Editors Note: Part four of the series. The fantastic broom-stick rake-ometer and other late night tricks!
Welcome back! Isnít Choppers Rule the best web site on bikes and the lifestyle youíve seen! I love it, course, Warren, and, Wendy are pretty much the best in my crazy life too, so Iím a tad less than totally objective.
Anyway, within a week or so I called this Blair fella, and asked him a basketful of questions about the bike. All I got out of him was that he thought I ought to do myself a favor and make the front end shorter, and shallower to make it more manageable. He did give me some numbers on the rake, and length of the front end, that turned out to be totally bogus. In his defense, I think that the Easy Rider bike he worked on (I gag when I try to call it Captain America) is the one that Easyriders magazine has that they take to various events. Boy is it a lousy copy! The work is fine, but when it comes to accuracy with the movie bikes it sucks, plain and simple. So Iím on my own again on the front end. Thatís just fine.
I measured the clearance of the bottom rails of the frame on my Softail from the ground, and eyeballed it as compared to the bike on my poster, and the best shot I could see in the movie. Then, set my frame up on an old tool box to be just about the same. Within half to a quarter inch anyway. I then stuck a broomstick through the neck, and taped it in place so that it was against the back of the neck, and not angled through it.
There you have it, instant front-end gauge. At least for rake, but what about the
length? Some things in life make you go Hmmmmm. After waking up thinking about it for a couple of days it came to me. I got the frame measurement from the Softail, why not the front end? I proceeded back out to the garage early one morning and measured the distance from the ground to the middle of the axle on the 21inch front wheel of my Softail. Take that measurement, and where it intersects with the broomstick will yield the length needed at that rake and frame clearance when you factor in the triple trees. It was after all this drill that I realized I needed more rake in the neck to be "RIGHT" (Another word that became closely associated with Captain America) it needed A-LOT more rake! Hey by the way, how about a little Easy Rider trivia. I know a guy in Phoenix Az. thatís gonna be righteously pissed off if anyone gets this one!
Q. What were the brand, and model of sunglasses worn by Wyatt in the film?
Back to Business. I loaded the frame in my van and hauled it, and my "American Classic" poster, (Which, as it turns out, is nothing more that a picture of Jim Leonardís bike, which is cool.) back up to Scottís place. I duplicated my front-end gauge for him, and compared it to the bike on the poster, and Scott said, "Needs more rakeÖa-lot more rake. I was convinced. I left the frame
with him to axe the neck, and add approximately seven degrees of rake to it, and do some additional minor modifications, which I am not at liberty to divulge at this time. I went home to find something else to work on while Scott had my frame. What to do. Oh yeah, canít forget, Iíd been combing the swap meets, for a headlight, a side mount job with large thumb nuts to secure it to a U shaped bracket bolted to the lower tree. Well I mentioned this search odyssey to Scott, and he said, "Hang on ", went in the back, and came out carrying guess what. I was amazed. I told him "Sold". Every so often somebody comes up with something that completely surprises me. I havenít at this point found the all important gas tank. If you donít have the right one, the whole project is as good as down the tube. It ainít just the paint ya know.