In Italian biker jargon, a “trap” is a motorbike that is somewhat dangerous to ride, due to its complexity in being ridden. Only crazy bikers dare ride these monsters!
One day my customer asked me, “How can I make a trap bike with his FX Shovelhead?” My answer was, “Remember when sex was safe and choppers were dangerous? When cruising on an outlaw motorbike was a way to escape reality?” This spirit lives on in the Chop Works garage, where we continue to try and escape the future.
With this 1976 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead, we took ourselves back to California in the late ’60s. We’re not in San Francisco here, but Turin, yet we wanted to have the look of super-narrow pullback bars but still be super strong. Next, I had to figure out how I was going to use the Edlund framework with an FX 4-inch-over front end. I fabricated a sissy bar with three brake lights built in from an old Italian car, added a king and queen seat, both of which were perfect pieces needed for creating and riding a Frisco-style chopper. Once it all came together, I stood back and admired the work. I think I totally nailed my client’s request!
After two kicks to the kick-only starter, the fun began. Surprisingly, it rode pretty easily. I cracked open the throttle on the frontage road to Turin and took off over the bridge that leads into town where I found the closest scenery I could to the Bay Area. As I approached, I passed some cars, stomped on the suicide clutch, shifted gears, and was now riding this trap chopper like it was child’s play.
Waiting at a traffic light, I realized the endless line of caged drivers were staring at me as if I were some ultra-intricate contraption from hell. I looked behind to see how many cars I had overtaken and thought to myself, “Yep! This is definitely a trap, but I’m happy to feel free on this trap!”
|Build Time||5 months|
|Carburetor||S&S Super E|
|Primary Drive||1-1/2 in. Primo|
|Type||Modified Edlund rigid|
|Front End||Frankino/Chop Works-modified FX|
|Length||4 in. over|
|Wheels, Tires, and Brakes|
|Builder/Size||H-D/3 x 21|
|Tire/Size||3 x 21|
|Builder/Size||H-D/4 x 18|
|Tire/Size||4 x 18|
|Colors||Blue and Black Pearl|
|Paint/Graphics||Custom Design Roberto La Rogna|
|Molding||Custom Design Roberto La Rogna|
|Rear Fender||British style|
|Gas Tank||Modified peanut Wassel Chop Works|
|Sissy Bar||Chop Works|
|Seat||King and Queen Chop Works/Sellerie Viano|