Tag Archives: artistry in iron

1941 INDIAN CUSTOM BUILT

Photos & Post by Jack McIntyre:  Being the Artistry in Iron Photographer each year gives me the opportunity to photo some of the worlds best builds, and this 1941 Indian by Jon MacDowell of Bonneville Customs, caught my eye immediately during setup. Just so you all know, I offered this bike to the print magazines, and after learning it would be “possibly” a year in the file cabinet before consideration, I checked with Jon and received the permission to post this amazing bike. Enjoy the images below. I shot them at the 2017 Las Vegas Bikefest, my favorite event of the year, every year!

Enjoy this write up from Jon, he describes the creation of this masterpiece.

JON MacDOWELL:  I bought this 1941 Indian Scout 741 as a basket case on eBay about a year ago.  I spent the next 9 months tracking down parts, some I got from Jerry Greer’s Engineering and some from Kiwi Indian, but I had to buy many from eBay all over the world. I found some parts in the US, some in Australia, and some from Sweden. I started building the bike after winning the Fremont Street show at Las Vegas Bike Week last year. I started building the frame and front end while I sent the motor off to Carl Pusser at Walkin Tall cycles to bore the cylinders out to 37ci and rebuild the bottom end. After Carl shipped it to me, it was destroyed in shipping by Fed Ex, so damaged that they couldn’t deliver it to me. I had to shop it back and forth to Carl twice as we tried to repair it. BTW, FedEx has denied that they were at fault and refused to pay out the insurance we purchased for it. Yes, I’m still mad about this to this day. I didn’t have a complete motor until around May of this year, in the meantime I had to try to build everything else that I could without a motor. I was missing the primary cover and couldn’t find any around, so I machined an inner and outer primary and converted the setup to an open primary, I also used this machining opportunity to relocate the generator to the top of the transmission. The inner primary is machined to mount the generator above the tranny. I mounted a model 65A 12V generator and used a generator gear from a 1946 Indian Chief to torun the generator. The gear fits into the primary chain to turn it. The engine case and transmission are painted Indian red by Blair Peterson of Creative Custom Paint in Idaho Falls, ID.  They are the only items painted on the bike, the rest is polished Stainless steel and aluminum.  I decided to forego the Linkert carb and build a custom manifold to adapt an Amal 930 carb to the engine.

I designed and build the frame and front end, the welds were done by Rhett Patner of Power Needy The front end is a custom springer, the internal and external springs are opposing tensions and laced through plates mounted to the forks. The bike rides on a custom pair of Black Bike Wheels with Stainless hubs and powder coated rims, the front is a 23″ Bridgestone knobby and the rear is a 19″ Firestone ANS and runs a pre-unit Triumph brake and sprocket.

The handlebars are hand bent from 1″ Stainless, with an internal throttle capped off by a set of cast aluminum grips from Speed Foundry in Texas.

To make the tanks, I made a trip down to Vegas and took a Shaping class from Cristian Sosa at Sosametalworks. The tanks are shaped on the outside from 14ga aluminum. The gas caps are hand machined from aluminum bar and rotate sideways to open.

The fuel filter and oil filter are handblown glass pieces that I had a local guy do in Boise, Idaho. I machined the cap pieces to fit the glass and rubber mounted them to the frame.  The oil bag is hand shaped polish aluminum and sits in the frame under the filter.

The final touch is the seat, made from 1/2″ thick solid brass mounted to 1/8″ aluminum plate. We built a custom form for a brake and pressed the two pieces together to make the shape of the seat. From there we hand cut the brass and filed it down, then rolled the edges of the aluminum at the legs so it looked like an old vintage motorcycle leather seat. It sits on top a compression spring that runs through the frame.

I started the majority of the work on this bike in May when I got the engine finally back. I work a normal day job and have a wife and 2 kids. Most of my time working on the bike came after I put the kids to bed, I would work from 10 at night until 1 or 2am. I spent nearly every night working in the shop until the show in October. Many weekends throughout August and September I loaded up the bike and parts and drove 4 hours to Idaho Falls to work in the Bonneville Customs shop with Mark Shell. To say I was relieved to finish the bike and get down to the Artistry in Iron show is an understatement, I was burnt out by the end of it. But after nearly a 2 month break, I’m back in shop and building more parts.

Check Jon out on facebook, see his other work’s of art: https://www.facebook.com/jon.macdowell

Las Vegas BikeFest® 2017 Rally Recap

2018 LAS VEGAS BIKEFEST LOGOLAS VEGAS: More than 30,000 bikers and motorcycle enthusiasts from nearly all 50 states and 12 other countries cruised into town for the 17th Annual Las Vegas BikeFest, October 5-8. The rally was four action-packed days filled with entertainment, contests, bike shows, MMA fights, Uncle Kracker performing live, and demo rides from Indian Motorcycles. With the addition of Rally West, located on 3rd and Fremont Street, attendees had even more options for shopping for the latest in motorcycle parts and accessories, apparel, and more.

