Sybil......America's Sweetheart

It became obvious that it was time to get back to doing a few customs…..

(Story & photos by Mac Chandler)     (Click on pictures to enlarge)

   At about that time David Travis came in with a mini that he was working on and one thing led to another and I decided to do a mini. In trying to get an idea what I could do that would be a fun project and also show what we can do in the shop for one off custom folks, I noticed I had a Hummer frame that had a bit of damage, a complete extra engine, some Topper wheels, Topper bars, a part of a 48 rubber bouncer front end. I also had a pretty good pile of CP 1038 bolts (OEM Harley) At that point I thought I had enough stuff to build a rather nice Harley Mini.
   Little did I realize that this would evolve into the most difficult project I'd ever done. The thing that made it so difficult was the fact that I already had too many Harley parts to use for the project and decided to make this bike a 100% OEM Harley and determined to use ONLY parts that I could verify that were 100% American made.

   The guidelines were as follows: Parts must be OEM Harley, Must be American made (no Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Taiwanese or UnAmericaneese). American labor modified parts is allowable so, now, it's going to be "The worlds smallest 100% American made OEM Harley Davidson". At first it appeared that it would be simple when we partly mocked up a general idea. We cut down the frame as small as possible and still be able to insert a 1964 175 Harley engine, and let it have a bit of rake in the process. It shrank about two inches in height and about six in length. Then the rubber girder goes on and it is obvious that we must move the brake drum deeper into the wheel to make it fit between the girder legs OR just use the smooth side of TWO Topper front wheels to make one.


   One more Topper front wheel later and a bit of machine and handwork - we have a fit. Topper front wheels make a GREAT rear for a Hummer custom as they are already marked for drilling to mount a Hummer sprocket. Now the bike needs forward controls so the foot peg bar is relocated to the front between the motor mount holes. Then somewhere along the process Dave decides that the kickstand part of that bar should be relocated to the underside of the frame, a bit forward of the original location. NOW the problems begin.



   It would be EASY to build the forward linkage (and lots of other small items) if we could use metal off the rack and just do a little machining - BUT - That is NOT 100% Harley. So we MUST use only Harley parts to do the job. The foot shift leaver is fashioned from a Hummer brake pedal for the pivot and the rest is taken from a Hummer or Sportster foot shift leaver, The linkage for the shift shaft on the engine needs to NOT slip when shifting so we convert the shaft to the early, splined shaft and cut down a splined lever to make the shaft end of the linkage and a brass bushing made from a broken K model carb to keep the slop out of the linkage (hole was too big for the OEM pin we used). The brake side could not be done with a rod as in stock use because the motor was in the way. By the time I'd scratched all the hair off the top of my head I'd decided on a cable clamp type of clevis end off a 28 model Harley (Mutts idea) for cable operation. The clamp gets modified to accept the Hummer clutch cable size cable and a later Hummer rubber (or vinyl) covered Housing and a late model clutch leaver/cable fitting finishes off the rear end of the cable. The reaction point (anchor) for the front of the rear brake cable housing is several scrap Hummer brake pedals fabricated together. The brake light switch is one off a 198? Harley front brake perch, and is located in a threaded hole just opposite of the grease zerk on the brake camshaft with a small flat grinded into the shaft to allow it to move the switch plunger. The drive chain is the OEM Diamond Hummer chain. No electric horn is in effect as we plan to use the 55 Hummer squeeze bulb horn. (still to be mounted).

   Tires & Tubes are OEM Topper tires, tubes, valve cores etc. The tank is a cut down Hummer as is the fender. The Ignition system is one found on the 62 Ranger so it needs no outside (frame mount) coil and wired to the switch accessory terminal as a ground. So in the OFF position the engine starts. The lights are set up as the light circuit on the "mag type" Hummers that used the other coil slot and powered all but the tail lamp (in our application we run ALL lights off that coil)

   Tail & stop lamp are LED 12V license plate bolts from the 2005 HD accessories catalogue and all markings indicate Made in America. The housing is a bullet light from the late 50's early 60's and capped off with a military blackout Lens carrier with the two led's mounted in a Sportster front tube mounted reflector and fitted to the blackout lens area. Headlight (according to a HD dealer is off a 1980 Wide Glide. BUT - this item has NO markings - If anyone can dispute this as being a TRUE American made OEM HD light - please let me know! Lights wired through the switch in conventional manner. So the switch in effect controls two different and separate electrical systems.


   The seat is originally a Wide Glide seat pan, cut and heat molded to the frame with original foam and cover cut to match the new pan design. Note logo in pictures.


   The left side of the handlebar has been converted to a twist grip for the purpose of doing a twist clutch but that didn't work as planned so we used the std. lever type and a shortened cable setup.


   All normal bike wiring is in the frame. However the ABNORMAL wiring for the paint job was added later and was not able to go into the frame. Yes --I said PAINT WIRING - the paint is normally Black and when the REMOTE is pushed, the orange flames pop out - then, in the sun, the paint goes to orange with black flames as it reaches 91 degrees. (See pictures). The 12V immediately heats the windshield defroster tape that is in the primer (we can change any color to any other color at any temp from 0 to 150 degrees) we can supply paint only or the finished job.




   So now we have a non Harley paint - bit by WEIGHT, part numbers, parts value, or any way you figure it and round off to nearest % you'll still be at 100% HD, and what few little screws or wire ends that aren't right are being changed to HD OEM American ASAP.
   The PRESENT fork stops are made from SuperGlide pegs and a Shovelhead fork tube. All foot rubbers etc. are Harley Hummer.
   The frame and engine cases, cyl., and head got powdered and lots if the small stuff fell into a chrome vat.


   The stock Muffler was so inefficient that its removal gave us a meaner sound and really no reduction in performance. With the gearing it has it can spin the tire nicely.
   I am 5'9" and can ride this bike if I sit on the passenger part of the seat to brake and shift.
Mac Chandler 2004

   Ed. Note: figure out the labor and parts and you can figure this was either an act of love, or insanity; or maybe both. Someone once said that genius walks a fine line…….