Cover Bike Owners

Wayne Kozak & His 1927 Harley-Davidson JD

November 1, 2012
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Our November 2012 cover bike is owned by Wayne Kozak, and his 1927 Harley-Davidson JD was selected as the winning bikes at our Cover Bike Search at Gail’s Harley-Davidson in Grandview, Missouri.

Wayne is from Overland Park, Kansas, and we had the opportunity to gather more information about him and his 1927 Harley-Davidson JD. We photographed cover model search winner Cherry, on his bike for this month’s cover.

CC: Wayne, what is your occupation?

Wayne: I’m a Broker Associate with Reece and Nichols Realtors, specializing in new home sales.

CC: Do you have hobbies other than motorcycling?

Wayne: Yes. I also enjoy traveling, boating, classic movies, gardening, and most outdoor sports.

CC: Why do you ride?

Wayne: To experience the sights, sounds, and smells of riding through this great country of ours. I also enjoy meeting people across the country with their unique ways of life and dialects. I’ve traveled through the lower 48 states on my 1997 Harley-Davidson Heritage Springer in rain, hail, snow, and high winds. It should turn over 100,000 miles by the end of this year. I wouldn’t trade one mile for one memory of that five year adventure!

CC: How long have you been riding?

Wayne: I’ve been riding on the street since 1972, and before that, I rode a Rupp Roadster in a neighbor’s field.

CC: What was your first bike?

Wayne: My first bike was a 1972 Honda CL 100. Back then, you could get a learner’s permit at 14 if you were accompanied by an adult licensed rider. In Kansas, they just asked if you wanted a motorcycle endorsement. No tests were required. So I would take my 64-year-old grandmother for rides on it.

CC: How many bikes have you owned?

Wayne: Seven.

CC: How many bikes do you currently own?

Wayne: Three. T.My 1927 Harley-Davidson JD featured here, my 1997 Harley-Davidson Heritage Springer, and my 1972 Honda CL 100.

CC: What do you like most about your 1927 Harley-Davidson JD?

Wayne: It’s an 86-year-old survivor. It still does everything it was supposed to do when it sold new for $320 in 1926. Not many bikes, or bikers can run at 86. Its speed is amazing, considering the horse trails and rutted roads the engine was “run in” on. The only other places you might see one is in a museum.

CC: Can you tell us a little more about your JD?

Wayne: Sure. It has a 74 inch Harley-Davidson engine that puts out 9.5 horsepower. It has a 3-speed transmission with a foot clutch and a tank shift. It also has a rigid springer frontend. This year was the last year for painted engine cases, and only the second year for the teardrop gas tank design.

CC: What is your dream bike?

Wayne: For vintage, any 1948-1954 Vincent Black Lightning, and in regards to modern bikes, my 1997 Heritage Springer, until a manufacturer builds something I like better.

CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?

Wayne: Riding a 1,200-mile five-day loop through Alaska with my father on a Harley-Davidson H.O.G.® Fly and Ride. The scenery and vastness of it was breathtaking!

CC: What is your least memorable riding experience?

Wayne: Any ride not taken. You never know if the ride you just took was your last. You can’t have memories unless you make them. My original intention was for my 1997 Heritage Springer to be a garage queen, because it was my dream bike, and I wanted it to last forever. When I had some health issues back in the early 2000s, I asked myself what, or whom am I saving it for? It’s steel, glass, leather, and iron, and was meant to be ridden for decades. It’s expected to be rebuilt with an ample supply of parts for the foreseeable future. If a 1927 Harley-Davidson engine can be rebuilt, why not a 1997?

CC: Which motorcycle rallies & events have you attended, and which is your favorite?

Wayne: I’ve ridden to 15 Sturgis Rallies & Races, two Daytona Bike Weeks, and one Bikes, Blues & BBQ Rally in Fayetteville, Arkansas just a month ago. My favorite is Sturgis.

CC: What is your favorite bike night location?

Wayne: Gail’s Harley-Davidson for Wing Wednesdays. Before that, it was Frankie D’s.

CC: Who are some of your closest riding buddies?

Wayne: My father, who rode along with me to 29 of the 48 states, and my brother Mark, who I shared that Rupp Roadster with in the 1960s. mark is also a vintage bike collector and restorer, and I’ve learned a lot from him. This past June, the three of us rode to the top of Pikes Peak, and across the Royal Gorge in Colorado.

CC: Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Wayne: We are fortunate to live in a time when today’s motorcycle models can safely, and mostly trouble-free, reach all four corners of our great country, in a three-daylight ride from the Kansas City area. I admire bikes like my 1927 Harley-Davidson JD, and the engineers who designed them, which provided a platform to make continuous improvements upon that makes of our modern bikes possible. Thank you Cycle Connections for the cover feature, and I hope to see you on the road soon!

CC: Thanks for the interview Wayne, and thank you for letting us shoot your bike for this month’s cover.

Interview by Mike Schweder

Photos by Bruce Stimpson with Stimpson Photography.

Video by Randall “Sea Hawk” Hauk with Sea Hawk Media Productions.

Published in Cover Bike Owners