A knucklehead motor in a wishbone frame you say? Well slap my ass and call me whatever you like, I want one! Brent Maggard did it! Not the slapping my ass part, putting together what I would consider to be many people’s dream chopper. A culmination of patiently acquired parts, this knucklehead chopper is a treasure chest of chopper gold. Sporting a classic chopper look, the bike itself isn’t too over the top, it looks like a bike that you could hop right on and enjoy.
After acquiring his chopper gold Brent began to put this bike together under the gun for the People’s Champ 5 contest and made it to the final round at Cook’s Corner. From there the bike was reshaped into a rider after a few tweaks. Granted those tweaks came over the course of many months due to some unforeseen circumstances but I can attest; that 70+ year-old knuck sounds great moving down the Pacific Coast Highway.
Owner: Brent Maggard
Year/Make/Model: 1947 Harley-Davidson FL Knucklehead
Fabrication: I did all the fabrication on the bike.
Build Time: 6 months
Year/Type/Size: 1947 84” stroker
Carburetor: Linkert M74 freshened up by Elliot Grosshans
Air Cleaner: Dustin Cedarholm
Paint by: Ryan Mcquiston held my hand through the body work, then he squirted it. A dude named Jon Raleigh painted the tank for my buddy Jarred, I made him a seat and traded for it.
Plating/Polishing: RTT Firearms in Lake Havasu did the Cerakote
Front Fender: N/A
Rear Fender: Cooper Smithing Co
Gas Tank: Lowbrow Customs Frisco Mount Sportster 2.5 Gallon
Handlebars: Regatta Garage
Grips: Lowbrow Customs Jason Jesse Signature Series Waffle Grips
Hand Controls: old throttle housing.
Foot Controls: Pangea Speed
Turn Signals: nope
License Mount: fabbed on the sissybar
Seat: River Seat Co
Custom & Special Details or Accessories: A couple of days before the People’s Champ party at Cook’s Corner I had this idea to put a bunch of titties and butts behind some plexiglass on a machined bird deflector… so I hit up Dustin (The Pilgrimage) with this idea and he called me an idiot and said “cool let me guess you need this tomorrow?” He made it because he is such a sweetie. The most special part on this bike to me would be the old bizarre 2-1 ceramic-coated exhaust, which looked cooler on paper than it did in real life. My buddy Garrett came down one weekend to give me a hand in the shop and we drank beers and cranked out that exhaust together, he passed away shortly after that weekend. It will now forever be a hanging garage piece.
This bike started as a 1947 knucklehead motor that I got in trade for a 1980 Shovelhead FLH. The guy who owned it wanted to do the trade on a Monday and I had to work, I somehow convinced my sweet girlfriend to jam up to Vegas and do the deal. From there it sat in my living room for a couple of years until Show-Class Magazine opened up registration for The People’s Champ contest. I figured it was a perfect time to put that motor to use. I had already gathered a tweaker’ed out frame, and a super nice chromed 50’s trans from my buddy, which was collecting dust in my garage. Over the next 6 months I, as some would say, “bolted together” a complete bike.
This thing started with a magneto until I kicked it for the next year and finally got fed up. Slapped a timer on it and she was good to go. That was for about 10 miles until I heard the dreaded “knock knock knock.” I accidently pushed the woodruf key off the pump gear when I reassembled the oil pump and spun a bearing and melted the pistons. Whoops! Got some pistons and had Fast Eddie do a little machining here and there, bolted it up and we were off to Kernville! Thank yews: Philecia LaBounty, Garrett Engle, Scott Smith, Paul Powers, Ryan McQuiston, Dustin Cedarholm, Asian Tony at LandSpeed, CDC Eric, Jaime Elswick, and anyone who came by to drink beer, talk shit, and not really help much. XOXO
Photos by Ryan Loughridge