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IVMTB & VMBEFG Illuminati
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
i decided to stop being selfish with my Moto and share it. it's a real gem and a great little bit of history.

Sweetheart cycles was operated by Bicycle Bob Wilson. after Bob went to jail for Drug trafficing :rolleyes: in 1982 John Parker bought all the tooling. while at the time John Parker was working for Linwald Tool and Die company in North Hollywood California. John Parker says he welded this bike himself but another source says it was a master welder which also worked for Linwald. the desert camo paint was done by a guy named George Plazo. JP says George was a graffic artist at Warner Studios

in the first run of prototypes they made two bikes. mine which was hardly ridden at all and the other one was for Aaron Cox (AKA Drew Blood) who was a pro racer and won the 1982 Reseda to the Sea race on that bike as well as others i'm not sure of.

i was lucky that i got this bike from a guy that was and is great friends with John Parker and Aaron Cox to get this history. it was still tough to get though. it seems these guys dont like talking too much about the past for some reason.

you can really see the beginnings of a Yeti FRO with this frame and fork. the bottom bracket, seat post, headset, and stem are all BMX. the derailleurs are Campy. the cranks are Shimano 600. the shifters are Simplex. it also has a proprietary rear rack that was welded by John Parker.













 

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VRC Illuminati
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17,655 Posts
So what you're saying is....it's a Post Sweetheart, Pre Yeti Cycles bike....and that only two were made...and not only is this the only one known left to exist (unless the other is accounted for)...but it's in prime shape to boot?

'Rare' defined.

:)
 

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IVMTB & VMBEFG Illuminati
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1,493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Rumpfy said:
So what you're saying is....it's a Post Sweetheart, Pre Yeti Cycles bike....and that only two were made...and not only is this the only one known left to exist (unless the other is accounted for)...but it's in prime shape to boot?

'Rare' defined.

:)
i tried to trace down the other one and couldn't. it was used as a rental bike for about 10 years and then dissapeared. i suspect somewhere there is a migrant worker with a rare albeit very beat up bike ;)
 

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Cleavage Of The Tetons
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6,464 Posts
I think I have some Ti BB euro bolts for that bike...

They were made by out of work bass players for Grand Funk Railroad...anyone?? :p
Seriously, SWEET find. That one is a keeper, I reckon'.
How did you keep it out of the First Flight stable, i can only imagine.
Cherish thee.
 

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Retro Grouch
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132 Posts
Hi,

thanks for sharing this pics. What a find! This bike is really unique and very interesting. If you compare it to pics of the bike that is said to be the first Yeti you can clearly see some similaritys and some differences:











And this is one of the later Motocruisers, very similar to Yeti #1:



Speaking of rear racks, Yeti #1 also had a John parker made rear rack, that I removed.

I think that we can bring light into the beginnings of Yeti...

Greetings,

Michael
 

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Retro Grouch
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132 Posts
Hi,

Yeti #1 is a 1984 and JP also said that he welded it himself and that it was the first bike he built. Well, it was also very hard to get informations about this bike for the same reason it was hard to get infos about yours ;). It seems that my bike was ridden at least till 1986 since it features Shimano 6 speed click thumbies and rear der. Other parts like the Campy front der., wheels (Bullseye hubs, Weinmann rims) and BMX seatpost seem to be from 1984. I talked to Frank the Welder during Interbike about my 1984 and he said that it should've been built at Matt Sweeneys Special Effect Shop and that there were three bikes were built in this batch. One for Linda Parker, one for Russel Worley and one for John Parker. Mine is the JP bike and was the first out of this batch. I believe that these were the first bikes that were built after Yeti was formed as a company. Quickly afterwards FTW and Chris Herting joined and they changed the frame to 26.8 seatpost and other details. Here's a pic of Russel Worleys race bike that seems to be one of this early Yetis that were built after the first three:



Compare the cable routing. FTW said that only a few early bikes had the one cable on the left and two on the right side. They quickly changed to the famous Yeti cable routing with all three cables running on the right side of the TT.

The red Motocruiser with the Yeti decals is a 1982 and is said to be the bike that Aaron Cox rode in the 1982 "Reseda to the sea" race. This bike is very similar to my 1984, only small differences in the frame design like cable routing. This was also auctioned by JP off at ebay in late 2002/early 2003, just like my "#1".

I find it very hard to get more infos about these bikes and the beginnings of Yeti since the people that like to talk about it don't remember that much or weren't involved that early. And the guys that must be in the know don't like to talk about it...

