Factory-Modified V.I.N.

Classic short-frame models

Re: Factory-Modified V.I.N.

Postby 55panman » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:17 pm

Bill, more info. Got the cases and crank and some other parts from Billy Hoffmeister. I think they were from his Hank Scott engine?? Early frame came from Mike Bright or Jim Eastley, don't remember. I fabbed the replica swingarm. XR tank from Al Burke, seat from Hoffy. Early Kr XR alloy front wheel from Tom Carney in Montana and early XR rear wheel from Hoffy.
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Re: Factory-Modified V.I.N.

Postby hugoct » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:22 pm

1C10060H4/5
Crankcase #s 75
Complete XR750 Track Racer
Order # 90282
Assembled 2-11-75
Shipped to Harley Davidson Sales, Canton, Ohio
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Re: Factory-Modified V.I.N.

Postby hugoct » Tue Apr 14, 2020 10:28 pm

1975 compared to 1972
Still has the oil cooler.
First year for the Sun front hub and rim.
Rear wheel gets adapter with bolt on aluminum sprockets.
74R frame but the 1975 is different than the 77 and 80 versions.
Different seat.
Different pipes.
Different manifolds and aircleaners.
Barnett dual plastic throttle.
No more 8 ball breather nonsense.
Sump based lubrication system.
Great year for the XR750!
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Re: Factory-Modified V.I.N.

Postby 55panman » Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:23 pm

Bill, did I ever ask you about my 1977 XR750 was Ronnie Jones's rookie bike # 1C10024H7 funny thing I don't see any match numbers. Ronnie confirmed this was his bike at the Hall of Fame race in Springfield when they used to let us in the pits if we brought a vintage racer. Joe also brought his '77 XR he got from John Erickson 1 number up from mine 1C10025H7
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Re: Factory-Modified V.I.N.

Postby ptk46 » Fri May 01, 2020 2:41 pm

During the 1970’s, and maybe earlier, the factory would stamp a slash across an erroneous VIN and stamp the correct VIN below it.
While this wasn’t a common practice it did happen and was ok to ship the bike as such.
At that time engine stamping was done by hand on the assembly line.
Maybe it still is.
Basically a punch and hammer operation.
The employee doing the stamping would read the silver VIN sticker mounted on the LH ( while sitting on the bike) frame tube and stamp away.
The silver VIN sticker was printed and installed at the first operation on the assembly line.
Errors were almost always due to training a new employee, stamping an inverted number, or a slip of the punch during the hammer blow.
It didn’t happen often but it did happen.
How do I know this you may wonder?
I worked at HD York from 1973 to 1986 (the best years of my life).
From 73-77 I worked on the line immediately adjacent to the stamping operation.
During that time I witnessed, maybe a dozen corrected VIN’s.
I saw at least two where the number had been slashed cancelled twice.
I was told that a few bikes had three VIN’s cancelled, but I never witnessed that.
Also every VIN cancellation I saw was on a Sportster.
I don’t recall seeing one on a Shovel.
If the judge is truly a good judge he/she will recognize this as a rare but original factory event.
It should not disqualify your bike.
Unfortunately not all judges are that knowledgeable of what went on in the factory.
Yes Mr./Mrs. Judge, HD did use blue Scotch Locks on bikes in the 1970’s.
I remember a lot of changes and substitution made to keep the line running.
Each of these changes were validated by a short term ECN or Engineering Change Notice.
The ECN was filed for future reference.
If ECN’s still exist my guess is that you won’t get near one unless your last name is Davidson.
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Re: Factory-Modified V.I.N.

Postby Ferrous_Head » Fri May 01, 2020 7:22 pm

I don't know if your judges in the US (I'm from the Land Down Under) have an association or certification process but I assume they do.

It would be good if past employees who have first hand knowledge of these things could document them and supply that information to their association.

I know from experience that not even current employees are truly aware of what happened in the past. When I first asked HD to identify my 62 XLB initial response was "No such beast exists". Only after Kathy Olenskie (research officer at the time) agreed to look for, and found, the build sheet for my bike did they realise HD made XLB's. She told me she had asked the oldest employee working in the factory if he had ever heard of them, "No" he said.

