1979 Shovelhead FXEF Custom Build

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Here's my '79 Super.  This was taken about 1995.  This bike will be at the 2013 Arizona Bikeweek show at Westworld in Scottsdale AZ after the rebuild and customizing shown below.  It will include many custom built parts including battery relocation tray, sissybar, glass (yes "glass") faced dashboard with fingerprint recognition starting system, custom T6 Risers, Tribal dual headlight mount, drum oil tank, and much more.

The paint will obviously be changed.  This picture shows a driveway painted (No Booth) Dover Gray basecoat with Silver Scallops and a Candy Wild Cherry top coat.  A beautiful combo from (HOC) House of Color!

This was my work but this time I will be recruiting an expert.  (TBD)

 

Patriot Parade on the old Shovel - Phoenix Arizona 2002.  That's the tallest Sissybar I've built.  Worked great for flags and luggage!

 

 

 

 

 

Frame returned from powder coat.  This time in Bentley Blue (rather than black) which is a nice firm blue with a purple-ish tone in some light.  Decided to stick the motor in as a test fit.  This style bike has a ridiculously close tolerance between the rear Rocker Box and the frame.  So close in fact, that I had to file the powder coat a little to get the Head/R-Box in!
 

 

 

 

Here we take a Pause-For-The-Cause.  I'm having the garage floor finished and getting a lift for the shop.  The Milk Crate days are finally over for me!   =)

(More to come...)

 

Floor is now done (looks GREAT!) and the new lift is here!  As you can see I've done some assembly, most is just temporary of course.  I brought my buddy Ron in on the project to speed things up.  We'll be using our new CNC Plasma Cutter from Torchmate to cut the sideplates and Logo Plate for the Sissybar.  We've decided not to make the bar quite as high as the one (two pictures up with the flag).  

 

 

 

 

Here is a quick mockup of the new sissybar design with thinner scrap sheet and leftover 1/2" bar.  We are using our new tall Flameout Sissybar for this build.  Our Sissybars feature tough 3/4" round bar and all plate steel is 1/4" (not 3/16").

This one will weigh about 20 pounds.

Our Sissybars are NOT for sissies! 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

<VIDEO>  This is the final cut of the Flameout Sissybar Side plates.  These have our shop logo, but we can cut almost any simple design.

 

 

 

 

<VIDEO>  Here is the side plate cut.  Talk about a nice clean cut!  I have not done ANY cleanup of this piece yet.  There was very little dross to grind off.  Most of it just chips right off.

 

 

 

 

<VIDEO>  We have the 3/4" bar bent (sorry no Vid this time).  We now have the bar welded to the side plates and mounted on the bike so we have precise measurements down to the thousandth (.001) for the logo plate.  We've put that in the CAD system, so here's the cut for that.

We've opted to arc the top and bottom of the plate for style rather than the straight cuts shown in the mockup above.

We build and modify as we go to make it all work.  You'll find no cookie cutter crap at our shop.

 

 

Sissybar back from chrome and test fitted.  Yes...that is the mockup Sissybar next to the fridge.  We really do test our parts thoroughly before we make a final product.  Good steel isn't free!  ;-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a closer look at the flame side plate all finished.

 

 

 

 

 

Here is an even closer look at the flames and metalwork.  We are meticulous about our metalwork and really scrutinize the chrome before we accept it back.

Remember these are 1/4" plates and required very little cleanup before welding and chrome.  Thanks Torchmate!
 

 

 

 

<VIDEO>  Now that we have the sissybar completed we obviously need a sissybar pad for the passenger.  My seat guy specified the rivet holes he wants so here we go!

 

 

 


 

<VIDEO>  Here is the final cut of the Pad Plate.

 

 

 

 

 

<VIDEO>  I want dual headlights on this bike and since nobody makes a cool looking bracket for that, I'll do it myself.  Here's the video cutting the plate.  I thought a nice tribal design would look nice and showcase what we can do at Terradon Choppers.  (We can do just about anything!)

Again, without a quality plasma system like the Torchmate, cleanup on such an intricate cut in 1/4" plate would require a lot of cleanup.  It took about ten minutes to knock the dross off this part!

This was cut without an AVHC (Arc Voltage Height Control).  I'd love to have one but I find you can cut very well if you keep your slats nice and level.

Here is the headlight mount chromed and installed.  This is a three piece set.  (Top triple-tree cover, tribal mount plate, and bottom triple-tree cover.)

 

 

 

 


Here is a view of the welds holding the Dash top plate to the Side Panels.  We used 1/4 inch round bar to provide lots of strength with little extra weight.  We were generous with the welds to avoid a weld cracking and causing one of those hard to find vibrations, and to prevent any filler from cracking.

