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My Four Year Project

General announcements, news or ideas concerning people, places, or events coming up. No technical, politics, or complaints. Try to keep it short.

Post Fri Sep 29, 2006 7:26 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 6226
Location: Ohio USA

Now that bike is nice !!!! Awesome job Bro !!! Pa

Post Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:23 pm

Posts: 1527
Location: S.Calif.

Nice motorcycle. Is this a "kit" build? I see the motor is an S&S crankcase, Cycle Electric generator, different coil, electronic distributor. 6 or 12V system? Are any other parts aftermarket? If so what? The frame? The tanks? The fenders? The forks? The hubs and rims? Who made the seat? What did you have the most problem with? Who painted it?
Now that you've built one, would you build another? How much money do you have invested in it? Would you recommend anyone else building a replica Knuckle? Do "regular" people look at it and think it's original? Looks good. Goes well with the house. Have you owned motorcycles before? Did you have mechanical help other than FHP? How many times did you have to disassemble it completely? Will you register it as "special construction", if there is such a thing in PA? You can answer any or none of these questions. Just curious about replication and registration in other states.

Post Sat Sep 30, 2006 4:19 pm

Posts: 136
Location: Utah,USA
Neat and inspiring build. (Idea!) Bet a good tech book could be written about the experience?

Post Sat Sep 30, 2006 9:30 pm

Posts: 1527
Location: S.Calif.

Thanks for the explanation. I use the word "kit" to mean a bike made of individual sourced pieces. Even if someone bought a V-Twin "kit" it would still be shipped in individual pieces, and you'd still have to "fit" them.
You said all the parts were "new". N.o.s new or aftermarket new?
Where did your frame come from? OEM or aftermarket, and if the latter, did you have problems with the frame? If so what did you do to correct it?
Thanks for giving everyone an inspired insight as JohnR said. It makes me want to go out and paint the rest of my parts and put mine back together.
As far as "special construction" registration, you'll find that people at the DMV will want to help you more than hinder you. Your's won't be the first. Let them know you want to follow procedure and what do they want to see as far as receipts? The inspectors probably don't get to see a replica '36 Knuckle roll through there very often. Use the visual "stoke" your machine will provide to your benefit. 8)
I’m no way a master mechanic nor am I a guy who makes a living building bikes, I’m just a guy who has some mechanical ability and likes to work on anything with two or four wheels.
That's the poster quote for the kit build industry.

Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:12 am

Posts: 357
Location: madison wisconsin usa
what a nice bike!

does it feel nimble on the 18" wheels? i'd bet you are going to suprize some folks with an 82" motor!


Post Sun Oct 01, 2006 7:24 am

Posts: 1527
Location: S.Calif.

Your right about Calif. "speicals". Only now, since 2004 you can't build a "special construction" unless you use for example, an S&S motor, that has fuel injection and a non-tamperable exhaust system. And, if you did, you'd still have to camp out overnight in front of the DMV and try to be one of the first 500 in line to get a "building permit". If you don't obtain one of those "permits", you're out for another year. Basically, it all means no more Linkert carburetors out here, unless you have an old original title to build from, and then you don't need one of the special permits. (This is where the CHP steps in and will occasionally, out of m/c brotherhood and prevailing conditions, sign-off on a re-pop motor as long as it's in the frame an old titled machine you're trying to get registered.)
As first announced, the EPA rules seemed too extreme, with their one kit bike per lifetime provision. As it turned out, the Calif. Air Quality Board got more extreme than the EPA with intake and emissions. :lol: So now, the EPA rules seem more in line with freedom and reasoning, allowing a one-time, emissions-exempt "S.C.", although you can't bring one into the state and get Calif. plates unless the motor and exhaust meet the new C.A.R.B standards.
Happy trails. Sounds like you'll have no problem getting yours registered. Thanks for the update.

Post Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:37 am

Posts: 428
Location: Tucson Arizona

Beautiful Bike!!!!!!! Very very well done.

I'm going to play Devil's advocate here.

I personally wouldn't let H-D see it because you could end up with a nasty letter in the mail or worse. If my memory serves me right, Krugger Motorcycle Company in Belgium, who makes some pretty neat customs and uses mostly H-D stuff in his builds, was sent a letter to remove the H-D logo's from his builds. Lawsuits would follow without compliance.