Greetings,

Michael
P.S.: About Keyesville: Would love to take part, but it may be difficult since I live in germany. So don't count on me. ;)
 

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Retro Grouch
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132 Posts
well, if we try to track down the story so far...

Here's how i undestand it:

before 1982: Bob Wilson builds Motocruiser bikes. I think he started in 1980? Someone said they were influenced by the Mongoose Koz Cruiser BMX

1982: JP works as a special effects welder for the movie industry in Hollywood. He also works part-time for an company that builds sleeping bags under the name of Yeti. He's racing Sprint Cars and Dirt Track Motorcycles. Wilson wents to jail, Parker buys the toolings and builds the first bikes under the name of Motocruiser (or lets them being built for him). Aaron Cox wins the "Reseda to the Sea" on a Motocruiser.

1984: JP has a big Sprint Car crash, forcing him into a long time hospital rest and he rethinks his future. He decides to make a living out of building bikes and sells his 1928 Indian Motorcycle to finance his new company. The name Yeti is avaiable and he used this one for his own bikes. The first three "Yetis" are built in Matt Sweeneys Special Effects Shop. Linda choosed desert turqoise for her bike (so maybe my 1984 is not John's but Linda's bike?)

1985: Frank Wadelton and Chris Herting join Parker and become the first employees of Yeti. They change several details of the frame. First Yeti race team is formed. 1985 is the official starting year for Yeti regarding to Yeti's 10th anniversery catalogue.

Anyone got more info?

Anyway, you have a great bike there. Really fascinating.

Greetings,

Michael
 

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IVMTB & VMBEFG Illuminati
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1,493 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
lots of great info!!!!

i too spent a lot of time gathering details. i talked to about 3 of JP's friends from the 70's though today and Aaron Cox. all of those guys basically started to conversation by saying John Parker lies alot. because of that the im left to piece the history together from several sources and try to figure out the most logical history. apparently that sprint car/motorcycle crowd that JP was with was heavy into drugs and in fact the shop was used selling them to the motorcycle biker crowd. it all adds the renegade outlaw Indian bike riding image of Yeti ;)
 

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Registered
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2,505 Posts
Veloculture said:
here is the rack that JP said he custom made. it's aluminum and really wide.
All the better to carry suitcases of drugs and/or money on I guess:rolleyes:

Nice piece of history there, thanks for sharing.
 

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Crop Dusting Magistrate
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610 Posts
Russ Worleys Bike!

Hey - Thanks for posting that pic of the old Yeti. I live in San Diego, CA and Russ is agood friend of mine. Russ still hammers on a Yeti - doesn't really race anymore but can still hammer most people into oblivion.

Thanks again

Howeler
 

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www.yetifan.com
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722 Posts
When I visited Chris Herting he told me some stuff about the old Yeti, but I forgot to write it down! So its just whats left in my head. I think it went like this

Chris Herting was building bikes before he joined with John Parker, initially they used Chris Hertings workshop to build some frames before they started in the back of Matt Sweeny's special effects workshop. after that they moved out to the CA factory. I seem to remember Chris Herting was there at the very very start, and FTW joined a short time later, months or years I have no idea.

They started to build the frames, but needed an investor of some sort, and Parkers father inlaw decided to help out and put money into Yeti.

John Parker did part chop his Indian for the tubing and parts from Bicycle Bob (I'm sure he told me he still knows him, Bob plays around 150 rounds a year in Durango with a handicap of between 4-6). There are various stories about Bob, I don't think he was a bad guy from what I heard. He did get than Indian back and kept it at Durango, FTW said Parker even let him ride it sometime.

JP confirmed to me he welded this bike in 82 he thinks, at the same time he welded Aaron cox's race bike he won the reseda to the sea on.

Andrew
 

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chris herting had a business arrangement working full time and as part owner of "american iron" bicyles. Jim Emerson was the principal, perhaps sole owner of a bicycle shop. I (frank) worked at a local iron shop with Chris' dad Jim, I welded bikes for chris and jim before we ever met John P. A few Yeti frames had been built before John came to Chris for building. Chris was employed full time before me. I welded the first and many, many yeti's that Chris built. John did some welding from time to time, he was pretty good also. We both left A.I. shortly after and went to a building and shared space with "first take productions". At some point later we moved to the Agoura address. Hope this helps.. FTW
 
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