 

 



 

Dashboard Mockup.  I know..."What's that thing in the middle"?  That my friends is a fingerprint Reader!  Even with the keys you'll never get the bike started without my fingerprint.  For you psychopaths out there, even if you had my finger in your pocket it wont work.  It also checks for a pulse and body temperature.  (OK maybe not, but good luck getting my finger)

 

 

 



 

Here is the Oilbag mounted up with a 1/4" plate.  We moved it pretty far forward so there would be room for the starter relay, circuit breakers, and other goodies which will be mounted to the front of the rear fender.

Unfortunately I had not anticipated doing such an extensive rebuild prior to powder coating the frame.  So I had to grind some off.  With the black Rust-oleum though we should be fine.  It's also hidden under the seat.

 

 

 

The aftermarket fender was so generic we HAD to do something with it.  So we filled in the hole they manufacture into the bracket (Look just beyond the fork slider).  Then we cut some Concertina Wire on the Plasma table to add some coolness.  This took a lot of trial and error.  Having to bend the metal into that third dimension took some doing to get the holes to line up!

 

 

 

 

<VIDEO>  Since we have not done a video for a bit, here's one showing our Dashboard design.

<VIDEO>  Here we show some of the accent pieces we are doing to dress up the bike.  We are still waiting on the damned Transmission!

Oh by the way, all my life I've called it "Constantine" wire as you'll hear in this vid.  In fact it is called "Concertina" wire after the instrument similar to an Accordion.

 

 

NEW!   We installed a 3" BDL Open Belt Primary with a RevTech 5 in 4 Trans with Kicker.  I would love to have "a made in USA" Baker but damn they are just prohibitively expensive and like them, I'm trying to start a business)  The starter we used was touching the Swingarm (see this pic) so we ground the Swingarm weld down for a bit of clearance.  Even with that done, when the Swingarm came up as if there was a load on the bike, it still touched.  See this pic.  We resolved this by shimming the Trans up.

 

 

 

So the only way around this was to shim up the Transmission.  Now common sense should tell you that you cannot just use the same size shims at the front and the rear of the Trans.  The front shims need to be thinner, but how thin?  So this pic shows the simple math that you need to do.  NOTE!:  In this drawing the angle is exaggerated to make it easier to visualize.

Raising the Trans this way prevents having to force fit the bolts.  Remember we are talking an Aluminum Trans in an old vibrating Shovelhead.  Force-fit this and case failure is imminent.  Do it right or don't waste your time or cash.  There is some wiggle-room for the front bolts to go into the engine case...but not much!  The 1/16" inch we raised it did not cause an issue here.  Your bike will likely be better (or worse) in this area, so do the math and investigate.  But DO IT CORRECTLY!

NEW!  Here is a pic of the .0625" (1/16") shims in the back.

You will either need to find washers of the right thickness, or grind thicker ones down to the thickness you need for your application.

You also don't need to be as accurate as 1/10000ths.  Somewhere in the 1000ths ballpark should work just fine but be as accurate as you care to be.  The more accurate the better.  You are engineering a custom application, not slapping things together.

 


 

NEW!  Here is a pic of the .0401 shims (you figure the fraction!) in the front, and the .0513 Mid shim.

 

 

 

 

 

NEW!  Another issue is the Clutch Lever.  Your clutch lever may or may not fit once the Starter is installed.  In our case it was caught between the Starter and the top cover of the Transmission because ours was meant to be a kick only application.

Screw that!  I've kicked bikes for years and years.  Will never have a kick only bike again.

 

 

 

 

NEW!  So here is the lever after we "fixed" it.  We cut the lever they supplied in half and added a piece in the middle.  It now angles up and over the starter and does not hit the oil tank fittings.  It took a lot of trial and error to make this work.  To get the cable angle correct, we also needed to modify the clutch cable bracket.  If you don't pay attention to this little detail, you will blow through cables like mad.  With 4" risers and 18" apes, this will cost you a fortune.

 

 

 

 

NEW!  I was going to use flat bar cut into a lightning shape to connect the pieces, or use round bar.  My partner Ron saw that and said "WHATAYA F%!@ing NUTS!!!".  So I though to use a chunk of the old kicker since it was all messed up anyway.  So this pic shows what we used.

 

 

 

 

 

So far on the bike (besides the stuff above) I've re-laced both wheels with Twisted Spokes and used a new rim for the rear since the old one was rusty inside (Unsafe).  After mounting the 6-Gallon tanks, the stock Superglide forks were dwarfed so I opted for a Wide-Glide.  (The Super-glide forks against the wall in one of the pics above are for sale.  They are one inch shorter than stock and in excellent shape.  I shaved the reflector pads off them and polished them.  (They will need some TLC with Simi-Chrome now though)  I think I'm going to do the paint two tone with Champaign and Bentley Blue but that's not firm yet.  I'm using a bobbed rear fender for a change-up, and a set of fatty 18" bars.  I also used a set of 11" progressive shocks.  I also re-upholstered the seat with cooler fabric and a gel-pad, and the Sissybar pad matches of course.  Ask me who my boy is if you need something re-upholstered!

Stay tuned for more pics as the build progresses!

 

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