing. Yes, it’s all about the little details folks ! The 1958 Panhead motor includes a balanced S&S rod assembly, Andrews B-2 cam, Wiseco pistons and big-valve heads. The cam cover was shaved of all its fins to make it look like an earlier model and then it was chromed. With help from good buddies Wayne, Bob and Mitchell, the motor was polished to perfection. “We worked like fuckin’ slaves to finish all the polishing for this bike, just before the start of a certain show I attended – I was running a little behind,” said Jason. I like the air intake cover on the carb, Jason made an adapter plate so that it fits the S&S carburetor. The formedto-perfection exhaust pipes were also fabricated in the shop. The 1¾ inch pipes which exit the motor heads finish off with a set of Superior cocktail shaker mufflers. “I made the ends longer because it’s hard to get the long-end versions,” said Jason. “The million-dollar tranny,” as Jason calls it is filled with Andrews gears and components. The gearbox was polished in-house and then everything and I mean everything, including the kicker shaft was sent to the Plating

House in Vaughan for an electroplated layer of chromium. The extreme shine on this bike can blister a blind man’s retinas ! Fabor Cycle provided Jason with the cool kicker pedal. It’s a reproduction of a 1950s Chicago Motorcycle Supply piece. The foot-clutch mechanism is an in-house made copy of a late 40s early 50s Lee clutch pedal but this one is equipped with ball bearings and bushings, “I put this set-up on a lot of my custom builds,” said Jason. The foot pegs are modified and chromed military bike passenger pegs, for a little more classic coolness. Jason also skillfully made all the foot control parts. The 1957 frame was massaged to make it more appealing and a traditional vibration bar was added to the down tubes where the sidecar mounts sit. Solid foundations are important. Toronto’s “maestro of tangelo” John Connery (Connery’s Custom Paint) is responsible for the pristine paint job. Jason asked John to add a candy fade to the House of Colour mix. This bike radiates like nuclear fusion ! The beauty of the finish is that it emanates different colour tones depending on the ambient light. Mr. Connery once again laid down a truly stunning paint job !

Never Let The Bastards Get You Down Motivation can come from many different factors. In this case the beautiful rolling work of art you see before you came very close to never seeing the light of day due to the fact that Jason Parker came very close to losing his life. Being under the gun, pressure to finish up jobs, personal issues, stress, anger, lack of awareness, these are all factors that can often bring the strongest of people to the breaking point. June 11, 2016 was not a good day for Jason Parker. Taking a serious fall while doing 150-km/h on his black 1956 Panhead, Jason found himself at a life altering halt. It took two and a half months before he could even think of picking up a wrench again.

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OWNER CITY

Jason Parker Brampton, ON

AccessoirIes

GENERAL Jason Parker 1958 Harley-Davidson Promised Pan Jason Parker A hell of a time !

Manufacturing Year / Make Model Assembly Time

ENGINE 1958 Year Panhead Model Jason Parker Builder Harley-Davidson / Points Ignition 74 cubic inches Displacement — Lower end — Balancing Wiseco 9:1 Pistons Heads Harley-Davidson / Shovel stainless valves Andrews B2 Cam Jims Solids Lifters S&S Carb Jason Parker / Superior Pipes

Transmission 4 speed Suicide / Foot clutch

Type Shifting

painting Painter Airbrush Color / type Special

John Connery John Connery Tangelo Pearl / House of Color Candy fades

FRAME

With broken ribs, both hands stripped of their skin, a broken ankle and a shattered heel, Jason was pretty much confined to a bed and a wheel chair for half of a year. Eight (witnessed) somersaults on a paved roadway can cause a lot of damage to a body – yes, running with the devil has its price. With 2 rods and 3 plates holding his foot together, Jason wheeled around his shop determined to finish his project. “I was putting this bike together in a wheel chair with no skin on my hands, trying to polish all the parts, weld, putting it together. I went through hell to get this thing done. I obsessed on this bike more than I should have because I spent so many days in bed healing. I made myself sick thinking about it. I figured that I fucked up my life while trying to finish this bike so I wanted to make the best come out of it,” said Jason. He was on a mission. Although, because of the accident, he could

