It's been a good ride so far!

Since I was just a kid all I have ever wanted to do was to make people laugh or just smile. As a child, an educator sent a note home to my parents. It read; If your son thinks he is going to get through life making people laugh he is in for a RUDE AWAKENING! He is not living up to his potential. WELL, I'M STILL NOT! But at this site you will at least see me try. From the heart, thank you for even being interested, it means the world to me. I always say, I have not a single fan but many a friend!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Saga of the Pickle Sickle

I try to remember that a lot of you have joined me here long after others and I try to keep that in mind when I write or tell a story to help you keep up to date and understand what in the hell I'm actually speaking of.  In this particular case here, I'm speaking of a bike that I bought a few years ago from a friend's ex husband.  The bike was a low mileage amazing deal and for what was possibly the first time in my life, I was in the right place at the right time and actually had a pocket full of money and just as a good friend had once predicted, "one day you will all own an FXR" came true, I was now the owner of an HD FXRS Lowrider Convertible.  It was a 92' and was done as so many bikes were back then, battered, dipped and deep fried in all things billet, shiny and pretty much everything that I am against at my core, but, it was a low mileage FXR and I had to have it.  The work done was all top notch, just not at all my taste.  Let me see if I can find a pic of it the day I brought it home so that you have a point of reference to see how much I ugly'd up this bike!
Looking back at this pic now I have to think to myself "what the hell did you do?"  I wanted a touring bike though that could travel with all the gear that I needed to head on down the road but still be able to carve up the canyons and make mince meat out of the super slab freeways and I knew that underneath all this crazy ass green paint was that very bike dying to get out.  As the months passed me with what seemed to be no more than a nod, I would grab up all the FXR parts that I needed to make this vision come to life.  The only problem was that I was not going to pay someone to do this and I sure as hell wasn't going to pay the over inflated prices that people were asking for these parts that for a great many years were pulled off of bikes and thrown in the corners of garages around the world, I was going to wait it out and make every part I got as much of a score as the bike itself.  It sure was a great plan for the first year and a half or so, but those deals are few and far between and with what now seems like the entire bike community got turned onto the amazing machine that so many hated with passion when it first came out, is making it more and more difficult to find either the parts or the deals, but I waited and waited.

The first thing that I did was score some sweet COP saddle bags and the rail system for mounting them.  With the first score comes the first problem, to fit these bags, I had to change both the struts and the shocks.... oh yeah, don't let me forget the rear fender and the tail light as well.  With those modifications made it was time to test out my asphalt eating theory so I did what anyone with virtually no common sense would do, I packed it up to the gills and rode it 1400 miles to Sturgis and back and you know what, it rode like a dream!  Here is a pic of the very first mods.
Luggage rack, seat and sissy bar added, handle bars and risers changed and saddle bags all ready to rock and roll for the trip to Sturgis and in the end, the final report, she rode like a dream but could have gone a bit faster for my taste but then again that is a bit questionable because I had no speedometer.  You see, the guy who did the work on the bike prior to my getting it mounted the tires on the rims in the wrong direction and knowing that I would certainly face rain on the trip, I had to pull the axle and flip the front rim backwards just to play it safe and good thing I did because the first 8 or 900 miles was in rain like I've never seen!  Oh yeah, we also added a foot of pipe to the rear exhaust to make them equal length and we installed baffles for back pressure, EVO's love their back pressure.  Also at this time I took a fender that fit a wide glide front end from my knuckle, I knew KOKO would never mind, she hates front fenders anyway, grabbed up some Krylon rattle can paint and painted both the front and rear fenders black.....  2/3's of the Green now gone!

Those of you who have become friends with me or began following my writing either here, facebook or in Cycle Source Magazine in the last year or so may not know about how this lovely Billet Barge got her name, "THE PICKLE SICKLE".......  I'm just wondering if I should tell that story again or find an old post on here and just add the link..... I'll get back to you on this when I figure it out.... in the mean time, I'm still working on accumulating parts and I've got everyone I know keeping their eyes peeled for me.

In the meantime, as I ponder on my decision of what to do about the aforementioned dilemma that I currently face, check out the all FXR issue of Cycle Source, people really seemed to love it and if you or a friend doesn't have one laying around, reach out to the mag itself and ask about how you get back issues, it's pretty easy.  If you haven't caught the FXR bug yet, this issue just may "infect you."

It was right about now that I was going to share all of the rest of the modifications I've made to the Pickle Sickle since my trip to Sturgis and as I began to type but had to stop...... it was right then, right now.... that I came to the realization that I'VE DONE NOTHING ELSE TO THIS BIKE!  My big plans to make this my road gobbling machine somehow got sidetracked.  Perhaps it was picking up the Road Glide at a pretty fair price or some divine intervention, either way, I really have no idea.  Not only did I stop at continuing my grand plan but I stopped totally.  When I got the bike the very first thing and I mean THE VERY FIRST THING that had to be done was tires!  Not only were they fairly worn down but they were dry rotted as hell.  Out here in AZ, if you leave something, anything out in the sun and don't move it or protect it, it will rot!  So as I sit here typing this now having come home only a few hours ago from actually replacing the tires I could not help but laugh and wonder how the hell I did not kill myself riding around on those damn things.  Notice that I didn't say from getting new tires there, I said "replacing" the tires?  That is because I wanted to get rid of those damn "cheese grater" wheels and throw on some FXR or Sportster wheels, hell, they are the same frigging thing either way......  I got those about a year or so ago and still didn't get new tires.  Lazy, YES I AM!

