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1928 Shovelhead Comes To California Part VIII

Roadtesting And Adjustments For The Road

Photos by Layla

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deacon coming torwards 500
Master builder and mechanic, Deacon, from Pro-Street in Oahu.

Bob Kay. from American Iron Horse. was a bro and shipped the retro Shovelhead. from Strokers in Dallas. to LifeStyle Cycles in Orange County, California along with a new batch of Dallas Choppers. It arrived the day before a handful of weary travelers stumbled into Los Angeles. on their way home, from Sturgis, Glen and Kerry Priddle were headed back to Australia after spending almost a month, with a dozen Aussies, roaming the mid west.


chase & shovel on lift 500
Deacon's son Chase and the 1928 Shovelhead.

Deacon, his son Chase, and the son's girl Amanda rode several thousand miles averaging 95 mph wherever they rode. Deacon and Chase are both master mechanics. The ol' man's shop, Pro-Street, is located on Oahu, (808) 236-0405 and he's negotiating with Billy Lane of Choppers Inc. to build engines for Billy's Discovery Channel Bikes. His son is working in Oregon, but as soon as he returns, he's packin' his shit and heading back to the islands.


motor right side 500
JIMS machine rebuilt and detailed the engine. It was sharp and runs like a top.


charger on battery 500
Charging and checking battery connections.


deacon working 500
Deacon checking the solenoid.

Deacon rolled into the Bikernet Headquarters just as the Shovel arrived and we attempted to fire the beast to life. I moved the seat forward, detailed the front end and charged the battery. But, even with a fresh battery, she wouldn't engage. Deacon suspected the aftermarket solenoid. Seems the spacers and gaskets are too thick, just enough to prevent the solenoid from grabbing the shaft. I trimmed the gasket with an Exacto blade and Deacon ground the face of the spacer. Installed, it worked like a champ. We took it for a ride.


deacon and harbor 500
Los Angeles Harbor and our first roadtest.


coil 500
First Deacon checked the connections and voltage at the solenoid. He also shorted across the leads with an Allen wrench to see if the circuit was operating properly.


coil closeup 500
The solenoid replaced after the gasket around the base was trimmed and the spacer, behind the unit, shaved. Worked perfectly.


deacon riding 500
Checkin' the gears.

It was impossible to jam the suicide shifter into nuetral once the bike was running, even while rolling. Deacon and chase adjusted the clutch, and recommended a Rivera, old school, clutch pack to eliminate chatter and afford the rider smoother shifts. The clutch wobbled and was too tight to find neutral. They loosened the springs until only a thread showed past the adjustment nuts and the spring retainer ran true.


clamp on pipe 500
Can you see the cracks?


welding 500
The Millermatic 175 hard at work.


grinding 500
Deacon built a bead then ground it smooth as a baby's ass.


tip on bike 500
The tip installed, solid as a rock.

I developed padded fork stops and while running we noticed that the clean, handmade, Stroker's pipe tip was rattling with only one bolt holding it. Upon removal we discovered that the area around the installation nut had already cracked and Deacon grabbed the Millermatic. He welded the cracks and nut for more strength. Then we discovered that the tip shelf was too small, so the pipe end had a tendency to vibrate. Deacon went back to the welder and built a bead around the outside, of the shelf, then ground it to fit. A much cleaner/tighter fit, and the pipe didn't require an additional fastener.


holding emblem 500
Anybody know how old this cast bronze emblem is?

While in Hawaii at the first Choppers Only Show in Wakiki, I gave Deacon, the promoter, a handmade belt buckle for being a gracious host. He returned the favor with an old license plate doodad from the Antique Motorcycle Club. It was destined for the Shovelhead.


oil in pan 500
While testing the shifting, clutch and tranny, the gears seemed to bang harshly. We checked the oil level, which seemed precariously low. It wasn't bad, but we drained the oil and replaced it with fresh Custom Chrome tranny lube.


shovel on lift 500

The 1928 Shovel was ready to rock and so were we. Deacon and Glen broke out harmonicas and kicked off the blues. They sampled the Irish whiskey, Tullamore Dew, Sin Wu barbecued and the party rolled on.


playing harmonicas 500
Deacon and Glen bringing down the Bikernet Garage.


toast 500
One mo' shot of Tullamore Dew.

Helluva night, sharp bike and times to always remember. The next day Deacon air-freighted his 2003 FLH to Oahu and grabbed a flight. His son and Amanda boarded their basket case Softail and rode north. Glen and Kerry hid out in Los Angeles and waited for their flight back to Australia, and we dusted off the headquarters and pretended to go back to work.

Stay tuned for the next adventure of the 1928 Shovelhead.



deacon thru wheel 500


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