As time rolls on less and less people who have direct experience of these things will be around to tell us the truth. We need to document what we can.

Otherwise, we all end up arguing with judges who tell us "No such beast existed".
"I know only too well the evil that I propose, but my inclinations get the better of me."
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Re: Factory-Modified V.I.N.

Postby bill pedalino » Sun May 03, 2020 10:50 am

Ferrous_Head wrote:I don't know if your judges in the US (I'm from the Land Down Under) have an association or certification process but I assume they do.

It would be good if past employees who have first hand knowledge of these things could document them and supply that information to their association.

I know from experience that not even current employees are truly aware of what happened in the past. When I first asked HD to identify my 62 XLB initial response was "No such beast exists". Only after Kathy Olenskie (research officer at the time) agreed to look for, and found, the build sheet for my bike did they realise HD made XLB's. She told me she had asked the oldest employee working in the factory if he had ever heard of them, "No" he said.

As time rolls on less and less people who have direct experience of these things will be around to tell us the truth. We need to document what we can.

Otherwise, we all end up arguing with judges who tell us "No such beast existed".


Ferrous,
Very interesting. However, quite frustrating that the Factory Research Officer stepped in after the 'Factory' categorically denied the existence of you machine! I'm hoping that my eventual reach-out to them yields a better result. How would you suggest I approach them; who should I initially contact (or what Department) for my problem?
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Re: Factory-Modified V.I.N.

Postby bill pedalino » Sun May 03, 2020 11:25 am

ptk46 wrote:During the 1970’s, and maybe earlier, the factory would stamp a slash across an erroneous VIN and stamp the correct VIN below it.
While this wasn’t a common practice it did happen and was ok to ship the bike as such.
At that time engine stamping was done by hand on the assembly line.
Maybe it still is.
Basically a punch and hammer operation.
The employee doing the stamping would read the silver VIN sticker mounted on the LH ( while sitting on the bike) frame tube and stamp away.
The silver VIN sticker was printed and installed at the first operation on the assembly line.
Errors were almost always due to training a new employee, stamping an inverted number, or a slip of the punch during the hammer blow.
It didn’t happen often but it did happen.
How do I know this you may wonder?
I worked at HD York from 1973 to 1986 (the best years of my life).
From 73-77 I worked on the line immediately adjacent to the stamping operation.
During that time I witnessed, maybe a dozen corrected VIN’s.
I saw at least two where the number had been slashed cancelled twice.
I was told that a few bikes had three VIN’s cancelled, but I never witnessed that.
Also every VIN cancellation I saw was on a Sportster.
I don’t recall seeing one on a Shovel.
If the judge is truly a good judge he/she will recognize this as a rare but original factory event.
It should not disqualify your bike.
Unfortunately not all judges are that knowledgeable of what went on in the factory.
Yes Mr./Mrs. Judge, HD did use blue Scotch Locks on bikes in the 1970’s.
I remember a lot of changes and substitution made to keep the line running.
Each of these changes were validated by a short term ECN or Engineering Change Notice.
The ECN was filed for future reference.
If ECN’s still exist my guess is that you won’t get near one unless your last name is Davidson.


ptk,
I read your message with great enthusiasm! - and a bit of nostalgia. I worked in factory settings in my early youth and remember ECN's quite well. I also remember the need to keep production going and how things were done quite quickly and temporarily to ensure that. Your explanation and very interesting rendition make perfect sense and (to me) prove to be very logical and accurate.

I bought this bike from the original Owner when I worked for (now) Eastern Motorcycle Parts (then, Gil's Cycle) on Long Island. I know that he bought the bike from Gene Baron's dealership; Suffolk County Harley Davidson which wasn't far from Gil's. We worked with Gene occasionally on different projects and I eventually worked for him. He was a good guy. Also, as I stated before, I worked at the other Long Island dealership (Nassau County Harley Davidson/Benny Mettana) when I un-crated and set up a new 1971 Sportster with the re-strike. Having seen this at the dealership, I didn't hesitate in buying my 1970 a couple of years later - I KNEW it was an occasional Factory-practice..