I was sent letters about a couple of my bikes that I used as display models for verification of the frame being original H-D.

Maybe it's none of my business, but I do know this site is watched by more than just the registered members.

I think Panic has a story about a guy who was taken to court for modifying his bike.......or I may be imagining that one.....

Still a beautiful bike though!!!!


Post Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:20 am

Posts: 886
Location: Hill City, Ks. USA

I think the problem HD would have is with the tank decals that say "Harley Davidson" on them. They would also be looking for patent stickers and anything that had the Harley davidson label on it. They have really fired up their terrorist tactics in "protecting" trademarks and patents. S&S was required to change the names of their engines recently because of litigation. They can no longer use the words Shovelhead, Evo, Evolution, or Twin Cam. I think they can use something like "Shovelhead Style" HD has over 100 words trademarked that aftermarket suppliers have used to describe the parts they sell. I've been told by a couple of my vendors that the 07 catalogs will not have descriptions like FLH,FX, XL, Sportster, Superglide, Ultra, Electra Glide, and on and on. I'm really curious how they are going to get around this hurdle in letting customers know what fits what. It seems Harley is trying to crush the aftermarket industry. IMO the aftermarket is what made Harleys so popular over the years. The fact that you could count on parts being available long after HD obsoleted your bike. The ability to customize your bike using innovations and technology not available from the factory. With their own Screaming Eagle Aftermarket parts, HD believes there is no longer any purpose in allowing businesses they do not own to make a living from their name. IMO this is a huge mistake on their part. The public backlash will give HD a black eye and push people that have been loyal to the marquee for 30-40 years to become BMW, Goldwing and Victory riders.
My .02

Post Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:35 am

Posts: 343
Location: Champaign-Urbana, IL

I don't quite understand your concern ... This is clearly a one-off bike, not a commercial product. Unless he goes into production, I can't imagine that HD or anybody else would care ... or have a legal leg to stand on, for that matter.


Post Mon Oct 02, 2006 11:25 am
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 6226
Location: Ohio USA

I understand Curt's concern but the way I see it.......he bought the tank emblems so he can place them anywhere he wishes. There are no laws, that I'm aware of, stating a part you purchase must be placed where another same part originally was. Example....I go into my local HD dealer and ask for a pair of spark plug wires used on a current HD model. Is the parts counter person going to ask me to sign a document stating that I will use these wires only on that current HD model ? Ain't gonna happen ! I may have just wanted that type of plug wire set for use on my own build or project. Maybe I figured my twin cylinder Kohler powered lawn mower would run more efficiently on them ? Just make sure the receipts are kept safe and sound. Once HD sells a is no longer theirs !! Patents protect profits from being made from illegal duplication. They don't protect HD from customers who use what they purchased for personal use. Maybe HD didn't sell those emblems directly to him, but, HD did sell them to someone, somewhere along the way.

As far as the terms Knucklehead, Flathead, Shovelhead, ect., goes...HD didn't invent those terms. They used terms such as WL, EL, UL, FX, XL, etc., instead. It was the customers, wrenches, and builders who came up with the named terms. My 2 cents. Pa

Post Mon Oct 02, 2006 1:12 pm

Posts: 1527
Location: S.Calif.

Here's a for instance:
HD has the chrome '54 script for gas tanks made in Taiwan to HD specifications. Kit # 91784-92T. HD licensed, clearly printed on the bubble-pack packaging as "official", with no designation as to where you can attach it. When you buy the script, you are buying their name. If you went into replica production of motorcycles, you'd have legal problems attaching the script to the gas tanks and calling the replicas Harley-Davidsons. But, HD would have a hard time convincing a court, that the tank emblems they sold on the open market, could not be used anywhere you wanted to put them. Their copyrights are diligently enforced, so that they can choose who to chase. If your not trying to rip Harley and their stockholders off, then HD doesn't care what you do, but they keep their "legal stick" to hammer you with if they feel they need to.

