|History of Stone Free Motorcycles
|In 1969 Honda introduced the Honda CB750 in-line four cylinder motorcycle. The CB750 by all standards was an exceptional
motorcycle reintroducing four-cylinder motorcycle engines that hadn't been produced since 1959. Recognizing the phenomenal
engine in 1970 my older brother, Gary Johnson (on the right facing the camera), partnered with a friend to develop the first rigid frame
Honda 750cc powered “after-market” production choppers for the Los Angeles market. Gary designed and developed the rigid frames
and tooling while his partner was responsible for final assembly. The motorcycle on the stand is the prototype that Gary produced for
the production run. The motorcycles produced were exceptional starting with the frames. Gary was a Class A “Heliarc” (TIG) welder
and every weld was a perfect bead. To emphasize the perfection of the welding each frame was double nickel plated. The sheet metal
came from various after market sources including the 4.5 gallon tank common on choppers of the era. The motorcycle carried forward
the stylish late 1960's chopper designs from Southern California. Only 18 of these motorcycles were produced as lower cost (and
lower quality) after-market choppers using the Honda 750 engine flooded the market soon thereafter.
In the background several the completed frames can be seen on the top of the office and the bent tubes hanging on the office wall
waiting to be fitted and welded. In the background right side of of the picture the front forks of a Harley chopper that belonged to the
owner of the welding shop, Ray Cavanaugh (back to the camera on the left), can be seen. Ray was a long time biker while Gary was
not a street rider but instead competed in AMA flat track racing using a Triumph 650cc engine fitted in a Track Master racing frame.
Gary is wearing a Track Master tee shirt in the picture and his best friend, Tim “Roach” Harris (not in the picture), was the designer
that prototyped all of the Track Master racing frames prior to each racing season. Tim also competed in AMA flat track racing. Tim
provided some of the input into the design of the Honda 750cc chopper frames and the decision to nickel plate, as opposed to
painting the frames, was a carry-over from Track Master that nickel plated all of their racing frames. I'm also in the picture (center-left
facing the camera) and would later also go to work with my brother at Cavanaugh's Welding a year or so later starting out at the
bottom doing sandblasting and “chipping and shipping” before eventually becoming a welder.
The original 18 production (Honda) 750cc rigid frame choppers were casually referred to as the Stone Free motorcycles as my
brother was a huge Jimi Hendrix fan at the time and "Stone free to ride the breeze" was all about riding to him.
Stone Free Manufacturing is named as a tribute to these early 750cc choppers produced by my older brother in 1970 as our focus is
on old school style using the new mid-size RevolutionX 750cc (& 500cc) Harley Davidson engines.