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MeRide 09-22-2008 03:30 PM

A birthday ride: Letís take the 73 year old bike, shall we?
NOTE: the original attached photos were dropped during the ADVrider server conversion in early 2009 (?) so I've updated with replaced photos.

The backstory is here:

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And now for the ride intro……..

This won’t be a ride report of places exotic and wild (to most). Nor will the ride be of a long duration. Just a day ride. But it will be one with a bit of a twist. What’s the twist? Well….the bike I chose for this ride isn’t the usual late model big bore dual sport we see on ADVrider. No, there was a time when adventuring on a motorcycle was just that, adventuring. There was no such term as “dual sport”. Heck, motorcycles were simply another solution for economical transportation that didn’t involve a horse. A rider used their motorcycle the way they had to or desired. Yah, you see where this is headed.

So, the bike I chose for this ride is one you won’t typically see on the roads these days. Maybe all shined up and fully restored sitting behind a velvet rope in a museum but not on the streets. Its a 1935 Harley-Davidson model VLD. Check out that backstory thread mentioned above for more details.

As an aside, let’s forget about the ruffle of Harley vs non-Harley and the culture qualms. It’s all about motorcycling, isn’t it? So much disdain and speak of those that don’t ride the brand the speaker rides. In my book it’s about riding. Period. Don’t care if its 50cc or 2000cc (or more appropriately for the sake of this thread, cubic inch displacement), what country it’s from, or brand name it wears. Now, let’s dispel some myths, shall we?

This isn’t about a “bike show” or “who can win the local yokel shiniest machine” award. It’s about experiencing the machine for what it was when it was. Yah, everything can and has been improved in the motorcycle world but maybe things weren’t all that bad back in the day? Just different. I could ride the late model BMW for my birthday….. Nope. Too “usual” and “been there done that, can predict the ending” (a great ending! But....). Done this sort of thing before with other old vehicles. Run them as they were the way they were. No modernizing, just enjoy and respect them for what they are.

EvilClown 09-22-2008 04:22 PM


AKDuc 09-23-2008 12:28 AM

Happy Happy Birthday!

Beautiful motorbike!

Have fun, Mark H.

MeRide 09-23-2008 03:19 AM

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As per standard Ride Report format we start with a gratuitous BACON shot while I wait for the coffee to perk :rofl

MeRide 09-23-2008 03:23 AM

It's definately Fall here in New England. The weather is forecast to be 67 degrees and sunny. But the sun hasn't come up yet so it's only a "crisp" 40 degrees right now. :eek1

GB 09-23-2008 03:34 AM

Thanks for the intro :thumb Let's see pics of that bike on here!! :deal


MeRide 09-23-2008 03:51 AM

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Originally Posted by Gadget Boy
Thanks for the intro :thumb Let's see pics of that bike on here!! :deal


Click on that backstory link listed in the first post of this thread. Plenty of fun mechanical pics over there. :wink:

Good idea though. Oh, there will be plenty bike pics later today from the ride but I'll put one up taken yesterday to hold you for now. Enjoy!

trumpet 09-23-2008 03:59 AM

So cool :lurk

MeRide 09-23-2008 04:51 AM

Pre-ride checks
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Let's do some pre-ride checks on the bike and gear while the sun rises and the commuters clog up the roads.

The dash of the '35 is pretty sparse. Its populated with an ignition switch, a light for the ammeter, the lighting switch for headlight and tail lamp, and the ammeter gauge. Both switches take a key (seen in the switches in this photo). The key basically attaches the lever to the switch. Without the key the levers will simply spin around and around while the switches just sit there. Basic stuff back in the day.

MeRide 09-23-2008 04:58 AM

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The neck lock was made by Briggs & Stratton. Yup, the small engine maker. Harley used Briggs locks on their motorcycle neck locks and later their ignition locks for many decades. Note the address, Milwaukee, which probably had something to do with it. The other funky looking key is for the toolbox. Basic stuff, isn't it?

Putts 09-23-2008 05:01 AM


MeRide 09-23-2008 05:45 AM

1 Attachment(s) have some leather saddlebags for the bike but I've never mounted them. That's another project for another time. So, today I'll be humping my gear in a backpack. Sorry for the mess!

MeRide 09-23-2008 05:46 AM

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More pre-ride checks.

Oil goes in here..........

MeRide 09-23-2008 05:50 AM

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Kind of ugly outside. Still cold.

dlrides 09-23-2008 07:58 AM

I really enjoy your outlook in riding these old motorcycles ! :thumb

Looking forward to the rest of your report.

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