Have you ever heard about a bike from a friend? The kind of bike that was the coolest chopper around, the one Indian Larry and Ron Finch helped build and David Mann drew pictures of it? Or the fastest bike around town, you know the story this bike used to run everyone in town and was the king of the streets. Only one day you see that bike and it doesn’t look like anything that your buddy talked about.
I have had a customer name Dave for years. He’s the kind of guy that is straight to the point and is only going to pay what he wants, he’s kind of a hard ass but 14 years in the army will do that to a guy. He has bought a ton of bikes and parts off me over the years. Dave bought a ridged Chopper from me about 7 years ago, he told me, when he bought it, that he had an old generator Shovelhead and he wanted something faster. Dave loved the ridged; he even rode it to Dayton bike week in a winter storm. Had he not left on that bike from my shop I wouldn’t have believed him, the funny thing is he had blown the motor up the week before he had worked on it for 3 days putting a new motor in (one he had bought from me of cores) just to go. But that’s Dave he’s crazy and he never lies about what he has done or places he’s been.
Dave and I have become friends over the years and I’ve always heard about this old generator Shovelhead he had. He had been everywhere on this bike and how he loved it so much, but I never seen it. Try as I might Dave would never sell the bike. I tried for YEARS!! Until one day Dave walked in to my store, (I should add Dave is pretty good with his money. He never worries about it, Dave works 100 hours a week and save most his money). He came in with kind of rush and a concern look on his face. I asked Him “what’s up Dave, everything ok?” Dave replied “I just bought a new tool for work and I need some cash to pay it off, would you want to buy two of my shovels? I had to play it cool Dave had a few bikes, and he hadn’t talk about which ones he wanted to sell. So I calmingly asked “which shovel did you want to sell?” Dave said “well How about that old Generator you’ve been after all these years.”
My ears perked up and my heart was racing a bit, I had wanted this bike for a long time now and my chance was right in front of me, Dave can be a hand full sometimes to make deals with so I played it cool and replied “yeah”. We made a deal on the bike, and I paid Dave before he left the shop that day as so he couldn’t change his mind. That Monday night Josh, Shovelhead Joe and I made our way over to Dave’s place. He had the bike tucked in the back of his shed. He ran out of room in the garage. We worked clearing snow and moving stuff out of the shed to see the bike.
The shovelhead was not what I expected. It was a generator shovel, it was in a swing arm frame but it wasn’t the chopper I had in my head. The front wheel looked like an old Performance Machine wheel. It was running a Narrow glide some old foot controls that looked like GMA’s and a GMA rear caliper along with a chrome oil tank and drag pipes. Dave stood there and said “man this thing is cooler then I remember.” Now this bike was something in its day but by todays standers it was not. I’m not saying I didn’t like that bike, I can see past a lot of things but this was not the bike I had heard all those stories about over the years from my friend. But it was a nice generator shovelhead with electric start.
A man in his 50’s can dig it as can I. maybe in the summer I can get it running, maybe riding it will make all those stories come to life. Big thanks to dave for giving the opportunity to make new stories and keep the memories alive!