1976 Harley Davidson Shovelhead

What was your intended objective when you started the build?

Being that this was my first ever frame off build, my biggest goal was to learn.  I spent lots of time just taking the motor apart and rebuilding it again and again.  I spent time with gray-beards and picked up what I could.  I spent lots of time at my neighbors car shop learning to weld and fab.

What motivated you to start your project?

About a year and a half ago I won “Best in Show” at a local bike event with lots of vintage bikes.  My 07 Deluxe had lots of bolt on chrome, an air ride system and a killer paint job but, let’s be honest, it was a customized stock bike.  The guy i beat out to win had spent years chasing down parts on an old 38 single port knuckle.  (It was beautiful).  I felt super guilty and offered the trophy to him after the fact.  He said, “man, if you really wanna do right by me, get yourself a frame and build one from the ground up”…. The next day I started shopping for frames!

What was the most unique and creative thing you did to the bike?

I took one of my dad’s old H-D belt buckles and cut it up and fabbed a points cover for the bike.  It came out pretty sweet.  But this build is full of stuff like that.  Being that this is my first build, I made a ton of mistakes I’m proud of too.  Like the night I over-torqued an oil pump bolt and twisted it off in the case.  I spent the next 3 hours learning how to disassemble the pump and empty out the cam chest to get that stupid bolt out.

What are you most proud of?

Im proud that I didn’t outsource any of the build.  Once I got the frame, I was determined to do it on my own (minus the upholstry) I knew I’d need to weld, so I just had to get good at welding.  I knew I’d need to learn to make brackets, so I spent weeks just making brackets.  I knew I’d have to learn to paint, so I spent days in my neighbors booth.  The bike isn’t finished, but at the end of the day, it may not be perfect, but it will be mine!

What do other people say about your motorcycle?

I only have a hand full of folks who have worked with me that have seen it mocked up and have seen the paint.  I wanted it to look like it fell right out of 1976… and I think it accomplishes that old skool look!

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