Yet another ghost machine.

#1
I still have not been able to find anything that looks like this bike. Anyone have any ideas? I had it sand blasted, and it's in for powder coat this week. Fire Cherry Red.
 

Rupp 72

Active Member
#3
it is some sort of Luther Trail Goat. i hear they are pretty rare. Not related to tote goat. talk to "smallbore" about these. he can tell you everything.
 

Smallbore

Active Member
#4
Yes that is in fact a Luther "Trail Gote" made in Pasadena, California. They were in production from 1958 to 1962. There were 2 models of Gotes, one suspended (Trail Gote) and one hard-tail (Porterville Packer), and 2 models of minibikes, (the Viper and the Cobra) one suspended and one hard-tail. Of the 4 models combined total production was about 300 units. They came standard with a 3hp Briggs & Stratton engine and had an option of a Clinton 3-1/4 hp or a Briggs & Stratton 5-3/4 hp engine. Of all the Gotes, approximately 20 to 25 were assembled with the "BIG" Briggs & Stratton 5-3/4 hp engine.
Looks like your bike is pretty much all there and everything is correct on it. That one would date from 1961 or '62. Very nice find !
:biggrin:




Ohhh... and for what ever its worth... Later production bikes were spelled "Goat" not "Gote". Wally Luther and Ralph Bonham (Tote Gote) both started in 1958 but Bonham beat Luther to the patent office and had already registered the spelling "Gote" so it had to be changed. So your bike is technically a Trail Goat.
Just a little bit of trivia.....
 
Last edited:

Smallbore

Active Member
#5
Almost forgot ! The correct clutch would have been the early sand cast Salsbury unit which are hard to find, and even harder in working order.





And your choice of red is good as later models did come in red.





From the Luther family album: Here`s a photo of Wally Luther Sr. (center) Wally Jr. on the left, and his uncle on the right.



And here is the assembly line.... Photo probably taken around the same time your bike was built. Maybe yours is in the photo ? :shrug:

 
Last edited by a moderator:
#6
Your name should be "Smallfont"....I gotta get out my magnifying glass to read your posts :laugh:

Great info though !!!! :thumbsup:




:drool: man that's a good looking survivor...I'd love to have that!!
 

Smallbore

Active Member
#9
Your name should be "Smallfont"....I gotta get out my magnifying glass to read your posts :laugh:

Great info though !!!! :thumbsup:

Actually the handle SMALLBORE comes from my job I had for many years. As rangemaster, I used smallbore rifles (.22 cal.) to teach basic rifle shooting techniques before they moved on to high power rifles. And I competed for many years in Smallbore Rifle competition. Standard Military 3 position, and benchrest. I still have a few unbroken records after 12 years.




:drool: man that's a good looking survivor...I'd love to have that!!
That bike was a great find, but very unusual cercumstances how I found it. I was in the jungles at the border of Bolivia and Peru when I desided to go down river (Amazon) into the town of Iquitos for some supplies and get out of the weather for a bit. While there I borrowed a Laptop computer and was looking at eBay USA site and found it listed with a "Buy it Now". The seller made the common mistake of listing it as a Tote Gote which I have seen several times before. Anyway... I hit the Buy it Now, then wrote the seller and explained I was out of the country and will be back in the states shortly to come pick it up. It was almost a 6 hour drive one way but I knew how rare these were plus the trip got me grounded back to the USA before I left again to go back to Peru.
 
Last edited:
#10
It looks like the front end is like the Powell, in that it is not bolted to the head but sits on pins and bolted on thru the upper triple clamp - am i seeing that right??
 

Smallbore

Active Member
#14
My red one was all original except for the engine and clutch that someone had changed. I have since aquired the correct date code Briggs and Salsbury chutch to put it back the way it came. I was going to do a full restore but Wally Luther Jr. convinced me to leave it original so I guess it will stay this way.




My second Luther is really the Odd-Ball.... Apparently this one started off life as a Porterville Packer hard tail, and has been changed to a suspended model at some point many years ago. This is an early frame style and back then Wally Sr. was allways trying new things so for now this is an unknown model. I will meet with Wally Jr. sometime before the end of summer so we can figure out the history of this machine.
:confused:




Here are a few from the Luther personal collection:




This one had an expermental front end, but restored with a modern engine.



And these are Luther built 1/4 midget karts:
If you look at the the assembly line photo of the trail gotes you will see some of these bodys hanging on the wall.




 

Smallbore

Active Member
#15
It looks like the front end is like the Powell, in that it is not bolted to the head but sits on pins and bolted on thru the upper triple clamp - am i seeing that right??
Paul... Im afraid you are suffering from Powell Overdose ! or perhaps you have P.A.S. (Powell Acquisition Syndrome). :laugh:

However you are correct... The top triple tree is 2 piece.

 

Smallbore

Active Member
#18
UPDATE
Found enough time today to do an engine transplant so now the red Luther has the correct Briggs & Stratton 5-3/4hp and sand cast Salsbury clutch. Not very pretty but at least its correct now. These old engines are monsters in size for the small amount of horse power they produce.
Somewhere down the road I`ll do a frame off restore, but I have a dozen other things going on as usual.
:eek:


 
Top