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1937 Harley ULH Flathead by Puppy

Ladies and gentlemen, meet "Lady 80"! Puppy made available these photos of his classic 1937 Harley ULH Flathead. He has already had this 1937 ULH for 44 years and still rides it daily. He even earned a million mile patch on it!

Puppy: "I bought that particular bike in May of 1964 for $350.00. Having owned it since then, all these pics are of the same bike at different periods.

I've ridden it around the U.S., through and stopping in all of the lower 48 states seven times and logged a million miles on it by 1989. I rode it across Canada from East to West and right up to Alaska, but they wouldn't let me in as it was too late in the season."

Photo of Puppy at Bear Butte, standing upright showing the stability of his 1937 Harley ULH Flathead. Puppy sent us this photo if him standing upright showing off the stability of his 1937 Harley ULH Flathead. Empty highway, Bear Butte in the background. Ain't that freedom? (Photo by Mike Lichter, legendary bike photographer)

Puppy: "In 1987, I rode Lady 80 into Mexico at Brownsville on Christmas day, went South to Tampico, Vera Cruz, and then off the coast inland. Rode all over inner Mexico, then on to Mexico City, then over to Acapulco, for a BMW rally. From there I rode it to Puerta Vallarta, took the ferry to La Paz on the tip of the Baja, then rode the Baja to San Diego.

The whole trip from Brownsville to San Diego was 8300 miles and I never carried a tool with me. Met a guy with a broke down Gold Wing in Victoria, Mexico and he needed tools. Couldn't help him, but I told him he should have rode a Harley."


Photo of 1937 Harley ULH Flathead Vintage Motorcycle by Puppy.

Puppy: "As far as the motor goes, most of the parts are original, though I changed the valve covers to 45 covers back in the early seventies and just stuck with them. There are many mods in the motor and the only actual original pieces, that I purchased with the bike in 1964 are the flywheels. I have worn out or blown up five sets of cylinders in 40 years, and one set of heads.

It is running FL low compression pistons, the heads are reshaped inside and it is about 8.5:1 compression. Cams, original, were reground, the intakes advanced 2 degrees in 1973. I broke and replaced the original cam cover in the seventies. Still runs a linkert, though not stock and it will run with Evo's all day. Twin Cams tend to pull away and especially the newer ones.

Most everything else is updated or modified, such as front and rear belt, disc brakes, five speed with kick and suicide. Since hurricane Katrina, where I was injured in the left knee, I have installed a late model electric start, though now that my knee is healed, I don't use it.

I hand built the frame, and in case you didn't notice, though it is stretched and bob-tailed, it is a softail. Also, this last redesign, has no paint on the bike anywhere. It is all powder coat; frame, wheels, front end, tanks and fenders.

The bike, I call her "Lady 80", and I have been featured in Biker magazine, a postcard book, a high dollar poster of the pic I sent you called Puppy and Bear Butte (You can look that up on the internet) four books, and pictured in magazines since Easyriders started in 1972. I still ride it daily, though I have a Grandpa bike, a 1982 FLT that I travel on when I get time to. Hope you enjoyed that little history."

Well Puppy, please be ensured that we really did enjoy your story!!!


Photo of 1937 ULH Harley Flathead Vintage Motorcycle by Puppy.

Photo of Puppy's 1937 Harley ULH Flathead Vintage Motorcycle in her current looks. Puppy: "Here's a more current pic. The only change since this pic is wide whitewalls and back to the plumbing style exhaust as the stacks broke."

(November 2008)


A salute to Puppy DeGroat, wherever he may be:

Puppy DeGroat - AMT - Flathead Repair and Maintenance Specialists - Gulfport, MS, USA