I remember being a teenage kid in the 1980's and thinking our generation sucked. Everything from the 50's and 60's seemed SO much cooler. The decade of Flock of Seagulls haircuts and retarded neon clothes wasn't known for it's tastefulness, but now that enough time has gone by, certain artifacts of that period seem kinda neat to me. Anodized CNC-machined bits were everywhere from choppers and jet boats to BMX bikes and pro-street-inspired stripes replaced the airbrushed panels on vans and motorcycles across the nation. David Polgreen recently rebuilt a bike from the era and on a recent trip to the Cycle Lodge I instantly fell in love with it. Apparently the one and only Harpoon did too, since he recently bought it.
Owner name, location: David Polgreen, St. Paul, Minnesota (now owned by the Harpoon)
Bike name: Unknown Pleasures
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1979 Shovelhead (I think FL, I can't remember) built from the crank up by Polgreen, Andrews B cam, Morris M5 Magneto.
Frame: Stock swingarm shovel with custom raked and stretched Donnie Smith hardhead section done by Donnie back in the day.
Fork: Donnie Smith girder
Chassis mods: Donnie Smith hardhead front section as described above. Original owner made a custom tubular swingarm with anodized axle adjusters. Original owner also machined many of the other anodized pieces.
Tire/wheel size and style: Rear is a standard 16" hoop with what looks to be a Kosman drag racing hub with a Continental tire, the front is a Hallcraft 19" wheel with dual discs set up for original Sifton brake calipers and discs. Tire is also a continental.
Favorite thing about this bike: '80's cocaine style, I love that early '80's billety/performance/chopper mix.
Next modification will be: Don't know, it's up to the new owner, Harpoon. He has talked about doing some higher rise handlebars for it I think. If he's smart he won't repaint it, although I'm sure he can't help himself.
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: The original owner did a really good job with the chassis, the frame, fork and swingarm and wheels came to me as is, with a lot of the anodized pieces. I did up the motor with anodized fittings to match the chassis, as well as the braided line fittings (all aircraft fittings). I made the handlebars, pipes, sissybar and other small pieces,mostly out of stainless. The ribbed primary is an old Milwaukee Iron copy of the old MPD covers, I modified it to fit mid controls. The hand controls are polished sportbike controls. It runs a cowpie tranny with an old ART hydraulic clutch that works really well. The crazy frank fender was from my stash, I had my buddy Jordan at Union Speed & Style make me a custom seat for it. My friend Michael Gelz from Flying Weasel Garage in Keokuk, Iowa did the awesome amf-inspired paint.
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: I originally built this bike to ride to Born Free 2. It wasn't finished quite like this yet, but I ran it all the way from St. Paul with a crew of good folks from Florida and Chicago, until I hit a couple hundred miles from LA and the motor croaked. The motor (which I didn't build, for the record!) was one that was in my old Mr. Roboto shovelhead chopper from years ago, and it just bit the dust. When I got it back home, I cleaned it up, built up a different motor for it and made it look like it does now. Harpoon and Jeff Leighton flew out to Minnesota to visit and to ride to the Church of Choppers Dice Party last year. I let Harpoon ride the bike the whole time he was out here and he just fell in love with it. So we worked out a trade for some paint work, and Unknown Pleasures migrated west.
Thanks to: Michael Gelz, Jordan at Union Speed, my St. Paul family and So. Cal. family. Check out the blog me and Jeff Leighton put together for our little bike deal, The Wretched Hive, at www.thewretchedhive.blogspot.com Thanks!