This is a bike I built for myself over the course of a couple of years in my non-existent spare time. Years ago, a friend of mine gave me a mangled old Shovelhead frame which happened to have good serial numbers. Using the stock H-D neck, I built the frame with a 7-1/2″ up and 1-1/2″ out stretch. Cutting the neck is a grey area where I live so I achieved the 50 degrees of rake with the old “cheater” method of adding bends to the down tubes as well as the backbone. I shaved and openedthe neck and kept the rear section straight and skinny. The finish on the frame and the springer front fork is an old blacksmith technique of real brass applied with heat. This caused some grief in branding the frame with hand cut, brass letters as the melting point of the solder had to be higher than the heat it takes to apply the brass finish but obviously lower than the melting point of the brass letters. I really wanted to keep the finishes on this bike simple and honest; no filler, no plating, just polishing and brass that I can do in house.
The springer I built from scratch and kept it super skinny with the springs orientated inline front to back and the rockers inboard of the legs. It is 26-inch over stock and is topped with NOS Arlen Ness springs which I’m honoured to run. The front wheel is an aluminum 21″x1.6″ high shoulder unit which I drilled and polished and radial laced to a Warren Jr. hub with stainless Buchanan spokes.
The rear wheel is a front H-D bagger wheel which took extensive lathe and hand work to achieve the fit and appearance I wanted. The rear brakes are Sportster front calipers squeezed by a Kustomtech master cylinder. I had the 10-inch rotor water cut from 420 stainless to match the Kustomtech sprocket. The rear fender was built by Joe at Coopersmithing Co. and it was flawless right out of the box. It’s held in place by a stainless-steel sissy bar that is topped with an iron cross that I made from stainless tubing to keep the weight down. I’ve seen many iron cross sissy bars over the years, so I spent countless hours trying to make this one near perfect and unique.
The seat is a 2-piece set up I made with a split between the king and queen allowing the front seat to ride on two airbags. The air pump is a simple H-D suspension pump mounted to the rear of the oil tank. The front hinge is stainless, and the upholstery was handled by B&C Cycles.
The fuel tank is one of my signature high coffin tanks that I built from aluminum. It has recessed mounts and a recessed sight gauge and a realistic fuel range for a rider. I made the gas cap from brass and inset a real glass eye that was given to me by a friend. The oil tank started life as a H-D Rocker tank. It was severely narrowed before making a recessed oil filter housing and top mounts. The fill cap is handmade with an inset of turquoise. I then had my great friend Brent Graham cast the TITTIES & BEER plate that I welded flush in the left side.
The handlebars are also stainless steel and narrow. I’ve had a bevel drive throttle system in my head for years and finally brought it to life on this bike. With a series of cylindrical and thrust bearings it works as good as it looks. The throttle cable was made from bicycle cable components. The foot controls are also fully stainless; the left side is a basic foot clutch while the right side utilizes a chain and sprocket gizmo to work the master cylinder. The foot pegs were also cast by Brent Graham.
The transmission is a 4-speed ratchet top that was completely disassembled and then polished. The kicker pedal was water cut, manually machined and filled with epoxy and some poor man’s turquoise I picked up on a bike trip in Arizona. When building the hand shift, I machined the dust shield to carry a thrust/roller bearing for smoother, tighter shifting. The transmission sits on a ¼-inch offset trans plate that I had from twenty years ago when I fit a 180 GSXR wheel on my first Shovelhead. In this case I flipped that plate to give me ¼-inch inset rather than offset to allow the chain to clear the narrow rear frame rails. Of course, now my engine and transmission were ¼-inch offset in relation to each other. Again, I had an old 3-inch BDL belt drive off my old Shovel. I machined it down to a 1½inch with the offset machined accordingly in the front pulley and clutch hub. I then simply cut the belt down to 1½inch.
What I consider the crown jewel of this bike is the engine. I have had these Nostalgia Cycle engine cases for ten plus years and finally collected the rest of the engine parts to make it a reality. I used S&S heads which I welded up to convert to a 3-bolt exhaust flange with some added fins. Rocker boxes are Snowflake Customs replicas of the original Pat Kennedy design. The nose cone is an old JD Industries topped with a rebuilt Morris magneto in a NOS cast housing. The carburator is an S&S MGL, the last of the L series carbs. The oil system is all S&S. The Crane roller rockers are pushed by an Andrews cam shaft. These Nostagia cases are very rare and unique as the cylinders are cast onto the cases, and that’s where Roger Goldammer comes in. Roger relieved some 3-piece Evo flywheels to fit these cases and balanced and trued a rotating assembly. The cases run pressed in cast iron sleeves and steel interference fit trunnions for the main bearings. You can imagine the obstacles this presents in machining and assembly this engine base. I polished all engine parts and shipped it back for final assembly. The exhaust pipes are fully stainless of course and the air cleaner is one of my cast units with a K&N filter.
The charging system is a simple, reliable Cycle Electrics set up, only needing to power a Speed Dealer LED headlight and a couple of LED taillights from Nicky Motorcycle Supply and Afterhours Choppers.
My good friend Ken Martens from Lowbrow Leather created the saddle bag and I have a tool roll in the works. Engraving was done by my bud Marcus Bylo except for the shift knob which was done by the lovely Heather New; and that knob follows me from bike to bike. The paint was done by Scott at Chemical Candy Customs in Texas who never disappoints!
The beautiful model, Lori, is one of my best friends and has supported me every step of the way in business and life in general and I can’t thank her enough! These photos were taken by the super talented Tracy Conrad with the help of her daughter Montana. Tracy is from my tiny hometown and these pics were taken just miles from where I grew up. Of course I have to thank my sweetheart of a wife, Amy, for all of her help, support and understanding of the countless late nights, terrible (excellent) Dusty Rhodes impersonations, and obsessive behaviour. My brother and old business partner, Derek for all his time helping with final assembly and chasing some engine gremlins. That’s it, a long chopper, truly hand-built, traditional style, high in detail, comfy, reliable and painted pink to piss off all the “badass bros!”