My favorite thing about the videos that the Wheels Through Time Museum puts out is just how stoked Matt Walksler is about everything. He clearly just loves motorcycles (and motorcycling, and motorcycling history, and wrenching, and everything else that has to do with bikes) so much, and his enthusiasm for the smallest thing is infectious. That love and enthusiasm are on full display in this recent video posted to the Museum's YouTube channel wherein Matt gets a set of ultra-rare gas tanks for a long-term project.
If you've ever watched any of WTT's videos, you know that Matt and his team of ace restorers and fabricators are always hip deep in some crazy restoration or another. This time, it's a one-of-a-kind 1934 Harley-Davidson factory hill climber. Powered by a 500cc, overhead-valve single, Walksler states that this bike is the only one of its kind known, and possibly the only one ever made. He goes into more detail in the video about just why the bike is so rare, but suffice it to say that this thing is rare as hen's teeth.
So, just how do you source parts for a 100-year-old, one-of-a-kind factory race bike? Carefully and with a lot of patience, apparently. After having the bike for around a decade, the final pieces of the puzzle were the gas tanks. Thing is, you see, there weren't any. Harley factory hill climb tanks from the 30s don't just grow on trees, after all. Matt had access to some pretty good quality reproductions, but WTT prides itself on using original parts wherever and whenever possible, and repops on a bike such as this didn't sit right with Walksler.
Thankfully, eventually, a friend of the museum came through with some gorgeous original equipment tanks after years and years of searching for the right ones. I won't go into too much detail here, because Matt explains the whole thing way better than I could, but let's just say that the tanks really tie the bike together.
Go ahead and give the video a watch. Not only do you get the usual history lesson, but you get the pleasure of watching Matt absolutely geek out about ultra-rare bike parts. It's definitely worth 20 minutes of your time.