Knucklehead Antique Motorcycle Club of America

I came across something I feel is quite interesting today.
Have you ever heard of the Knucklehead Antique Motorcycle Club of America Youth Program? No? Me either, that is to say until just a few moments ago.

I get up pretty early in the morning, this morning I was up and sitting at my computer by 3.15 AM. What I do is cruise the internet looking for news or information about the motorcycle industry that is of unique interest. I often find it…but then so do about a half million of you other people out here…which means (as far as I’m concerned) the information is not that unique.

It’s for this reason, I like to peruse
Bandit (Keith Ball), owner, publisher, editor, and supreme being at Biker Net Interplanetary Headquarters, has been heading this singularly unique biker e-zine for many years. I remember him from Easy Riders Magazine…circa 1978…through the early 80’s. After that, I didn’t buy magazines…just got too busy…and too poor to afford them.

It’s thanks to Bandit that a lot of otherwise obscure information gets out to the public and read. It’s because of Bandit that I now have heard of the Knucklehead Antique Motorcycle Club of America Youth Program, and I now would like to pass on what I’ve learned to you!

This new youth program is run by a guy by the name of Matt Olsen. He tells Bandit in a press statement: “To me, it seems like the biggest problems with antique motorcycles, is people not knowing enough about them, and being intimidated by them.” Olsen further states: “I am amazed by the amount of people my age who love the way bikes look and sound, but have no clue about the old bikes or how they work. I figured that if people in my age group were confused about the details of starting and operating ‘40’s era bikes, then there were probably more people that would benefit form some grass roost motorcycle promoting!”

According to the article in BikerNet…Matt’s objective is to run a two pronged promotion. First…an essay contest. The winner of this contest will find himself in a booth at the Limpnickie Lot in Daytona Beach in Spring of 2009…here the winner will find him/her self involved in a restoration build, hands on, learning what goes on in a restoration project of an antique HD.

The second outreach will be aimed at the crowd…Matt plans to introduce young people to “vintage kickstart motorcycles.” In other words darlin’, Matt plans to have several vintage motorcycles on stage or nearby…rear wheels propped up off the ground, and the entire bike stabilized, so that intrepid youngsters can learn how to kick an early Panhead or Knucklehead without fear of gravity and the physics of natural selection and the thinning of the species coming into play as they learn what we “oldsters” learned the hard way.

So, according to the news release, there will be two people manning the booth during it’s open hours, teaching people how to kickstart a 1948 Indian Chief and a 1946 Harley Davidson Knucklehead. You know what? As I was coming up, I remember how rare it was to see an Indian Chief…much less find someone willing to let you stand on it’s kick starter. And a 1946 Knucklehead?…well I know people who would kill for the chance to simply sit on one…never dreamed of really being able to kick start the machine! Granted…it isn’t the same when it’s propped up in a sling, being supported from dropping to the ground. The person doing the kicking isn’t sure about balancing his weight as they cling to the handlebars, right foot on the kicker pedal, left foot hanging out somewhere behind him…or where ever it happens to dangle until the actual attempt at throwing one’s weight into the effort of kicking a big V-Twin to life! Ouch, you guys remember…your friend didn’t tell you about retarding the timeing…so when you kicked…your knee bounced up into your chin…or the engine would throw you over the handle bars…naaaa these kids will not know these joys…and in later years…their knee replacements will NOT be because of their time kickstarting a V-Twin. Kids today…they have everything so easy! (I say that with tongue in cheek…they just have a different handful of anguish to deal with…that’s all.)

So if you would like to learn to kick start a V-twin motorcycle…or perhaps you have a kid you like to have this very unique experience…head on down to Limpnickie’s lot in Daytona…but not before March 4th…and wait your turn for this really cool opportunity… Learn how to kickstart a big antique V-Twin…

3 comments on “Knucklehead Antique Motorcycle Club of America”

  1. This is great – I hope this guy is still doing this when my kids are a little older.I’ve never kick-started a bike. Sort of makes me feel like a poser, lol. The truth is I’ve just never had the chance to try it. Never owned or been close to anyone who owns a bike that still kicks over. It’s on my “bucket list.” Someday, I hope I get a chance to do it. My Springer Classic is supposed to be a modern tribute to the 46 Knucklehead. Too bad they couldn’t have incorporated a kick starter into it too – that would have really set her apart. For now, I guess I’ll have to settle for pushing the button.

  2. Ahh!remember the term sporster knee?I can still close my eyes and see the handlebars from above as I flew past the bike.hotrodded 55 k model.I can still hear jim laughing. 30 years later.

  3. Yup, I sure do. My first bike, I kicked it for 4 hours…solid, before he took mercy on me, and quit laughing enough to show me the secret to that engine: retard the timeing to here, then you can push it through with your hand, primer stroke, then roar…it will start. He was right…but I was too worn out to do it just then. Had to wait an hour before I could quite crying…and my knee would hold me up again. God I was in pain.

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