A Greeves Motorcycle

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Greg “Fritz” Harmon (in BSA t-shirt) talks to a Cruise Night attendee about his Greeves motorcycle while his daughter relaxes in a folding chair.

The yellow pickup looked familiar as I walked past it in Tuxies’ parking lot on Friday, April 12, 2013. There was a vintage Greeves motorcycle displayed prominently in the truck bed, a desert racer of a type I remembered seeing decades before.

It reminded me of stumbling upon a 1913 Indian in a truck bed in the parking lot of Chik-Fil-A in Corona, California some months before. It was a good way to showcase the Greeves and it had been a good way to showcase the Indian I saw previously. I stopped and looked at the bike briefly before continuing to walk the lot looking for classic cars that would make good subjects for the black and white film loaded in my Nikon.

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The large lot was host to more classic cars than I’d seen back in November, but that was easy to explain: unexpected poor weather had resulted in cancelled shows through the winter and the car owners were experiencing a good day for a show after sitting it out for way too long.

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Ten minutes later I was browsing in another row of the lot when I spotted someone familiar. I turned toward the guy wearing sunglasses and said “Fritz?”

“Raymond?” He replied. “What are you doing here?”

I explained that I was photographing the classic cars, and that I had been doing that at various shows for some time. He said he was showing one of his motorcycles in his truck. I mentioned that I had seen a 1913 Indian in the back of a truck in January.

“Where?” he asked.

“In Corona.”

“That was my Indian.”

“No kidding…” I laughed. “I shot photos of it and wrote about it on my blog.”

“That was yours? – I think I saw the photos.” He said “Black and white?”

“If I remember, I didn’t like the color I got and did a conversion to black and white.”

“The article said you ran out of film. I didn’t know it was you.” (Authors note: That is an easy mistake, since I rarely use my first name on this blog.)

I nodded. “Yeah. Had to use a compact digital camera.”

I met “Fritz” several years ago through Brandon McKee, a motorcyclist who is his neighbor. I never knew his real name and didn’t make the connection with his family name, Harmon, which was on the plaque that gave the history of the 1913 Indian when I saw it in January.

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Anyway, the owner of the Greeves shown in these photos, Greg Harmon (AKA “Fritz), has several vintage motorcycles in his garage, which he is restoring. If you frequent Classic Car shows in the Inland Empire region of Southern California and you spot an interesting vintage motorcycle displayed in the bed of a yellow 1941 Ford pickup truck, chances are good that it is one of his machines. If you talk to the owner, ask if he is Fritz. If he is, tell him you’ve seen photos of a couple of his machines here.

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