Part of the master plan was to get the wheels cleaned up and powder coated black, then I'd put the fresh rubber on and I'd be set to travel the world......  I still have not had the wheels powder coated and the bike is leaving for Las Vegas on Wednesday of next week.... yeup, waited till the last minute and sure as the devil shits fire, I've cut it way too close.  I called up my buddies down at Independent Motorcycles in Chandler and said "can you help an idiot out please, I'm in a jam" and without a moments thought the answer was yes.  Now not only were they willing to help me out but I was told to bring the bike down on Monday..... the funny thing is, the SHOP IS CLOSED ON MONDAYS!  I rode it on over and there they were waiting for me, what an amazing gesture!  As I got off the bike, Diane pulled up in the Flex and opened up the back door to a pile of parts that just left Bob speechless.  He looked at me and said "you want to do this, TODAY?"  Of course, is there a problem?  He promptly replied, "nope!"  I guess on all our parts we were thinking a wee bit too positive.....  We dove into the bike and started tearing it apart when Diane came in and said "we have to be at that appointment at 1pm.  It was now noon and I not only have to leave, but I'm leaving these guys to work on my bike, on their day off and I had to LEAVE, what a douche'bag!  I raced to Phoenix and right back and that was when we began to cross "to do" things off the list.  They didn't get crossed off because they were done, they were crossed off because they couldn't be done.

Can't get the powder coating done......  Okay..... Bob says "take my wire wheels and when we get your wheels back, we'll put tires on and swap them out"..... Okay....  another amazing gesture... in the time being, we'll pull off the wide glide front end, put on the FXR narrow glide and run a 19" instead of the 21"....  Okay....  Then I hear, "Jack, where is the headlight for this front end?" Uhm, I don't know, I don't have one."  Now it was their turn to say "OKAY"....  then we realized that my wide glide wasn't stock HD, it was a custom build so the dual disc brakes would not line up with either the 10 or 11.5 inch rotors.  So now I have no powder coated FXR wheels, I can't change the front end because I'd now have to cut all the wires and didn't have the time to dick with it, I had one laced wheel in the back and the cheese grater wheel on the front with what can only be described as a throw away tire on it which for the record is far better than the tire we took off.  I wanted to paint and swap out the gas tank and front fender but because the front end is a wide glide and is lowered, I can't put the cop fender on the front, but I now have one on the back......  I never measured the cable lengths so I can't change the risers or bars and I can't pull it apart because I have to ride this bitch home in a short time.  I didn't change the seat to two up either.  Oh hell, I should have been out of there a few hours before already and we were still dicking with this thing.  So let me show you some photos of WHAT this thing ended up looking like tonight.....  notice that I did not say HOW this thing looked because to use the word how, one would have to use words to describe it and at this point, that would be difficult.

I think what was formerly known as the Legendary Pickle Sickle should now just be called either the Rainbow Bright bike or simply Skittles but to do that, I have to put something orange or more red on. I may fix it all, or actually ride this bitch proudly into Sin City!  Only time will decide.....  Did I mention that I have not even painted the gas tank that I was about to put on, no, well I haven't....
You may have noticed that not one of the parts is painted to match yet....  This photo was taken for the all FXR issue of Cycle Source months ago and you know how much I got finished and painted?  NONE!  Here is another fun little fact about your pal Jack Shit;  I didn't let it stop me from putting any of it on!
So as you see here above, the saddle bags are off, the new fender and light are installed and there is now a wire wheel in the rear instead of a mag, neither the original cheese grater nor FXR mag.
Saddle bag back in place, rails on, Joey Chop's long ago borrowed luggage rack temporarily installed and the front wheel pulled off the bike.  I think about now any photo from any angle will show many different sizes of wheels, styles of wheels and tires all over the place with the exception of on the bike!
Now after a great many hours of work by guys who were on their day off, we decided that we had no choice but to put the original wheel back on, pull a tire out of the garbage pile more or less and install that, leave the front end, the headlight, the brakes, the seat, the tank, the exhaust alone for now just to get this damn Pickle off the lift so that tomorrow they can get back to customer's bikes who need their bikes to get back on the road.  I couldn't help but laugh at the thought of the plethora of colors now on this bike and I remembered that I have the original FXRT Samsonite tour pack back at the house and it is Maroon and Orange of all things and I actually found myself laughing out loud as I pulled off the freeway racing home to dig out the tour pack just so I could see what it looks like added to what has now become a "modern art piece"......  I walked in the door, right past Diane and she said "where the hell are you going in such a rush?"  I'm going to dig out my tour pack to put on the bike!  "Oh my God, is it done" she asked with enthusiasm and all I could do was smile and say "it is for now".....  Well luck would have it and I found the tour pack, wait till you see this!  It is the candle on the fucked up cake, it is the pi est de resistance, the final kick in the nuts.... and so much more..... check it out!

C'mon now, seriously, after seeing this, don't you want to have an exact replica for yourself?  Don't lie... you know you do!  Heads up Vegas, the circus is coming to town!  I think I am going to pull off the side covers and rattle can paint them terracotta, I think that will be the perfect final touch! It is no wonder that Orange County Choppers has not been calling me to join the design team!  I pulled off this one of a kind bike for about 100,000 bucks less than their average bike!  Now on the serious side, I really wanted to black this ol' girl out all the way.  The engine, the wheels, the front end, nearly everything with a few subtle shiny touches but honestly now that I see it with the cop paint on it, I really have to admit that for someone who absolutely hates cops now, I really like the look of it!  So the work will stop until I figure it out...............  nah, only kidding, I've got a 7 dollar credit at the hardware store so tomorrow I'll go buy a can of spray paint and do something.... what exactly I'm not sure, but I'll do something!  I'll keep you posted!  Okay, I know you are dying to see one more pic of the bike from the "show side".... ha ha ha ha ha.... that makes me laugh even typing it, but here you go.

Until we see each other on the road again,

Keep the wind in your face,
Tits in your back and

Your Friend,
Jack Shit

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