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SPECIFICATIONS

Year Builder Type Rake Stretch Shocks

1957 Harley-Davidson Straight leg Stock Stock —

PhotographeR

Charlie Lessard

Flanders Bars Internal Handlebar Controls Aris Headlight Jason & Victor Tail light No need ! Speedo From the cops ! Dash Harley-Davidson / Jason Parker Pegs Jason Parker Electrics Modified Wassel Gas Tank Modified Harley-Davidson Oil Tank — Oil System BDL / Harley-Davidson Primary Selle Giuliari Seat What’s that ? Front Fender Modified Wassel Rear Fender Forget the past ! Mirrors Harley-Davidson Grips

forkS ELC Stock Harley-Davidson / Jason Parker

Type Size Builder

WHEELS FRONT 21” Harley-Davidson Avon Speedmaster Harley-Davidson drum

Size Wheel Tire Brake

REAR 18” Jason Parker Avon 4.50 / 18 Harley-Davidson drum

Size Wheel Tire Brake

OTHER

Too much to list… have a look ! Special thanks : Wayne, Bob, Mitchell, Lonnie and Victor John Connery of Connery’s Custom Paint Mark Henry of the Plating House

not show the bike at the 2016 Freedom Machine event he did get it there this year. As you can imagine Jason got a considerable amount of praise. Jason promised himself he would finish this bike and bring it to the highest possible level of perfection. Determination can be a very strong remedy. This custom bike is a full-blown display of respect to the kingpins of custom bike antiquity – classic styling and a regard to tradition that will never fade, never waiver, never die. At 43 years old Jason Parker will be building world-class bikes for a long time to come. “I ride a ‘56 Pan or a ’38 Flathead every fuckin’ day, I’m not into the 2-cam bagger thing,” says Jason. And that’s a promise !

www.jasonparkerracecars.com Instagram : panheads_forever


Text : Geneviève Fréchette — Photos : Pascal Richard

Sturgis, South Dakota. The ultimate and inevitable destination, in the life of any good biker, for its famous rally. Even after going to this motorcycle event many times, the scenery surrounding this small town remains fascinating and almost more appealing than the rally itself. So, I am pleased to introduce, or reintroduce, you to the magnificent roads of the American Midwest. Since our goal was to ride and see the landscapes along the most beautiful roads and national parks of some American states, we arrived a week before the official opening date of the Rally to avoid the crowds. If you’ve never been to Sturgis, you have to understand that there are people everywhere for several miles around during this event. Going earlier is also a way to avoid the astronomical hotel prices.

Our first stay was in Deadwood, South Dakota. In the heart of the Black Hills, this city with its historic street has a very special “Far West” style from the gold rush era. It is the ideal place to remove yourself somewhat from the madness of Sturgis, while immersing yourself in the world of saloons and casinos. In the days of the Old West, Deadwood was famous for its gold-laden streams, its gambling halls and its “warm welcome.” In those days, miners came to Deadwood seeking more than their fortune. They were also looking for a good time with one of the city’s female “workers.” Prospecting and prostitution went hand in hand in Deadwood, where an entire city block was occupied only by brothels up until 1980.

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In addition to Calamity Jane, James Butler Hickok alias Wild Bill was probably Deadwood’s most famous resident, even though he only spent a few weeks in the city. He came to Deadwood in July 1876, a renowned player and gunfighter, participating in many shootouts before coming to Deadwood. He was killed on August 2, 1876 when Jack McCall shot him from behind as he played poker. Wild Bill was holding a pair of aces and a pair of eights when he died. This hand of cards became known as the “Dead Man’s Hand.” Saloon No. 10, located on the historic street proudly displays the chair where he is said to have been killed. As we were there during the Days of ‘76 Rodeo week, we were able to see a theatrical reenactment of this story on this same historic street during a parade and also during the breaks at the rodeos. After attending these rodeos, I can say that I saw some REAL Cowboys.


