Jess Wikoff's Oily Knuckle


When banter between friends swirls around twine balls and oily knuckles, eavesdroppers should consider the context before piping in. Jess Wikoff and his friend Chris Demanett were having just such a conversation over breakfast on Saturday morning during last month's Twine Ball Run. Through some not-so-subtle eavesdropping of my own I learned both guys were heading home that morning. With no time to spare before their departure, I wolfed down my biscuits and gravy and met the owner of this WWII era freedom machine on the Osborne county dirt oval. Jess was already packed for the ride, so he was happy to oblige me while I rattled off some quick shots. Sorry ChopCult readers: these are all the photos I could muster. Here's the story on Mr. Wikoff's Oily '42.


With the exception of how rushed things got toward the end, everything on this build went pretty smooth. We finished one week before the Twine Ball Run, and on the shakedown run Monday morning my generator crapped out. Thursday night I turned the armature and replaced the brushes and we were in business. My friends and I pulled out Friday morning and the rebuilt generator didn’t give me any trouble coming or going. An unvented gas cap caused some vapor lock problems during the maiden ride, but nothing we couldn’t fix. I’d like to thank my mom for her support, even thought she nagged me to keep her own bike running the whole time I was building this one. Thanks also to my dad for sharing his years of knowledge, and for making me an engraved shifter knob out of mammoth ivory. Also thanks to Big John for his help on the motor rebuild, and to John Schroeder at Hard To Find Harley Parts on eBay for the best prices on V-Twin parts.


Owner: Jess Wikoff

Bike: Oily

Builders: Jess and Dennis Wikoff

Motor size, year, model and mods: 1942 H-D FL with replacement cases; original Linkert carb’s going back on after I return from the Twine Ball Run

Frame style, year, model: V-Twin wishbone

Transmission: 1945 H-D 4-speed

Fork model, year, style: V-Twin I-beam

Front wheel rim size, hub style: 1.80” x 21” steel rim with star hub

Rear wheel tire size, hub style: 5.0” x 18” with star hub

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Commented on 8-13-2010 At 05:50 am

She's a byoot.

Commented on 8-13-2010 At 05:51 am

I was wondering where these guys went, Great dudes and sweet bikes

Commented on 8-13-2010 At 07:28 am

man i don't remember that bike..... Damn devil weed

Commented on 8-13-2010 At 07:52 am

Yeah that is a sweeeet bike. Those dudes rolled out early Saturday.

Commented on 8-13-2010 At 12:07 pm

Sweet machine.

Commented on 8-13-2010 At 12:23 pm

gotta love the knucks! especially this one.

Commented on 8-13-2010 At 02:23 pm

Nice mud...looks like you must of tried riding the storm out in an abandoned hog shed or something.......good times

Commented on 8-14-2010 At 04:31 am

see it pays to be nosey, the shots of thebike look great, cheers.

Commented on 8-15-2010 At 01:47 pm

Now that is a beautiful rider!

Commented on 8-15-2010 At 01:47 pm

Now that is a beautiful rider!

Commented on 8-16-2010 At 06:28 pm

Wow, what a beautiful motorcycle. Not too out there, and not too dull. Looks about perfect to me!

Commented on 8-31-2011 At 11:43 am

I dig it. Not too over the top, but enough to get noticed for sure.

Commented on 6-24-2012 At 10:46 am

i would love to have an old knuck like that

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