Shovelheads, Where have they gone?

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Nessman, May 15, 2013.

  1. Nessman

    Nessman Cluttered Minimalist

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    I love Shovelheads, the raw sound and mechanical honesty appeal to me.

    They appear to have vanished as a species (at least in my area) and aren't plentiful on CL.
    #1
  2. Mista Vern

    Mista Vern Knows all - tells some.

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    Good point. It's like they disappeared here too.
    #2
  3. dhallilama

    dhallilama Been here awhile

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    Portland, OR, USA
    i see at least a few every day in Portland...

    keep in mind the (harley) shovelhead has been out of production for nearly 30 years now. evolutions are everywhere.

    stroll over to Jockey Journal, though; I'd say a third of the bikes/builds there are shovels.
    #3
  4. B_C_Ries

    B_C_Ries Long timer

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    I have one and I believe that Shovelheads are the best sounding and most attractive looking motor that HD ever put out, only thing that comes close is a real early Ironhead Sportster or a Knucklehead,
    #4
  5. England-Kev

    England-Kev Long timer

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    I mentioned this a while back, they had been overlooked for far too long, they were the last of the true Harley's, the newer models just don't cut the mustard.:evil
    #5
  6. CharlesLathe

    CharlesLathe Been here awhile

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    I owned a '68 Shovelhead and rode it all over the West and Midwest. Sadly, it was stolen in 1984, but I still remember the case number and check every one I get close to.

    There is an antique Harley museum near here and the owner says that Shovelheads are going to be the hot bike for Harley collectors in the next few years.

    Regards, Chuck
    #6
  7. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

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    San Francisco, CA
    If I remember well my -77 Low Rider (bought new), Shovelheads are the hot things for mechanics, parts makers and AAA road services!! From my distant memory:
    1000 miles: head gasket blown (had to change head & cylinder).
    3000 miles: cam bearing in pieces at the bottom of the case...no more warranty...
    4000 miles paint off the gas tank
    Wheel bearings... leaks in the front MC... rear caliper (banana) self destroyed...

    But it was cool!:
    [​IMG]

    Yes a "hot" thing!!!


    My -82 FXR was almost perfect!! Maybe the difference between pre and post AMF???

    [​IMG]

    Forgot: before that I had a -75 Sporster (bought new): crank bearing gone at 15000 miles.
    And do not start me on my XLCR (bought used in -79) which I kept more than 30 years and had to redo engine once, heads 2 times, gearbox once in 20,000 miles!!!

    Sporster somewhere in Poland in 1977:
    [​IMG]


    My wife on the XLCR before I sold it:
    [​IMG]

    My -89 Evo has 80,000 miles with no probs!!!
    #7
  8. MicroAdventure

    MicroAdventure Been here awhile

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    340
    one in my backyard. 1980 FLH 80 on cast rims
    #8
  9. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Were you napping in the 80's or just not riding? The pre-Ebay/CL days when there was a different crop of 'big bucks with no work" entrepreneurs just coming up front buying every shovel they could grab, stuffing them in ship containers and off loading them via a broker in Japan.
    #9
  10. gusanito

    gusanito Mindless Wonderer

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    245

    I've been telling people the same thing for years. Around here they pop up on Cl occasionally, some of them for cheap money, and they don't seem to sell.
    This is the 5th shovel I've owned, an '81 FLH-P.

    [​IMG]
    #10
  11. vorg

    vorg Adventurer

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    Bangor Maine
    I have a dusty 77 FLH taking up space in my garage. Last on the road in 2005... I just cant seem to bring myself to let it go. :norton
    #11
  12. fallingoff

    fallingoff Banned

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    now that's f%$%$%$ beautiful
    #12
  13. Bloodweiser

    Bloodweiser honestly

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    way over yonder in the minor key
    ^agreed.
    #13
  14. BerserkerBlue

    BerserkerBlue n00b

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    I love my shovel. We go everywhere together.

    <image src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-k5taXcUyKn0/UZTMMEddg7I/AAAAAAAABP4/cLiBVdcHty8/w1278-h959-no/IMG_0100.JPG" width="800">


    Not much keeps us apart.

    <image src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-lIjZQVCJGVE/UZTME6RIkiI/AAAAAAAABPw/GWTLcTxv3Wc/w900-h600-no/war_pig_1.jpg" width="800">


    It's my personal opinion that people that knock shovels have either never had one, or didn't take proper care of it. I can't speak for when they were new, but little has broken on mine that wasn't either my screw-up or wear and tear. A machine is only as good as the person taking care of it is willing to make it, some just take a bit more than others.

    I have more pictures if ya'll want them (both of my bike and others).

    Here's a picture of one of my favorite ladies, on her Shovelhead called Big Orange. She's put over 300,00 miles in Big Orange and she does all her own wrenching. Haters can stick that in their pipe and smoke it.

    <image src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ums2EvhsQpI/UZTPCarI9BI/AAAAAAAABQI/peTLXcqBpQ4/w1277-h852-no/IMG_2029.JPG" width="800">
    #14
  15. anotherguy

    anotherguy Long timer

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    My Shovel is in the midst of a decade long restore. It has over 300K on it. Only twice in that time did it break. It wiped a cam/lifter and had a crankpin go soft and need a crank rebuild. That's how the restore started. Sure it leaked a bunch of oil,ate a clutch or two in addition to the usual gas,tires and oil stuff. Made 85 HP on the dyno at ZIppers too.

    I stopped riding it for two reasons. It needed a good bit of TLC from an 8 year run of being ridden every day and I got sick of all the new breed Harley riders thinking I'm their "bro" cause they can afford a Harley. There are few who can call me that and it is earned. But I miss that old turd and gotta get offa my ass and finish it up. The hard part is to resist "modernizing" it. No 5/6 speed,6 piston calipers or USD forks. A windshield,pogo seat and a rock crusher 4 speed is enough.

    So I'd say they're sitting in garages waiting on resurrection.
    #15
  16. gusanito

    gusanito Mindless Wonderer

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    Oddometer:
    245
    Thanks for the compliments.
    Here's the other side.

    [​IMG]






    Liz is good people, she lives in the next town over from me. She's an old school LDR on a 37 yo bike.
    #16
  17. LeatherFoot

    LeatherFoot Adventurer

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    West Virginia outback
    I've had 3 shovels now. The last one was an original paint 78 1/2 FLH that I rode daily (pending no ice) for 4 years. It never left me sit 1 time. I did have to keep after the maintenance: tightening bolts, tires, fluid changes, lubrication, repairing pieces that broke from vibration, etc, but the bike was stone reliable. I loved it and sold it to a fellow in Ohio that collected them.

    2 weeks ago I bought a clean 79 FX set up like an FLH for $2500. Yesterday I ordered a new pogo (for 220plus lb riders) and all the tune up stuff. It is not an original bike, but should be fun. They do sound awesome, and after you work out the bugs, they are really reliable.

    I also agree, the nice original ones are getting expensive, and hard to find.

    LF
    #17
  18. Badge320

    Badge320 Wild Hog No. 3

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    I still see them around on occasion. The guy who posted about the bikes being purchased and sent overseas is fairly accurate. When I worked for a Harley dealer we had a couple of individuals who would come by the shop on a regular basis looking for bargain shovelheads..they went across the country looking for bikes which they bought and sent across the ocean.

    When I'm out and about on my Harley I wonder where all the EVO's went....it's getting where you don't see many of those on the road.
    #18
  19. shupe

    shupe Been here awhile

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    Central Fla
    There's Shovels around.
    I rode mine to work today.

    [​IMG]
    #19
  20. fallingoff

    fallingoff Banned

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    #20