• Dana

Oscar the Bastard

Updated: Mar 19, 2019

As you can tell we're pretty excited about being in the Cannonball next year. The quote goes ' It will be again a test of true endurance.  It will pit “Man vs. Machine” on some of the best two lane roads...' and it will be a test of man and machine, but also the Machine's builder. Can this builder restore a 90 year old bike to run all day, every day for 18 days? That's my goal for the next 77 weekends. Restore this bucket of old parts to run the cannonball.


So say hello to 'Oscar the bastard'. Why 'the bastard', because every part I go to fix came from some other father. Usually when I restore a car or motorcycle there's a reason it was parked. The engine died, the clutch was shot, the brakes froze up, even a small engine fire. With Oscar, there are so many things wrong I couldn't tell you which one caused the previous owner to park him. The frames bent, every bearing race is shot, the handlebars are bent to hell, the engine's frozen and 60 thou over. The transmission is from 1924, the primary is from 1927, the headlight is from who knows where. Two side kickstands, why two I have no idea. The seat pan is from a 101 but the seat springs are from some hardware store. The front spring is cracked and the fork is bent. That's just small list.


77 weekends to go and so much to do. Here's what we've got,

I sourced a new frame, fixed the front forks, built new handlebars, rebuilt the front wheel, sourced a new front spring, new spokes, new front bearings and races. Rebuilt the rear wheel and found a rear fender. And kept one of the kickstands.


I got tired of sheet metal and bearings so I moved on to the transmission. What happens when you fill your transmission with water for a few decades? Yup, rust and lots of it. Lucky for me the transmission oil had enough dirt in it to form a protective clay around all the gears. But the bushings and bearings as usual are toast.


That's it for now, next week I'll show you the progress from the transmission.