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geistacwm
06-08-2014, 10:13 AM
Greets all.

Long Time lurker.

Apologies in advance as I'm assuming it's been covered.

I've always ran sportys, a newer model and an Iron rigid, and having seen the recent boom of killer swingarms, I figured it'd be my next purchase.
Seems to be a healthy amount of them around, running well for under the 8k-10 marker.


Hoping to find a decent model which can be stripped back.


Any specific years to avoid?

Preferable models?

houstonch73
06-08-2014, 10:21 AM
first of all please dont buy anything "pristine" and proceed to stip it and chop it. There are plenty of mismatched bikes already out there and once you bust up a pristine bike, it will never be pristine again. that being said, the ratchet top trans is by far preferred so your cut off is 1979 1/2. Also cone motors instead of slabsides are more widely available and easier to work on. Slabs are fine too but not as many people know about them.

geistacwm
06-08-2014, 10:34 AM
Never owned anything pristine and don't plan to.

Thanks for the post.

govmule84
06-08-2014, 10:34 AM
first of all please dont buy anything "pristine" and proceed to stip it and chop it. There are plenty of mismatched bikes already out there and once you bust up a pristine bike, it will never be pristine again. that being said, the ratchet top trans is by far preferred so your cut off is 1979 1/2. Also cone motors instead of slabsides are more widely available and easier to work on. Slabs are fine too but not as many people know about them.

78 and a half, I believe. And you can simply put an earlier ratchet top behind a later Shovel.

Plenty of people "know about slabs"; it's why they cost so much money. (That, and the title that should come with them.) I don't believe cones are appreciably easier to work on than a slab; once all your gears are figured out, it's not like they require much in the way of maintenance.

OP, you mention "softails". I am assuming you mean that you saw a lot of cool swingarm chops. Softails are a bit different. If you truly want a Shovel-powered softail, you'll be buying or building one custom; HD never stuck a Shovel in a Softy. If you are wanting to play chop-chop, avoid FLT models. (And I personally would say FXR's, too.) Four speed frames are the easy ones to chop - FL or FX. Anything you look at with a stock frame should not be a 'drop-seat', those ran 58-64. You can use those frames if you are going kick-only, but Shovels did not come from the factory in a drop seat.

I think the most important thing you should look for is a title. 66-69 titles go with engines, and 70-up titles go to frame. There are some snags on various years of Shovel... do your homework and post pictures here for others to look at before you plunk down your money.

As far as years... I am no expert, but ideally, you will find a chain final drive model. I do agree that a ratchet top is probably preferred slightly over a rotary top trans. You have to decide if you want a 74 or an 80" engine. Telling them apart can (usually) be pretty easy - 80 inch engines have 9 fins on the jugs, and 74s have 10.

I'm no Shovel expert, but at this point, if an AMF-era bike is still on the road, it's either been rebuilt once or twice, or it was probably decent when it left the factory.

-L.

geistacwm
06-08-2014, 10:43 AM
Roger that.

Again, thanks for the insight.

FredoSNR
06-08-2014, 12:43 PM
I always like slab side Shovels. 66-69. Shortest run of a Harley engine style, and look badass. Plus much less registration bullshit because those are the last years with numberless frames.

BuddhahoodVato
06-08-2014, 12:44 PM
Easy one, slab shovels.
been bumping one for anos now.

O2VW18T
06-08-2014, 6:52 PM
The only reason I'd want a slab shovel is the title goes to the engine and dont ever have to worry about frame numbers and the genny looks pretty cool.

Allen
06-13-2014, 6:56 AM
Meanwhile in California...

Well, if you're fond of getting pulled over by the fuzz like so many apparently are, you might consider something before '73 so when you "thin up" your bike because you don't want to run blinkers, and you get a ticket, you can roll it up into a little ball and throw it in the cops face cause you just told him to "talk to the hand!" He'll probably write you up for something else equally devastating and deadly like no high beam, low tire tread, insufficient tail light luminosity, blah blah blah (3 blah rating).

geistacwm
06-13-2014, 9:18 AM
I live in the far east rural area. Sheriffs a sold fellow.