No Show

1981 Shovelhead custom

by Daniel Patrascu from Not that long ago, we ran a story about a customized Breakout called Stella. The work of German custom shop Thunderbike, the motorcycle was the perfect opportunity for me to state that Harley does not give bikes girl names. And it doesn’t. Go as far back as you like in the history of the company, and you’ll see mostly male names, or names that are generally associated with males: Road King, Street Bob, Cross Bones, Iron, and so on. But Harley riders do give their bikes girl names. That was made clear to me almost immediately by the comments posted on the Stella story, with people saying their Harley bikes have names, not designations, and these names include stuff like Belladonna, Jolene, Delilah, Dolly, Scarlet, or Christine. Someone even said he likes to call his bike Mazikeen (that’s for you Lucifer fans out there). Back in June, when the world was in full lockdown, and there was no hope of bike shows to be held in-person, 60 builders from 10 countries showed their creations online as part of Harley-Davidson’s The No Show. Among them was North Carolina resident Billy Childress. His build, a 1981 Shovelhead, is yet another proof that builders and riders like to think of their bikes as being females (maybe Harley should take notice). It’s called Linda, taking the name of the builder’s mother. Like many projects of its kind, this one, too, was designed with the fuel tank at its core. Starting from that, Childress sourced the rest of the parts and started putting the bike together, from the wheels that make the connection to the ground to the straight exhaust pipe pieced together out of four other pipes, and of course, the Shovelhead engine fitted inside the frame. Like all […]

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1968 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead

by Daniel Patrascu from Given all the lockdowns and social distancing measures ordered in place for most of the year, motorcycle shows got canceled or postponed just like everything else. Trying to save face and give custom shops across America a means to vent off steam, Harley-Davidson created The No Show event back in June. Held online on Instagram and Youtube, it was the perfect opportunity for some 60 builders from 10 countries to show their latest or best creations, builds that would have otherwise risked sinking into oblivion in 2020. As you might expect, most of the shops taking part tried their best to advocate the projects being presented, describing in detail and at times using big words the two-wheelers we were seeing. But not Tennessee-resident Rusty Perkins, the man behind this here 1968 Shovelhead. If you thought the title of this piece is some personal opinion on the build, you were wrong. These are the words the builder himself uses to describe the motorcycle: “nothing real special about it, simple, the way I like ‘em.” And that statement pretty much sums up the American custom motorcycle scene: a great two-wheeler is not what the onlooker wants or expects, but what the builder/owner thinks it’s right. As all the others in the series, Perkins was given a little over two minutes to present his bike. He uses most of them to give us a seemingly bored rundown of the motorcycle (available in the video below), without actually saying anything about it. He does reveal the bike was built over a long period of time, using what is described as a “messed-up Shovelhead frame” as a starting point. Slowly, the project was gifted with an engine, the proper wheels a chopper should have, a peanut tank with some flame

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1969 Harley-Davidson FLH Is a Custom Camping Bike for When You Need to Get Away

by Daniel Patrascu from Had 2020 be any different, we would have gotten the chance of seeing tons of small shop-made custom motorcycles at the various shows across the States. But things being as they are, we’re only left with admiring them online. To fill the gap left by the canceled shows, Harley-Davidson had the brilliant idea of coming up with The No Show, an event dedicated to custom bike builders who had no place to show their creations this year. Back in July, the company’s YouTube channel was flooded with independent builds, revealing all we could have seen in the flesh. The 1969 Harley-Davidson FLH we have in the gallery above is one of them. It is a custom-made Shovelhead assembled at the Juniors Hand Made shop in Costa Mesa, California, by a guy named Scotty Dettwiler. The man hints in the short video below that this is as close to the real thing as the bike can get, while at the same time retaining a custom look. That was possible by mixing stock Harley parts – such as the engine and transmission, which are model-year correct – with tons of other custom parts, made by the builder himself. The fun part about it that, like many others of its kind do, this bike was not created to be sold. No, it’s actually Dettwiler’s daily rider, and he’s not only taking it down the road, but also camping. The feeling of having something you built yourself take you places must be extraordinary, and you can see that’s exactly the case here from the way the man gets off his bike, takes a brightly-colored folding chair from the rear of the two-wheeler, and sits down next to the machine in the middle of nowhere. We are not being told

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1921 Harley-Davidson Banjo Board Track Racer Wins H-D Design Award

by Daniel Patrascu from At the beginning of last week, bike maker Harley-Davidson announced it is holding a special online event dedicated to all those bike builders who were robbed by the health crisis of the chance of showing their creations in live motorcycle shows. Called The No Show, the Harley event brought together on Youtube and Instagram around 60 bike builders across the U.S., each showing and advertising their bikes the best they could. Of the 60, Harley chose three to be named winners in various categories – Media Choice Award, H-D Styling & Design Award, and Harley-Davidson Museum Award. As far as Styling & Design, the bike was selected and the crown was handed by Brad Richards, the man in charge of design at Harley, to a build called 2-Cam Banjo Board Track Racer. The bike is the work of a man from Wisconsin named Michael Lange. Describing himself as a bike builder for 50 years and a self-employed man for the past 30, Lange decided to bring to The No Show a motorcycle he built way back in 1996, one he was supposed to show at this year’s Mama Tried. The man’s confidence in the bike paid off, given his build won one of the three awards, but perhaps for him that’s just a small achievement. Running on massive wheels and packing a host of custom-made parts, from the engine itself to the fuel tank and the frame, the Banjo is of course an odd sight on the roads today, but it is a common one at various racing events still paying tribute to the racing bikes of old. Lange says he originally built the bike to race it as a privateer, and race it he did for the past 24 years without many major issues.

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