As some of you know, I recently find myself with some extra time on my hands since I lost my job in a ‘workforce reduction’. I decided to take this opportunity to travel south from Chicagoland and visit my family and friends. One of the highlights always is the fact we wrench and ride on the HDs that have been an ever present part of my childhood.
While working on a 1987 FLHTC that I ended up working out a hell of a deal on from my Da... (Yeah!! New way to spend money I don’t have!) I was regaled with stories of a nearly mythical figure called... Louie.
Now, my Da and his group of buddies have always been an interesting group of folks... good for hours of campfire stories. So I was of course taking mental notes.
This Louie, according to all reports, is a savant engineer. He has, as best I can determine, no formal education or training in any mechanical art. I was shown a 1930’s lathe in one of my Da’s friend’s shop, which had been just a collection of rusty bits and parts in a pile when handed over to Louie. It now was gleaming steel and butter smooth action, each part flawless and perfectly meshed in function.
While to me this alone is a feat of note, I was informed this paled in comparison to Louie’s other works. Then I heard the tale of the American Nomad. The Nomad is a motorcycle. It is NOT a motorcycle you have ever seen or heard of before. It has several distinctions.
First, it is completely handmade. While some parts started out as motorcycle components, they have been transformed both in form and function. The Nomad also contains parts from boats, aircraft, cars and plumbing applications. Some of the most impressive to me however are the parts made from scratch. Like the primary drive. Louie shaped it from a solid piece... with nothing more complex that a hammer and a sandbag.
Secondly... it is a Diesel! Yes... that is what I said. It is a single cylinder diesel thumper. The core of the powerplant was once a military flight-line generator.
Thirdly... and most telling to me is it is absolutely beautiful and amazing to behold. Doubt me?
See for yourself...
And the creator of the American Nomad...I give you Louie!!