A Teacher’s Wage

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Article By: GTP

Photos By: Chris Callen

Originally Published In The October 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Kevin “Teach” Baas has been into Knuckleheads long before they became motorcycle gold. He still recalls when you could buy a complete Knuck motor with a title for around $2500…those days are long past. Fortunately, Kevin has been collecting the whole time. When he decided he needed another beater, he turned to his parts stash (something that gets drooled over on a regular basis) and cobbled together this little Seafoam Green runner. Unlike many people who are into vintage bikes, Teach rides his to the point of beating them… sending the purists heads spinning. If not for Kevin, you may never have seen any old iron sliding across a dirt paddock or wheel up at a drag strip. Kevin rides those old bikes like they used to be ridden back before they became an unobtainable possession for the very rich. As with most of his projects, he used this one as a learning tool for his Chopper Class with Mr. Baas which has gained so much press over the years. He started with a ’39 pre-war EL Knucklehead motor that has been stroked with 80” fl athead wheels stuffed into a fragile short ribbed case. This whole assembly was hung into a ’39 frame along with a ’40 four-speed tranny. A ’47 offset springer that was a spare for his other Knuck, ‘Elvis”, was used on “Tetanus.”

The front wheel is an 18” with a stepped star hub and a drum brake, while out back is a 16” with a normal  star hub and drum brake which applies the “whoa.” A set-off Helling & Stellings handlebars were used for that racy feel. They were mounted on a set of short 2” risers. When it came to the sheet metal, he stumbled on a set of original paint ’48 Panhead 3.5 gallon tanks with a shift gate hand shifter attached. The rear fender was in the passion of someone that was eyeing Kevins green tanks. When Kevin refused to sell them, he mounted them and sent the guy a picture. Kevin said the guy then offered the rear fender for a decent price. The pogo mounted ‘clown car” buddy seat was something that Kevin had laying around for a while, so he decided to use it on this build. It has been since removed, but it really brought out the striped racer feel while it was on. The purists yell and shake their heads when Kevin is out thrashing this ol’ Knuck like it was meant to be thrashed when it came off the assembly line. He’s not one for blister pack restorations or bikes that were built to only be looked at from afar. His bikes are dirty, used and scratched and never babied like so many of the earlier iron. Kevin has no interest in bikes that are built to be viewed statically surrounded by velvet ropes and soft whispers. Instead, he would rather kick up some dirt, fry a tire or two and just have fun, real-world fun not collector fun. So, the next time you see some perfect specimen getting loaded and vacuum sealed in the back of a truck ask if the owner ever rings the snot out of it. When he explains that this bike is far too expensive to be ridden, remember there are still guys out there that REALLY enjoy their vintage iron….just like Kevin “Teach” Baas. “GTP”

Tetanus Tech Sheet

Owner: Kevin “Teach” Baas

City/State: Prior Lake, MN

Fab. By: Kevin “Teach” Baas

Year: 1939

Model: EL

Value: Make An Off er

Time: 15 Years


Year: 1939

Model: EL – Stroked

Builder: WingNut

Ignition: Stock Points

Displacement: 80” Stroker

Pistons: S&S

Heads: Harley-Davidson

Carb: Linkert M74-B

Cam: Leineweber 2S

Air Cleaner: Iron Craft

Exhaust: Harley W/ Buco Tip

Primary: Stock


Year: 1947

Make: Harley-Davidson

Shifting: Tank Shift


Year: 1939

Make: Stock

Rake: 25 Degrees -Stock

Stretch: Stock


Type: Harley-Davidson

Builder: 1947 Off set Springer

Extension: None

Triple Trees: Hellings & Stellings

Wheels, Tires, Brakes

Front Wheel: Harley-Davidson

Size: 18”

Front Tire: Allstate Dirtman

Front Brake: Harley Drum

Rear Wheel: Harley-Davidson

Size: 16”

Rear Tire: Allstate

Rear Brake: Drum


Painter: Unknown

Color: Seafoam & Rust

Type: Old

Graphics: Stock Speedball Emblems

Molding: None

Chroming: Rusted


Bars: Hellings & Stellings #11

Risers: Hellings & Stellings 2.0

Hand Controls: Stock Spirals

Fuel Tanks: 1948 Harley-Davidson

Front Fender: Lost

Rear Fender: Old Panhead Bobbed

Seat: Ratty

Foot Controls: Harley-Davidson

Oil Tank: 1947 Harley-Davidson

Headlight: Ebay fi nd

Taillight: Swap Meet fi nd

Speedo: None

Photographer: Chris Callen

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