1978 H-D FLH BUILD: PAGE 1
I have a preconceived notion about what a motorcycle should look like. My formative years spanned the late 60's to mid 70's which is where the hands got stuck on my clock. The styling of a late 1960's panhead to a mid 1970's shovelhead really appeals to my sense of taste, or lack thereof, but the technology and engineering of that time period lacks what I needed for a regularly ridden bagger. I wanted a bike that screamed the Vietnam/Hippy era from an aesthetic standpoint but that would run, stop and steer like something much newer. Thus the "Dreamsickle" project was launched.
My plan was to take a period correct bike including frame, shoehorn in a new factory H-D Evolution crate engine, six speed transmission along with the most recent suspension and braking technology. Sounds simple, eh? The foundation for this build was a 1978 FXS four speed frame which makes it officially an antique on paper along with a myriad of sheet metal from panheads, shovelheads and on up to an Evo Fatboy. From a glance it should ring pretty true to a late 60's/early 70's putt but rolling down the road I actually wanted it to stop and steer well enough to justify long haul road tripping on it. Grab a cup-o-Joe, sit back and enjoy the story (or not, I don't care) of how to spend a lot of cash and burn a heap of time to come up with a mostly stock looking but full custom bagger. Remember you can click on any photo for a bigger view.
A BOX AND A CLOSET MAKE YOU THE NEXT WORLD FAMOUS BIKE BUILDER
It is amazing how little room you need to start a bike project. A storage room with a little extra space and a metal rack scrounged from the back loading dock and your a custom bike builder. Yahooooo!!! Yeah, it starts out that simple but it quickly begins to grow out of hand and you better have space to move the project to. Soon you can't use your box for a lift anymore and have to get a lift that actually goes up and down. I discovered during this phase pallet jacks are handy as improvised lifts and moving the bike as it gains weight.
This is where your bike starts to develop its character and personality. Doing a full mock up before the first can of paint is opened, the first non functional chrome bling or any mechanical parts get pulled out of the box will pay off in spades down the road. Start with a frame, add swing arm, shocks, forks, wheels, tins, etc. to see what you do and don't like. If you look close you will see different seats at times, license plate holders, blinkers, handle bars, etc. No worries about scratching paint doing it trial and error, having to change mounting tabs, not liking a part after it is too late or whatever. Your able to work out the majority of your direction before actually beginning the real build. Mock up is key to the design process and a smooth final assembly.
DOES NOT FIT IN THE CLOSET WITH WHEELS INSTALLED
Soon after I brought the bike out of the closet I was able to the wheels on it. Then I got a kick stand installed and had me a full roller. Being able to easily move it was a big accomplishment. First it was a mental hurdle overcome getting it to a roller but helped when doing "real" work and had to get it out of the way. Getting an employee to help move it or trying to move it on a jack was time consuming and inconvienent. I now have a portion of the shop configured just for building bikes with a lift for working on. I even bought a 60" toolroom lathe, milling/drilling machine and Bridgeport surfacing machine to augment my other machine equipment making the entire process more convienent. Having a lift sitting in the middle of complete machine shop is very handy for building bikes.
DREAMSICKLE BUILD PAGE 1 DREAMSICKLE BUILD PAGE 2
DREAMSICKLE BUILD PAGE 3 DREAMSICKLE BUILD PAGE 4
DREAMSICKLE BUILD PAGE 5 DREAMSICKLE BUILD PAGE 6
DREAMSICKLE BUILD PAGE 7 DREAMSICKLE BUILD PAGE 8
DREAMSICKLE BUILD PAGE 9 DREAMSICKLE BUILD PAGE 10
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