This bike was never to be mine… at least that’s how the story of this 1974 Ironhead begins. The bike you see here started as a customer project bike and showed up at my home shop in multiple boxes. The reason for it’s being in my shop was for a hardtail job and other miscellaneous bits fabbed up for it. The work got finished, the bike picked up, and I thought my involvement in this build was over. About two months later, I received a call from the customer stating that he bought a cone shovel and his interest in the Ironhead was fading. A deal was struck and I was the new owner of a newly hardtailed frame, a motor and trans that I’ve never seen run or propel anything, and a few boxes of miscellaneous stock and aftermarket parts.
Photography By Josh Calvi
For the next three years I would put in a couple days of work and then roll it into the corner so it wouldn’t interfere with my focus on customer work. Many changes were made, parts put on and taken off. The final decision was to work toward my vision of salt flat, café racer, and chopper all rolled in to one finalized aesthetic. This was the standard pattern until Mike, Tim, and the rest of the fine people at Show Class Magazine came up with the idea of “The People’s Champ” and involving it in Born Free 5. Please research this if you don’t know what I speak of. The People’s Champ pushed me to finish the bike for myself, drive cross country, spend time with friends, and meet new ones. I couldn’t be happier with the bike or the entire experience. I can’t wait for the next experience… so it’s on to the next build.
Owner name, location: Jason M. Roche
Chop Cult Member profile: Specialseventynine
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1974 HD xlh
Frame: 1974 HD XLH original front section, one-off rigid rear section
Fork: late model 35mm with fender mounts shaved off
Chassis mods: Rigid rear section
Tire/wheel size and style: 19" front and rear
Favorite thing about this bike: How I feel "in the bike" when riding it.
Next modification will be: Maybe a change of bars to mix it up.
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Hammer formed aluminum oilbag, electrics box, and front fairing. Too many handmade parts to list, I only hope they blend into one cohesive motorcycle.
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: I completely built the motorcycle, loaded it in a van to drive cross country to Born Free 5 for Show Class Magazine's People's Champ contest and had an absolutely mindblowing time. Upon its maiden voyage, I realized the one gasket(s) I forgot to replace was for the oil pump... which it flowed nicely onto the ground everywhere I parked it.
The SPCL'79 Ironhead is up for sale. If you have any interest and are a serious buyer you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org