Photo Gallery: 1984 Honda VT 700C Bobber Project

This 1984 Honda Shadow VT 700C is being rebuilt from the ground up, and then chopped back down again to create a bobber.

2013 International Motorcycle Show – Washington, DC

Oden Motor Shop doesn’t have much of a travel budget, so we don’t get to do the trade show circuit very often. When we do, it usually involves months of planning, loads of money, and lots of headaches. If Sturgis or Daytona are involved, there’s usually a pricey divorce shortly after. You can imagine my excitement when I learned the 2013 Progressive International Motorcycle Show was being held the first week of January in Washington, DC, right across the Potomac river from our shop in Alexandria, VA. All I had to do was find parking in downtown DC. Here is a sample of what I saw there.

New Photo Gallery: 2012 Rolling Thunder – Ride of the Patriots

Ride of the Patriots is a lead-up to Rolling Thunder put together every year by Patriot Harley-Davidson in Fairfax, VA. About 6,500 riders gather together in Fairfax to ride a police-escorted parade rout to join up with about half a million more Rolling Thunder participants at the Pentagon parking lot.

New Photo Galley: 2012 European & Classic Motorcycle Day

I had the great fortune of taking my family out to the 2012 European & Classic Motorcycle Day. It was a beautiful (but warm) summer day, and I could have asked for a better way to spend it than wandering around a field of antique motorcycles.

I Brake for Working Brake Lights

100_0114I was first alerted to a problem with the brakes on my bike when I started slowing down to make the left turn into my neighborhood and was suddenly assaulted by a blaring horn an obscenities from behind me. The guy driving the express delivery truck must have been pretty mad, because I could hear him clearly over the rumpling of my Screamin’ Eagle, and inside my half-face helmet. I made a quick check of my turn signals (I new I hadn’t forgotten to press the left turn button), and everything checked out.

A few minutes later, when I was back at home, I ran through a quick check:

  • Did something fall off my bike and hit the other car? — No. Everything was where it should be.
  • Did I have anything offensive written on my clothing?— Nothing that would elicit more than a disapproving glare from my grandmother (then again, she was very open minded and tolerant).
  • Were my tail lights out? No. When I pressed the footbrake, it all lit up.

But…

I check the brake again, using only the handbrake, and tail brake light stayed dark.

When I took off the break lever, the pressure-pin on the brake switch (which the brake releases when depressed) was stuck in its housing. No amount of coaxing could get it out.

So I headed down to Patriot Harley-Davidson in Fairfax, VA, and picked up a replacement switch for about $30.00 USD.

I was a bit nervous about replacing the switch myself: I can turn a wrench and change oil, but electrical troubleshooting is a bit beyond me. But the replacement switch came with good instructions with lots of drawings, so I decided to go for it.

Removing the brake lever was a simple task, since I’d already done it to check out the problem. Removing the electical switch housing and getting in to the bad switch proved challenging because my wiring is run inside the handlebars, and there really was no slack.

The brake switch was completely burnt out and had melted itself in a locked position. I had to gently muscle it out of the housing.

When I go the new switch in, I found that the release button (the part the brake pushes in and lets out to trigger the brake signal) was jamming. I loosed the screw holding the switch in to give it a little play, and jamming ceased to be an issue. I suspect this is what cause the earlier brake switch to burn out.

After some close wiring work (at least it was close to me), I got the new switch in and screwed and bolted everything back together.

When I tested the brakes using the hand lever, the brake light lit up instantly.

Hopefully the express delivery guy appreciates my effort and won’t drop my packages in the mud.

Fat Boy on a Softail

This 1993 Heritage Softail Classic isn’t a small bike, but when Curt gets on it, it looks down-right tiny! Fortunately, an aftermarket Screamin’ Eagle motor helps him keep up.

Z-Rod: Undead V-Rod

While it may be hard to believe, one of Big Daddy’s little buddies trashed his V-Rod, most likely as a result of doing something he shouldn’t have been doing, somewhere he shouldn’t have been, and probably with someone he knew better than to be doing anything with.

It’s funny how many Oden Motor Shop projects start out this way.

We’re not sure how Big Daddy ended up with the wreckage, although repayment for bailing the previously mentioned Little Buddy out of jail is a strong possibility.

For a while now, Big Daddy’s been wanting to get Son Number One off of his tiny 1980 Honda CX500 Custom, and onto something more suited to a man of great … stature.

Granted, the CX500 is a great motorcycle, but the circus clowns want their bike back.

So, for Son Number One, a junked out V-Rod is zombified by the mad geniuses of Oden Motor Shop. We give you: Z-Rod!

Big Daddy’s New Ride

Do you ever get that not so fresh feeling? Well, at some point in the life of every one of Big Daddy’s motorcycles, the seat stops smelling so much like leather, and starts smelling like old, hairy, STANKY, Big Daddy ass. When that inevitability happens, Big Daddy goes shopping.