Wrigley Field

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Shovel Lives

   I could write a story longer than this row of pics about this bike, but I'll try to keep it reader friendly. My Dad bought this '79 Shovel in 1980, in a box, wrecked. His buddy Pat Thompson help him put it back together. Since then, in short, it has been to the top of Pike's Peak, twice, Sturgis 20+ times, and countless other runs all over the US. My Dad has done a pretty good job of keeping it on the road. He tells stories of sleeping next to it, while wrenching, in order pick up where he left off when he woke. He loves Shovel. This is the bike i learned to ride on. This is the only thing i have that isn't for sale. I've touched almost every piece on, or inside of this bike. This is the only thing I will repeatedly forgive for letting me down. I love Shovel and those of you who know.... you know.
   This summer, i had some extra time between projects, so i did what my Dad has wanted and feared for some time.... I basically did a frame-off restoration / upgrade of the Shovel. It was needing some attention and had some nagging leaks and gremlins in the system. It took me about 6 weeks from rolling into the garage to riding it out. What i did was....
- switched to a dry,enclosed belt primary to help with some of the oil leaks and kept the stock look
- re-wired the whole bike from scratch, killing the ghosts in the machine
- made a new exhaust from scratch, which cost $400 to chrome. mounted solid as hell
- new paint and period-correct decal. special thanks to my buds Pat and Jennifer at Quality Auto
- new speedo that works flawlessly, tach soon to come
- made a new sissy bar from scratch, $120 to chrome
- added some support tabs to the battery box / oil tank area
- rebuilt the carb and got it dialed in real nice
- adjusted the timing... now it starts on 1 kick when warm, within 5 when cold, no shit
- eliminated any electrical wires in the bars and moved the starter button to the dash
- had the frame and swing arm powder coated gloss black
- reinforced the rear fender and strengthened tabs on the tanks, swing arm, etc...
- i'm sure there are some things i'm forgetting, but that's the bulk of it.

   I've gone on several, lengthy rides this winter. It's good for the soul to roll the Shovel out of the garage, kick start it, go tear up the town for a few hours, and know that there aren't going to be any issues. It's even better to see my Dad on it and sense the pride he has when we roll up to a bar or somethin and he gets to talk about it. The Shovel resides in his garage and, despite him telling me to take it home, that's where it'll be when he dies. We love Shovel.   

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