Post Mon Oct 02, 2006 10:06 pm

Posts: 645
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Beautifull Motorcycle with a modern twist. I would love to ride this bike.
Last edited by amklyde on Wed Oct 04, 2006 6:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

Post Tue Oct 03, 2006 12:17 am

Posts: 886
Location: Hill City, Ks. USA

First off... It is a beautiful bike and is very well done. My post was my thoughts in expanding on Kurt's post above mine. The bike is not a Harley Davidson, but the gas tanks clearly label it as a Harley Davidson. That is the point I was making. The Harley fleet of attorneys are doing more than ever in coming down hard on the aftermarket manufacturers. Take a close look at any official Harley manual. In the small print there is usually a list of the trademarked names owned by HDI. They do include Panhead, Knucklehead, Sportster, and a whole bunch of other names even if they weren't invented by Harley. They are commonly used to describe the company's motorcycles, so HD trademarked the names. I have heard a lot of horror stories from people that have been served cease and desist orders. Zoom may never have to deal with any notice from HDI, and I hope he never has to. He should be aware that it is a possibility, and should think about a plan of action if it ever does. Sanding off the decals and repainting the tanks would probably appease HDI. He hasn't said whether he will have the bike featured in any magazines (it's certainly worthy) or entered in any shows, but I would be concerned about calling any great amount of attention to the fact that the bike has no Harley parts on it except the tank decals.
This is just my opinion. I'm not trying to dis the bike. It's a great job and something to be very proud of.
if you are putting Harley decals on a motorcycle's gas tank aren't you labeling the whole bike as a Harley Davidson? You are copying the script and location of the labeling system that HD uses. Whether it is tribute, or whatever, it copies the process Harley Davidson uses to label it's product. I don't think they care if it's for personal use, or resale. Bottom line is that you are labeling a motorcycle as a Harley Davidson when there are no HD parts on it.

Post Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:59 am
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 6226
Location: Ohio USA

Curt, Your comments are excellent. I agree with all you say. No doubt HD would try to dispute the use of their name on the bike if they felt an impossing threat. But ? I disagree on the name label based on one major fact. The label was purchased legally. He could have placed that label on his old ford pickup truck. Placing it on that truck doesn't mean it is an HD truck. I wear HD logo shirts. Wearing my legally purchased shirts doesn't make me an HD model. He could have placed them on a Honda or any other manufacturers bike. Bottom line is....he built a bike, regardless of whether or not it is replicated, and he placed a legally purchased emblem on it, the emblem does not make it an HD. There are a few Asian models out there on the roads now that can be mistaken for an HD model. Heck...they even sound pretty close to an HD model. If the owner of one of those models desides to place a legally purchased emblem on it, what is HD gonna do about it ? NOTHING !! I have HD mudflaps on my Sunbird. Pontiac isn't going to sue me. The horror stories you mentioned are true but many of these stories are copywrite infringments such as painting an HD logo on a barn wall or posting an HD logo at a shop where no offiliation with HD exists. Vendors at swapmeets advertize HD parts for sell. They are selling actual HD factory parts which they legally own. Can HD claim that the vendor cannot use their name in order to sell these parts ? They would like too but they can't. If given the legal muscle, they might attempt to make an issue on this beautiful Knucklehead replication. But they do not have a stake in this bike, not even on the emblems. Once a pon a time.....HD owned those emblems. At the time of sale, they gave up the ownership of those particuliar emblems. This gentlman cannot reproduce these emblems or manufacture his replication using more sets of those emblems for profit. without a licence granted from HD. His legal use of those emblems is fulfulled now. HD doesn't have a leg to stand on regarding this replication. The title will not make claim in any way shape or form to it's ressemblance of an HD. It is not an HD. Does it look like an HD ? Yep !! Do some other bikes look like HD models ? Yep !! Do some HD models look like non HD bikes ? Yep !! WAS the emblems HD at one time ? Yep !! Are they now ? NO !!! Did this bike get built with the intentions of making a profit from the HD name ? NO ! Case closed...says the courts. If those emblems, which were legally purchased, are restricted from placement, in any way, all HD logos, not mounted on HD vehicles, must be removed. This goes for Ford, Chevy, Chyrsler, etc., also. Pa

