Well if you have been following my stories at all in the last two months, you know that we’ve been wrapping this build up. In October we will be heading over to Germany as just one of three builders from across the nation sent to represent America at the AMD world championships of custom bike building. The show is put on every other year, and there are around 100 builders from all over the world that will show up to compete.
This entire bike was hand made here at Union Speed from raw materials with the exception of the engine, trans, and a couple components on the front end. I took some inspiration from some early Harley Davidson design cues and tried to make my take on a 40’s era concept bike with a high end feel to it. If you didn’t see any of the stories, I will try to post some photos of the bare metal bits over the course of the next couple days. I would like to take a moment to say thank you to my friends and family (especially @oohhello ) for supporting the goal of completing this bike amongst the asinine amount of work we have been trying to get done all at the same time. I can tell you that renovating a new shop, remodeling a house, trying to complete a custom bike, AND stay on top of customer work during the day has posed some challenges and without everyone’s support I would be lost. But that’s the American dream isn’t it? Work your fingers to the bone and you will be rewarded for it? I’m happy to say I live in a country where I have the freedom to wake up every morning and do what I love for a living. It’s not easy and it’s an incredible amount of work to keep it going, but I have the freedom to do it and that’s American as fuck.
@relic_kustoms Handled the paint and lettering on the Gas tank, fender, and oil tank.
@invisiblecouch took care of painting the frame, fork and other misc. black bits.
@matthewolsen Responsible for the engine and trans build.
We made it out to @thehouseofmachines_la and I have to say their venue is awesome! Come out for the @thegoldenbolt_us show this weekend and check out the amazing bikes that showed up.
On our way out to the @thegoldenbolt_us in LA and I HAD to stop and get a haircut from the homie @rob_scumbag
We’ve been bullshitting on IG since 2010 or so when there was what felt like 4 people on the app. Check him out at Chops barbershop in Las Vegas if you are into good conversation and a fresh cut. Be sure to ask him what he likes best about his new morning routine, you won’t be disappointed.
Just finished up this handmade gas tank for my brothers bike that we’re finishing up and bringing out to the @thegoldenbolt_us show at the beginning of July and then also the AMD show in Germany in October. I have another piece I need to make for the center still in order to finish it out. If you caught any of this progress work on my stories then you saw the process of this all going together. The last picture shows the test piece after making the dies to create the ribs down the center. The tabs transition into the ribs and go inside the gas tank so it’s completely seamless from the outside. I chose to use silicon bronze over my welds at the tabs so that I didn’t have to sand into the parent weld at all in order to smooth it out. If you have any questions let me know, I’m happy to answer them.
Bummed we’re going to miss Born Free this weekend as it’s back to the fifties here in MN and that’s our big show for the year, have fun everybody!
Friday was my birthday, and like every year it is followed up with a day for me to reflect on Fathers Day. Every year that goes by I end up gaining more perspective about my dad and ultimately finding even more respect for him considering the job he did with us in the short amount of time he had to do it. I’ll be honest, I was a mother fucker of a kid and I never seemed to get away with any of the bullshit that I pulled. Like the time I stole a backpack full of (his) illegal fireworks and lit them off at school, or the time I burned down 10 acres of property that was owned by the power plant near our house. Just to give you a couple examples. I can’t put into words how badly I wish I could have experienced a relationship with him as an adult. I turned 35 on Friday and can’t help but wonder how he managed to accomplish everything that he did in such a short time on this planet. He will always remain a constant driving force in my life to do better and accomplish more for myself, my family, and those around me. If you have the opportunity to give your dad a hi-five today, best give him a low five too because someday you’re going to be happy that you did.
Embarrassing photo courtesy of @elroyroughingtonthethird
So we ran down to Omaha Sunday night in order to meet up with John over @arsalvage on Monday AM to grab some doors we need for the new shop buildout. Much of the items we need are hard to find and era specific, they had such a huge variety to choose from and I’m sure we didn’t even see it all. We ended up coming home with a whole trailer load full of things we need and we have to make another trip back! It was well worth our time to take a day out of our crazy schedule right now. Excellent pricing and even better customer service! Thanks again to the whole crew!
We can never seem to leave well enough alone. We did an extremely simple little modification of this @bungking oil fill cap for @f1shoptruck cafe racer build just to add a little more detail to better fit his bike. I’ve used bung king’s stuff many many times in the past and the quality of their products as well as the price has always been great.
Here’s a series of photos of our new building from the early days when it was still operating as Ed Killmer’s Ford dealership. It’s really cool to have these photo’s for historical documentation, I think we will probably blow these up and have them in the showroom. If anyone has any old ford dealership signs like the ones in the photos, we’d be interested in acquiring them. Can anybody positively identify the brand of gas pumps out front? You can see some writing on the globes, but I can’t make out what it says as it’s pretty blurry. Pretty cool to see the Watkins products snow machine, also check out the factory dealer endurance car! I can’t get over how perfect this property is for our business, we searched for the last 7 years for a good fit and this was well worth the wait. 📷: Photos courtesy of the Killmer estate.
Spring is finally here in Minnesota and it has me thinking about having to cut the lawn soon. Anybody have a line on one of these bubbletop mowers? @oohhello Is allergic to grass, and I think we have finally found a solution to solve that problem so I can be all about that lawn chair life.
I’ve been waiting to post about this for almost a year now. Since we finally closed on our old building this afternoon, I can spill the beans. For the last 6 years we have been searching for our new location, something that would suit our needs but also allow us to expand and grow beyond our current business platform. A little over a year ago I stumbled upon this building in Osseo (MN) and knew immediately it was going to be our new place of operation. So we started the lengthy process of trying to acquire it and get approval from the city of Osseo to operate. Special thanks to @ed_tillrock_pencilspecialist for these amazing renderings as we feel like that is what made the city look past who they were talking to, and instead visualize what the towns future might look like. What you see in the pictures is what we own. The main building that we will be operating out of started life as a Ford dealership/repair shop in the early 1900’s. The two story building attached started life as the towns hardware store and has some really cool history inside. We are looking for tenants for both the 2 story and the smaller side building as well. As drawn they show an ice cream shop and a brewery/distillery. That is completely up to the tenants that come forward to rent the space, although I will say the city planning commission is excited about the idea of a distillery/brewery so you probably wouldn’t have much of a battle to get approval. Spread the word if you know anyone looking for a new space. We will continue to operate out of our Monticello location for about the next 6-12 months until we have finished the renovation of our showroom/workspace. The city of Osseo has been great to work with and we’re very excited to be a part of their community moving forward.