Turning a new leaf is sometimes an easy move; other times it’s more challenging, but still worth the trouble. Kyle Waltz straight up traded his running XLH for the pile of parts that became the bike he calls “Sweet Leaf.” He knew what he was getting into when he traded a running bike for one that the previous owner honestly said “needed work.” This sort of deal is always a proposition that involves risk. The hope is that the dude taking the running bike off your hands is happy and that, once you correctly dial in that pile of parts, you have an upgrade.
The question is how much headache will that upgrade cost you? Considering I share some shop space with Kyle, I know firsthand how many pieces this thing was exploded into before becoming a running, rideable bike again. Sometimes a fresh build is easier than trying to figure out previous owners’ good and bad deeds.
I figure that, if you’re the kind of guy that wants to run a thirty six year old motor in a fifty nine year old frame, you “like a challenge.” When I watch guys like Kyle, that make up the current vintage chopper scene, put in the time and energy it takes to keep these old bikes on the road, it makes me believe America still has some heart. It takes a lot of work to make these old piles of parts run. Building them is one thing. Running them across the country is another. I was stoked to find out that Kyle is shaking this thing down for an upcoming East to West trip to California. It’s a ride of a life time that all men of the road must take at least once!
If you’re not turning wrenches or planning a big ride somewhere, “turn a sweet leaf” and think about it.
Owner name, location: Kyle Waltz, Columbus Ohio
Chop Cult Member profile: Tylerguid
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1979 FLH Harley Davidson Shovelhead
Frame: 1958 HD
Fork: Narrow 41mm, 4 inch over, shaved lowers
Chassis mods: Hardtailed drop frame
Tire/wheel size and style: 16” rear hydro brake, 21” star hub front
Favorite thing about this bike: Da Tank
Next modification will be: Cal Customs Trans Case
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Skinners Unio Carb, custom molded tank, modified Sportster front Fender on the rear
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: Chrome will take her home! Traded my running XLH straight up for this hot mess, there was not a single component that didn’t need repaired replaced or serviced.
Thanks to: You know who you are!
Follow Kyle on Instagram @weaponsofmassconstruction