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After a casino evening, we began the following day with a visit to an old gold mine. There are plenty of them in this area. Unfortunately, they had emptied it, I didn’t find a thing ! We then took Route 385 through Hill City to the famous Mount Rushmore. A few more curves between the trees on Route 244 and we arrived at this grey, slightly rounded rock in which the famous presidents’ heads are carved. A classic. No need to go see its small unfinished cousin the Crazy Horse Monument which, in my opinion, is just an imitation of the original and a tourist trap. There are many choices for the rest of the journey. We often hear about the Needles Highway, a thrilling road to follow with its tight curves and tunnels carved into the granite, but in my opinion the 16A or Iron Mountain Road near Keystone is equally exciting. We passed through a tunnel of which we could see Mount Rushmore in the distance, we also crossed the forest on a one-way road so narrow that it looks more like a trail in a campground, not to mention the hairpin curves. You can’t be in a hurry, speeds rarely exceed 40 km/h (25 mph). Anyway, this was the best way to enjoy the landscape and we were on vacation after all ! This road then takes us to Custer State Park. Mountains, meadows, forest and of course the opportunity to see the herds of bison. The loop was then closed by the Needles

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Highway, the northern part of Route 87, which is named after the needle-like granite peaks. The narrow single-lane tunnels are spectacular. This winding road is truly a pleasure to ride a motorcycle on and it really allows you to appreciate the Black Hills. A light rain shower began during the final part, but the sun was out by the time we were finished. This happens often in the Black Hills. Actually, it was the story of the summer. The next day, still departing from Deadwood, we headed a little further northwest toward Devils Tower, taking secondary roads as much as possible rather than Highway 90. We followed Route 85 toward Spearfish, merging onto the 34 at Belle Fourche. A small refreshing stop at the general store in Aladdin is an opportunity to meet a good part of the population of this city of 15 inhabitants ! A little further down the 24 is Hulett, another surprising city with small historical museums nestled behind the facades of buildings worthy of cowboy movies. Upon arriving at Devils Tower, let’s just say we didn’t turn into the entrance for the road that goes around the Tower… a line-up of countless cars, RV’s and motorcycles discouraged us from seeing the monolith from every angle ! You’d better stock up on patience during Sturgis Rally week. Personally, I was more than happy to observe the National Monument while sipping a cold one.


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Now Wyoming. After the black forest, grey rocks, mines, grottoes, tunnels and national parks of the Black Hills, this undulating landscape is tinged red and brown. We head for Cody, near the East gate of Yellowstone National Park where we will spend 2 nights. To get there we took Highway 90 to Buffalo, then US 16 to cross the southern part of the mountain and the Bighorn National Forest. Here we needed an extra layer. We climbed and climbed, so much so that we could see snow-capped peaks. We then descended following rivers and canyons and finish in the plains. Beautiful.

We are now in Cody, founded by William F. Cody aka Buffalo Bill whose father was originally from the Toronto area of Canada. The legendary Hotel Irma, named after his daughter, is probably Cody’s most emblematic place and its restaurant is well worth a visit to enjoy a nice steak in an Old West atmosphere. The decor is remarkable and full of history. The town is also known for its rodeo, held every evening during the summer, for its historic museums and also for the Old Trail Town, a group of historic buildings from the American West. You’d think you were on the set of a cowboy movie. After an overnight stay in Cody, adding some oil and a full tank of gas, we headed for Yellowstone Park by the east

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entrance on the 20. We first passed through the Buffalo Bill State Park where we stopped to see the Buffalo Bill Dam and its reservoir that provides irrigation for several areas. Finally, we entered the most anticipated of the parks, Yellowstone. Entering from the east, we rolled through elevations of 2600 m (8530 ft) and arrived in the lake area. We then headed north into the canyon and falls area. But the most impressive thing about this park is undoubtedly the thermal springs, bubbling water and mud and the geysers, a testament to the strength of underground activities. The colours, the smell of sulphur and in some places the force with which the hot water gushes out regularly are an absolutely fascinating phenomenon. There are also the herds of bison which leave no one indifferent.


