Sweet Leaf

Lee Lopez’s Gentleman’s Ride

Article And Photos By: Mark Velazquez

Published In April 2020

I have always said music and motorcycles are timeless, and their history and culture always seem to work their way through all generations past, present, and the future. The fact that you can still hear Elvis on the radio and having a ride that predates 1982 is just darn cool!  History does repeat itself, but the trend does not surprise me.

Lee Lopez of Rock Point, New York happens to be one those people who keeps this motion moving forward.  At the ripe old age of 24, Lee has been riding everything on rubber wheels since he was four.  All his work is right out of the garage and can be the envy of any bike builder. Knowing someone like Lee and the cast of characters he knows in his hometown gives the motorcycle culture hope that the past will not be forgotten.

After surviving a horrible hit and run accident, which will be the story around his next feature, Lee’s will to ride and build never died. Knowing that maybe the world of off-roading and dirt biking could only go on for so long, Lee still had the thrill to race. Being the old soul that he is, Lee took this desire to the only destination he knew would be the right fit, TROG, The Race of Gentleman.

Word on the street is that in order to compete in TROG, you need a period-correct motorbike which Lee did not have. After some extensive hunting, Lee found a ’45 out in New Jersey. After getting things in order and just about to make the deal Lee let his buddy Baby James know what was going down. In utter surprise, Baby James informed Lee that his dad who goes by the name, and no, I am not making this up “Big Ron” had a ’45 that he might be willing to sell. Long story short, Lee was able to score a deal right in his back yard and among friends.

With the bike in hand, the fun began. The challenge of bringing this ride from days gone by up to raceable standards while keeping the bike era-correct would be a job within itself. So, rolling up his sleeves and getting by with a little help from his friends, the build began.

As with all good builds, the bike was stripped to the frame. Everything and I do mean everything, was worked over and brought back to life. Big Ron took on the job of a complete engine rebuild. Cool tidbits from this build are the fact that the engine is actually a 1958 Model G. The displacement was put at 45ci, and OEM Pistons and Heads were used. On top of all this, a Linkert M41 carb and air cleaner along with  a W&W Cycles 12-volt ignition.

The gas tank was narrowed, and James Dudley ran the oil lines in the split tank. Rubber-mounted risers, new wheels, an Exile internal throttle, and a killer paint job by Danny Brock from Sunrise Collision finished up a job that a time machine itself could not replicate.

The bike made for a great day of racing on the Jersey Shore! Of course, fun was had by all. Lee enjoyed a day of racing and going back in time.

In a world where everything seems to keep going faster and faster, there is still the ability to slow down and enjoy the wind in your hair. This is exactly why this adventure took place for Lee. As Lee would say, “you can’t see the world if you’re riding too fast.” With three Harleys, three trikes, and two dirt bikes in his stable, if I were a betting man, I would say Lee has a lot of riding still to do. Heck, his daily rider is a ’48 Pan!

Another feel-good story that reminds us, the choices in life that we make will always define who we choose to be both as men and women. The cool thing about this, though, is that the choices we make can be so simple even though they will most likely define our footprint on this planet earth. Take a note from Lee and slow it down for those choices all come in time.

 

TECH SHEET

Owner: Lee Harrity Lopez

City/State: Rocky Point, NY

Fab. By: Lee Harrity Lopez

Year: 1958

Model: G

Value: However much you’ll pay for it.

Time: Too Much

Engine

Year: 1958

Model: G

Builder: Big Ron

Ignition: W&W Cycles 12 Volt

Displacement: 45ci

Pistons: OEM

Heads: OEM

Carb: M41 Linkert

Cam: OEM

Air Cleaner: Linkert Bird Deflector

Exhaust: Paughco

Primary: Chain

Transmission

Year: 1958

Make: Harley Davidson

Shifting: 3 Speed

Frame

Year: 1947

Make: Harley Davidson

Rake: OEM

Stretch: OEM

Forks

Type: Inline Springer

Builder: Harley Davidson

Extension: Stock Length

Triple Trees: OEM

Wheels, Tires, Brakes

Front Wheel: Star Hub

Size: 16″

Front Tire: 16×5 Allstate Dirtman

Front Brake: Who needs those?

Rear Wheel: Star Hub

Size: 16″

Rear Tire: 16×5 Allstate Dirtman

Rear Brake: Mechanical Drum

Painting

Painter: Danny Brock at Sunrise Collision

Color: Red and White

Type:  Paint

Graphics: Pin Striping

Molding:  None

Chroming: Chrome don’t getchya home

Accessories

Bars: Flanders

Risers: Flanders

Throttle: Exile internal throttle

Fuel Tanks: WR split tank

Front Fender: None

Rear Fender: V-twin

Seat: River Seat Company

Foot Controls: OEM

Mirror: None

Oil Tank: WR split tank

Headlight: None

Taillight: None

Speedo: None

Photographer: Mark V

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