John Shope’s 2018 Hot Bike Tour Dirtytail

Dirty Bird Concepts’ red bird of prey

John Shope and Charmin both know how to make a Dirtytail look clean. Shope’s version looks a lot cooler, smells better, and leaves its skid marks on pavement where they belong. All toilet paper humor aside, the three-time Tour champion’s entry for the 2018 GEICO Hot Bike Tour is a damn bitchin’ ride that’s a pretty far cry from the 2015 Harley-Davidson Softail it was born as in the factory.

The idea behind it was to improve the looks and ride of a Softail. Much of the credit for the ride upgrade goes to Dirty Bird Concepts’ in-house Dirtytail suspension conversion, with its custom swingarm and shocks. John’s shop matched the back suspension with its own inverted fork mated to Hawg Halters triple trees. Both ends roll on Ride Wright wheels bristling with spokes.

John Shopes Dirty Bird

And now we know where the name Dirty Bird came from…

Jeff Allen

Sideshow’s Cycles constructed the 103-inch Harley-Davidson V-twin that resides inside the frame. It’s a beauty to look at that sports John’s own El Jefe fishtails and a Performance Machine airbox.

All of this forms the foundation for John Shope’s Tour contender but it’s a far cry from a finished machine. You also need little things like gas tanks, handlebars, and seats unless you really want to up the difficulty factor in riding a motorcycle. He tossed the stock fenders and swapped in his own which were cleaner and more in line with his plan. The old handlebar found itself in the discard pile too, replaced with a set of apes from Khrome Werks. After mock-up, LiquidLuvStudio and Metro Plating took over, laying down red with silver flake paint and sweet, shiny chrome, respectively.

Once the seat from Guys Upholstery was in place, John’s Dirtytail was Tour-ready and off to see and be seen. Which it was, winning John Shope his fourth Tour ring in the process.

26 inch front wheel on motorcycle

Shope didn’t go small on the front wheel. The big hoop measures in at 26 inches in diameter.

Jeff Allen

Spec Sheet

Shop John Shope’s Dirty Bird Concepts
Shop Phone (623) 465-5263
Year/Make/Model 2015/Harley-Davidson/Softail
Owner Jeff Davis
Fabrication Dirty Bird Concepts/Sideshow’s Cycles
Build Time 6 months
Size 103ci
Builder Sideshow’s Cycles
Cases H-D
Cylinders H-D
Heads H-D
Rocker Boxes H-D
Cams H-D
Throttle Body H-D
Exhaust Dirty Bird Concepts El Jefe
Air Cleaner Performance Machine
Year/Type 2015/6-speed
Gears H-D
Clutch Trask Performance hydraulic
Primary Drive H-D
Rake/Stretch 35°
Front End Dirty Bird Concepts
Triple Trees Hawg Halters Inc.
Swingarm Dirty Bird Concepts Dirtytail
Shocks Dirty Bird Concepts Dirtytail
Wheels, Tires, & Brakes
Builder/Size Ride Wright/26-in.
Calipers Hawg Halters Inc.
Rotors Ride Wright
Builder/Size Ride Wright/18-in.
Caliper Hawg Halters Inc.
Rotor Ride Wright
Pulley Ride Wright
Finish and Paint
Colors Red w/ silver flake
Paint/Graphics LiquidLuvStudio
Plating/Polishing Metro Plating
Powdercoating Specialty Coatings
Front Fender Dirty Bird Concepts
Rear Fender Dirty Bird Concepts
Gas Tank H-D
Dash H-D
Gauges H-D
Handlebars Khrome Werks
Grips Dirty Bird Concepts Loot
Mirrors Arlen Ness
Hand Controls H-D
Foot Controls Dirty Bird Concepts Loot series
Floorboards Dirty Bird Concepts Loot series
Headlight Dirty Bird Concepts
Taillight Drag Specialties
Turn Signals Alloy Art
License-Plate Mount Dirty Bird Concepts
Seat Guys Upholstery
Stereo N/A
Amp N/A
Speakers N/A
dirty bird concepts headlight and nacelle

Dirty Bird Concepts’ headlight and nacelle lookin’ all sexy and whatnot.

Jeff Allen

horn covers on motorcycle

I normally don’t call out horn covers for looking good, but I’m making an exception here. This one fills the barrel gap nicely, looks good, and adds style to the primary side of the engine.

Jeff Allen

Dirtytail shocks and swingarm

The shocks and swingarm comprising the Dirtytail are about as far from a stock Softy rear suspension as it gets.

Jeff Allen

Shopes vicla-inspired Dirtytail

Between the generous metal flake and gobs of chrome, Shope’s vicla-inspired Dirtytail gets plenty of notice.

Jeff Allen

26-inch front spoker

Up close with Ride Wright’s 26-inch front spoker.

Jeff Allen

Sideshow Cycles powerplant

Sideshow’s Cycles did a bang-up job dressing up the powerplant.

Jeff Allen

dirtytail shocks on rear of bike

The Dirtytail’s shocks bolt to the rear of the bike much like you’d find on a Sportster or Dyna.

Jeff Allen

John Shope Loot grips

John Shope’s Loot grips and Arlen Ness underslung mirrors hard at work making the bars look good.

Jeff Allen