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With our heads full of amazing images, we returned to Cody after toying with the idea of going to Red Lodge and passing through the Beartooth Pass, but we had done it before and we were pressed for time. We left again the next day, this time travelling farther north along the 14. In Powell, barely 15 minutes from Cody, to combined business with pleasure and learned a little, we stopped at Heart Mountain whose museum relates the little known history of this site where more than 14,000 Japanese Americans were confined during the Second World War, President Roosevelt’s decision after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbour. Called “Relocation Center,” it was in fact a concentration camp and was shut down in 1945. We continued our journey. Again, passing through the summits of the Bighorn is rather chilly but well worth it. At the highest viewpoint on the edge of the mountain, we had an incredible view of the entire basin, despite the fog. I can just imagine what it must be like when the sun is shining. We then entered a flat area and had a hard time believing that we were at such a high altitude. Then the sun became more generous and it gradually warmed us up. Finally, we began the descent, removing a layer or two as we headed to Sheridan where we took a break before leaving for Sturgis.

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We left under a very dark, grey sky. Armed with our rain suits, we faced a few hours of rain and even small hail, but the closer we got to Sturgis, the more the sky cleared, apparently there “is” a God for bikers. We went directly to the “Main,” removed our “slickers” and headed straight for the first bar we could find to quench our thirst under the sun. Ahhh ! Long live Sturgis ! Bikes everywhere, happy people ready to party and good weather, what more could you ask for ? I think that this year’s most popular novelty is the new Full Throttle Saloon in its “full metal” version. We recall this huge biker bar with its wooden walkways, famous bridge and burn pits. After it was completely destroyed by fire in September 2015, the owner must have said : “no more wood.” The new construction, bars, stools, decor composed of old machinery – is totally made of steel. This guy sure learned his lesson ! Not everything is finished yet, but I think this place has already won the hearts of bikers. The nostalgic can stop by the old site and note the extent of the damage, only the steel structure of the bridge remains (thus the idea for steel !). As we have already written stories on Sturgis, I won’t enumerate all there is to do here. We took advantage of the last day to visit dealers, exhibitions, bars, take a walk along the Main and stopped in the shops and back to the bars. As all good things must come to an end, this is how “our” journey ended, in this legendary place that is Sturgis - we will surely return.


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Text and photos : Catherine David

The Dream Roll is the most popular “girls only” motorcycle weekend in the Pacific Northwest. Located in the dense, lush forest bordering the Washington State and Oregon border, this event offers great opportunities to crisscross stunning roads, marvel at breathtaking scenery and forge friendships with strong, rebellious and free-spirited women. Portrait of a unique event that has grown exponentially over the past three years.

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HER SAY

BY Catherine David

- Shall I get your bike ? - What’s that ? - A Triumph Tiger XRx. You’re going to love it ! - Hmm… It’s not what I had in mind. I was told about an Indian Scout or a Softail. August 10, 2017, PDX airport, Portland. I’m waiting for my taxi. I’m loaded like a pack mule. A backpack, a full, 40 L tubular dry bag in one hand and my helmet, currently stuffed with a hoodie and a book, in the other. This is the inconvenience of motorcycle trips. You can’t bring a suitcase on wheels ! My big bag is heavy and I don’t have a functional handle to lug my cargo around. I do not want any problems getting to the motel. I get into the first taxi in the line, convinced that this is the best plan. Midway, I’m getting warm. The taxi metre is rocketing ! I should have taken a couple of minutes to check out the city’s transportation offer. $75 later, I drop my bags in my room, connect to the Wi-Fi and learn that I could have made it from point A to point B for $2.50. The TriMet is a full transport service that combines the bus, subway and commuter train. Damn, I was going to treat myself at the event’s merchandise table… The next day, I arrive at Eagle Rider early in the morning. - En route to the Dream Roll  ? asks the guy at the reception. - Yes !

