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Saturday, December 03, 2011

Clarence Writes

To: Richard
Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2007 7:49 PM
Subject: Freeby Berger

Richard, I was looking for ideas on tool sharpening and following links galore and came on your site. When I looked at the page for the tool holder, the name Freeby Berger jumped out at me.

I am 65 years old and the simple name means a lot to me. When I was a young man in the coal fields of Pennsylvania, I was wild about motocycles. Not motorcycles, but motocycles as that was what Indian called their brand. I was a Indian Motocycle rider and loved that brand of bike. I had my first one from a barn when I was 13 and when I met Freeby, he was already a old man but there he was at a gas station in the Pocono’s and he was astride an INDIAN!

I was 17 years old (I think?) and when I saw the bike, I slid to a halt. My Indian was an Ex-Philadelphia police model that I hand picked from a dealers lot as a trade in for new Harleys so I picked the nicest one for $150. I went over that Bike and it was just perfect. No scratches or dents and it was really fast in comparison to my 101 scout, but the one I was looking at was like new and chromed up!

I introduced myself to Mr. Berger and he suggested (after talking awhile) that I follow him to his shop in Aqua Shikola (I hope I spelled correctly) and off we went. He turned on the gas and walked away from me and I thought this old man can ride that thing. And why is it faster than mine?

When we got to the shop he showed me what he did on the motors. It seems he took the cams out and reground them for higher lift and I am sure duration was lengthened so as to multiply torque (Indians had only three gears). What he had done was more power down low and the higher lift meant that he lost none up top. With a higher sprocket you had torque and top end and that’s why he just scooted away from me.

I saved up and had him make me the cams and since I could take an Indian apart blindfolded (started at 13) I soon was flying along just Like Freeby Berger.

Now I do not know if the Freeby Berger that you knew is the one I knew, but he was a great mechanic and a machinist so its possible, unlikely but possible. In any case thanks for a pleasant memory sparked by your Freeby Berger and wish you a Happy New Year.


Clarence Marsden

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