I met Matt through the grapevine of friends here in Phoenix, Arizona. It had only been a few months since I moved to the area, so I was seeking out some cool bikes to shoot. Arizona has a huge motorcycle culture, but tasteful choppers are few and far between. Matt is a super talented person, so it was cool being able to see his work in person.
When we finally met up to shoot, we had no real agenda for it. We just rolled around the desert ‘till we found a couple cool locations that worked for us. Originally, we were just shooting these photos for fun but when Lisa here at Chopcult reached out to me to see if I had anything I’d like to contribute, I thought this would be a perfect feature for them. Matt’s shovelhead definitely deserves to have some light shined on it. Hope you all enjoy!
Owner name, location: Matt McCarthy, Phoenix, AZ
Chop Cult Member profile: mccarth
Bike name: Sky Ballin’
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1980 shovel with a Morris mag
Frame: Harley frame with Haifley hardtail
Fork: 6” over Paughco springer
Chassis mods: Haifley hardtail
Next modification will be: it's good for now...
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: Sky Ballin’ came to me as a complete basketcase. I was doing some paintwork for my buddy Nick, and he offered it up as trade. The whole motor needed a complete overhaul and that’s when my dude Keith introduced me to Mushroom Joe. He’s an old-time engine builder out here in Arizona. He named the bike “Sky Ballin’” because that’s his term for doing drugs in the desert. Unfortunately, just after he buttoned up the motor he passed away. It was the last piece of the build to make it complete. After all was said and done, it took me about 5 years to finish the bike. Shortly after completing it, I properly broke the engine in, and proceeded to ride it to Mexico on the El Diablo run!
Thanks to Sallie- did the seat, Kelly Haifley- did the exhaust, Doug Haifley. My dude Keith for motivating me. -Matt /@mccarth6