The Story of The "Four-Tee-Five" as Told by Doc
In early Spring 08', I went to an antique motorcycle swapmeet & some subliminal force beyond my control was driving me to purchase as many old Harley® Flathead 45ci motors as I could. Just prior to the Harley-Davidson® Dealer Show in Las Vegas in July 08', I was struck with what to do with all those Flathead motors....put 4 of them in-line on a long, hand-built frame with multiple passengers.
It was at the Dealer Show that I became inspired to build this bike for the Harley-Davidson® 105th Anniversary parade which was in only 4 weeks! As soon as I got off the plane from Las Vegas to Green Bay, I went straight to the steel mill to purchase metal to build the frame. At 6am the next morning, I began bending tubing & welding the frame. Then I started working on the four 1950's engines, which all needed to be rebuilt from top to bottom. I connected the throttles with a 5/16" rod that I ran through 5 separate box-end wrenches. I then braised each box end full of brass & bored them out to make them fit the actuator rod that connects to each carburetor via hand-forged linkages. All of the engine drive sprockets were cut off & replaced with dual sprockets to allow me to link each motor together. This also allowed all 4 motors to be kick-started together! All 4 engines were timed together utilizing a very old, but effective method...a cellophane cigarette wrapper!
By day 15, we kick-started the bike for the 1st time. It came to life on the 3rd kick! We backed the bike out of the shop & Doc rode it around the building with Jeff Erdman as his first passenger. It worked perfectly! Within 2 more days, the bike was done to completion with a shiny new black & orange paintjob (compliments of B&J Custom) & a new Chris-Craft horn (donated by Steve Lemhouse of the Spinning Wheel Restaurant).
Then came the final test...putting 5 people on board & making a lap around the parking lot at the dealership. Again, the bike worked perfectly. Then it was off to Milwaukee for the 105th Anniversary Parade where the "Four-Tee-Five" performed flawlessly. Accompanied by my 4 passengers, Rhonda, Shannon (my son-in-law), Kersten (my daughter), & Jeff Erdman (a good friend) we all rode though the parade with pride! It was truly an experience of a lifetime.