Featured in Custom Bike, October 1979
If CUSTOM BIKE readers from warm, sunny climates ever wonder about
what customizers up in those cold northern areas do during the winter,
they should wonder no more.
Tom Summers from Richfield, Minnesota is no stranger to these pages.
His creation Turnabout was featured in the March, 1979 issue featuring
the 10 best bikes of the preceding year. (Furthermore, Summers has thoroughly
re-vamped that bike and it will be appearing in November CUSTOM BIKE.)
Get Down is the name of this craft and Summers brought it all together
during the last winter.
He initially paid $1500 for the 1975 Honda and for an additional $2000,
plus a lot of planning and hard work, it has been transformed into what
you see here. The frame is a unit specially built by Smith Brothers &
Fetrow. It has a 50-degree neck rake, as well as a six-inch extension,
plus a dropped top tube.
The molding of the frame was done by Summers, as was the painting of
the frame and the SB&F fuel tank. Addi-tional artwork is the doing
of D. J. Eckel. That girder front end is also a SB&F item, having a
six-inch extension. Due to the frame's radical rake, was neces-sary to
bend the tiller handlebars es-pecially to achieve the correct arc. The
Hallcraft 18-inch rim uses a Hurst-Air-heart brake. Skinny 2.75-18 rubber
is used here. Both the mirror and head-light are from the extensive catalogue
of Drag Specialties.
At the rear a 15-inch rim is used in conjunction with a Honda brake
and hub. A 165-15 tire is fitted, which is shrouded by a Ness fender that
has been widened 21/2 inches by Gary Grolla, in order to clear the tire.
The seat came from Randy's Upholstery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the
engine department you'll find few go-fast tricks. The clutch is a Bar-nett
unit, while both the exhaust pipes and mufflers are from Joe Alphabet.
That nifty oil tank is a Santee item, whose function and looks have been
further embellished by use of braided steel feed and scavenging lines.
All the plating of Get Down was done by Custom Metal Finishing of Maple
It's ironic, isn't it? The warm weather guys feel sorry for those who
have to put up with those brutal northern winters, not being able to ride
a motorcycle for months. But then, when the sun comes out, who's feeling
sorry for whom? It's those patient, uncomplaining northern builders who
have the truly sanitary iron to ride around, while the sunshine boys wonder
aloud, "How in the hell do those snow-shovelers manage to build suchneat
(Owner Tom Summers performed the clean-up molding and painting while
the artwork and such is the handiwork of D.J. Eckel.)
(With a front end way out to there, you just know mat's a radical
rake. It is; 50 degrees. Girder front end, extended six inches overstock,
is from SB&F. That's a Hallcraft hub mounting a Hurst-Airheart brake.)
(Randy's Upholstery of Minneapolis is responsible for the seat. Cost
to rebuild the machine from stock is $2000.)