- That’s all I have left, he tells me. - And where am I supposed to put my luggage ? - You’ll figure it out, I’m not worried. He’s really sorry, but this is all he has left. Actually, it’s not my luggage that’s bothering me. It’s the bike. It feels a bit like the day of my grandparents’ 40th anniversary when my father begged me to swap my legendary Doc Martens for a pair of oversize beige shoes that my cousin had left in a bag of second hand clothing. Anonymized ! Fortunately, I am no longer 14 years old and I will not spoil this trip for a question of style. I trust the guy and jump on my ride for the weekend. He wasn’t lying, it rides like a charm ! This is the first time I ride on this type of two-wheeler and, strangely enough, by the time I reach the first street corner I am comfortable. This motorcycle may not be to my taste aesthetically, but there is no doubt that I will spend some quality time on the road. As for my cargo, I’m doing pretty well. I have enough space on the passenger seat to layer my bags - like a wedding cake.

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I take off towards Tillamook Station, the meeting point for the departure organized by Becky Goebel. Becky, with Lanakila MacNaughton, is one of the founders of the event. She is waiting for us with coffee, energy drinks and snacks to guide us to Mount Adams Lodge in Glenwood, Washington, where the Dream Roll is held. I find it nice of Becky to take the time to lead a group. I suspect that 3 hours before the doors open, she must have other things to take care of, but she is here, all smiles. Since there are more than thirty of us, two groups are formed with 30 minutes between them. I leave with the first group. The ride is magnificent. We cross the famous Bridge of the Gods, a steel truss cantilever bridge that spans the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington State and we follow the water. Half-moon stone tunnels pierce the mountains. The colossal rocks are covered with moss. At each curve, I thank heaven for being there. It’s wonderful. The temperature rises as we advance. The heat is so intense and dry that you could start a forest fire in the blink of

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an eye. I’m getting dehydrated, I’m starting to look forward to arriving. We are greeted by Becky’s mom at the registration table. A tiny, friendly woman who looks exactly like her daughter. The area is vast. A large 40-acre corridor of grass and land in the heart of the forest. I find an area to set up my camp. - Hi, are you alone ? Asks a woman wearing a t-shirt and panties. (The weather is really hot !) - Yes ! - I’m Heather. Set up here with our gang. Make yourself at home. It will be your base camp. I have rarely seen girls as open, friendly and companionable as at the Dream Roll. Unlike other women’s events, here there are no “cliques.” Everyone mingles naturally. I feel like part of a big family where difference is encouraged and respected. The girls on the site have strong and colourful personalities. I already feel it’s going to be a memorable weekend.


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I’m off to explore. There is the Ducati tent which stages the different models of the Scrambler, a novelty this year. I sign up for the road test the next day. I might as well take this opportunity to try one out ! There are a few booths with women’s clothing and equipment : Atwyld, Wasted Times, Hinterland, Mosko Moto and of course, the Dream Roll boutique. They have really nice stuff here and I think about the money wasted on the taxi which deprives me of some beautiful pieces. As for food, they have two food trucks, El Rinconcito serving up tacos and burritos and Chicken and Guns which offers excellent smoked chicken. Unlike other similar events, you have to pay for your drinks at the Dream Roll bar. At $ 5 a drink, the girls choose to go stock up in town and use the cash only bar as a backup.

A mini skateboard ramp is set up in the middle of the tents. A friendly competition takes place at the end of the day. The girls from various skateboard companies such as Skate Like a Girl, Mahfia TV and Skate Witches give us an eyeful. Honourable mention to the girl in the Daniel Boone hat, thigh-high moccasins and forest green bathing suit ! She stole the show ! Because a costume really pimps a party ! In the evening, we danced under the stars to the rhythm of the DJ. The sand rises from the ground and makes me feel as if I am floating on a cloud. Lightening joins the party. A light show in the sky. The girls shout with joy at each flash in the dark night. The moment is simply magical ! The whole thing stops abruptly around midnight, when the torrential rain started. But nobody complains, in this overwhelming heat, water is life.

