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Biker - April 1994
Halfbreed - Two worlds collide for the sake of badness

The 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.

Ralph 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."

The 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.

— J.D.

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