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Thread: 1973 FLH Shovelhead Chopper

  1. #1
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    Default 1973 FLH Shovelhead Chopper

    No idea if anyone here is into motorcycles or not, but thought I’d post this up as most dudes like things with two wheels even if you don’t ride.

    I have been wanting to build a chopper for a while, I have a couple other bikes and just finished a 99’ EVO Softail this summer. Something about 60’s and 70’s inspired Harley’s has always appealed to me…….stretched out just enough, low to the ground, etc.

    I looked for quite some time trying to find something on Market Place to start with. Finding something that’s not already half baked or un-titled is pretty easy. Finding an original numbers matching frame and motor with a title was a little trickier. However, I was patient and a 1973 Shovelhead with a numbers matching frame and motor with a clear SC title popped up a couple months ago. I quickly scooped it up and have been picking away a little at a time.


    This is basically what it looked like when I bought it (not my messy ass table).

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    8B2595EF-D839-4762-A09A-1395F1846E9F.jpg


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    The motor is a Cone Shovel as opposed to a slab side…..I have an alternator.

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    I know the stance I wanted, but spent a good bit of time trying to figure out the suspension. I had a spare set of wheels and tires that I mocked up and used a broom stick to try and figure out my front end.

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    DFC6FE37-0F87-40DE-90F5-B745CB6DD269.jpg



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    I ended up deciding on what is a 2” over front fork (2” over stock). I also decided on 11” rear Progressive shocks. Tons of people hard tail these bikes by welding a section in place of the swing arm, but my back can’t handle that and I really wanted to keep from chopping up an OEM frame.

    For wheels I love a traditional 40 spoke wheel. I went 21” on the front and 16” on the rear and am going to run Shinko Tires that certainly look period correct. I have a shit load of things planned and have a bunch of other parts coming over the next few weeks. The motor is being rebuilt by Pete Hill in Greenville and I picked up an original 4 speed Ratchet Top transmission that has been rebuilt last week.

    I plan on kick start only, foot clutch and a jockey shift with an open primary. I am going to run a front brake and my forks have a single caliper setup.

    Things I plan on doing next:

    - Mount the tank…..I am going to weld in some bungs. I went with a 2.5 Gallon Frisco style tank. It sits up way high on the bike and gets rid of the split tank that would have originally been on the bike.

    - Make sure I can get my fender mounted. I bought it from Low Brow Customs and it looks pretty sweet.

    - I am going to have to weld in several things to make all my controls work and get my foot pegs mounted.

    - I am going to take the forks and shave them so that they are smooth and I’ll shave off the fender mount as I don’t intend to run a fender. After that, I am going to send a pile of parts to get chromed.

    Pretty much anything I have to drill, weld or fabricate will happen next so that I can begin to get ready for paint. I also intend on mocking most everything up and keep working on collecting parts and pieces……lots of things to figure out as this is obviously not going back in its original configuration.

    Anyway, here is where I am as of today:



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    21E8D0D2-E759-494D-9899-61EC71C7E83F.jpg

  2. #2
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    You mean too much to me to see all of this motorcycle rumpus.

  3. #3
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    I will also say this…….I am hopeful this can stay a thread about motorcycle building and cool shit as opposed to why you should not ride motorcycles. I’m inspired by builds like this:


    56C0BCAD-2F83-4807-A77D-FB34D2802A8F.jpg


    57B78927-3864-48BE-87DE-B3AE9264935B.jpg
    Last edited by Chessbay; 01-06-2024 at 06:59 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highstrung View Post
    You mean too much to me to see all of this motorcycle rumpus.
    I know it’s a dirtbag hobby…….try to still like me.

  5. #5
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    I can appreciate a swingarm bike over a Softail anyday. Always preferred a hardtail but I understand, my back cant take it anymore either....
    If you got another matching tank and sectioned the very top 1.5" or so on to the bottom of that tank, it would look killer...

  6. #6
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    I built choppers for years. Loved building, didn't much care for riding. Haven't in 12 years....

  7. #7
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    It's dangerous, and we're old.

  8. #8
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    I think Highstung would rather see you on a Vespa with a denim leather jacket combo. Maybe a Black Flag patch.

  9. #9
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    Well done, per usual.

    You and WillMac1211’s old man would get along.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chessbay View Post
    Literally translated to, "I smell like Scotch and Kodiak".
    "Let us cross over the river, and rest under the shade of the trees"- Gen. Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson

  10. #10
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    Cool project!

    I still have a special love for 2-wheels, but don't ride a whole lot anymore, simply due to cellphones.

