Caleb Owens' Siksika earned him the coveted "Builder's Choice" award at BF3, which the other invited builders bestowed upon their celebrated but humble peer. So, what does a dude who can build the best bike at the biggest show in America ride on a regular basis? Why, a stylish and rustic swingarm shovel that never needs waxing, of course. Here's what the owner of this crusty but reliable runner has to say about it.
This is the first swingarm bike I've owned, and I built this thing for pure function. Get on it and go. Found it as a salvage on the side of some dude's house in Canyon Country. It was one of those places with shit everywhere, and the cat needed cash fast. You could tell he was holding on to it 'til that "one day" came, but alas, according to him he needed "club dues." I think it was more like "rock" payments.
The bike had been sitting there for years after it got clipped by a car. The damage was minor, but all the years of grime and rain were settling in. "Got the pink?" I asked. "Oh yeah, my old lady has it." he replied. Thirty-five hundred was the price tag. I told him to find his old lady and the pink, then call me—I'll come back with 2,200 cash. He mumbled and agreed. A week later after I had pretty much forgotten about it, he called. "Bro, got the pink." Three of the seller's buddies and I literally dragged it across the front lawn and loaded it in my truck.
I pulled the bike apart piece by piece and trashed the tins, parts of the front fork, the front wheel and some other crap. I rebuilt the motor, tranny, wheels etc. I had a stash of other shovel parts from another basket that I ended up picking from: a decent set of 3.5 gallon tanks, a killer helmet-law era fender from Santa Cruz, and some other bits. I scored the king and queen seat in LBC for 40 bones. No frills, just a solid-running bike meant to ride. I've got tons of miles on it since the rebuild. I've rebuilt the top end once after a faulty oil pump C-clip left me stranded in Pismo Beach. It's a one kicker and doesn't look like every other SoCal bike, so I love it.
Bike name: Shop Truck
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1978 Harley Davidson FLH. Fairly stock, 30-over Wiseco pistons, mild cam
Frame: 1976 FL
Fork: Late Panhead, not really sure, pieced together from a pile of parts
Chassis mods: Front end lowered a few inches, shorter shocks in the rear
Tire/wheel size and style: 16" rear, 19" front; Firestones
Favorite thing about this bike: Loading it up with gear, riding the piss out of it. It's a straight up runner, work horse, solid scoot
Next modification will be: Maybe clean it.
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Hand-made foot controls, custom-built foot clutch to accept cable. Hand made sissy bar, handlebars. Brembo brake fitted to rear
You can see more of Caleb's work here: Cro Customs