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Photo by Snow

ANIMAL MOTHER: She’s black and she’s bad!

Here she is, as promised, pics of Animal Mother in all her orange peeled glory! Still no short frame, I know, I’m lacking, but I delivered a shopping list to CH local legend Johnny Ramsey, so the hunt is on. I wanted to give JR first shot at some business and he’s sifting through his Ironhead stash for: short swingarm, 18” rear wheel, straight pipes, oil tank, and associated hardware. I want to use as much of Animal Mother as possible in her “Transition” to her new identity— front end, bars, tank & fender, shocks— those elements that could only be hers and could never be at home on any other bike. Probably gonna fab up a sidemount taillight.

So I’m completely in love with her silver jugs and redcaps which testify to her constant state of arousal— she’s always ready to go! I decided to go with the time honored black and chrome/silver look, mainly cause it’s cheap, easy and quick. I spent a manic couple of afternoons this week with a couple of cans of Krylon and two vinyl #1 stickers. The #1 is my favorite Harley logo from the days when an XL Ironhead was the World’s Fastest Motorcycle. I sprayed on the front porch so in addition to the orange peel, there may be a stray tick, chigger or pubic hair embedded in the paint. Hey, you can’t get that from the factory.

I replaced the brass HD handlebar clamp with that 70s aftermarket XLCH engraved chrome clamp. At certain times of the day the reflection off that flawless chrome is blinding. Also got rid of the brass kicker pedal in favor of the CH peg. I really want to get a new straight petcock and get rid of that 90 degree bend so the fuel line can be re-routed.

I’ve got about 150 miles on her now. I did the 100 mile oil change and will change again at the (estimated) 500 mile mark. I’d read the forum posts RE: retorque heads and momentarily confused the debate with simple tightening of he head bolts. The toque wrench wouldn’t reach all the bolts anyway. I had a socket on a cherished antique “PLVMB” breaker bar that perfectly fit the bolts on the pushrod side and socked’em all down by feel. Hope I didn’t screw up.

It’s getting hot now and I’m still babying her. I plan a 100 mile back road ride tomorrow with an early morning departure and late evening return to keep her out of the heat of the day. I rode by Jerry’s Triumph this week to show Jerry that I did indeed get Animal Mother back together and his efforts on her behalf were not in vain. He was working on a Hayabusa and had a Suzuki Bandit on the dyno (it made 96 horses screaming WFO). He dropped it all to drill out my snapped off front gas tank bolt and weld in the new one I’d brought. I’d zip-tied the front part of the tank for the ride over. “I bet I’m the only guy that brings you worn out junk to work on,” I said, but he assured me that wasn’t true…


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