Saturday, October 23, 2010

Then Came Red Neck

Now, I don't want you to get the impression that most South Bay Bikes had goose-necks. It's just that after Rich's comment in the last post I figured why not post the scooter he was talking about.

Peace dude! No it isn't Jim Bronson, but rather the late Phil Ross, and yes Gardena is one of the south bay cities. This was the first of this type of goose-necked bikes I remember seeing.

This was the cover shot for Street Chopper May 1972. I know exactly where this photo was taken as I ride around this very corner every chance I get. You can see by Lynn's big smile in all the photos that indeed the ladies like long chops.

Check out the sissy bar and seat. Thanks to Joe Hurst, there's that South Bay Swoop again. When this bike was featured Phil had an auto upholstery shop. Joe told me he use to have Phil do all his seats and loved them. After Phil gave it up, Joe said, others just didn't compare. By the rounded down tubes, you can assume the frame was a swing arm with a hard tail added. The article doesn't give credit but, Joe also mentioned that Phil was also one of the guys who made a Dick Allen style springer.

The goose-neck bend looks lower and is gusseted slightly different than the bike in the previous post. The headlight bracket has a sharper bend and isn't quite as long so we now know there was two like this! The springer has a round rod under the springs (like Dick's and Sugar Bears's), and the bike in the former post has a rectangular bar like Fats. This one also has adjustable fittings at the bottom of the front legs like Sugar Bear's do.

The Street Chopper article has two more pages of black and white photos, yet not one photo shows the left side of the bike! What's up with that?

I'm sure most of you know that Phil Ross went on to make his Supermax belt drives.

I met Phil at the Smoke Out West II in Cottonwood AZ where he had just moved to. He had a copy of this Street Chopper on display at his booth so I just had to comment on it. You sure wouldn't have recognized him based on the cover photo. Not much later I read he had pass away.

All in all there really haven't been too many of these goose-neck bikes built, so at first I thought Rich might be right about it being the same bike. A second close look, revealed it to not be the case. Now I'll look for another one of these way-out headlight mounts.