This bike was built for Born Free 11 in 2019. My buddy, Don, and I had been talking about putting his Knucklehead together for a little while and when we got the news that I had been included in the list of invited Born Free builders, we decided that this would be the perfect opportunity. Don had already collected the 1947 motor, the ’46 transmission and a cherry ’40 frame (probably the nicest I’ve seen in person).
I have had motorcycles pretty much my whole life. I rode dirt bikes as a kid. I got into Harleys about 15 years ago or so. I was an amateur hoarder back then, but quickly went into full-blown collector mode. Over the last decade, I have gone to every swap meet I could get to. Not just in Texas, but all over the county, on the prowl for old motorcycles and parts. It’s hard to pick a favorite, but I’d have to say my favorite is probably the 1971 FLH that I have had for 10 plus years. I was born in 1971 so I have that connection to it. The FLH isn’t 100% stock, but it was closer now than it was when I got it.
This thing showed up at the garage as a dirty, crusty, old mutt, and despite some efforts and a few layers of lipstick, thankfully it still is. Matt Giboney’s good friend Rob Clague ended up with this scooter, originally as a partial trade between himself and an old greybeard biker.
When Rob got the bike, it was in a Pan/Shovel configuration. The former owner said that after building it back in 1978, “the finished motorcycle spooked him.” We never found out why, but apparently whatever “spooked” him was enough of a reason to keep the bike sitting under a tarp, leaning against his house for 40 years.
Thanks to our long association and friendship with custom motorcycle magazine legends such as Billy Tinney and Kim Peterson (editor of In The Wind magazine), Choppersmagazine is able to take you back in time to memorable events in two-wheeled history. For this issue’s look back, Kim was working at Easyriders magazine in the late 1970’s and was on special assignment with a motley crew of moto-journalists.
Texas Native Justin Toole found this 1967 genny shovel motor of all places on a Facebook site. The genny shovel has always been his favorite Harley motor so you can only imagine how stoked he was. “The time it took for the bike to get shipped to him seemed like an eternity” said Justin.
Once it arrived in his dirty little hands, he immediately pulled the top end apart to access the damage, as he suspected it was in pretty bad shape, and so was the bottom end… bummer. With the motor pulled and half apart Justin knew were to take it. Straight to the motor man himself, Lou Skopik. Justin left his ’67 baby with Lou with a little direction. He wanted the motor to look like it came off the Milwaukee factory floor. Correct cam cover, dechromed rocker boxes and gray cylinders, you know… what a motor should look like.