Shovelhead In Glamorous Chopper Outfit

With this feature I am not going to re-write the story of the Harley Shovelhead (1966 to 1984), introduced as a successor to the Panhead engine. I am much more interested in making you notice that while the new engine gave an extra 10 horsepower, it had problems all along in its timeline. But that despite running hot (only 10 fins for cooling…), oil leaking and consumption, valves prone to sticking and destroying the top end, the Shovelhead remains one of the few oem motors adding glamour to any motorcycle of any style…

Many fully rebuilt factory engines and trannys don’t end up in oem frames, but in one-off hand-made frames. But the builder behind this creation is well known builder Thunderbike Of Germany, a major official Harley Dealer in Germany with probably one of the very best and equipped custom building department in all Europe. It means that they almost always start from a modified H-D frame (to keep the official Harley title) and work almost exclusively with genuine Harley parts, even if modified to the point of being unrecognizable.

This “Green Shovel” is not only glamorous and appealing because of its naked overall appearance, beauty of lines and details (let’s not forget the rider…), but also because of the pure nostalgia brought back to us by some of the aesthetic codes from the 60’s and 70’s. Among others, an increased steering head rake, a stretched front end, ape hangers, a front drum brake, upswept pipes, a Frisco mounted gas tank, etc… and of course a  flamboyant but not over-glitzy paint job.

Eliminating the unnecessary and the undesirable, Thunderbike focused on machining a few driveline and bracket techno parts. They are so design-pretty in replacement of what are usually very mundane motorcycle parts, that they largely contribute to the glamorization of this green Chop. Thunderbike Germany (photography courtesy Ben Ott for Cyril Huze)

Zipper's

24 Responses to “Shovelhead In Glamorous Chopper Outfit”


  1. 1 Jay Horton's Private Shop Jul 24th, 2017 at 7:58 am

    THAT”S a great looking bike! Well done.

    Later Jay

  2. 2 Charles from MA Jul 24th, 2017 at 9:10 am

    Aouuuuuugaaaah!

  3. 3 Greeko Jul 24th, 2017 at 9:15 am

    Like it very much. Well done.

  4. 4 P. Hamilton Jul 24th, 2017 at 9:17 am

    The way should be built a modern chopper with an old motor. Very rideable and cute.

  5. 5 Jay Jul 24th, 2017 at 9:19 am

    Class

  6. 6 Gerald Boushie Jul 24th, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Very cool Shovel. I ride an ’84. Not as shiney as that one though.

  7. 7 Robert Filla Jul 24th, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    That Shovel makes my ’67 Rodent Shovel truly deserve its title of Rat.

  8. 8 Drake Patterson Jul 24th, 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Absolutely love everything on this Chop. Great details.

  9. 9 GrowUp Jul 24th, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Classic styling , high level craftsmanship and engineering and aesthetically an absolute winner and even the lady on board is intriguing and tasteful . Whats not to love ?

  10. 10 nicker Jul 24th, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Nice, clean, & simple, just the way we like em…

    -nicker-

  11. 11 1550tc Jul 24th, 2017 at 4:23 pm

    these bikes to me are like art………..you almost have to have 2 of them
    one for riding and 1 to keep forever

  12. 12 rcupp Jul 24th, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    It ride the shit outta that one…and the chop too!

  13. 13 calif phil Jul 25th, 2017 at 7:13 am

    That is a beautiful pair.

  14. 14 Tom Jul 25th, 2017 at 8:27 am

    Wee oooo

  15. 15 Jim P Jul 25th, 2017 at 10:53 am

    Where there’s lightning there’s thunder! Congrats to the team at Thunderbike for crafting this electrically charged beauty. While I’m not mad about choppers this one strikes all the right chords when it comes to form, function, color and balance. Love the candy green paint against the chrome.

  16. 16 Terry Rea Jul 25th, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Any one with minor metallurgical knowledge could have told you that several problems could have been solved by the addition of alloy cylinders and bronze valve guides which many of us did when we modified our shovels. I changed the check ball in mine several times to do away with a major leak. Clean oil and use of primary fluid instead of regular oil also solved problems of rotting wire covers for the rotor/stator to name a few.

  17. 17 Chris G Jul 25th, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Long live the shovel

  18. 18 burnout Jul 26th, 2017 at 12:01 am

    ”…………even if modified to the point of being unrecognizable.” is a great thing!! Love it! peace

  19. 19 Axel Scherer Jul 26th, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Awesome … just perfect!

  20. 20 1550tc Jul 26th, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    rcupp

    It ride the shit outta that one…and the chop too!

    yeah the only fat on her would be YOU lol

  21. 21 Hi-Per Al Jul 26th, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    Are those working shocks or glorified struts on the back of that stunning ride?

  22. 22 Mazz Jul 31st, 2017 at 9:25 am

    Beautiful Girl, Beautiful Bike.

  23. 23 hacksaw Aug 1st, 2017 at 10:05 am

    nice machine.

  24. 24 hacksaw Aug 1st, 2017 at 10:14 am

    Terry Rea-

    without iron barrels a shovel has no soul.
    listen to an evo and compare.

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