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Not looking too clean in these photos (but at least you can see that it has actually been ridden), it is kinda hard to tell that this Chief was built almost entirely from new reproduction parts.

There are only four original Wigwam parts on it: Engine sprocket, clutch drum, clutch hub and shifter tower. These parts are now - the bike was built some years ago - available new, so I guess it could qualify as The World's First Complete Reproduction Chief. But who's counting.

The general idea was to see if an all-new Chief could be built. It could (although not "correct" for any particular year; so let's just call it one person's idea of an ideal, timeless Chief), but it would have been a lot cheaper and easier to just have bought a nice restored - or cool bobbed - original.

The frame is a prototype 1939 replica, made with all the correct cast lugs and fittings, brazed together like the original frames. Sadly it looks like no more will be made. The cast parts for the prototype (as well as a few sets for repairs, all gone now) were made by sand casting from patterns, and for more to be built steel molds would have to be made up which, at the moment, isn't economically feasible. 

Leaf spring forks are still being made to order for various models and years, though. The rest of the parts, wheels (18" front and 16" rear, late model hubs and brakes adapted at both ends, with a custom front brake plate), sheet metal etc is a mix of years, but all new reproduction.

Engine is 84" with H-profile rods, forged pistons, Bonneville cams and lifters, Dell'Orto pumper carb and IPE Electronic Ignition - and moves pretty good! 

Lots of little details on this bike, like the much cut-about stainless exhaust system, aluminum distributor, stainless pedals and jockey shifter (did you spot the reversed shifter tower?), model A Ford tail light air cleaner, the simple way to move the saddle rearwards (by an extra cut and shut saddle T), and cable operated rear brake to lose the big brake rod that messes up the cam side good looks on stock rigid Chiefs. 

I mostly included the bike here as an excuse to show a cool bobber Chief, since I am not going to make more of them (new reproduction Chiefs). The current owner is hard at work to make it even cooler, so stay tuned.

Update June 7, 2009: Here's a couple of snapshots from the ongoing rmakeover by the current owner. More will be posted here as things progress, so continue to stay tuned!


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