January 25, 2014

Matt Olsen Invited Builder

We met Matt only a few years ago but in that short period of time he has become part of our family.

For a young guy Matt has an insane amount of knowledge about old motorcycles. We have called him up countless times asking about this or what year is that...and he always has the answers.
Matt has really embraced Born-Free & truly loves the show. He has built some of the best bikes we have ever seen. His first year he built that incredible Knucklehead that took home Best in Show honors and a trip to Yokohama with his new bride and last year built a early HD for Brittney to race. This year he is back and has something very special for us...he writes:
 The bike that we are building for born free this year will be a pretty special bike.  It will be made up of all of my favorite parts from the 20s to the early 30s  that Harley produced.  When it is all said and done it will look like a crazy concept bike that Harley could have made in the late 20s.  
The engine is the show piece of the effort.  I have been daydreaming about it for 10 or 12 years.   It is basically a hybrid motor made out of the best features of the three engines that hd was making at the time and making a super motor out of them. It has a reproduction top end from a pea shooter, jd cases, special cast iron cylinders, dual hx carburetors , and a crazy right case that is being made by my friend Andre.
I had originally planned on cutting up original 29 cases and welding them together to make the case, but ended up having to make two of them, and couldnt bring myself to destroy 4 90 year old harley cases.   It will have 4 cams like a harley dl and also have a chain driven magneto and a chain driven generator. 
The frame is made up of 7/8 tubing and some original castings.  The country bar had to be curved to fit the motor into the frame.  The gas tanks will have flat bottoms and be aesthetically appropriate for the time period of the bike.   The fork is made out of parts that came from three decades of front end parts and looks like a nice little  factory part.   This is the most challenging custom project I have ever worked on, but it will be the most fun and rewarding project when it is done.  Thanks to Mike, Grant and all of the other people involved with the show for letting us be a small part of the big picture again.   I cant wait to be in California this year.
Matt Olsen   


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