Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Slum Goddess Rebuild Is Complete!

The direction of the rebuild for the Slum Goddess changed over night. The main reason the bike was torn down in the first place was for leaky rocker boxes and a bad swing arm. I decided it was taken apart this far I may as well get my frame painted. Then one thing led to the next and I was cleaning and polishing every part that was going back on the bike. But I still had crummy spray bombed tins that I figured I'd have to paint again to try update the bike. Then one Sunday afternoon Ken and Chris stopped by to check on my progress....

It was Chris's first time by the house. I have a bunch of stuff hanging from the ceiling and junk on the shelves. Chris stopped dead in his tracks looking at an orange sportster tank with silver scallops, covered in dust sitting on my shelf. He asked where I got the tank from. (I got it from a swap meet a few years ago.) Then he said "I have the matching fender!"

This pic was taken in 2009 when I was putting the Sportster back together when the motor was rebuilt. Theres the tank on the shelf.

I couldn't believe it. Later that evening I rode up to Chris's place to reunite these long lost brothers. I purchased the super clean tank for $50 at Rhinebeck 4 years ago as a replacement tank for the Voodoo Child. The tank was leaking badly on the Voodoo Child and paint was a close match. I never got around to changing tanks and the tank I purchased just sat on the shelf. And now I'm glad it sat!

Chris bought the fender complete with Shovelhead struts on ebay. (So it could have ended up anywhere!) If it wasn't enough that we had matching tins, the Shovelhead struts were also notched to fit a Sportster frame!

The fender is an Arlen Ness fiberglass fender. The underside of the fender is absolutely spotless. No dirt, no mud, nothing! The paint on my tank has also just started to wrinkle around the gas cap. So I believe these tins were never run! Or they were on some crazy Ness style digger show bike. As seen in the above pic, the fender was never drilled for a license plate. Just the taillight.

I guess I was destined for this because I even had the proper taillight also just sitting on my shelf.

The Slum Goddess started looking like she was no longer from the slums!

I was fighting with finding a proper seat. Nothing fit right and I wasnt about to cover that fender with my stock 2 up seat. Greg gave me an old seat pan he had laying around. I reshaped it and with his help (hes made other seats for me in the past) we laid down some foam and I shaped it to fit the bike. The blue foam is an old yoga mat! Comfy and doesn't collapse!

Greg then made the cover for me with simple pleats wrapped tight. The vinyl was actually scraps that came from the roof of a 1975 Cadillac hearse!

I just couldn't run my wide handle bars anymore. I always wanted a bike with rabbit ears so I made my own out of split buckhorns.

The tabs were welded from underneath and then attached with a set "SS" bolts I found. Pretty cool! The jewels in the back of the light were actually holes for switches. I didn't need the switches so I plugged the holes with my oil and generator jewel lights. A slick solution instead of making new mounts for them.

I was finally able to get out tonight and take a few good snap shots. I have one last thing to do and its to fix my front caliper and put the new brake line on. Why the red bullet nut sack catcher lights facing forwards? I dunno, my old seat bracket was there and I didnt want to cut it off. Besides it looks cool at night. I also put the old struts back on as much as they suck riding wise. But it does the stance right.

I am in love! This bike has never looked this good before. I finally feel like I have a real machine, and a machine to be proud of.

Next thing to go is that dented oil tank. Whos got a chrome one?!

As the sun starts to go down the paint starts to change color. During the day its a bright orange, and during the night it turns red.

The silver scallops just accent the chrome perfectly! The more I look at this paint job the more and more I like it. Its so simple yet so unique.

The scallops on the tank also accent the rabbit ears and the shape of the exhaust headers.

Big thanks to Chris for the gracious donation, Greg for the seat, and Ben for making up the rabbit ears! If ANYONE has any info regarding this gas tank and fender please let me know! I would like to know more about the history behind them. It's a one in a million chance that these tins were reunited! Yes, Strange Days are certainly upon us...


  1. Sweet! What a great looking bike and excellent story!

  2. Thanks man! It's certainly been a wild summer for me so far.