TSY SATURDAY SLOPPY SECONDS | THE 1970’s BADASS BIKER ROUNDUP, PT. II

Just too much 1970s Biker badass goodness to not go sequel on y’all, and in full color no less, bros and bras.  Check the great ozone fade in a lot of these old pics that have been used and abused, and finally landing here for prosperity.  I’m honored to give them a home. While I’m at it–  also revisiting custom bike legend Jeff McCann.  His awesome archive of work has been lovingly featured on TSY before to mad fanfare, as it should.  Let’s get to it, shall we?

Love some old school 1970s Harley Digger action.

Roberta Pedon on a Panhead chopper. Not many are fit to print, I’m glad to have this lil’ gem.

“Run to the Redwoods”  Jeff McCann’s run featured in this 1974 Custom Chopper magazine. “While I claim no credit for the success of the “Redwood Run” in later years, I was the one who was it’s initiator. Bob Dron was at “The Run to the Redwoods” and is the guy parked by the side of the road watching the passing bikes in the first photo above the title. 4 years later he purchased the Oakland Harley-Davidson dealership from the surviving Self brother. At the Northern California Dealers meetings he began lobbying for a revival of the TTT event and suggested they follow the format I had established, ie. live band, food and drink provided and use the same (now improved) campsite. When it was finally approved sometime later he called and told me they had decided to call it the “Redwood Run”, a slight variation on the nameI used. The call was a courtesy to see if I objected and of course I did not.

I attended the first event and for many years afterward. As the run grew in popularity it became profitable to a small degree. The dealers had begun contracting with the local Kiwanis Club for all site services. The local sheriff announced the dealers where going to have to begin paying for his departments “overtime” costs incurred by policing the event, to the tune of $40,000, the dealers canceled the event. The very next year the Kiwanis took out ads in several newspapers and motorcycle magazines and announced the continuation of the “Redwood Run” just as everyone had known it before.”.  Jeff McCann

Awesome Old School Arlen Ness Harley-Davidson Digger.

Julie on Chopped CHP Harley Shovelhead built by the legendary Jeff McCann. “This was one of the many CHP bikes we bought at auction in Sacramento. Most we resold to shop customers but several we chopped and rode as shop bikes, then sold. We had a used vehicle dealers license and sometimes sold customer bikes on consignment. This is one of the few bikes I didn’t paint as I was busy traveling to socal on buying trips and overseeing two retail stores plus the wholesale/mail order business. That’s a 20 over Wayne engineering girder fork with a Santee 21″ half brake front wheel. These tiny brakes were useless but satisfied the vehicle law requiring brakes at both axles on bikes manufactured after 1965 (current law in 1973). Paughco Mustang tank, oil tank and pipes, our own “butt bucket” seat made by Cheetah Engineering of socal.” Jeff McCann

It’s better in the water…

1970s Daytona Beach Couple on Chopper. –Image by © Jean-Yves Ruszniewski

1970s Daytona Beach Trike Madness. –Image by © Jean-Yves Ruszniewski

1973 Daytona Beach, Florida Chopper Beach Ridin’ –Image by © Jonathan Blair

1970s Daytona Beach Chopper Contest –Image by © Jean-Yves Ruszniewski

Rows of choppers and bikes outside the Boot Hill Saloon. –Image by © Patrick Ward

1976, Corte Madera, CA Bicentennial July Fourth Parade –Image by © Ted Streshinsky

Thanks for takin’ off your top so I could get in Easyriders, babe.

Believe it or not, this couple rode to Daytona all the from California on this H-D Shovelhead.

Now on Blu-ray– “Grizzly Adams Gone Wild – Uncensored” with scenes we can’t show on TV.

“We regularly purchased 3 or 4 bikes at the Sacramento CHP auction held every six months. All were customized either by customers we resold them to or we chopped them and then resold them. Larry’s bike has a 20 over CycleShack girder fork, Weber carb, Paughco one piece pipes, CJ pullback handlebars and VDO mini speedometer. All the parts used to chop this former cop bike came from my chopper shop retail store. Larry Bass ran our Modesto store for a year before moving to the bay area. He and I remained friends, talking by phone weekly, until his death in 2007.”  Jeff McCann

Someone said– “Boys have six packs, men have kegs.”  Amen, brother.

