For His Service To Our Country - 1975 Harley-Davidson Super Glide

Building One From The Ground Up, Part II

This is the 1975 Super Glide frontend that SPS in Ohio sent me. While the frontend is usable, I didn't like the look of the spindly legs on this build. We would have to change to something else later.

I had to grind the Fatbob tank mounts from the frame to allow the tank to sit correctly on the backbone. You can see from the picture that I was working in a cramped space, but I was determined to finish the mock-up before taking it to Kent for final welding of tank mounts, fender struts, etc.

I marked the backbone for drilling. While I was able to drill the holes for the rear of the tank mount, I would need help with the front part of the tank. Luckily, I bought some fender bungs from West Coast Choppers, not knowing they would actually be used for mounting my tank to the backbone.

After scoring an old carburetor from H-D, I installed the carb, risers, bars, hand controls, and pipes. While the mock-up was looking complete to my neighbors, I knew I had major flaws. For one, the rear caliper rubbed the wheel. The sprocket was lined too close to the frame, and the frontend wasn't retracting correctly. At this point I started to worry about the final product, so that's when I loaded it up into my car and took it to the devil's shop here in Houston, Texas.

I brought my roller to Kent's shop, hoping for the best. Within a few weeks, parts started rolling in from several of our sponsors. Here is a shot of the RevTech five-speed transmission from J&P; Cycles. Directly next to it is a BDL 3-inch belt drive from Belt Drives Limited and Bikernet.com.

Glenn Priddle of GP Leather in Australia made the hand-tooled leather seat. I had met Glenn a couple of years prior on a road trip to Sturgis. We followed Bandit to Deadwood and have been friends since. He heard of my quest and insisted on making the seat for the build. I'd say he did a fantastic job.

Greg Westbury donated the Big Baller gas cap to the build. Greg was another member of the biker industry who heard of my plight and wanted to contribute. I was continually blown away by the brotherhood displayed during the entire build process. It seemed whenever I hit a roadblock, there was a greasy, calloused hand ready to pull me through. The entire experience was amazing!

Here's what the bike looked like when I brought it to Kent's Lucky Devil Metal Works shop. The tank mounts needed to be finished up and the rear fender and struts needed to be welded.

Within one day he had it set up like this, with the tank and fender locked and loaded.

Here is a shot of the top mount he welded in at the top of the rear fender. The skill he displayed while piecing my project together was nothing short of phenomenal. It was a pleasure to watch an artist at work.

Kent decided a different frontend would be more appropriate for this build. We used this one for the mock-up, but we ended up going with a Wide Glide frontend provided by Bikernet.com. While this frontend seemed to match the bike at the time, the final build becomes a showstopper with the Wide Glide.

Once Kent got the fender struts in place, I was really digging the look of the bike. To believe Kent brought my mock-up held together with bailing wire and tape to this well-constructed piece in one day was amazing. I had no idea about the amount of work the bike still needed. I thought we were close to done.

I spent eight hours sanding the frame, rear fender, gas tank, and oil bag. After sanding them down, I used a chemical wash to treat them before shipping the parts to Kirk Taylor at Custom Design Studios. He was another guy who absolutely insisted on getting involved. I waited anxiously for the parts to return so I could see the paint job! Meanwhile, Kent painted the frame using a silver flake with black airbrushed accents. I was surprised to see how all the elements tied together at the end; another benefit of having a professional help out!

The painted frame. We waited for the skins to come back from California, anxious to continue with the build. Check back next issue when we get the paint back and jump into final assembly.

After several months of collaboration, panhandling, and promises of grandeur, my brother's bike build was underway. Thanks to the help of Sucker Punch Sallys, I was definitely making progress building a kickass motorcycle for my brother, a U.S. soldier (see the background intro in last month's issue).

After getting the original parts from SPS in Phoenix, I started to get parts from several different companies. SPS in Ohio sent a 1975 Super Glide frontend. Greg Westbury of Westbury Cycles sent a gas cap. Belt Drives Limited sent a 3-inch belt drive. We contacted Fab Kevin, who gave us a smoking deal on a brake light/license bracket. J&P; Cycles offered up a transmission, and Custom Chrome kicked down a bunch of parts as well. Kirk Taylor from Custom Design Studios offered to do the paint. As the parts rolled in, I took the build as far as I could before heading to Lucky Devil Custom Cycles to have Kent Weeks give me a hand with welding and final mock-up before shipping the parts out for paint. The adventure continues.