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I started my Shovelhead project with a ‟roller” which is a rolling frame. In this case it was an aftermarket Santee rigid frame that I picked up already painted candy apple red. It included the frame, a chrome springer fork, handlebars, wheels, rear fender, and seat - and that's it.
For this project I knew I wanted to go old school and put a Harley Shovelhead motor in it. I located one on ebay in Toledo. The ad said that it had low miles and didn't leak oil (which with Shovels is a minor miracle). I ‟won” the auction and once I got it home I decided to freshen up the top end a bit so I took the heads and cylinders off, replaced the rings, valve seals, and all top end gaskets before putting it back together.
In the meantime, I needed to locate a transmission, primary drive, brakes, controls, wiring, and all the little bits and pieces. I decided to go with an Ultima 6 speed transmission and Ultima 3.35” open primary drive, DNA brakes and hand controls, and stock Harley Softail foot controls with footboards. Along the way I had a custom made oil tank fabricated and powder coated, and I also tackled the wiring, opting make my own wiring harness using relays and fuses.
I worked on it throughout the winter, hoping to fire it up by early spring. A series of wiring setbacks and a chronically leaking oil pump set that date back to late May, but by early June, it was finished and on the road.
It is a very fun ride and the combination of a 1340cc engine with a freakishly light frame means the bike is very fast. It is a great city bike, but with the rigid rear end and unsprung seat, you really get to intimately know the state of disrepair of Ottawa roads.