Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph - The Jockey Journal Board

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Old 09-14-2020, 11:27 PM   #1
Crettbook
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Default Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

Heyooo. Posted a photo of this a week or two ago of this frame on a related post but I’ve sanded enough down im hoping to identify.
This is a Triumph frame built by ‘Yosemite’ Sam. I dug it out of a basement of an old commercial building in Michigan a few weeks ago where it’s been for 20- 30 years, covered in 3 layers of primer, but I saw little flashes of paint in some chipped spots and decided I was gonna go for it. The first photo is what it looked like when I got it home and the other ones are what it looks like 39 hours of wet sanding later. Its far from finished.
I’m hoping someone recognizes this from some old chopper magazine or has a photo or something. I’ve scoured the internet and haven’t found anything. It seems to me something this crazy was in a magazine at some point...
I sent a few photos to sandy_aka_jake on insta tonight but figured it couldn’t hurt to post on here either.
I’d love to find some photos of this obviously for posterity sake, but also bc some of the top layers of candy & transparent stuff is just unsavable as I’m wet sanding. They’re just too thin. Hoping to get some touch ups done once it’s sanded down and some references would be a huge help.
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Old 09-15-2020, 08:43 AM   #2
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Default Re: Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

Labor of love right there. Keep going!
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

That is soooo cool. It's like discovering a Rembrandt.
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Old 09-15-2020, 05:25 PM   #4
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Default Re: Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

the more it is revealed the more it needs to be brought back from the dead..... that paint is outstanding & makes the bike 100%.... I think you are doing a great job there & I'm sure all your efforts & hard work will be worth it in the end... great bit of conservation fella !
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

What’s taking you so long? Get back to work!


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Old 09-16-2020, 12:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

why would anyone prime over that paint is crazy....
I reckon your best bet is get it out on instagram pages, the big ones with lots of followers, and get them to share it.... there's probably some cool history behind it and they'd probably be happy to share and try find more details
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Old 09-19-2020, 06:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

Yosemite Sam Radof passed away in March of 2019. He was an outstanding custom painter. A good source for photos would be his Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/yosemitesamradoff/

He built and painted many choppers. Many. His paint style is instantly recognizable and unique. Hats off to you, for doing your best to save that paint. You may just want to clear it, after you have it as best as you can get it. Unless you know a really good custom painter, any attempts at touching it up in spots are just going to take away from what it should be.
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Old 09-19-2020, 06:30 PM   #8
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Default Re: Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

Agree with that advice, for certain.
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Old 09-19-2020, 06:33 PM   #9
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Default Re: Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

Some similar details to the molding and design of your frame:
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Old 09-19-2020, 06:36 PM   #10
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Default Re: Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

https://www.facebook.com/yosemitesam...type=3&theater
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Old 09-19-2020, 07:00 PM   #11
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Default Re: Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

Have you uncovered a 'signature' of any type, on the paint? I looked through the Facebook page photos, didn't find a photo of a chopper that matched your frame. There are similar features in a few of the choppers that are in the Facebook photos. He built a lot of choppers, for certain. There are some great photos on the Facebook page.
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:42 PM   #12
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Default

Thanks for the replies. I’m quite familiar with Radoffs work, I’ve poured through all of the images of his Facebook and Instagram pages, Google images, spoken with jason recker who has run his pages since before his death, hunted down & scoured old street chopper and custom bike magazines etc etc.

For around the last year I’ve been compiling info on all his known bikes currently ‘found’ and a back catalogue of his bikes I’ve found in old chopper mags in the 70’s and have started tracking down some of their original owners and speaking with them to try to try compiling as complete of a record as can be of Sams work - imo he was quite underrated and should be vaulted up with the guys like Ness & Finch. I’ll post a fun shot of his old shop in Detroit at the bottom of this .