Post Tue Oct 03, 2006 10:11 am

Posts: 886
Location: Hill City, Ks. USA

You make a good argument. I can see a defense from your standpoint. You are right that most of the cease and desist orders are targeting people making some commercial use of a harley trademark, whether it's a bar and sheild, or simply the letters HD, as in the HD Cafe around here that had to change their name. They also had a orange and black sign. I thought that was really a stretch for copyright infringement. They had no connection to HD other than the owner rode one. This was years ago.
What I do know is that HDI is trying to put aftermarket suppliers of parts that fit Harley Davidsons out of business. Their attack on S&S, who has done lots of R&D for Harley over the years, is testament to the lengths the motor company will go to to stifle aftermarket manufacturers. I'm not sure how far they will persue this, but as sales of new bikes slow, and profits erode, I look for them to become more agressive in "protecting" their trademarks, pateents, and copyrights.

Post Tue Oct 03, 2006 5:00 pm
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 6226
Location: Ohio USA

Sad but true Curt. They are trying to do just that. I chuckle when I drive by a couple of local dealerships in my tri state area when I can go into an official HD dealership and buy a brand new Honda if I don't want the lastest HD model. :wink: Pa

Post Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:22 pm

Posts: 886
Location: Hill City, Ks. USA

Interesting you would mention the Honda link. A HD dealer in SW Kansas decided to expand into another mid sized city in Western Kansas. He's been a dealer since at least the 60s. In addition to HD he also sells Honda and BMW. His plan was to sell Hondas and BMWs at the new location in addition to HDs. HD refused to give him the franchise in the new location unless he only sold HDs. Their policy now is to only sell and service bikes manufactured by Harley Davidson. He had the building up and parking lots paved and was ready to move in. He dropped the entire project because he couldn't sell all 3.

Post Wed Oct 04, 2006 7:54 am

Posts: 81
Location: Pompton Lakes NJ
WOW! Seeing how beautiful your bike has turned out is just the kick in the ass I need to finish mine. Please update how the DMV and Insurance turn out for you. I will be facing the same thing in time.

Post Thu Oct 05, 2006 9:06 pm

Posts: 801
Location: Planet Earth
First off,

ZoomingM3 Great bike, good luck with the DMV.

As far as HD jumping on him, probably not. Although Pa makes some good arguments, if they wanted to they could haul someone into court and drag it out till either you just give up or go broke trying to fight them. The lawyers have time and money on their side and most individuals don't. There have been stories, I think some on this board and other places where there were claims made that HD reps and Lawyers were going around some of the larger events threatening people with law suits or some big fine if they did not remove the HD logos from their bikes. I am not sure if they are true or not but I know that HD can not fine you but a court could. But I would not put it past them trying it. Their argument would probably be that they did not make the bike and that you have no right to put their name on it. As far as the emblems, stickers and other do dads HD sells with their Logo on it, I have yet to see anything on or in the package that states how I can display it, what I can or can not do with it. They sell 41 to 46 tank emblems and list them as such but there is nothing that says I can only use them on a 41 to 46 HD with factory HD tanks. And their sales people will tell you they are tank emblems that you can put on your tanks. Does that let you off the hook? After all you bought them from an HD dealer and their sales person told you that you could put them on. And that goes for all the other replica parts they have there. I would tend to agree that HD is, well at this time, only interested in people that are trying to make money off of their name. But who knows what they will do next. I hear that they don't want anything to do with the old bikes but they sure as hell want them around when it is some type of anniversary or other special event.

Are HD people watching or surfing this site? Yes without a doubt. As far as their position with HD, who knows for sure.


Post Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:43 am
Pa Site Admin

Posts: 6226
Location: Ohio USA

Excellent points Jim, especially with the money/lawyer emphasis. An attack on this bike would bring bad PR To HD though. I suspect the stock holders would fringe at the thought of massive revenue losses over a long term legal battle, even if the money can't run out in one. Big money can keep a court battle going on for years as you say but in this case, a long term battle in the courts will lengthen the bad PR exposure also. What would the motor company say if he had a spare set of original tanks, also equiped with a set of those emblems, as a replacement for the repo tanks ? Will the new argument be that those tanks cannot be used on the repo bike ? We don't allow it !! :lol: Is not, what is good for the goose, also good for the gander ? :wink: Pa



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