Biker - April 1994
Halfbreed - Two worlds collide for the sake of
name says it all! The dictionary defines half-breed as "one
descended from parents of two different races - especially whites
and American Indians." This bike's father was a '37 Indian
Chief; its mother was a '70 Sportster. And just like the original
half-breeds of the old west, it tends to be a renegade.
True Indian lovers think it just ain't natural to tamper with the
blood lines of an Indian, while most Harley riders still think of
a Sporty as half a Hawg. But make no mistake - it gets the respect
it deserves when folks see how it hauls ass.
The Halfbreed started to take shape back in 1983 when an old bro,
Ralph, had the original Indian motor go south on him. Since quality
Indian parts aren't exactly growin' on trees up here in the frozen
north, the idea of slippin' in a Harley motor came about. It's not
quite as easy as it sounds, though. In order for the Sporty engine
to fit, the old flathead frame had to go into Walkem's Cycle for
a major cut-and-weld job. The front down tubes had to be stretched
8 inches and a complete Sportster mi-section had to be put in.
ran the bike for a while, but bein' one of those true Indian lovers,
he was never really happy with it. The bike got mothballed, and
slowly but surely parts began to slip away.
That's when Jon Dalton came into the picture. After 20 years of
ridin', he'd been lookin' for a project bike that could be turned
into somethin' truly unique. After a serious smoke an' juice session
at the shop one day, he decided it was time to resurrect the old
girl and push it into the '90s.
All that was left of the bike was the frame, motor, and gas tanks.
But Wymond and the boys at Walkem's went to work again. Besides
wanting to keep that clean, old-style look, Jon also wanted a bike
that could perform well out on the road.
A Super Glide front end unit was added to provide better handling,
along with disc brakes to at least slow her down. A Morris magneto
provides the ignition juice, and the motor has a hot Sifton cam
setup with the new style S&S carb suckin' up the gas. Jon almost
tore off his knee a couple of times kickin' it over, but as he says,
"Once it's runnin', it really rumbles along."
concept of brass features running throughout the bike began accidentally.
When stripping an old set of foot pegs for chroming, it was discovered
that they were actually solid brass. And ya know that knob sticking
out of the dash? That's actually a light that shines down on the
instruments. Seems back in '37 they hadn't yet figured out how to
put the light inside.
Now, everyone knows there was no love lost between Indian and Harley.
The story goes that before WWII, Harley dealers were told to destroy
any Indians received as trade-ins. Well, by no means is it the end
of the trail for this Halfbreed.