For as long as I could remember my dad would tell me that one day the bike would be mine and the gravity of the conversations would always excite me. When I finally turned 18 He told me “if you can start it, you can have it!” It fired right up and after I got back from some hot laps around the block I was told to park it in the garage. The next day we started the teardown haha. The terms were that I tear it apart and rebuild it, this way when I ended up on the side of the road broke down, I would have a fighting chance of getting back on the road. Fair enough. During the tear down process that summer, my uncle (dads little brother) lost his life while riding due to an ignorant cager. Ultimately, the Shovelhead project was shelved…
Wheels / Tires
Front Size:16” Bates Baja Tire130/90B16 73T
Rear Size: 16” Bates Baja Tire130/90B16 73T
Front Fender: n/a
Rear Fender: Fatbob
Gas Tank: 5 gal. Fatbobs
Hand Controls: Kustom Tech Classic
Foot Controls: uknown
Headlight: Stock Shovelhead with nacelle
Taillight: No School Choppers 28-32 duolamp
Turn Signals: n/a
License Mount: Left axle mount license plate bracket
Seat: hard luck designs slim solo
My dad bought this bike back in 1982 in Texas. Not long after that my parents moved to Florida and thats when he got really into the “biker stuff”, as he called it. At some point in the mid-late 80’s he was cut off by a car and had to replace the front end and decided to go with some longer fork tubes and a skinny front wheel. Then some time in the early 90’s the frame was hard tailed and it received a sissy bar with a tractor fender.
Eight years later I asked my dad to go with me to look at a bike I wanted to buy. It didn’t go so well, after a few exchanges and some terms and conditions we were unloading a pile of Harley parts into my garage. The next couple months I built a workbench in my basement so I could decipher the “what goes where, what do I have, what do I need” puzzle throughout the winter. Spring came and by then I had a general idea of how to “wing it” and it started looking like a bike again.
I had help from Marcus Ellis at Terminal Speed with lacing/ truing the wheels and popping bearings in the hubs. He rebuilt the front end as well.
I did my best to keep the engine/trans hardware/parts the way that I received them from him, down to the mismatched tappet blocks and stripped trans case holes. Those little things remind me that there were some frustrating hard times he had with this bike, but he did what he could to keep his knees in the breeze.
Words by: Garrett Dittmer
Photos by: Mikey Revolt