Most hacks might talk themselves out of doing something because it's difficult, or from a fear of failure. Jason Roche of Special '79 is a fabricator who isn't afraid of much. He can beat, bend, heat, form, cut, grind and weld just about anything, so he's been hacking and welding on this swinger shovel since the day he got it, and will probably do so indefinitely. It may be a work in progress, but it's got some neat stuff to admire in the mean time, and it's a rider!
Like most of us, I'm building this bike on a budget. I specifically used much of the stock pieces off the original FXE so I could build it quick and get it on the road. Everything else was traded for. Almost nothing was bought for this bike except the swap meet tanks that I chopped, and the taillight. Here's something I learned along the way: don't use shitty can-opener-style baffles in drag pipes on a shovelhead, and don't weld them into the pipes before you take your bike on a highway run.
Owner: Jason Roche, Special '79 Fabrication
Bike name: Unfinished
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: '81 80" shovelhead, freshened up with .010" over pistons and rebuilt heads
Frame: Stock '81 FXE swingarm frame, no real mods to speak of
Fork: '84-'99 41mm Wideglide with modified nacelle pieces
Tire/wheel size and style: Stock Superglide mags, 19" front/16" rear (the rear mag might be off a Sportster.) I didn't want to screw around with spokes on this build
Favorite thing about this bike: The rear suspension. My back has been killing me and the shocks made it possible to endure the GR4 this year with no issues
Next modifications: I never know, thoughts on function and aesthetics change so often for me this could be a Mr. Potato Head bike. The seat and sissy bar setup will be changed, those pieces were put on the bike to get it on the road. I'll paint it at some point, too
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc.: Handmade narrow stainless apes; chopped and flared random stock fenders; narrowed flatside split tanks (now rubbermounted after cracking a mount on the GR4) with small fuel sight gauge; modified junk fender struts and sissy bar welded together with silicon bronze rod; chopped stock inner/outer primary used to support stock mids; drag pipes made from old pipes laying around Bench*Mark kicker pedal and points cover
Thanks to: My beautiful wife Ann-Marie for putting up with my obsession; the 50WT Love crew, a great group to ride with; Biltwell, for their continued support of my tiny fab company; Kim and Pat at Bench*Mark; Brian at JEM Cycle for letting me dig through his bins of old parts; Pitoniak Cycle for rebuilding the heads