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1928 Shovelhead Project Part II

The Shovel Makes Gains

Photos: Tina Fairless

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In a dank dark corner of a dusty debris strewn shop behind the Strokers Saloon on Harry Hines Blvd in Dallas was a small stack of bike parts guarded by a massive starving pitbull with one eye and most of one ear chewed away. The beast was so vicious that it once chewed through a 1/2 inch tether cable, and ate four Avon tyres before it could be subdued and chained in place. No one had the balls to feed the animal and it ran off so many customers that a collective decision was made to relegated the dog to guarding our Shovelhead project. It was like a death sentence. The lovely Lena, the 14-year-old daughter of Rick and Tina Fairless, the owners, who was scheduled to be Bandit's 6th wife had a fiery temper and told Bandit, in no uncertain terms that the bike would be completed until he left the other women behind and came to Texas to settle down. The Dallas crew surmised that it would never happen so the fuckin' dog would starve to death waiting for Bandit to return to collect the fair Lena and complete his pact with the marriage counselor.


Unexpectedly during a freak Texas panhandle thunderstorm Bandit walked into the shop, carrying a turtle the size of a baby moon into and asked for the Lovely Lena. Upon presenting her with the turtle, her hardened resolve melted like a torch to a metal hanger and she swooned then demanded that her crew set to work on the project. We apologize for the long-winded explanation, but it's important to understand all the delicate facets of this project to obtain a feel for the treacherous nature of this undertaking and the lives that hang in the balance.


Just then the mega Dallas Easyriders store had a mass exodus of mechanics. Two were hospitalized trying to reach the parts, one died. Several were so pissed off at the shear audacity of Lena's order that they started a competing business down the street. In reality they were so jealous of Lena's affections for Bandit that they could no longer work and watch her dance through the shop on air. Enter Jim the transplanted fabricator from Florida who was hired before he knew what he was getting into. If you're not from Texas, you won't be familiar with the labor laws. Chain gangs are not exclusive to the Texas Penal system. They are a common phenomena in the work place. Jim hasn't seen his family since going to work for the Fairless contingent. Between you and us, we have slipped Jim a note that once the project is finished we will spring him in the crate they plan to ship the bike, but that's another story.


Jim has now modified the tanks for fit the Paughco rigid frame, mounted the engine and trans and front end. Randy Simpson is bending the bars for the project. Jim his building a box for under the seat for the battery since the oil will run from part of the gas tanks to the engine. If you note the belt pulley, we are now planning to run a chain for authenticity and since some other aspect of the bike forced us to go with a chain. We are still looking for the ultimate taillight to go with the project, and we hope to lower the front end enough to make the tanks more level, with Custom Cycle Engineering lower rockers. The front wheel is the stock Bad Boy 21 with an Avon tire. The rear will also be an 21-inch Avon with disc brakes. Pipes are scheduled to be reproduction stock early shovel pipes from Paughco.


Watch as this project comes together. All bets are that the San Pedro Police bike with never even see the border of California, unless she sees the coast before the bike arrives. Stay tuned.


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