Chris Pasley's 1980 Shovelhead is a bike that tends to draw the attention of anyone within eyesight. I know it grabbed mine when I saw it for the first time, nestled up with all the custom cars, at this year's Hippy Killer Hoedown. It was the end of a long, hot day, and I was on my way out. I didn’t have a chance to find out who owned and built the bike. I chalked it up as a missed opportunity, but that I could do some Instagram investigating to make up for it. Turns out I didn’t have to worry because, a few months later, the Knives and Knuckles Campout would give me a second chance. Chris showed up at Cook's Corner for the ride meet up, not knowing anyone there, but ready to party. Now, Chris is the kind of guy that makes friends wherever he goes. It’s pretty hard not to have a good time when he is around. When I came by to be the annoying photographer dude, luck was on my side for a change. We had a blast just bullshitting about this, that, and the other thing. Those positive vibes would soon be destroyed by some rich asshole driving a Porsche, who threatened to call the cops on us. Luckily, the cops never showed up. Our mood was lifted after we had an impromptu visit from a local guy who wanted to check out Chris' bike. This world is full of assholes, but at that moment it was refreshing to forget about them and just talk bikes. If you are ever in San Clemente, keep an eye out for Chris and The Loner. But be careful, he might just offer you a beer. -Nick
Owner name, location: Chris Pasley / San Clemente, CA
Chop Cult Member profile
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1980 AMF FXWG Shovel
Fork: 39mm shaved triples
Chassis mods: Mild molding around the seat, fairly stock frame.
Tire/wheel size and style: 21/16 Avons front and back
Favorite thing about this bike: Swing Arm
Next modification will be: Complete repaint next winter
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: Riding has always been a part of who I am. I grew up BMXing, thrashing on mopeds, and finally moved on to dirt bikes and quads. When I started working for the Magazines in 2006, I got to know the Street Chopper/Hotbike guys pretty well since we all sat next to each other. I had never owned or built a Harley before. My uncle had them when I was growing up and I always wanted to build a custom bike, but I was consumed by the world of Kustom cars. Rolling with my club Scoundrels C.C., I had little time to think about building a bike. Finally, a time came when I made up my mind, knew exactly what I wanted to build, and actually had the time and money to be able to do it. I wanted it to be just like my Cadillac. 60’s style, reliable, garage built and fun. I build things to use them no matter how nice they are. Also, building a swing arm bike was a part of my challenge. We've all seen hardtails. The reason why is because they look so good. My challenge was to make a swing arm bike look just as good. It's not the most custom bike in the world, but it's garage built with basic tools. It has a few cool points: its reliable AF and overall it's just a rad bike to ride.
Thanks to Springels Innovative Customs (SIK Paint), and Rico (Hi-Bond Modified). -Chris
Article and photographs by Nick Faught / @nfaught_photography