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Matt Olsen

Matt Olsen lives in the midwest and restores old motorcycles, makes reproduction parts and loves old bikes. He also publishes two blogs:

Put the Huffle in the Shuffle

Matt Olsen's Blog

Content Posted by Matt Olsen

Born free 6 and cannonball golden ticket resultd

Brittney, lock and I headed west late last week for born free 6.  Here is a picture of us with the bike I built for the show.   This was the most challenging build that I have ever done.  I did a lot of the work ay friends shops while Brittney and I  were  living in Minnesota and waiting for our son to be born.  It's
Born free is the best show in the country and it brings some of the best bikes in the world into one place.  Here is a pic of us with our friend sin from Japan and his bike.  The bike is built around a koslow motor.  Andy koslow worked at excelsior and helped develop their ohv top ends.  When excelsior went out of business in 31 he went on to make his own motors And top ends.


We also drew the two winners for our cannonball golden ticket project that we have been working on. The first place prize is an all expense paid trip to go on the cannonball and ride my bike from Florida to Washington along with a 100 other old bike enthusiasts.   Scott from the southern us won  the first prize, and will have a great time riding an El coast to coast 

The second place prize is an all expense paid trip to go to Milwaukee and visit the Harley Davidson museum and give a behind the scenes look into the archives.    Kevin from Canada was drawn for that experience.   

Thanks to everyone that signed up and participated.  It's great to see how many people are excited about old motorcycles and riding them.   

There are only 2 weeks left to sign up for the CBGT!


In Two weeks we will pick the winner for the cannonball golden ticket project.   The cannonball golden ticket is an opportunity for someone to win an all expense paid trip to go ride my 1936 knucklehead on the 2014 cannonball.   My dad will be riding his 36 el and Brittney, my son and I will be running chase truck and supporting both riders.    Harley Davidson stepped up and donated a second place prize for someone from any where in the world to go and visit the Harley Museum and get a behind the scenes look at the archives.   
Here is a pic of my bike from the maternity photos that I shot with  Brittney a few months ago.   I have owned it for over ten years and ridden it and pushed it to its limits.   It is the oldest Harley Davidson to complete an Iron Butt Run, and the oldest bike to do one with a passenger.  I am comfortable in saying that it is the only bike that will be running the cannonball in September that has been ridden 24 hours straight and  gone 1100 miles in less that 24 hours. Even though a 36 el is over 75 years old, it performs like a new bike.  and holds up really well.  who ever wins the Cannonball Golden Ticket, will have 2 of the best weeks of their life.
Surprisingly, I have not had very many people sign up for the a chance to win either prize.   I expected people to be doing back flips over this project, but apparently  it is difficult for someone to take 3 weeks off from their job.   This is a factor that I didn't consider when I came up with the project, because I wouldn't think twice about quitting a job to go ride a knucklehead from Florida to Washington state.  The odds of winning are really good for the few people who have signed up, and the odds are good for anyone else that has been waiting till the last minute to sign up.

   There are still 2 weeks to enter online and throught Mail,   Go to www.cannonballgoldenticket.com to find out more on how you can win the trip of a life time and the ultimate old bike experience.  

65 panhead, 1955 panhead, 36 knucklehead and maternity photos

We got Jason's 65 finished and put about 300 miles on it,  my dad is driving down to the Texas road run and delivering it this weekend.  This bike is massive,  I didn't try to ride it with the buddy seat on it,  I am too short!  Jason is a lot taller than me and will do just fine on it.  

1965 didn't use a side cover on the battery,  I think it looks nice with out it.  The battery that we used is a champion battery and it is nice and black, some of the other modern batteries are clear or have a bunch of writing on them.  The mufflers are new old stock and sound great.  The tour pack is something that Jason supplied and it is really cool. It has an early latch on it and also a handle so you can Cary it with you



I got to take my 36 out for the first time this year. Sophorn put a windshield on it, which ended up being more of a challenge than we anticipated since the summer shields were designed for standard rigid bars and I have Flanders bars on my bike.   

I am making good progress on the 55 too it should be done and running next week.  This bike is phenomenal and I feel so lucky to get to work on such a nice pristine example of an original bike
The rear header pipe was missing when they brought the bike to us.  My dad had a nice old original superior rear header pipe in his stash of parts.  It fit up really nicely and matches the rest of the bike well


Britt and I did our maternity photos with the bike. It was fun.  Here is a link to the rest of the photos http://jaceejphotography.blogspot.com/2014/04/brittney-matt-maternity.html?m=1

South Dakota weather in less than 24 hours

Here is My dad took the 65 out for a spin yesterday and put over a 100 miles on it. It was a beautiful day and great for riding bike.   He came back with a small list of tweaks and adjustments to do and sort out

Here is a shot out the front door of the shop that I just took.  There is a full on blizzard going on and we are expecting 6 to 10 inches of snow.   This weather is good for working in the shop and have fun with wrenches. 


The 55 is going good. I finished up the wiring, hooked up the primaries and am going through the odds and ends on this bike.  

55fl update and photos



The biggest challenges have been worn out parts and corrosion from sitting.  It's going good and we have freed up almost everything and gotten it back to working condition.  I am having difficulties getting the toolbox lock freed up. This came in a box of parts that came with the bike and it was frozen shut.  I have even soakig it with ob blaster for a month and working the lock back and forth. 
D

Here is a cool shit of the brake drum we replaced the sprocket and dust ring and left the original paint on the drum.   A lot of times the paint is burnt off if the drum from the brakes heating up, this one has really nice paint.  Which means ken either didn't like to stop or rode the bike on lots f rolling hills and prairie terrain 

More engines!!!

Here  is bob's 39 engine.  It is turning out to be a really nice motor.  This is going in an airway blue and white 39s


The cam cover and cases have never been polished or really messed with.  I love the texture of sand cast parts.  

This is a 46 fl stroker motor that my dad is putting together for a customer out west.  It looks stock, but is a little hopped up.  It will be a ton of fun for Tim 

We don't do a lot of panheads with mags and black cylinders,  this one is coming along nicely and will be sweet when it's done.  This 52 is going to be awesome 




1955 fl

We have overWe have also been picking away at Bev's 55.  This bike was a high school graduation present for her husband back in 1955.  We have gone through every nut bolt, washer and seal to make it mechanically perfect while maintaining as much of the originality and history as possible.   The color is Hollywood green and it is a one year only color.  I don't thing that there is any other color that Harley offered that embodied the fifties as much as this color.  It is awesome 
We have over 100 hours in cleaning and detailing out each part on the bike.  It is challenging on stuff like this because you have to be so gentle when you work on it, if you use the wrong brush or too much pressure you can damage the original paint or plating.  The bike was in really tough shape when it was brought to us a couple years ago.  The trans had been run with put oil and the top
End was toast.  It's all sorted out now and will last another 60 years or more. 
The rear head needed a new exhaust port welded on, on this photo you can see that some of the original patina and Iowa dirt was left in tact through the process of repairing the damaged head.  The combustion chamber is perfectly cleaned and sorted out while everything on the outside is as it was the last time it was ridden.   
Here is the original paint frame and bottom tree before going together.   All of the plating is original too.

65flh ride report



This pic was from the first test run. I have the aircleaner installed and the battery strap too.   I had a problem with the starter relay on the bike, I switched it out with a new one and it still didnt fire right up like I wanted it too.  I put a ground wire on it and it solved the slow starting issue.  The bike just pops right off now.  It is awesome.  
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