Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Contest! Win the chance to have your bike in a 3d animation

Thats right, I'm holding a contest for one lucky winner to have their old school/vintage chopper modeled in 3D and used in my senior 3D animation "The Requiem Ride." I will be modeling a number of bikes for the animation and thought I should get you guys involved too!

Click the flyer for submission details.

Submit photos of your bike to by April 20. The winner will be announced on the The Requiem Ride blog shortly after. The deadline is only in 3 weeks but it should be plenty of time for you guys to dig up some photos of your bikes! So start sending me some photos!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Seat Part 2

Got a chance today to start my seat pan. The pan is going to be made in 2 pieces. I made the sissybar and fender section first. The width of the section on the fender will not be as wide as seen here. It will eventually get trimmed so more of the fender is exposed.

This will be the second pan for the camel humps

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I took a break from all my computer work and futzed around the shop a bit making my the templates for my seat pan.

Thats about it. Time to start bending some sheet metal. It will probably be made in 2-3 pieces.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Inspiration: Joakim Krantz's Satan's Dream

The devil is certainly in the details. Joakim Krantz's Satan's Dream. Found these photos years ago among the interwebs. I decided to group all the photos I could find of this bike and post them up. This bike is at the top of my list. Lots of little tricks, the lines flow nice and just enough chrome. The bike looks like it came out of one of the early Roth/Mann posters. The frame was narrowed in the rear including the oil tank. Rumor has it even the clutch and primary cover was narrowed as well.

Anyone can make one off custom parts. I'm not knocking the aftermarket stuff entirely or the craftsmanship of others. The scene wouldn't be what it is today with out it. However, to me the true ingenuity comes from working with what you have. Working with the stock stuff. Manipulating what is already there.

Krantz could have made his own custom narrow frame but to me that's not nearly as intriguing. The fact he took a stock harley frame and narrowed it makes you look twice at it. Just like a piece of art it hooks the viewer. It makes you walk around it. It gets you down on your knees, or even on your side for that matter, trying to find the places where he made the cuts. Trying to figure out what he did. If it was an aftermarket frame, you can guess just like anyone else a few measurements were made, parts were laid in a jig and it was welded together. Not as mysterious now is it?

Here is a great shot revealing the oil tank and the frame. I just love the fact he left the original forging in the frame.

Look how the lines flow for just a minute. We all do this but may not always be aware of it. Watch yourself looking at the flow of a bike next time. What disrupts the flow? What isn't spaced correctly? On this bike NOTHING. The handle bars flow right down to the front width of the gastank and then comes to a point in the center of the frame. It then flows back out following the seat. Everything on this bike has similar flows and curves and extreme points.

The width of the front tire mimicks the width of the seat going up the sissybar.

Dual carbs, glass velocity stacks, and spoon pegs are a thing of beauty. Between the smaller oil tank, spoon pegs, even the kicker pedal has shrunk, makes the engine look larger than it is. Its all about the little tricks and visual details. The paint is even subtle, not distracting or disrupting at looking at what really matters.

But sometimes breaking the flow is good, IF done correctly. I like the fact the pipes don't follow the angle of the frame like so many others do. It brakes the evenness of the rest of the bike. Its almost on the same angle as the forks but not quite. It gives a laid back falling action from the forks, to the pipes, to the frame. This bike looks like the quintessential chopper, but taking that second look as mentioned earlier, its far from the typical.

Some of the hard asses get upset about choppers as art. Well, deal with it, its mere aesthetics of what looks right.
Ok thats enough of me nerding out on a bike today....

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Had a little spring break

Got some work done on the Sportster. I got my forks back, replaced the leaky rocker box gaskets. The frame and a bunch of other parts are headed off for sand blasting and paint.

Took the bagger out for a spin until it got an electrical short and shut down on me. Ended up pushing it back home! Damn thing should come with its own tow truck! I then discovered the rear wheel has 3 broken spokes, one of which is missing entirely. (I guess some things break for other bigger reasons) Kinda glad the bike shorted out now! So just when the bagger was ready to go, its down again for those repairs. It was a fun mile of riding though!

Also got the Yamahopper out again after sitting for a while. New battery and fired right up after sitting for 2 summers. Ive forgotten how much of a little road rocket this thing is!

The pan on the lift in the background is getting a new clutch installed. The sporty tank on it was also modified to hold more fuel (more on that later)

My "shop truck" doing what its doing best, taking up space in the shop. This is a project never posted on here before. This will hopefully be finished this summer.

Finally to end it all with the super moon over the RetroFit headquarters last night. Time to get back to animating....

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Cleaning

The RetroFit headquarters is going under some heavy spring cleaning. Its also why I haven't posted much. We'll be up and running again soon.

In the meantime heres a sneak peak of whats to come.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

packed up

Last summer just before heading to NY state. Look familiar doesn't it?!

Old Foto Friday


Dave again with my olman's sportster and George's pan.

A Few More

This morning I finished the fender mounts and now the bar is mounted solid. Im lovin the stance!

The headlight and pegs are just sittin there for looks.

The bolts in the back will eventually get welded in as studs so the back of the fender has a clean look.

More Sissybar

Made my center bracket and leveled it out.

Trimmed the sides to a nice taper to match the bottom mounts.

First time tig welding stainless. Didnt come out too bad.

So the next young punk knows who made it when the vintage stuff makes its 3rd revolution in the future.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sssssisy Bar

Little more work done today. Didnt get as far as I wanted but I was bombarded with students today. By the time I got to working on the bar I was tired and my brain just wasn't functioning.

So to keep the nice diagonal profile of the bar, no kinks, no extra bends, I put a bend in the mounting tabs. I just tacked them on.

I then ran into an issue with the slight offset of my wheels, the frame, fender and the sissybar. I got to this point and stopped.

I realized if I put the left tab on the inside of my axle plate mounts, it lines things back up. I'll run with it. I dont want to add any more bends to this bar. The frame is fine, the sissybar is absolutely even on both sides. I guess its just the suzuki way of doing things with the wheels both offset.

Looks fine from back here!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Old Foto Friday: 1955 F100

The Old Foto Friday series isn't just for 2 wheels....

This is the ol'man's 55 F100 he bought in the mid 80s. The reason he bought the truck, besides that they are the nicest lookin trucks Ford ever built, is because of a sun visor. His cousin Chris Kusto of Antique Cycle Supply out of Gran Rapids Michigan bought a visor at a swap meet for a 50s Buick he had. He knew it was for an F100 but the price was right to see if it fit anyway. It didnt, so he offered it to my dad. He got the visor and decided to buy a truck to go under it.

This is what the truck looked like when he got it. The ugly hubcaps and stacks were the first to go. It had a straight six with a bad dual carb setup the previous owner had.

Theres the visor and the lady standing there is my mother.

This truck seems to attract photos with motorcycles. Thats my uncle neil and his wife and his kids. The Indian is also his.

Here the ol'man bought a '56 with y-block to swap the straight six. Neil did the engine swap for my ol man.

Here it is finished. This truck as his daily driver for many years.

So sharp!

Unfortunately the truck was sold along with the bagger and he bought a 1950 ford tudor. Which was also a sharp car. Maybe more on that car at some point.