Caleb's Shop Truck Shovel


Caleb Owens' Siksika earned him the coveted "Builder's Choice" award at BF3, which the other invited builders bestowed upon their celebrated but humble peer. So, what does a dude who can build the best bike at the biggest show in America ride on a regular basis? Why, a stylish and rustic swingarm shovel that never needs waxing, of course. Here's what the owner of this crusty but reliable runner has to say about it.

This is the first swingarm bike I've owned, and I built this thing for pure function. Get on it and go. Found it as a salvage on the side of some dude's house in Canyon Country. It was one of those places with shit everywhere, and the cat needed cash fast. You could tell he was holding on to it 'til that "one day" came, but alas, according to him he needed "club dues." I think it was more like "rock" payments.

The bike had been sitting there for years after it got clipped by a car. The damage was minor, but all the years of grime and rain were settling in. "Got the pink?" I asked. "Oh yeah, my old lady has it." he replied. Thirty-five hundred was the price tag. I told him to find his old lady and the pink, then call me—I'll come back with 2,200 cash. He mumbled and agreed. A week later after I had pretty much forgotten about it, he called. "Bro, got the pink." Three of the seller's buddies and I literally dragged it across the front lawn and loaded it in my truck.

I pulled the bike apart piece by piece and trashed the tins, parts of the front fork, the front wheel and some other crap. I rebuilt the motor, tranny, wheels etc. I had a stash of other shovel parts from another basket that I ended up picking from: a decent set of 3.5 gallon tanks, a killer helmet-law era fender from Santa Cruz, and some other bits. I scored the king and queen seat in LBC for 40 bones. No frills, just a solid-running bike meant to ride. I've got tons of miles on it since the rebuild. I've rebuilt the top end once after a faulty oil pump C-clip left me stranded in Pismo Beach. It's a one kicker and doesn't look like every other SoCal bike, so I love it.



Bike name: Shop Truck

Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1978 Harley Davidson FLH. Fairly stock, 30-over Wiseco pistons, mild cam

Frame: 1976 FL

Fork: Late Panhead, not really sure, pieced together from a pile of parts

Chassis mods: Front end lowered a few inches, shorter shocks in the rear

Tire/wheel size and style: 16" rear, 19" front; Firestones

Favorite thing about this bike: Loading it up with gear, riding the piss out of it. It's a straight up runner, work horse, solid scoot

Next modification will be: Maybe clean it. 

Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Hand-made foot controls, custom-built foot clutch to accept cable. Hand made sissy bar, handlebars. Brembo brake fitted to rear

You can see more of Caleb's work here: Cro Customs

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Comment with Chopcult (21)

Commented on 7-27-2011 At 04:36 am

Allways will love this bike! These are the ones that really count

Commented on 7-27-2011 At 07:01 am

Absolutely great bike.

Commented on 7-27-2011 At 07:23 am

Love it man!

Commented on 7-27-2011 At 07:40 am

awesome ride. i love the juice o matic!

Commented on 7-27-2011 At 07:53 am

i bet folks are constantly surprised to see that the guy riding it DOESN'T have a
scraggly gray beard and DOES have all his teeth :-)

Commented on 7-27-2011 At 09:53 am

The shop truck rocks as does Caleb. My favorite part about this bike (besides the squiggly white pipes) is watching him ride it in a reclined position with his leg on the bars. When he calls me on my stylish iPhone, that is the picture that comes up. It always makes me smile.

Commented on 7-27-2011 At 11:47 am

Nicest truck ive ever seen.

Commented on 7-27-2011 At 02:30 pm

Ha I thought this was Caleb's only bike until I saw his insane work at BF3, I've ridden with him a couple of times and he was always on this. We get pulled over a lot when he has this bike.

Commented on 7-27-2011 At 04:53 pm

aint nothin wrong w/ a swingarm bike everynow and then.

Commented on 7-27-2011 At 05:53 pm

what is the function of the front amber light?

Commented on 7-27-2011 At 07:07 pm

This bike inspires me to commence work on an old workhorse. I've done nothing but ride and wrench on my chopper for the past couple of years, and frankly, there's very little left to done to it. But a bike like this is definitely one that I'd ride on a week long adventure. Reasonable, reliable, and very, very cool.

Commented on 7-28-2011 At 11:13 am

RAD! Looking at these pictures make me smile.

Commented on 7-28-2011 At 11:14 am

Even your work horse is a looker! love all your bikes.

Commented on 7-28-2011 At 11:14 am

Even your work horse is a looker! love all your bikes.

Commented on 7-28-2011 At 04:09 pm

Holy dang, that looks pretty familiar.
I LOVE it.

Commented on 7-28-2011 At 04:23 pm

I dig old swing arms

Commented on 7-28-2011 At 05:25 pm

friggin nice bike

Commented on 7-30-2011 At 11:07 am

get a rigid & be a man !

Commented on 7-31-2011 At 08:46 pm

G-man you so crazy!

Commented on 8-2-2011 At 09:01 am

dig it, got my own commuter in the form of a 77 swing arm...

Commented on 9-19-2012 At 05:12 pm

love the shop truck

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