This is actually the second Yosemite Sam frame I’ve got. My first I found in 2017.
I was able to email Sam before his death about that one- he was sympathetic about my hunt for info on that frame but expressed that there were so many bikes in and out of his shop he didn’t photograph or keep info on most of them. He was able to tell me yes that it was his work tho.
I’m in the end stages of rebuilding That BSA A65- I’ll post a pic of it at the bottom of the page.
The frames were from a now very retired collector in Michigan who has had them stored for many many years in his basement with some other bikes and parts by some quite significant builders. No signature on the BSA, but I only have 1/3 of the triumph unsanded so far. Normally his signatures were on the back area by the seat or bottom part of the gas tank.

The person I bought these from has a complete and signed radoff bike in his collection so there’s no question, they both are Radoff bikes.
Just lookin for If anyone recognizes the paint from an old mag or show pictures or anything because I’m not finding anything.

OCD- that picture you posted is from a Harley in the motorcyclopedia in NY state.

I Would love to rebuild my Triumph correctly with front end, wheels seat etc. if I can’t find any photos of the bike complete I’m just gonna do the best I can.

Paint touch ups & pin striping are going to be done by a dude named tuki out of virgina who knew Radoff personally and partook in his Pinstriping Jamborees at Detroit Autorama over the years.
Thanks for reading!

Pics are in order 1. Day I got it in 2017
2-4. What it looks like right now waiting on pipes to get back from chrome
5-6. Photos of the signed complete bike owned by the gentleman who I was able to buy these frames from over the past 4 years
7. The complete bike in motocyclopedia museum OCD posted cause it’s such a crazy bike!!
8-9. Photo of Sam in front of his shop in Detroit & photo of it I took in 2017

Sam Radoff forever.
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Old 09-20-2020, 11:44 AM   #13
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Default Re: Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

Super cool, Crettbook - you know way more than I do about Yosemite Sam and his work! I am a fan of his paint work, for certain. Just amazing what he did with paint. Let alone his builds ... his choppers are amazing. I did not know about the chopper he was building for Evel Knievel, back in the day, that was something new for me from his Facebook page.

You certainly have your build under control. If you have Travis 'Tuki' Hess doing the paint, you could not have found a better painter. I'm a big fan of Tiki's paint, as well.

You'll make that chopper happen. You have all of the right thinking going into it.

Keep at it!
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Old 11-26-2020, 07:43 AM   #14
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Default Re: Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

Crettbook - On a related topic of Sam's builds..... you may be the only person that would have a clue as to a bike that Sam built, but I cannot seem to find any information and photos of, aside from this magazine article. I would love to find a photo of the finished chopper. Does anyone know anything about this chopper, and/or have any photos of the finished bike? Sam was building it for Evel Knievel, and comments on Sam's Facebook page, along with these photos, indicate that it probably did get finished and into Evel's hands, but as a quote from Sam - 'the check bounced like a rubber ball', and Sam never did get paid for the bike. That unfortunately happened with a few people in dealings with Evel - I think he left a lot of people without getting paid for various things. Any photos of the finished chopper would be a treasure. Thank you, in advance, for any comments or information.
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Old 11-27-2020, 06:10 AM   #15
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Default Re: Looking for photos/ old chopper mag pics of ‘Yosemite’ Sam Radoff Triumph

I have an Evel story. There were two vintage yachts here in so. FL, ones with near-vertical bows, and lots of beautiful woodwork. One was owned by a woman and her husband, whom I knew, the other was a lease vessel available for hire. Evel rented that one, and could be seen running up and down the south Florida Intracoastal Waterway. i believe he carried a bike on it.

One day, south of Ft. Lauderdale, a bridge tender held-up Evel's cruise, longer than he was willing to wait. Evel pulled his rented yacht to the seawall, and took a hike up-to the bridge tender's station, baseball bat in-hand. He forced entry, and broke the yacht tender's arm. He went to jail for that one. The owners of the yacht sued Knevel because of all the damage he did to it while leasing it.

One of my co-workers on fire-rescue here in so. FL ( I'm retired) was a H-D guy. He built a raked Sportster with a lot of molding/paint in the style of Yosemite Sam, and there were french-curve plates which bolted-over the rear axle, to conceal it.
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