The "Denton Servi"

New Project!!

Pre 1951 Servi-car

MAY 17, 2019

Southern National Meet    Denton, NC

It was a picturesque weekend in North Carolina and a great opportunity to hang out, tell stories, learn from each other and dig through boxes of old motorcycle treasures.

My goal was to find a pre ’51 Servi. I had gotten the bug to find or build one years ago and that bug was awakened on a recent trip to the Dixie Speedway, where SMC member Dorsey Uptain brought his Servi for our display at the track. It has been a couple of months since Atlanta and I had been searching on line and in my forums for a good basket case to no avail. So I began thinking about starting from scratch. While considering my options a partially complete pre ’51 rear end came to me out of the blue from Mississippi. I went over to MS and got the rear end and found a NOS WLA air cleaner to boot! At this point I knew which way the project was going to go. Ground UP!

image1.jpg
image2.jpeg

We arrived in Denton on Thursday and setup camp and had a great time with the SMC gang at the campsite. Dinner was served and consumed. A big thank you goes to SMC members Danny and Beth Eubanks for making sure everyone got something to eat and a comfortable spot around the fire.

We crawl out of our tents on Friday to a gorgeous NC spring morning, grab a cup of coffee and off to the swap meet. The Denton swap meet was smaller than I had expected but the quality of items, in my opinion, was top notch. I get my plan together and my list is small, an early Servi frame. I go down the first aisle and make halfway through the second aisle and there it was in the back of a pickup truck with 4 other frames. It was what I wanted, and to add to it the matching complete rear end!!

IMG_0112.jpeg

by SMC member,

Cecil Frost (Big C)






"How Much fun can you cram into a day??"

Saint Patrick’s Weekend Tech Day – How Much fun can you cram into a day??

SMC Member Erik Bahl

This is one for the books! Tech weekend is over and I can’t believe how much was accomplished in such a short period of time. The out of town Smoky Mountain Chapter members started arriving Friday afternoon as we had a Saturday morning 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball presentation to give to the North Alabama Vintage Club at the Blue Plate Café. For those traveling 3 hours or so to get to Huntsville from GA, TN and other locations in Alabama, the 8AM breakfast made leaving on Saturday morning a bit inconvenient. The presentation focused on a support drivers’ life and the spotlight was on 17-year-old Zeke Smith who drove the Ford Transit Van “White Whale” coast to coast across the United States in support of Erik Bahl (#63, 1915 Harley Davidson). It was a packed house with at least 50 people including several guest Smoky Mountain Chapter members. The presentation lasted about 1.5 hours and included an interesting presentation from Smoky Mountain member Doug Jones (#96, 1914 Indian twin) where he discussed the challenges in nursing this delicate piece of machinery from coast to coast. He had a nice display of very expensive failed components to include a head that was destroyed when a valve punched through it when the head separated from the stem. Erik rounded out the discussion with a short presentation on his trek on the 1915 Harley.

Afterward the Smoky Mountain Chapter members regrouped at the Bahl compound. The December tech day activity was removal and disassembly of the transmission from Erik’s 1947 Harley. A lot of work on the transmission has occurred since then and a show and tell of worn and new parts was done. Mike McCloud brought a special lapping tool for the new fourth gear bearing that will properly size the race. This will allow reassembly to begin.

image2.png

After show and tell Erik’s 1917 Indian Powerplus with sidecar was rolled out into the driveway. It was a bit chilly, but the sun was out. This bike, when purchased had square tires with rubber as hard as a piece of wood. Doug Jones headed up “Clincher Tire School” The wheels were pulled off where one by one the old tires were removed using any means necessary which included a sawzall! Wheel bearings were cleaned and repacked. New tires (provided by Doug) and tubes were installed. Due to the difficultly getting the old tires off, multiple members worked on a single wheel at once. True teamwork!

9D6959CE8F61480DAC95E8EA0CD03723.jpg

With the front wheel removed we discovered the front forks were loose in the steering head. A second group of Smoky Mountain members removed the forks, cleaned and inspected balls, races, regreased and reassembled. In the middle of all this activity we took a late lunch break and headed down to Straight to Ale. It was St. Patty’s and there must have been three hundred people there celebrating. We wrapped up the work about 6:30 PM and chilled out until a late dinner at Ruth’s Chris later that evening (Doug and Patty treated – THANKS!). 

Shout out goes to first time Huntsville Tech Day participant Wes Connelly (The Ambassador). He showed up with gifts for all!

F282D01DBD774CDC911E7C5CCCDF818D.jpg

Sunday morning the remaining Smoky Mountain Chapter members had a short class on measuring bearing components with micrometers. Afterwards Mike McCloud showed us how to setup the lapping tool in the 1947 Harley transmission so the 4th gear race could be sized properly. Now its up to Erik to spend a few hours in his shop cranking the lap to remove the 0.0015” that is required. 

Thanks to everyone who attended. We had a great time and all experienced a lot of generosity of both time and material items. What a great group of people we have.

"BEWARE OF CONTEST PRIZES!" By SMC member Erik Bahl

BEWARE OF CONTEST PRIZES!

(Yes, that free item can cost you lots of money…

I knew I was in trouble when I got the email that I had won a muffler for a bike I did not own.

image1.png


As part of the AMCA recruitment program I was selected for one of the prizes which happened to be a muffler from Carl’s Cycle Supply. This muffler fits Harley Davidsons from 1941-49. It turns out this is a great muffler, but I don’t have a bike for it! So, I was staring at it for a month not exactly knowing what to do with it. It was crazy, I was not able to focus on my day job, what had they done to me with this gift! Carl’s donated it and I did not feel right selling it, I had to put it to a good use. After pondering, I finally figured out how to get the burr out of my boot. I just needed to find a bike that needed a muffler. So, after a three plus month of searching, turning over rocks, interrogating vendors at swap meets, and placing ads on Craigslist I have found a bike this muffler can fit!! I know you can feel the relief, because I sure do!!!

What is a little perplexing is how a simple email emptied my bank account so much – I might need some professional help….

Here is the invite –


I propose the weekend of June 30th (this could shift by a week depending on holiday schedules). Since the 4th falls on a Wednesday this year I am not exactly sure how everyone’s holiday plans line up. Come to Huntsville and help me fire up this beauty for the first time since 1976. Now there is no guarantee this will happen as it feels like there is no compression, but we will go as far as we can. It’s entered the hot season, so it might be warm in the garage – wear shorts and a tee cause we might sweat a bit, however I will have cold beverages and a shower. You are welcome to stay at the house but bring a sleeping bag. I have plenty of space to camp, but it might be warm outside (yes I have AC in the house so fill the floors up). At Monte Sano State Park they have one cabin open (CB14 as of this email). There are hotels within 6 miles if you want some privacy.

This is the opportunity to participate in something historic. A one owner bike that has not run since 1976 (42 years!). Yep it still might not run due to an engine issue or something I forgot to buy to make it happen, but this is still pretty cool!!

I may test the compression this weekend and if the bike truly needs more work, we can just look at it. There will be door prizes which consist of really old Harley dirt and cobwebs.

image2.png