1“Our goal every year is to continue to keep the rally growing and the activities and entertainment “fresh”. With the new locations we chose for our poker runs, bringing the Tuff-N-Uff Amateur MMA fight, expanding our vendor area to Rally West, giving away $5,000 in shopping sprees and more bike shows, we feel we accomplished that”, states Mindi Cherry, Event Manager.

2Music filled the rally all four days with over 30 live bands playing- everything from hard rock, blues, punk, country and more. Continue reading Las Vegas BikeFest® 2017 Rally Recap

ANOTHER LAS VEGAS BIKEFEST IN THE BOOKS, WHAT A GREAT EVENT!

Words and photos by Jack McIntyre:  Well everyone, this is officially my 15th year as an official photographer of the Las Vegas Bikefest. I’ve been a part of more rallies and events over the last 20 plus years than I could even explain. Management teams come & they go, but the family oriented Las Vegas Bikefest is by far my extended family. I’m based in Philly, they are in Vegas, but the separation doesn’t mean a thing. Each year we all gather together in Vegas and then the magic begins. I will begin to post images… lots of images, and I hope you enjoy them all. Here are only a few to start, so keep checking back, especially tomorrow the 14th, I’ll be adding a bit of everything.

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THE LAS VEGAS BIKEFEST 2017 IS APPROACHING QUICKLY!

Everyone, if you have never been… you need to. If you have been, then you know what I’m talking about. I’ve been shooting the Las Vegas Bikefest for the last 14 years. The crew that runs the even is like family to me. It’s incredibly organized, has killer events, shows, concerts, and contests, and how can you beat the Las Vegas Backdrop. Check out their site LAS VEGAS BIKEFEST, and join me and thousands of others for a couple of party packed days in Vegas. October 5th to the 8th. Enjoy a few of my shots from last year below.STR_7966-X3 STR_7927-X3 STR_7880 STR_7861-X3 STR_7259-X3 STR_6971-X3 BIGBEAR-8133 ALVB_8348-X3

2017 Las Vegas Motorcycle Hall of Fame Inductee – Arlen Ness

12017 Las Vegas Motorcycle Hall of Fame Inductee
Arlen Ness

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Las Vegas Motorcycle Hall of Fame announces Arlen Ness as inductee into the 2017 class.
Arlen Ness, an American motorcycle designer and entrepreneur, is best known for his custom motorcycles. Ness received acclaim for his designs, most of which are noted for their unique body style and paintwork.
From humble blue-collar origins, Arlen has risen to the highest ranks of the motorcycle industry.  In a world where chopper builders rule television airwaves, Arlen reigns supreme.  Arlen didn’t rise to this level by merely being one of the first major builders on the scene; he earned his place in the pantheon of customers by being the most innovative builder to ever set a torch to metal.  When other builders were settling for extended forks and mile-high sissy bars, Arlen was using center-hub steering and mounting two engines on his choppers. When other builders were bolting together choppers with off-the-rack parts, Arlen was crafting turbocharged machines with custom-built overhead-cam engines. arlen-ness
“I am very proud to be inducted into the Las Vegas Motorcycle Hall of Fame.  It is a good feeling to know that people like what we do with motorcycles.  I have had this passion for over fifty years.  I have attended Las Vegas BikeFest which has featured awesome motorcycles and exceptional builders.  I have attended many shows and events all over the world.  I think these events are great for the industry and I am happy to be a part of it,” says Arlen.
Arlen remains one of the most innovative builders in a chopper scene populated by many talented young innovators.
“To have The King of Choppers inducted into the Las Vegas Motorcycle Hall of Fame is an honor for all riders and builders throughout the world, who have admired and been inspired by Arlen’s work for so many years”, states Mindi Cherry, Vice President and Show Manager of Las Vegas BikeFest.
Las Vegas BikeFest, in partnership with Branscombe Richmond, launched the Las Vegas Motorcycle Hall of Fame at the 2016 rally.  “The Hall of Fame is designed to honor the iconic ambassadors, influential heroes and people who put their interests above and beyond for the motorcycle community.  This honor celebrates, illuminates and preserves the rich tradition of motorcycling in America”, says Cherry and Richmond, curators of the Hall of Fame.
A ceremony to honor the inductees will be held on Friday, October 6 during the 17th Annual Las Vegas BikeFest held in Downtown Las Vegas.
The 17th annual Las Vegas BikeFest will be held October 58, 2017 in the heart of downtown Las Vegas on Fremont East.