Three Crashes Later....

By Paul Dexler
Photos by Steve Patience


Sometimes, the greatest blessing a bike builder can have is to be centerpunched by a car. If the rider's not hurt,
repairing the damage to the bike is the greatest incentive to redoing those little things that weren't just right before
the accident. One rebuild, thanks to a centerpunch, is about par for the course for custom bikes. Two times, and it gets to be a bit much. Three times is ridiculous.

Bill Roberts, of Hayward, California, bought his '47 knucklehead in 1965, for $50 and a $10 German helmet. It ran,
but that's just about all. He spent the next three and a half years in the Marines, half of that overseas. Most of the bucks from the service stint went into rebuilding the bike.

First time around, it was painted turquoise, with upsweep pipes and fishtails. The classic chopper. But shortly after
the bike was up, K-A-RUNCH. A car turned left in front of Roberts, and the bike was down again.

He built it up again. And here came that left turner again, OUCH. Oh well, back to the shop.

And yet again. This time the color bad been changed to candy red. But here came that blind left turner....

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