Saturday, March 19, 2011

Jack Larson - Larson Machine

Over the years I have had several generations of engines in my Super Glide. The last version is by far the best. I took it apart myself and took all my parts to Jack Larson with Larson Machine in Belton, Missouri. He did a complete work over and built me a strong motor with 88 hp and 88 ft lbs of torque that functions great as a reliable daily driver. The Mikuni carb and Thunderheader complete the package.

I picked up the finished motor at his place and then reassembled the bike. For a guy like me it is a good feeling to know you have seen all the working parts of your motorcycle first hand. The only piece I haven't had apart at this point is the transmission.

I highly recommend dealing with Larson if you need/want any motorwork. He has been around a long time and knows what he is doing. He has been wrenching longer than I have been alive, and I will be 40 this May. Jack runs ads in Wide Open Magazine and operates out of his garage in Belton. He does work for many of the bike shops/dealers in the KC area.

Here is my paperwork (prices omitted).

Here is my dyno sheet from Worth North. The dyno process there was a fiasco. I will write more about that later. I have learned not to expect much from people who were working at Home Depot a few weeks ago...and when you go back they aren't there anymore.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Where Can I Get a Primary Chain Belt?

I have received several hundred e-mails inquiring how to get a primary chain belt. For those interested, I thought I would post some answers to common questions I receive.

Do you have any belts or parts for sale? No, I don’t want to sell mine and I have used up all my extra parts over the years.

Where can I find a belt? Your best bet is eBay. If you don’t want to spend $200+ you probably will have a hard time purchasing one. They are hard to find and the longer they are the more money they are worth.

Some suggestions for eBay searching:

1. Look for smaller belts and purchase two and make one. Sometimes there are extra chain pieces that are also for sale.

2. Search for alternative names. Many people don’t know what they have and list them incorrectly. I have found them under “primer chain belt”, “biker chain belt”, “motorcycle chain belt”, “gothic chain belt” and some just under “chain belt” (although it takes a while to sift through all the other belts for that general of a term).

3. You don’t have to use a master link for lengthening a belt. If you buy two shorter ones you can take them to a local dirt bike shop and have them put together. Racing bikes and ATVs don’t use master links in their chains, they use a tool that breaks chain and then rebrads the pin back on to put it together. It looks like this example.

4. If you have one that is just a few inches too short you can buy an actual older Sportster primary chain and use a small piece from that. The non-chrome plated section will be hidden behind your buckle.

Who manufacturers chain today? There are a lot of different companies that make this type of chain. The new chain I have is from Diamond Chain. They have distributors around the US, you can search for one near you on their website. When I checked with their KC distributor they had a minimum order of 100 feet. Options included nickel-plated and stainless steel. At the time it was too big of an investment for me.

Are they illegal? I don’t know where you live, but some states did outlaw them years ago. I had a local old-time 1%er tell me to watch where I wore mine in Kansas and Oklahoma. He had trouble there years ago. I haven’t ever been stopped for it; my guess is that whatever law existed today’s cops are too busy to care.

Once upon a time there was a young lady who was making them out of aluminum chain and selling them online. I don’t know if her idea ever took off, but they would have made a better belt with the lighter aluminum chain. She still has a video on Youtube that is here:

Good luck in your search!