Being that this was my first ever frame off build, my biggest goal was to learn. I spent lots of time just taking the motor apart and rebuilding it again and again. I spent time with gray-beards and picked up what I could. I spent lots of time at my neighbors car shop learning to weld and fab.
About a year and a half ago I won “Best in Show” at a local bike event with lots of vintage bikes. My 07 Deluxe had lots of bolt on chrome, an air ride system and a killer paint job but, let’s be honest, it was a customized stock bike. The guy i beat out to win had spent years chasing down parts on an old 38 single port knuckle. (It was beautiful). I felt super guilty and offered the trophy to him after the fact. He said, “man, if you really wanna do right by me, get yourself a frame and build one from the ground up”…. The next day I started shopping for frames!
I took one of my dad’s old H-D belt buckles and cut it up and fabbed a points cover for the bike. It came out pretty sweet. But this build is full of stuff like that. Being that this is my first build, I made a ton of mistakes I’m proud of too. Like the night I over-torqued an oil pump bolt and twisted it off in the case. I spent the next 3 hours learning how to disassemble the pump and empty out the cam chest to get that stupid bolt out.
Im proud that I didn’t outsource any of the build. Once I got the frame, I was determined to do it on my own (minus the upholstry) I knew I’d need to weld, so I just had to get good at welding. I knew I’d need to learn to make brackets, so I spent weeks just making brackets. I knew I’d have to learn to paint, so I spent days in my neighbors booth. The bike isn’t finished, but at the end of the day, it may not be perfect, but it will be mine!
I only have a hand full of folks who have worked with me that have seen it mocked up and have seen the paint. I wanted it to look like it fell right out of 1976… and I think it accomplishes that old skool look!