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The Real Deal


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Shovelheads are getting a bad rap these days, mainly from fellas who either don?t know what they?re talking about or experienced long time Shovelhead riders who are maintenance-challenged. Sure, the pre-Evo Harley-Davidson Big-Twin has it?s share of problems, but only it?s share. Regular, and enthusiastic preventive maintenance keeps most common problems to a bare minimum, and many true-blue Shovelhead Nazi?s get more dependable mileage out of their pre-84 Harley-Davidson Big-Twins than most of the new-rider Evolution owners. If ya keep ALL the nuts & bolts tight, change the oil regularly, keep-her tuned, and don?t flog the thang too awful hard, it?ll get ya where ya want to go every single time, no shit! Dan Mergell is a Harley-Davidson mechanic slash builder slash rider, slash biker and knows how to keep the Harley-Davidson Shovelhead in better than tip-top running condition. Almost all the motorcycles he builds (in his garage) seem to have the same basic ?chopper? profile that was popular during the late 1960?s and early 1970?s (and still popular with Dan obviously). Narrow & short Z bars are in place for steering & lane splitting (legal in the long state on the left coast).

The Harley-Davidson Springer (old-style) is still as comfortable as ever (with proper maintenance) here shown with the friction damper for no-pogo riding.

The power plant is a 1966 FL (can you say hemispherical combustion chamber?) displacing 84 cubic inches.

The S&S flywheels assembly was speed balanced by the famous ?Fast Eddie? (well he should be famous even if you haven?t heard of him). Motor cases & con-rods are S&S, as are the cylinder heads. Two spark plugs per cylinder burn the mix coming from and S&S Super ?E? carburetor in a most dependable fashion.

The valve train consists of an Andrews ?B? grind bumpstick, Rivera Engineering Taper-Lite pushrods, and Crane roller rockers. Lifter blocks are OEM Harley-Davidson.

Stock horsepower rating was 57 @ 6,200 RPM but no figures were available for the modified motor output. It hauls ass though! Dyna coils fire the juice using a Spyke Electronic advance ignition system inside a Spyke manufactured stand-up distributor.

Primo primary drive front pulley is 47 tooth, clutch basket pulley carries 76 teeth. A 2? wide Primo belt drive/Pro-Clutch combo moves the power from the motor to the transmission.

A tried & true four speed Harley-Davidson transmission moves the twist to the rear chain drive, to eventually reach the rear wheel/tire assembly.

Andrews gears (close ratio 1st - 2nd) are held in proper perspective with a Cal Products super-strength transmission case. Transmission sprocket has 25 teeth, with rear sprocket 48 teeth for a drive ratio of 1.92-to-1.

The frame is from Mike Edlund. Edlund is world famous for his quality reproduction Harley-Davidson frames not just because they are reproduction items but because of the tremendously accurate construction.

Everything fits, everything looks exactly like it would on a HD frame. The frames come with cast lug side-car loops, all cast iron mounts & lugs, even a boss for an integral neck-lock. It?s almost a shame to chop one of these frames, they look so damn authentic. Frames can be had from DM Customs in Long Beach, California.

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