Sugar Bear springers, old scoots and purple paint

Publish Date: 
Jan 10, 2013
By Rick Fairless


I hope y’all are living large up there in Heaven. I’m sorry it’s been so long since my last letter. Hey Grandpa, are there motorcycles in Heaven? If there are, do people customize them? I think in my Heaven, everybody would ride old scooters. I mean, wouldn’t it be cool if everybody rode pre-1979 bikes?  

Ain't much cooler than an old Pan, or Knuckle, or Shovel. The same thing goes for the old British bikes.

I still have my 1961 Triumph Trophy 650 Pre Unit. I love riding that bike. Every time I ride her she puts a smile on my ugly face. Those older bikes have something special about them. I can have 10 bikes pull into my bar and I think, yeah, yeah, yeah; wait a minute, is that a Pan that just pulled in? I gotta go check out that scooter!

Ain’t much cooler than an old Pan, or Knuckle, or Shovel. The same thing goes for the old British bikes. I have a 1969 Triumph Bonneville that I chopped many years ago and I still get a boner when I ride that bike — sorry, TMI, I know, but it’s true.  

Oh well, things are going good down here in Dallas. Even though we don’t get much of a winter, we still slow down around the holidays. I guess people get caught up in all that holiday stuff with all the eating and shopping. Motorcycles take a back seat for a few months. Well, that gives us time to finish up some projects and start some new projects before spring hits us.

I have several personal projects that are waiting on me to start. One is a 1970 Honda 750-4. I bought it several years ago. It’s in one of those old Amen “Plunger” frames. It’s set up bobber-style and it’s cool and all, but I want to chop it! I have always wanted a Honda 750-4 Chopper. I mean a long, stretched out chopper with a coffin gas tank and Sugar Bear springer front end.

Those 750-4s were bad dudes in their day. I had a guy on one in the ‘70s race me on my 1974 XL. That cat blew me and my 1000cc Sportster into the weeds. I’ll never forget that embarrassment!

More recently I bought a one-owner, 1975 Electra Glide. Ya know what, for once in my life, I’m not gonna change this bike all up. I’m gonna put it back to stock specs and make it look just like it did the day it rolled outta Milwaukee. I may do a few things like chrome some stuff that was originally polished and clean a few things up, but pretty much this bike will be stock.

I also have a chopper I built 15 years ago that I recently bought back, and I’m gonna completely rework it. It’s in a long, stretched-out Pat Kennedy frame with a Sugar Bear Springer front end. When I’m done with this bike it’ll fit right in with the choppers from the ‘60s and ‘70s.  (continued)