How much air is enough ?
by André Bobinas
Some will say “think big” but you
might find out that’s not always
right. “Porting” is the art of generating
power by making motor
heads flow better. Harley motors
act somewhat like a pump so the
more efficient the pump the more power you’ll get. But it’s
not as easy as just grinding the intake and exhaust ports
as big as you can and then installing the biggest valves
money can buy to try and generate more horsepower. If it
was any idiot with a grinder could be a “head man”. It’s not
easy, it’s a complex art.
Basically you are trying to fool the air in thinking the port
is straight. A straight port is the one that flows the best
but in reality ports are oddly shaped for different reasons :
cam location, rocker arm location, and exhaust location.
The trick is to maintain velocity. Velocity can be described
as air speed and air speed is crucial for a crisp throttle
response. Imagine that air is like an axle on a car, when
you turn a corner one wheel turns faster than the other. Air
acts the same way when it travels through a curved port.
The air on the outside wall of the port has a higher velocity
than the air on the inside wall of the port. When modifying
a port a good “head man” tries to even out this difference.
The port size and valve size are chosen in relation to the
engine size, i.e., cubic inches, stoke verses bore, cam, as
well as the motor application. Street motors need more
velocity than big block full racing motors which will be
ridden at full throttle.
Text by Chris Kelly
I can’t 100 % pinpoint the exact time at which I knew
I had a passion for vintage choppers. But I know by
the time I clued in I was already neck deep into it. I
remember seeing my now 1970 Triumph TR6 for sale
online. For a week or two I was on the fence whether
or not to go take a look. As usual, after talking myself
out of it multiple times, I woke up one morning with
the one track mind of buying this bike. So a four-hour
drive later… yes I know, I’m nuts… I land in the outskirts
of Sudbury, Ontario
where I have arranged to
see the bike in the flesh. I
recall the guy opening the
door to the garage and
there it was in all its glory.
Now looking back to that
moment I wonder why I
thought such a piece of shit
was so awesome. I guess
when you know absolutely
nothing about vintage motorcycles,
never mind old British ones, a bike with brutal
welds on the frame, oil leaking out of every orifice
and a god awful paint scheme it still left me feeling like
I did when I woke up that morning, “I had to have it”.
By Charlie Lessard
Sixty year old Paul Walsh is truly one of Eastern Canada’s motorcycle authorities. Riding, repairing
and building custom motorcycles since the mid-1970s he is a graduate of the American Motorcycle
Institute, a former M/C member, was owner/operator of P.W. Custom Cycle in Halifax and now
owner/operator of CPN Custom Design in Saint John, New Brunswick. He is also a millwright who
works at the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station. Though I first met Paul back in 1993 at the
Sherbrooke Bike Show where he was showcasing his very wicked hand-built Pro-Street FXR, I just
recently had the chance to sit with him long enough to bring you a little insight into this very busy
man’s life. So here it goes…
By Liz Leggett
California is an amazing place for creative people and in the land of customs and choppers there
are many shops and garages dotting the coastline as well as the Valley. The majestic hills that hug
the coast provide a lush and challenging place for bike enthusiasts to ride and cruise in the warm
California air. This is where I had travelled aiming to shoot bikes and cars that each showcased
different aspects of the culture. As I drove through the mountains I could easily imagine the thrill of
riding a bike in Los Angeles, over the hills to Ventura County and to the new home of Cro Customs.
Caleb Owens has been known in the bike world as the two-time winner of the Born Free bike gathering’s First Place Award
in the Invited Builders Class which recognized his bikes for their unique style and beautiful simplicity. When I arrived, his
latest award winning bike “Yang Yang” was parked in the driveway of his home garage. Peeking inside the garage you
could see many Harley engines and a partially built chopper in mid-restoration. “Yang Yang” the 1976 Harley-Davidson
FLH Caleb had built is beautifully painted with a vintage colour scheme. The logo of a “Cro” has been worked into
the tank as a matte ghost finish. The cafe racer style gives the bike a low stance reminiscent of a race bike
and the polished chrome headlight cover sported an almost “art-deco” style.
By Marie-Josée Côté
Some people don’t need an introduction but for my part I
knew little about the sisters at Boutin Harley-Davidson. What
a great find ! Upon my arrival I felt a strong “family” welcoming,
which has been an element of their customer service since
the early days of the company – a company that is today
entirely run by the three women.
Véronique and I sat down to chat about the history of this
family business that is filled with enthusiasm and devotion.
Boutin Sport has been established since 1969. Back in the
day it dealt with Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha motorcycles
as well as the servicing and sale of snowmobiles. It was
between 1977 and 1978 that Boutin Sport introduced the
Harley-Davidson line to its inventory. The three girls’ parents,
Donald and Francine Boutin, ran the business together starting
in the early 1970s.
On the Road
Par Robbie Kerr
Kootenay Motorcycle Art flew three client’s bikes and owner Robbie Kerr’s Glasgow Kiss (RMM no. 17 cover
bike) to Europe in August 2012. Why ? A two-month tour of southern Europe where they would meet up with
the boys from No Nonsense Choppers of Scotland to do some hard riding. A great trip but Robbie decided
that this would be the last trip away from the Kootenays during the summer. Besides it made more sense
to leave when it is buried in snow for five months. So for the following winter retreat Robbie and his son
Stephen set about restoring a tired old Shovel that had been in the family for over a decade. After riding
the bike in the south-east British-Columbian Kootenays all summer, it was time to prepare the bike for the
tropics. Thailand was the chosen destination.