What’s your name and where are you from?
Give us the backstory on how you got into motorcycles and how long you’ve been building for.
I started riding dirt bikes as a kid. When I was about 19 or 20 a friend of mine assured me I could buy a Harley for around $2k. Sure enough, he found me a salvage titled 86 Sportster that we fixed up. Rode it to death and loved Harleys since.
Take us back to the day you found out you were selected as a builder for this year's GD, what was going through your mind?
So I knew the first 12 builders would be picked on thanksgiving, so I spent the better part of the night glued to my phone in front of my girlfriends dad. Luckily he used to be a chopper guy so it was ok. When I didn't get picked, I was bummed but hopeful. A few days later, I'm driving into work and I hear my phone buzzing non stop. I open to a dozen or so texts saying "congratulations dude!" and "If you need any help at all let me know" I had been chosen for the Lucky 13 and that work shift flew by.
Tell us about the starting platform for your build (year, make, model)
So this bike was stolen 4 years ago, when it was taken, it was a bobbed out 1980 Harley FXE Shovelhead. When I got it back last year all that was left was the frame, motor and tranny.
What was the inspiration for the build?
Man, from the minute this bike was stolen I daydreamed about what I wanted this bike to look like. If I saw a chopper at a show, or instagram, or Chopcult, I'd think, "yea man, that front end is sick, I'm doing that" I had a lot of time and inspiration. When I got the bike back, a friend told me "Buddy, you hit the lottery, build your fucking dream bike" So that's what I tried to do.
Have you named the bike? If so, how did you arrive at that name?
I go between "Undead Shovelhead" or The "Covid 13" Build. Pretty easy to figure out why.
Were there any favorable moments during the build process?
We know building a motorcycle can be challenging and everyone runs into a set back at some point.
Did you have any notable setbacks that you were able to overcome?
Finding parts, money or someone to do the work during this pandemic became a real problem all of us GD builders had to overcome. That was tough. I think the only other issue I can think of was my rear cylinder was scratched pretty bad from a wrist pin clip falling out. I was mostly worried about how far the machinist would have to bore to get it out. Luckily it only took one pass to .020 to handle it. (They were already punched +.010) Thanks to S&S cycle I got some new pistons and rings and I was set.
Throughout the build process we tend to learn new things whether it's a skill, knowledge or even something about ourselves. What are some things you’ve learned throughout building this bike?
This is my first build. I had to learn practically everything haha. I knew my way around motors and stuff, but this was a new monster. I bought a cheap amazon tig welder, spent every night for 2 weeks practicing bead after bead until I was confident I could weld something on my frame and not have it snap off and kill me. Then I just taught myself how to fabricate things from scratch. I'm so appreciative of this build because I now have the skills and confidence to build something even more.
Paint tends to be one of the first things that draws people in and then they start looking at all the other details in the build, who did your paint and what made you go with the color scheme?
So, all my bikes have been black. I never washed them. Never cared. I wanted something that would stand out. I fell on an off white that my buddy Austin did in exchange for some wiring on his bike. The custom paint was done by a local Graffiti artist Septic (@septictheoutlaw) I saw his art around, and I was lucky enough to meet him at a bar I used to work at. When asked if he ever wanted to hand paint a bike, he immediately said yes. Over time I think he was more excited for it than I was. Maybe its an unpopular opinion, but I see a lot of expensive paint jobs that look like a dozen other bikes. Theyre works of art, but what drew me to choppers and motorcycles was being unique. Septic has this punk as fuck, Jon K and Ed Roth took acid together art style that I always spoke to me. He absolutely murdered this bike. It's easily the best thing about this build.
Now that the build is wrapped up, what’s your plan? (Catching up on sleep?, ripping it around the countryside?)
I plan to ride it til something breaks. This bike was always supposed to be a daily rider. I think I fucked up actually because now with the insane art and paint, I'm almost too scared to beat on it and mess things up. Since most shows are cancelled, I'm gonna try to show it off where ever I can but I'm pretty critical of myself. The last thing I want to be is some chopular builder or a showbike guy. If someone appreciates the bike that's cool. Otherwise I'm just gonna park it next to the other bikes at the bar or try not to get it stuck in the mud at camping trips.
Any plans for a new build?
I've had ideas to build a thumper chop. A buddy has a cheap Savage she wants to sell. I would like to be able to build that one slowly as opposed to 6 months haha. Probably do a sportster chop this winter too if my lady with let me ruin her bike.
They say “It takes a village” who would you like to thank?
SOOOO many. FIRST AND MOST IMPORTANT. Zane and Bear at Old Bike Barn. You made this happen and I can't thank you enough. Every Single Sponsor we had this year. Super generous companies and if it wasn't for their generosity this bike would still be in pieces. Septic the Outlaw for the custom art and Austin Gallagher for the cheap paint job. Jordan at Wannabe Fabrications. Josh at Uptahn Metalworks. Nick Miller from Pittsburgh and every last dude in the GD Builder chat for answering every one of my dumb questions at 3am. Diego aka MrComfy for knocking my seat upholstery in a rush, and my lady Lisa for all the encouragement and support during my late nights and frustration.
Lastly, where can people find you (Social media)?