December 2000 Garage Raid
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    A Visit with Matt Wilkinson
   By Jim Jones
For a while I have been aware that fellow VI Lister Matt lived fairly close by (about 2 hours south). We spoke on the phone once but never hooked up. Moen wrote me and requested that I get with Matt and shoot some photos of the lifts that Matt is making. So on a Sunday in early December I gave him a call. 

JJ: “Hey Matt are we still on?”
MW: “Yeah, are you ridin’ your scoot?”
JJ: “No, my van. It looks like rain.”
MW: “Dick!”
JJ: “Did you just call me a dick?”
MW: “No I wouldn’t call someone I haven’t met yet a dick.”
JJ: “Well you won’t have any problem with it after we meet. See you in about 2 hours.”

When I arrived it was getting miserable out and the rain was just starting. Matt offered me a beer and showed me his kitchen. “Here’s why I’m not married any more”, he said. He opened a kitchen cabinet to expose a set of scout cases, a gutted transmission, and some other Indian parts.

Click on pictures for full size

New Bonneville Scout exhaust lifts. More info here!

Proper use for kitchens!

We retired to the basement to see what is going on down there. The basement workshop consists of three rooms, with parts stashed in a random (to me) manner. After hanging for a while, I started to notice familiar Sport Scout parts popping out of the background. Matt likes to pick up some real junk and fix it with the help of a machinist friend who likes Indians. That and the fact that Matt appreciates a fast bobber makes for a cost effective project. Of course he is doing most of his own work… another cost saver.
Scout stuff...
There are 2 bobber projects going on. One is based on a traditional Sport Scout racer style. Here is a shot of the frame and rear being mocked up.

The complete assembled power plant was on the workbench, but your faithful correspondent screwed up the photo. Sorry. Here is a picture that did come out, comparing the heads he will be using (machined to accept a Honda piston) with a later set of heads to be used on another project. 

Matt assured me that this bobber would be finished in 2001 and he would smoke me when we ride together. I believe it. 

The other bobber is based on a 249 frame with a set of Sport Scout front forks, and is not that far along.

Matt is also doing a little work for friends in the hobby. Below is a shot of Matt with Joe’s cylinder. Do you miss it Joe? 249 frame for bobber project 2, and stray parts shown in the background.

Obviously Matt has a lot going on, but in his spare time (when not busy at work, raising his two daughters, or building bobbers) he managed to whip up the Bonneville Sport Scout lifts.

The visit to Matt’s was interesting. It encouraged me to get further into the machining and motor of my next project. 

Now let’s encourage Matt to finish his Bobber.
A challenge: Race you up Route 301 next summer. Loser buys the beer!

The VI Garage Raids is a new series about Indian garages (and basements and sheds..) around the world. Stay tuned for the next VI Garage Raid!

SS frame


249 frame and forks for bobber

Matt Wilkinson

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