    I keep saying I'm going to trade my Honda XR650 for a BMW GS series > 800cc, but I've yet to do it.

    I'd love to put another superbike under my ass, but I feel as if I'm too old for that now.

    Sent from my SM-S918U using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    Congrats in advance on all the sex!

  12. #12
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    Fattywhop bought one yet? Or is it just you and Mitchell in the danger zone?

  13. #13
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    I got a Carolina custom frame, fender and oil tank if you interested

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chessbay View Post
    I will also say this…….I am hopeful this can stay a thread about motorcycle building and cool shit as opposed to why you should not ride motorcycles. I’m inspired by builds like this:
    Want LOTS of inspiration?

    Go to the Barber Motorsports Museum; make sure to include a huge SD card!

    The bottom picture is a sexy piece of pure artwork!


    Sent from my SM-S918U using Tapatalk
    Last edited by USMCsilver; 01-06-2024 at 07:57 PM.

  15. #15
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    Your mama know you ride those things?
    Quote Originally Posted by walt4dun View Post
    Monsters... Be damned if I'd ever be taken alive by the likes of faggot musslims.
    Quote Originally Posted by 2thDoc View Post
    I am an equal opportunity hater.

  16. #16
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    All kidding aside I do know a friend that is in to the older Harley's. If you want me to make the call PM me
    Gettin old is for pussies! AND MY NEW TRUE people say like Capt. Tom >>>>>>>>>/
    "Wow, often imitated but never duplicated. No one can do it like the master. My hat is off to you DRDUCK!"

  17. #17
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    Very nice.

  18. #18
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    I was in the museum 2 years ago. Very nice

  19. #19
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    Chess- Roll On Brother!! I have 7 Harleys starting with a '65 Panhead Electra Glide, and ending with a '21 TriGlide. I'm on my 2nd Knee Replacement and will be back on 2 Wheels by March 1 for Daytona. Riding a Harley, I believe makes you a better driver on 2 or 4 wheels. You don't have the Rice Rocket Power to get out of the way, so you learn to drive more defensively.

    Project looks awesome, and good on you for the Kick Start Only. You have chosen the best Shovelhead Motor Man in the US and likely the world. Enjoy this, it's going to be lots of fun.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by thawhacker View Post
    I got a Carolina custom frame, fender and oil tank if you interested
    Could be interested in oil tank…….I’m kinda set on what I want, but you never know!!

    Quote Originally Posted by USMCsilver View Post
    Want LOTS of inspiration?

    Go to the Barber Motorsports Museum; make sure to include a huge SD card!

    The bottom picture is a sexy piece of pure artwork!
    Looks really cool……I remember you rode a ton of bikes in highschool……..I am not a crotch rocket guy, but definitely get the appeal.

    Quote Originally Posted by willk View Post
    Your mama know you ride those things?
    Yeah man, I am 99% sure she would ride with me if I asked.

    Quote Originally Posted by CurLee View Post
    I can appreciate a swingarm bike over a Softail anyday. Always preferred a hardtail but I understand, my back cant take it anymore either....
    If you got another matching tank and sectioned the very top 1.5" or so on to the bottom of that tank, it would look killer...
    I am looking forward to the swing arm……I see very few swing arm choppers……everyone hard tails them. I think I can make it look really good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Highstrung View Post
    Fattywhop bought one yet? Or is it just you and Mitchell in the danger zone?
    So far just me and Mitchell….wop will get one sooner rather than later though.

    Quote Originally Posted by SwampDecoy View Post
    Chess- Roll On Brother!! I have 7 Harleys starting with a '65 Panhead Electra Glide, and ending with a '21 TriGlide. I'm on my 2nd Knee Replacement and will be back on 2 Wheels by March 1 for Daytona. Riding a Harley, I believe makes you a better driver on 2 or 4 wheels. You don't have the Rice Rocket Power to get out of the way, so you learn to drive more defensively.

    Project looks awesome, and good on you for the Kick Start Only. You have chosen the best Shovelhead Motor Man in the US and likely the world. Enjoy this, it's going to be lots of fun.

    I am most certainly a cautious driver because of riding a motorcycle.

    I’ve got a KTM adventure bike which I love and I really like going off-road, but Harley’s are something else…..there is no way to describe it unless you ride one. Here is my Softail and my Street Glide.


    39568E64-1CB2-479F-916A-BCFAC1B31497.jpg



    C88D7B85-FC16-4FB5-9118-8CED7E223507.jpgC88D7B85-FC16-4FB5-9118-8CED7E223507.jpg

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