Subject:RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: chains Date:Sun Apr 8 10:56:01 2012
Response to:17260
Perry, perhaps H-D started using a masterlink chain on the rear in mid-51? if someone with a early bike wanted to run a masterlink,they could tell the judges that the masterlink was an "Accessory" offered the same year as the bike was produced and in the dealerships for sale. So judges couldn't take off points for an accessory. Run one if ya choose. I choose to go by what is gleaned from restoring these bikes for 23+ years. Some people choose to get ttechnical, the vast majority don't.

Why have I found chains with no masterlink? That doesn't make any sense.I'm sure that these chains didn't just magically appear and why would someone WANT one without a msterlink due to the hassle of putting it on? Some people wants what is right. Most people didn't know that the Diamond brand chains were 2 different colors. I posted the picture so people could see what the chain really looked like 60 years ago. Ya can't go by Factory pics either. Ya ever seen (like holding in your hand) fork boots with 13 bellows? Ya ever seen a -50 petcock with knurled knobs instead of wings? Ya ever seen a left fork slider with 2 studs and a cap (like a panhead)? Parts books are bad, we all know that. Take for instance that no parts book,until the 1948-60 book shows or mentions the 9999 zip tie, yet it is on all the 1948-52 125 models. I 've found them and many others have also told me they have found them, ALL in the exact location it is supposed to be (top frame tube,just in front of the rear tank mount). The books don't show the speedo and horn being stamped, but we all know that they were and I assure ya, if I was to judge your bike at a AMCA meet and they weren't stamped, you would definately get gigged. The book doesn't show that the knife connector heat shrink tubes have "termflex" stamped on it in yellow ink, but it is. These are all reasons why there is no such thing as a 100 point bike.


The parts book is not gospel. Its intent was never as a definitive restoration guide. Nor was it a factory assembly guide. It just needed to be close enough that the parts guy could id and order the correct part. I wouldn't be surprised if drawing the parts book was a summer student type job with the senior draughtsmen working on blueprints and other serious work. Parts books are known to be full of errors and anyone that slavishly restores to the parts book will end up with an incorrect bike. Since you took the chain illustration from the 48/49 parts book flip to pages 26 and 27. When rebuilding an ignition switch do you assemble it with the tumbler assembly upside down? After all that's what's illustrated in the parts book. What about the horn button. Do you install the contact plate upside down and under the spring rather than the right way up and above the spring? Illustration in the parts book has got to be right after all.
I don't have a 48/49 rider's handbook. The earliest rider's handbook I have is marked re 4-51 in the inside front cover. Page 16 under Care and Adjustment of Drive Chains. "The rear drive chain can be taken apart and removed, after locating and taking out the spring-locked connecting link. ... The front chain is not provided with such a connecting link." Page 31 under Wheels; Removing Rear Wheel "Disconnect the chain at the master link, and loosen the rear wheel...".
In my opinion, any judge that deducts points because the rear chain contains a master link needs to have their head examined. I am sure the vast majority, if not all, bikes were delivered with it ... Perry

Hello Mark, yes people used to get 100 point bikes with a master link. AMCA only allows 99.75 points now. The reason no one got jacked on the masterlink-less chain, is simply because none of the judges at the various meets have studied enough to know that. Look in your parts books. The chain page shows a complete chain, no master link, just like the prmary chain. When the bike left the Factory, there was no masterlink. I have restored 2 original bikes, both 1948 models that had no masterlink on the rear chain and I looked REALLY close. The reason you have a NOS in the box -53 chain with a master link is because it is a parts counter replacement chain. It made it easy to change your chain. But what is "correct" and what is easy, aren't always the same. If HD happened to be using Duckworth chain at the time your bike was assembled,it also was masterlinkless. The idea behind getting a bike judged, is simply to see just how close one can get the bike to the exact way it left the Factory.No one that has their bike judged should ever get an "attitude". It's just to tell ya where ya err'd. If you believe you are right, all ya have to do is to present the documents showing that you are right. There are many pictures on the website and the chief judge at most meets has a computer there, where he can access these pictures for you. The first bike I ever had judged belongs to a fella named Gary Kaufman, 1959 STU.It was judged at the Dixon Ca. AMCA meet. I told Gary before he left to go to the show to make sure he brought the parts book and wiring diagram with him. He did. He called me when they first started judging the bike and I told him to call me as soon as they were done. He did. I asked him if there was any deductions. He told me that after they spent 45 minutes looking at the bike, that they took off a full 2 points.
I asked what for. He siad that the judgeds said he had the wrong headlamp !!! I believe the chief judge was Pete Gagan.I spoke with Pete, then had Gary to show Pete the parts book, showing the headlamp did indeed change on the 59 ST models, from the former Cycle Ray to the present Guide HH-58. Pete told me, Ok, we will give him back some partial points on the headlamp, but not all of them. I asked why and Pete then tried to tell me that the wiring was wrong !!! He said it had 2 yellow plastic wires and that it should have a red and a green wire. Gary busted out his 1959 wiring diagram, which clearly shows that it was supposed to have yellow wires, 1959 only. He was given his whole 2 points back and he recieved a 100 point score. That was the last I knew of any 100 point scores. I won't metion any names, but a certain fella has a 1955 HUMMER I believe he scored either 100 or 99.75. He sent me a pic of his bike. There was a large chunk of the timing cover missing, where the clutch cable goes into the cover. The judges didn't take off for that,but they should have taken off atleast a full point, because the part (timimng cover) was "not restored".

OK no one answered if they had been docked points for a master link.
Has anyone got 100 points with a master link.
And Mutt what about Duckworth brand chain? And what about the NOS in the box 40000-53 with a master link that i have.

Some folks want a bike just to ride. Doesn't matter what it looks like, as long as it runs and rides. Some folks want a real nice looking bike, and some folks desire the challenge of restoring one of these bikes to the utmost original as possible.
Original NOS chains are not as 'nearly impossible to find " as you may think. I have had 4 in the last 6 months.You just got to know where to look. Some of the "parts hoarders" here probably have box loads of them, but they just continue to sit on them, instead of selling them to people who want to use them.
I find far more NOS original chains than used take aart spark plugs.

The AMCA recognizes that certain items are expected to wear out and be replaced. If the availability today of original parts is extremely limited, the restorer is allowed to use the "best reproduction available".

(We'd have to look in the AMCA Judging Handbook for their exact wording).

Chains, tires, spark plugs, and seat covers are examples.

Original tires (not dry-rotted and cracked) are nearly impossible to find. Original chains are nearly impossible to find.

The take-apart spark plugs used on the earlier lightweights are available. They're pretty expensive, but you can still find them. I don't know if there's a clear consensus of judges on this matter.

Obviously a bike with perfect original parts is "better" than one with "best reproduction available" parts.

But we can take this to the point of absurdity. Jay Leno can afford the "only one left in the whole world" part - but the rest of us can't, and are not expected to.

Is a bike with original gas and oil "better" than one with "replacement" gas and oil?


Has anyone ever had points taken off for a master link???