14 April 2011

1949 Harley 125 Hummer

This is how it starts.  Thanks Norm, for another very cool story...
 I looked at your blogspot and the first think that caught my attention was the sissy bar.  That is exactly how I made the one for the 1949 Harley 125 "Hummer"

Here is a picture of what the bike should have looked like.  It was rough when I got it and I was going for the Easy Rider look.  I dumped the bars for a set of bicycle (yes bicycle) handle bars from GC Murphy, ditched the bicycle seat and made a banana seat out of 1/2" round stock and naugahyde covering.  The sissy bar was the same steel stock and I bent it around a jack post in my parents basement for the apex.   There was no exhaust on the bike when I bought it, nor magneto I found out later.  But what do you expect for $25 in 1965.  For the exhaust I used flexible exhaust pipe and the muffler was from a friends 1960's Benelli 125 maybe.  Definitly Benelli.  Anyhow I needed more horsepower (or so I thought) and a better sound so I hacksawed the muffler off at the widest point to produce a megaphone.  I installed it a rakish angle up the rear wheel forgeting that my girlfriend (reason for banana seat) might burn her leg on it.  Fortunately it never got that hot or she never complained.  I painted it with Testors Blue Metal Flake model paint.  That's when I learned what "hot fuel proof" meant and the the first spill of gasoline washed it off.  A quick repaint and some hot fuel proof clearcoat solved the solvency problem.  Adding the high bars meant the old cables were far too short.  I ended up going to a Triumph dealer for some universal cables that ended costing me more than the bike did.  Riding was not too bad.  You will notice there are no shocks on the front.  It had what resembled gumbands for suspension.  The sound was great but riding was limited to as long as the battery would last. Remember the missing magneto.  Night riding was less of course.  Got to find the picture of the blue beast.