What We Ride | 1977 Harley Davidson Shovelhead Chopper

What We Ride | 1977 Harley Davidson Shovelhead Chopper - Hot Bike Magazine

H-D Shovelhead Chopper
Year: 1977
Make: H-D
MSRP: $30,000 (est.)
Mileage: ? (No Speedo)
Rider: Jeff G. Holt

I actually built this bike to commemorate our sister magazine Street Chopper's 40th anniversary. This bike actually started out as just a bottom end I had under my workbench with a California pink slip taped to it. Once the decision was made to make this bike, already dubbed "Ruby," a reality, I knew I wanted to build a bike that heavily favored the looks of past choppers, but still had a bit of today's style. And I wanted it dripping in chrome.

I started the build by taking the motor to Rico at Hi-Bond Modified in Pomona, California, along with a 93-inch Hot Set Up kit and Super Stock heads from S&S.; To get the bike firing and shifting good, I used a Joe Hunt Magneto and a Baker 6-into-4 transmission.

When I got the engine back, I slid it into a roller that was comprised of a Flyrite Scorcher frame, 3-Guyz Choppers narrow springer, and a set of 21- and 16-inch Scott's Invader Wheels. I then added a Detroit Bros. instigator tank and had a set of custom bars built by NOISE. This pile of parts really solidified the look of the bike. Adding to the flare of the bike was the highly modified Paughco pipes, original AEE sissybar, and West Eagle mufflers, aluminum rear fender, and triangle headlamp. A few of the parts that I personally liked on the build were the Duane Ballard stitched Biltwell seat, Hippy Killer clear pegs and grips, as well as the Performance Machine Contour clutch lever and forward controls.

Once the bike was completely mocked up, I blew it apart and sent everything ferrous except the gas tank to South Bay Chrome for some triple-plated shiny stuff. The tank was given to none other than the Harpoon for a bit of late '60s psychedelic mini flake and candy.

Once everything was back from chrome and paint, we put it together as quickly as we could. From the time it was built, it traveled to various shows and events as a show bike, but now it is back home and racking up road miles like a real chopper should.

The bike is fun as hell, but all the chrome on it makes for a challenging ride in the midday sun, and with the rigid rear end, lets just say I won't be making any speedy cross-country trips on it.