Custom Arlen Ness badass Harley-Davidson digger motorcycle

“These are just the tanks from sets I leafed and striped for Arlen Ness in 1978. About every two weeks he would drop off and pick up parts, a very prolific painter at the time. I was doing work for 3 other painters also, while working full time in the printing trades. These are lacquer and have been sanded with 600 grit which is why they look dull. Arlen and the other painters would then clear them with lacquer and rub them smooth. I was one of several stripers working with daggerlac paint which was compatible with the base and clear acrylic lacquers we used at the time. Many car stripers used OneShot enamel and top coating with lacquer caused the striping to wrinkle.

Using alcohol based sizing (glue) which was ready to leaf in minutes I could layout and apply the leaf to a set of tanks and fenders in two or three hours. My first wife would sometimes help me by applying the leaf while I painted the sizing on the next part. After drying overnight, I would then burnish and stripe the job the following night. Working every night after my day job as a printer and all day into the night on weekends. In 1978 I striped and leafed more than 100 bikes, cars, vans and even two snowmobiles belonging to my friend, Jim Davis.”  Jeff McCann

Easyriders magazine cover shot, 1979

“One of my very first chopped Triumph 650 twins. Modified the rear frame into a sissy bar/seat mount. Made the seat pan from sheetmeatl and had it upholstered by the local hotrod shop guys. Sold for a handsome profit after a 3 month build. I had a second Triumph I was riding and only test rode this bike once before selling it.”  Jeff McCann

Biker wardrobe malfunction– Connie asks Butch, “How’d you get the beans above the frank?”

Old School Easyriders magazine

Love the Easyriders’ Cosmo-esque relationships feature– “How to Select a Good Ol’ Lady”

That Miraculous Mutha freaked me out as a kid.  Runnin’ ’round naked… all them nasty flies…

Have a Coke and a smile. It’s the real thing. On the wall… “Support Your Local Hells Angels”

Arlen Ness’ “Hellbound” digger motorcycle. “This is the original version in 1977. If you look closely at the rockers on the springer you will see they are straight cut. Arlen made a special set of “v cut” rockers to get me a little more ground clearance.”  –Jeff McCann

1975– “At the grand opening of my latest chopper shop, Arlen Ness and a group of friends rode over from the bay area. Other locals rode over and we roped off the parking lot for an impromptu show. These are all daily riders, many of which Arlen or myself painted.” –Jeff McCann

24 over Harmon Girder Harley.  “DQ and I built this panhead as a joint project in 1978 after buying it in non-running condition. I painted and leafed it in my garage and we sold it and split the profits.”  –Jeff McCann

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BIKES, BIKINIS, BEER & BEACH | VINTAGE DAYTONA BEACH BIKE WEEK

BIKERS, CIRCA 1983 – 1985 | THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF ANN-SIMMONS MYERS

PHOTOGRAPHY OF WILLIAM GEDNEY | AN AMERICAN ARCHIVE– BIKERS

“FOUR WHEELS MOVE THE BODY — BUT TWO WHEELS MOVE THE SOUL.”

12 thoughts on “TSY SATURDAY SLOPPY SECONDS | THE 1970’s BADASS BIKER ROUNDUP, PT. II

  1. LOL you guys…you just know I had to do it!! my google page just lit up with a big “TILT” sign ;)
    JP, really I cant thank you enough for the vintage bike goodies, I must print some of those bike pics out and put them on my shop wall for my “Modern era biker” customers to see!

  2. In the picture of the gas tanks, the one at the far right was on a bike that used to hang on the wall of the showroom at Harley Davidson Montreal. I used to work in the service department there and remember that Ness-built iron Sporty well. It was sold sometime in the mid-80s, haven’t seen it since.

    Thanks for the memories.

    Costa.

  3. I love seeing pics of these old bikes, I really liked what Ness did back then. I’m not as big a fan of his work today, it’s all frumpy looking as far as I’m concerned.

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