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On Saturday morning, I join the Ducati team for a road test. I try the experience with the Scrambler Café Racer. There are four of us. We will go along the mountain on winding roads. 30 minutes of road testing. I appreciate my bike of the moment telling myself, however, that I would never take a road trip in this driving position. In my opinion, a café racer is not made to be taken out of the city. Groups of girls get organized to go and discover one of the three routes proposed by the Dream Roll. Taking Becky’s advice, I choose the Lower Lewis River Falls in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. I go solo. At the gas station, the sheriff looks at the plan provided by the organizers and suggests another route to get there. Without a map or an Internet network, I follow his instructions religiously and leave without a net in the hope of reaching my destination. It’s fun. The route is amazing. In the heart of an ancient forest, the ground is covered with moss

and ferns and the trees are huge, 2 to 3 times the height of the largest trees in Québec’s forests. I stop to take some pictures. A group of women stop for the same reason and ask me to join them for the rest of the ride. I readily agree ! Let’s go, girls ! On the spot, after travelling down a path in the heart of the forest, to my delight I see spectacular falls ! 43 feet high, 200 feet wide. A few brave women jump off the cliff. The cold water awaits them when they reach the bottom. I watch them, amused, I don’t have that kind of guts. Back to camp, the games of skill have begun. We have the classic slow race and the barrel game. The girls are beautiful to watch. The competitions ended, the bikes are removed from the field to make room for a game of kickball. I stop at the food truck before the skateboard lessons by the invited skateboarders. I had a great time humiliating myself on the ramp because I must have fallen at least 15 times in some very ungainly positions. Where there is ego, there is no fun as I always say. I go back to the base camp at the end of the evening to spend some time with the girls who kindly took me under their wings. I tell myself once again how nice and generous they are, and that you don’t meet people with this quality every day.

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Goonies was shot. A film I must have seen about 200 times. I’ve been dreaming about this place since I knew I was leaving for the US Northwest.

Sunday morning rings in the end of the event. Solo departure toward Portland. The girls suggest that I take the Historic Columbia River Highway, a 120-kilometre tourist road built through the Columbia Gorge at the turn of the century. This route has the particularity of being one of the first scenic drive projects in the United States. Warm, wrapped in the trees and the rich and abundant vegetation of Oregon, it is smooth as a race track with plenty of curves. It crosses several stone bridges with magnificent views, multiple waterfalls and dozens of roadhouses to welcome tired travellers. A charming, not-to-be-missed road for anyone who wants to venture into the region. My journey ends at the See See Motorcycle Café in the amazing city of Portland. A well known address among the surrounding motorcycle community. The See See is divided in two, a boutique space and a coffee shop, but it is also a place for pro riders and events, including the famous One Motorcycle Show. In short, an address to put in your travel book when visiting this part of the country. For the next few days, I reserve a time to explore the city and make a pilgrimage to Cannon Beach, where the 1980s cult film The

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HER SAY

Of course the Dream Roll does not reinvent the wheel. There are many other exclusively female events that can be attended both in the United States and in Canada. What makes it unique ? The good vibrations and positive energies surrounding the event. There is something magical about the Dream Roll. Totally. Something you can’t describe, but you can feel. Is it the warmth, the openness and naturalness of women in the Pacific Northwest ? Is it the tone given to the event by the hostesses or its privileged geographical position in the intensity of our planet ? One thing is certain, the magic of the Dream Roll works and for this reason the event is at the top of the list of events that I had the opportunity to participate in this year. The Dream Roll is Moving ! Next year, the event will be held in Crater Lake, Oregon in the National Park of the same name, midway between Seattle and San Francisco. The organizers want this change of venue to attract even more women (we were 800 this year), to discover new routes and make room for new adventures. Crater Lake was created as a result of the eruption and subsequent collapse of Mount Mazama volcano 7,700 years ago. No waterways flow into or out of the lake. According to an ancient Amerindian legend, this lake is the result of the confrontation between two great chiefs, one of the world below and the other of the world above. In this new and mysterious place, we can bet that the magic will continue to happen. Long live the Dream Roll !