The 1970 that I bought had burned up in a kick-start fire and I bough it immediately thereafter. Aside from this bike, I know of at least two others with factory re-stamps and they were all done the same way.

I understand that the judges have an obligation to ensure that the bikes are legal, especially the VIN's and I respect that (I assist in judging knuckleheads myself). However, it's so frustrating when you've lived this, remember it so well, and KNOW its correct, only to be informed on this forum that the Club might not recognize the machine as legitimate!

On the brighter side, there are Sportster judges out there that are mature, experienced, and open-minded enough to withhold these types of decisions until all information is gathered. I'm working with one such judge now on my '64 Sportster and have developed respect for him and how he goes about his process.

In the end, I'll contact the Factory and hopefully receive the verification of what I know (and you've personally experienced) is true and correct.
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Re: Factory-Modified V.I.N.

Postby Ferrous_Head » Sun May 03, 2020 5:26 pm

I was not getting anywhere with HD until I sent a letter to Jeneau Ave. I did get a reply and the reply gave me Kahy Olenskie's name and title. But there was also a telephone number on the reply letter, so I rang her.
She was the one who initially denied the bikes existence. But I told her that I knew (at that time) of at least 3 other XLB's and what I knew about where they had come from. She said she would do some research. The next time I spoke to her she told me she couldn't find anything at all about them and had spoken to a man named Thomas who knew more about the factory than anyone else. He had never heard of them.
But she did tell me she would look for the build sheet in any case.
Lo and behold ! She found a build sheet existed for my bike. She even gave me the build date for it.
I wish I had managed to get a hard copy of that sheet. (Sorry, to dumb to ask at the time).

So. I would suggest writing a letter to the current Research Officer and asking if they can pull the build sheet for your bike. Explain why you need the info. Give them whatever you have. Now the problem for you MAY be that they moved to frame numbers in 70.
But I would be trying.
"I know only too well the evil that I propose, but my inclinations get the better of me."
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Re: Factory-Modified V.I.N.

Postby bill pedalino » Wed May 06, 2020 4:57 pm

ptk46 wrote:During the 1970’s, and maybe earlier, the factory would stamp a slash across an erroneous VIN and stamp the correct VIN below it.
While this wasn’t a common practice it did happen and was ok to ship the bike as such.
At that time engine stamping was done by hand on the assembly line.
Maybe it still is.
Basically a punch and hammer operation.
The employee doing the stamping would read the silver VIN sticker mounted on the LH ( while sitting on the bike) frame tube and stamp away.
The silver VIN sticker was printed and installed at the first operation on the assembly line.
Errors were almost always due to training a new employee, stamping an inverted number, or a slip of the punch during the hammer blow.
It didn’t happen often but it did happen.
How do I know this you may wonder?
I worked at HD York from 1973 to 1986 (the best years of my life).
From 73-77 I worked on the line immediately adjacent to the stamping operation.
During that time I witnessed, maybe a dozen corrected VIN’s.
I saw at least two where the number had been slashed cancelled twice.
I was told that a few bikes had three VIN’s cancelled, but I never witnessed that.
Also every VIN cancellation I saw was on a Sportster.
I don’t recall seeing one on a Shovel.
If the judge is truly a good judge he/she will recognize this as a rare but original factory event.
It should not disqualify your bike.
Unfortunately not all judges are that knowledgeable of what went on in the factory.
Yes Mr./Mrs. Judge, HD did use blue Scotch Locks on bikes in the 1970’s.
I remember a lot of changes and substitution made to keep the line running.
Each of these changes were validated by a short term ECN or Engineering Change Notice.
The ECN was filed for future reference.
If ECN’s still exist my guess is that you won’t get near one unless your last name is Davidson.


New York didn't require the left side Silver frame sticker until at least 1971 - possibly not until 1973 or so when we went from registrations to Titles. My 1970 has a matching frame number on the right-side neck casting, but it never had a silver frame tag. But for sure, registrations and motor VIN's were still the way in New York in 1970.
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