I have been putting off a Husky story from this past summer and was reminded of it when my friend Rick called tonight. Rick got to see the HarleyVarna first hand.
My wife and I were cooking up a couple New York Strip steaks. I had two glasses of wine while doing it. “14 Hands 2008 Cabernet” Good stuff. Keep that in mind as write this, but this is a true story.
I had general bike talk with Rick and mentioned to him that I took the HarleyVarna apart yesterday. May it rest in peace. Rick said, Ah, the HarleyVarna, as he starts laugh over the phone. I told a bunch of people about that one. LOL again. I got off the phone with Rick and decided to write the story.
I went on a road trip in the summer to pickup a few bikes in Ohio and Detroit. Rick lives in Ohio. He picked up a bike for me that was 10 minute from his house. A craigslist honey of a 67 Husky Commando. The guy found it way in the back of his yard. He never knew it was there, for the 20 years he lived there. Rick stopped by to get it and I think the guy offered it to him for $100. Rick being the wheeler dealer he is, offered him $50. The guy respond with, I don’t know, I got a call from someone, Rick cut him off.
Rick says, look, I offered $50, If I leave here and you call me to come back for the bike then it will be $30…… The guy says, I’ll take the fifty. Rick and the guy literally drag the bike, with both wheels rusted solid, to his truck.
The 67 is another story , so I’ll talk about that some other time.
So, I watch Craigslist on a regular bases looking for parts and bikes. Over the course of a year or so, this guy listed a 1970 400 Cross. Looking at the photos it was clear this was very special 400 Cross. So special no one wanted it. Maybe a few of you Huskyologists may have seen it. He started the price at $1500 I think two years ago. Now it’s two years later his price in down to $500 and still no takers. I knew he was in Ohio and I was passing through on this road trip.
I gave him a call. I asked him a few questions and offered him $350 cash and I’ll be there in 3 days with cash. He agreed.
Talking with the guy was, well, a little strange but he seemed like a nice guy.
I got directions and plugged it into the GPS. I was off a few days later.
I got to Ohio and the guy was near Youngstown. When I got close, the GPS sent me off the main highway. The GPS has me going right and left and right and back and forth. I am starting to wonder where the hell am I going, when I realize I am going through some pretty bad areas. Now I am getting worried. I lock the doors and start thinking. Oh shit, I have a few thousand dollars in cash on me. The GPS has me make a few more turns and it finally starts looking little better.
More turns and again then final few turns for the worst. Literally.
I am in bowels of town now, near the railroad, next to railroad tracks, with collapsing buildings and condemned houses when the GPS says turn right and we are there. Oh boy. You got to be kidding me.
I pull up to the house when I see a guy getting into his $100 truck. Turns out its my contact. He was, ah, little rough around the edges. We shook hands. He tells me the bike is in the house and to come on in. My brain flashes. I am in the worst part of town, literally next to the tracks, with $3000 in my pocket, nobody knows where I am and this guys looks like he is ready for next hit of crack.
A little reluctant, I step into his enclosed front porch with my back to the door ready for quick exit.
There it is. HarleyVarna. He says a few things about it ands asks if I want it. In the split few seconds I see the parts on the bike make it worth the amount. I said OK. He snaps back, he puts his hand out, palm up and starts pointing to his palm. I look at him. He says ok, CASH-OLA, while he is hitting his hand with his index finger.
I responded with, I’ll give it to you, lets get it on the trailer. I am having more bad thoughts and wanted out ASAP.
He says ok. We ended up having to open his front door to his living room to swing the bike around. I get to see his 12 inch black and white TV on few boards and bricks, with his state-of-the-art 8 track stereo with fifty 8 tracks stacked in the corner. and shag carpeting.
Wait! this is 2010 right? I thought.
We get the bike out side and behind the trailer when he starts hitting his palm again. CASH-OLA. I said, lets get it strapped down and I’ll give you the money. I get two straps on and reach into my pocket. I had moved few hundred into one pocket and thousands in the other, so he would only see that. I said to him, it was $300, Right? Knowing very well we agreed to $350. He looked at me like I had three heads and waited a moment and he said YA YA $300.I gave him the money. He’s now a happy camper.
All of a sudden this women shows up out of nowhere. She too looked like she was looking for her next hit.
We spoke a few words while I was putting the other tie downs on, when I heard her call to this other guy walking down the street. One tie down to go and I am paranoid now. Three against one.
I got the last tie-down on, said good by. I was OUT OF THERE.
I am sure the seller with 300 bucks in his pocket and female neighbor, had a great night that day.
Off to Rick’s to show him my new HarleyVarna and pick up my $50 67 Husky Commando.
So by now your saying, what the hell is a HarleyVarna. This where the photos come and you get a tour of American ingenuity. Just click the links after each description. I do use a little sarcasm.
The HarleyVarna is a 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross converted to a flat track bike, with few special parts.
Front number plate. Use to be a dry erase board. Triple tree bolts hold it very well.
Kill switch with missing rubber cap. Just take a plastic nut and screw it on to the spring. Works and you finger is insulated http://huskyrestoration.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/DSC04279.JPG
Here we have the clutch cable that appears to long. Just take a few nuts to take up the slack and of course tie wrap the adjuster.
Here we have what appears to be the same problem with throttle cable to long. I think. Take up the slack with a portion of a Yamaha dual throttle cable and the small ends fits perfect jammed into the broken throttle body. Don’t need the cable for the oil injection and just use a spark plug cap to make that 90 degree bend.
Instant Gunnar gasser throttle.
Silencer…. no clue, but look at the position of the top of the shock for now. It will make sense in coming photos.
Flat tracker needs little seat. we’ll just make one. Rear fender? No clue but it did have holes for tail light before they were plugged.
How to make a seat. easy. Piece of plywood, foam, vinyl and few NAILS.
Need a fuel tank. Got to be a Harley Sportster. Dude http://huskyrestoration.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/DSC04285.JPG
Carb? Got to be Harley Dude and we use water hose and hose clamps to put it on. We jam the opening in the end of the foam between the down tube and carb and filter is done.
Oh no, throttle cable casing is to short. No Worries, piece of orange plastic tube will fix that.
Spark plug cap. ? His truck maybe?
K16R Spark plug? Johnny, you still have that Toyota?
Inner fender? Honda?
Need a wear strip on the top of the swing arm. Use that other plastic piece and clamp it on with hose clamp.
Remember the shock behind the exhaust pipe. Tricky. Multi-position upper shock mount. So since we are only doing left turns, we put this shock in the original top mount and on the other side we put it it the lower
hole because we need to pressure make left turns. I like the fox air
Lastly, this is a flat tracker. We don’t use front brake, so take the lever off.