Sunday, October 7, 2012

From Show Stopper To Road Chopper

This is the long awaited post about the newest change with my Sportster. It was time for the "cursed tins", as I call them, to go. It's a cool paint job and its a cool story behind them, (check out the full story here) but I really wanted to get back to riding longer than 60 miles for gas and I wanted a sissybar again. I really wanted a road trip bike. Let the chopping begin!
This is the bike that was in the back of my mind the whole time and what was pinned to the wall of my garage while rebuilding my sportster. This is my ol'man's shovel in one of the versions I like the best. If I had the money to buy this bike back (its still in the northern NJ area) I'd rebuild this version. Since I don't, I figured it would be a good challenge to see how close I could get with my sportster.
I started by finding another super glide tank. I use to run one but had to find another. Ben gave me the old bobbed fender off his panhead. It has a 3/16" x 1 1/2" steel flat bar welded to the inside of the fender as hidden fender struts. With some modifcation I made it fit my sportster frame.
The paint job had to be black and decided to try my hand at real automotive paint. Thanks to some guidance by Billy, it came out great.

Lastly were the red HD decals, also from Ebay and the seat I found via the Jockey Journal.
The sissybar was another stainless steel bar made on a lunch break. The mounts have studs welded to them so its bolted from the inside. Nice and clean and really shows off the lines of the fender. I couldnt be more happy with the look.

It wasn't just my dad's style I was copying but also the guys he rode with. All of them were simple, purposeful, choppers. As my Uncle Neil once said "We traded all the peanut tanks for fat bobs and the chrome and flash for black and natural earth rust tones."
The fork boots are HD OEM replacements for the 33.4mm style forks. Flip them upside down and they work great for the 35mm forks.
Mission accomplished I think. The Slum Goddess is now the Slum Glide. Its already caught people off guard thinking its a shovelhead. The next steps are to find a non dented oil tank, new rims, and I'm lacing up a sportster drum to a 21 and then I think I can really call it finished... wait, these things are never "finished"...


  1. Sweet action!!! I like the dented oil tank, adds character.

  2. Wes, stop reading my mind !! Agree entirely, the oil tank looks quite deliberate and the rest of the bike is awesome, so honest. Very few Sportsters cut it with bobtails but you killed it, Superglide tank is the duck's nuts . . . the story behind this incarnation and the Goddess' tale is awesome, be stoked, can't wait to see the final result. Sorry 'bout the blither.

  3. Great job, man! It’s like your inspiration has come to life. And I can see there in the changes what you meant by ‘from show stopper to road chopper.’ It was a drastic transformation! Changing the seats contributed a lot to changing the bike and giving it the image you want. Your Sportster looks all set now to hit and conquer the road!

  4. Wow! Your Sportster does look like the bike in the picture! You are definitely skilled with metal considering the impressive changes you gave to your bike. Installing the seat and painting it black really helped give it that classic American chopper feel. I think you certainly got this challenge all wrapped up. Congratulations on the new look of the Sportster!

  5. That is truely Fkn' sweet! I've got a 73 Rolling Chassie I've started working on but there a long road ahead until it's finished! Diggin' Ol School look...