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I Finally Brought My Shovelhead Home(score of a lifetime)

2547 Views 26 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  tbrince
I joined this forum in the hopes of learning all I could about a bike that was never a sure thing. Until last week. Before I get ahead of myself, here's a little back story. In October of 2012 I was in my first and last bike crash. Broken hip and wrist, crushed pelvis and I lost most of my left leg. Between multiple operations and recoveries after the first 2 month stretch in the hospital, I've been trying to rebuild the bike I crashed as well as several others. A sidecar was a potential option, if I could ever afford one. It didn't seem likely.

So let's fast forward to a few months ago. My Father had been working with a fellow who owns a marina. He also was the owner of a 1976 FLH Police bike with a sidecar and a 3 speed wit reverse transmission. We daydreamed a lot about getting this bike. A total basket case in unknown condition other than it was pretty bad off. Well FINALLY we laid eyes on it and the owner gave it to us for my Fathers help with many projects.

That's enough rambling for now as I'm sure most of you skipped through it anyways lol. Here's the meat and potatoes of the story.

-76' FLH Police with sidecar
-Clean title
-Both bike and sidecar are 80% complete, but the drive train is a hot mess
-1,999 original miles. That's right, 4 digits

Best of all, it was basically free. This is my first Harley and almost all of my motorcycle experience is with Japanese bikes. Suzuki's mainly. This FLH wouldn't be my first pick if I had the money to buy one in 100% condition, but trust me I appreciate this bike so much and I plan on giving it all the love and respect it needs.

I know very little about these bikes but I hope this forum will be able to guide me through this build. Anyways, on to the pictures...
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So my plan is to restore it to as close to factory original as possible with the exception of some engine upgrades, a dual disc brake setup up front and a couple other things. If the engine or transmission is beyond repair I'll probably have to sell them both as is and move on. I just don't have the money to buy another shovelhead engine and trans, especially a trans with reverse. So what do y'all think? Any Shovel-heads here wanna mentor me?
Looks like quite a project. I had a shovel head police bike I bought in1978. I'd like to have that one back! Good luck with the bike and your recovery.
Looks like a big project get a manual and start saving your money parts and a rebuild could get expensive, looks like a complete ground up check on e bay for parts.
What a story! I love the "King of the Highway" badge. Best of luck to you.
Where you located? There could be a forum member or two willing to help. I for one if you're in the west central area of Florida.
Bill's Custom Cycles for those obsolete H-D parts.
I hope your recovery is going well. I give you a great deal of credit to have suffered such a traumatic injury and yet be willing to climb back on a motorcycle of any make. That takes tremendous heart and spirit!

Your basket case story sounds like the kind everyone wishes they could experience, especially given the unique nature of the Harley. It occurs to me that the process of rebuilding that Shovelhead will be quite a journey into and of itself. If you have the patience and commitment then I have to believe that you will ultimately get that bike where you want it to be.

Good luck!
Awesome story. Congratulations on the acquisition of a piece of Harley history. A great big "atta boy" goes to your dad too. It is obvious that he is supportive of his son and some sort of dedication to him might be appropriate.

Best of luck with the restoration. Keep us posted on the progress.
Wow! Great project! You've got a lot of work ahead of you, but the end result will be worth it. Don't give up. I have a '77 FLH myself.
Get a factory shop manual and (very important) a factory parts book.
Looks like you have a hell of a winters project good luck on it and keep us up to date on your progress
Welcome to the Forum
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