|Subject:||My '56 ST||Date:||Thu Jun 14 21:42:26 2012|
In 1966 when I was 12 and living in Southern California, I bought a Harley from the kid around the corner for $15. I had to push it home, since it did not run - and the pushing wasn't easy because of the flat spots on the bottoms of the tires... Turned out I had purchased a 1956 ST. The bike had no generator or field coil, but would turn over and all the major parts were still there.
My Dad was a backyard mechanic and started helping me look into making it run. We made a couple of calls to Harley dealers in the area, all said they had no parts; one denied the bike even existed. We figured that our only option was to try to adapt a magneto system from another bike to make the Harley go.
We were talking to a parts guy at a Honda dealer explaining what we were trying to do, when the guy behind us in line piped up that he thought he had a couple of engines for old 2-stroke Harleys in his garage.
We followed him home and he hauled parts of two 125cc engines from the depths. One of them still had a complete generator. Don't remember now if we bought the engines or he gave them to us, but they gave us enough parts to give us a shot at making the 165 run.
Over the next couple of months, we found (after a long search) and installed new rings and gaskets, rebuilt the carb, and bought a 6-volt battery. Finally, I couldn't wait any longer; Dad mixed some fuel and I kicked it over. About the third time, the engine caught - with just the head pipe on, it was LOUD. Dad says my eyes looked like saucers.
I rode the bike off road until I was 16 and bought a $106 car - the $6 was tax ;=). The Harley was parked in Dad's barn until a couple of years ago. It is now parked in my garage. It still turns over, but there are lots of parts needed to make it road legal. Front and rear fenders, chain guard, head and tail light, spedo, tool box, and fork panel (just to start) are all missing. All of the wiring is rotten and the regulator and coil are shot.
I guess it is a little crazy, but I have decided to try to put my 165 back together again.
If any of you have parts left from your projects, or can point me to someone who does, I would really like to hear from you.
Thanks for any assistance!