Endless Knuckle

Feature 3Kerri

Phil Cusmano of Endless Cycles believes one thing about motorcycles: no matter how cool they are, they have to be ridden, and ridden hard. This philosophy was proven when I tried to contact him to get some information about the Knuckle pictured here. Only by chance did I get him when he was stopped by near monsoon conditions during a crosscountry ride. During our conversation, and Phil’s drying out time, I learned that Phil literally has a shop full of motorcycles to choose from. However, this collection was lacking one thing: a Knucklehead. That was until a trip to the Davenport Swap Meet where he came across a set of 1947 cases that would be the basis for this project. With cases in hand, Phil would spend the next three years (on and off) finding parts at the swap meets, using some from his own personal stash, as well as getting some from a few friends and aftermarket suppliers in order to create this bike.

To start things off, the cases were handed off to Ronzo at All American Cycles. He added a stock stroke crank with standard bore pistons running in aftermarket cylinders. An OEM grind cam was added to open the valves in the freshly redone OEM heads. For carburetion, only one word comes to mind when you think Knuckle, and that’s Linkert. An M-35 with a custom air cleaner made from a 1950’s Eskimo hairdryer was added to the mix for fuelair blending. Once that volatile mixture enters the cylinders, an automatic advance points’ distributor lights the fire, and a set of drag pipes expel the fumes. When the Knucklehead motor was complete and in running form, it needed a home. A 1951 Harley Davidson wishbone frame was found and cleaned up to be put into service. A later model Harley Davidson FL Springer with a shock was then added. Next, came a 21” Invader round spoke wheel with an Avon Speedmaster hung from it. The rear would house a 16” spoke wheel with hubcaps and was wrapped with some Dunlop rubber. To transmit power to the rearend, a V-Twin 4 speed was matched to the engine with a 1 5/8” open belt drive from BDL. To slow things down, a rear mechanical d r u m activated by the right handlebar lever took care of that.

Feature 3bKerri

The Knuckle was now rolling with a drivetrain and just needed a few finishing touches to be ready to terrorize the neighborhood. First was the rear fender, a simple trailer fender, supporter by a cool set of struts by Seth at Speed Driven Supply (SDS). It was then lit by a Sparto taillight handle. A classic horseshoe oil tank and a swap meet peanut gas tank would be added next. The custom ridge on the gas tank was actually already done when Phil got it. All he had to do was clean it up and lay down some paint. Finally, an old Drag Specialties’ solo seat and a set of short Z-Bars were chosen to give the pilot some place to sit and something to hold on to. Once the pile of parts came together and resembled a complete motorcycle, it was time for paint. For this bike, nothing but the best would do.

Fourteen whole dollars was spent on some Rust-Oleum brown, and Phil took care of the paint duties himself. Phil’s Knuckle was built as a rider. Its stock dimensions and narrow stance were chosen to make this bike quick and nimble. At one time, it had knobby tires and saw the occasional trail. Phil said most of his builds are long, stretched out Springers, and with this bike he wanted something he could throw around and handle. I’d say he got it. At the end of our conversation, Phil asked me to point out that while he is proud of his bike and the attention it gets, he wants everyone to not overlook the bikes being built in little garages by backyard mechanics all across America. So go out there, build your bike and be proud of it. It’s the things you do yourself that make it yours.

 

Endless Knuckle Tech Sheet

Owner: Phil Cusmano

City: Dahlonega, GA

Fabrication By: Endless Cycle

Year: 1947

Model: EL

Value: One Meeelion Dollars

Time: 3 Years On and Off

ENGINE

Year: 1947

Model: Knucklehead

Builder: Ronzo (All American Cycles)

Ignition: Auto. Advance Points Distributor

Displacement: 1000cc

Pistons: Standard

Heads: OEM

Cam(s): OEM

Carb: Linkert M-35

Air Cleaner: ‘50s Eskimo Hair Dryer

Exhaust: Squish Pipe Hi-Lo Drags

Primary: BDL 1 5/8” Open

TRANSMISSION

Year: ?

Make: V-Twin

Shifting: Foot

FRAME

Year: 1951

Make: HD Wishbone

Rake: OEM

Stretch: None

FRONT END

Type: OEM Springer

Builder: HD

Extension: None

Triple Trees: N/A

WHEELS

Front Wheel: Round Spoke Invader

Size: 21”

Tire: Avon Speedmaster

Brakes: Nope

Rear Wheel: Spoke With Hubcaps

Size: 16”

Tire: Allstate

Brakes: Mechanical Drum

PAINT

Painter: Phil

Type: Rust-Oleum

Color: Brown Fleckstone

Molding: Little

Graphics: None

ACCESSORIES

Bars: Curved Short Z-Bars

Risers: Springer

Hand Controls: Yup

Gas Tank(s): Peanut

Front Fender: None

Rear Fender: Trailer

Seat: Old Drag Solo

Foot Controls: Yup

Oil Tank: Horseshoe

Taillight: Sparto

Headlight: OEM

Photographer: Kerri Schindler

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