HER SAY

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OUR READERS


Our readers Text  and photos : Curt Bennett

The Gypsy Prince started life as a 1975 XLCH. Like many people it was the first Harley I owned and could afford. It was my daily mode of transportation for years. At the time, I was apprenticing as a metal fabricator at the local shipyard in Victoria, BC; on lunch breaks, after hours and weekends I would make and modify little pieces, but it never saw a full build as I needed it to get around. I still don’t know how to drive a car. Eventually I finished my apprenticeship and started buying and building more old Harleys. My humble Ironhead Sportster eventually wore out the kicker gear and though I had the parts it sat neglected for a few years, but I swore I would never sell it. I’ve always loved crazy Franken-motors; Randy Smiths’ Magnum, Carl Morrows’ 200 mph Ironhead, and the Pan/Shovel motor from Indian Larry’s “Chain of Mystery.” I had the idea to build a chopped-off transmission Shovel top-end Ironhead, so after mentioning my intentions to a local motor builder who got wide eyed and said “if you ever build it, bring it by” and with very little idea of what I was doing, other than a couple photos from old magazines, I started the build. I “sawzalled” the trans off my 75 XLCH case, and welded big aluminum blocks on it for rear motor mounts.

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Next, I pulled the barrel studs and filled them, built up the cases with weld to accommodate the larger shovel barrels, and ground it down with a Dremel and grinder. Then it was on to the top end; the push rod holes in both heads were welded out and moved to accommodate the 4-cam bottom end, the fins on the heads and barrels were Dremeled to clear the new push rod angle and they were setup for outside, return oiling, The heads (a 48’ Pan and a 73’ Shovel), were then sent to Baisely H-D for a special set of equalized roller rockers and to have the valves set up. Being as Pan and Shovel intakes naturally don’t match up, it made sense to run a Super-E out each side. Lastly, I got a NOS set of Sifton “stroker” cams, that run a 0.545 lift.

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I had intended to build the motor, throw it in some frame, with some gas tank and seat and “see” if it actually ran, but I got carried away with the excitement of the build. Chrome, paint, and small fab details carried me for a few more months of lunch breaks and weekends. Finally, right before Born Free 8, it was done. With my mom and pop in tow we headed south. I’d never been to Born Free, or any real show for that matter, and had no idea what to expect. The whole family had a great weekend, and though we didn’t take home any trophies we did get to park with “the cool guys”, make some new friends, and see the best of the best, in custom bikes. Overall, the Gypsy Prince took 700+ hours over a year and a half. I built it to challenge myself, and maybe prove something. And I’ll still never sell it.

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COMING SOON

DATE

EVENT

CITY

Nov 2 to 5 2017

Lone Star Rally

Galveston TX USA

Nov 18 to 19 2017

Laughlin Bikes N Rods Music Festival

Laughlin NV USA

Nov 26 2017

So-Cal Motorcycle Swap Meet - October 2017

Long Beach

CA

USA

Dec 1 to 3 2017

Progressive International Motorycle Show - New York

New York

NY

USA

Dec 8 to 10 2017

Progressive International Motorycle Show - Minneapolis Minneapolis

MN

USA

Dec 10 2017

David Mann Chopperfest -14 Annual

Ventura CA USA

Jan 5 to 7 2018

North American Intl. Motorcycle Supershow

Mississauga ON

Jan 5 to 7 2018

Calgary Motorcycle Show

Calgary AB CAN

Jan 19 to 21 2018

The Vancouver Motorcycle Show

Abbotsford BC CAN

Jan 12 to 14 2018

Edmonton Motorcycle Show

Edmonton AB CAN

Jan 20 to 21 2018

Wide Open Custom Bike Show

Kansas City

MO

USA

Jan 26 to 28 2018

Am-Jam Tattoo Expo

East Syracuse

NY

USA

Jan 26 to 28 2018

Progressive International Motorycle Show - Cleveland Cleveland

OH

USA

Jan 27 to 28 2018

Colorado Motorcycle Expo - 40 Anniversary

Feb 2 to 4 2018

Progressive International Motorycle Show - Dallas Dallas

th

th

Denver

STATE COUNTRY

CAN

CO USA TX USA


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REVOLUTION MOTORCYCLE MAGAZINE - English - No. 43 Winter 2017  

100 pages

REVOLUTION MOTORCYCLE MAGAZINE - English - No. 43 Winter 2017  

100 pages