Gabe Choate's XL1200S


I-20 through Texas is the longest, loneliest stretch of tarmac in these United States. Anyone who's motored across America longitudinally will agree with me. Last spring I had the dubious privilege of returning to SoCal on this godforsaken super slab. Were it not for the chance to meet the owner of this fine XL1200S near mile marker 367, I might have hanged myself at the Baymont Inn in Snyder 175 miles west. Don't mess with Texas? You don't have to tell me twice.

Gabe Choate and his riding buddy Lance Ainsworth are as friendly and accommodating as any Lone Stars I've had the pleasure of hanging with. Both gentlemen agreed to meet me and my ladyfriend Stacey for a ChopCult photo op during our cross-country excursion last spring. Much easier said than done in any place as big as Texas, I'm afraid. After playing text tag for six hours, Gabe's posse and my chase truck finally convened at the Smokestack restaurant in a once bustling Texas coal town called Thurber. The Smokestack serves hot Tex Mex and cold beer in a brick building that housed many of Texas's first oilmen in the early 1900s. While Stacey and Lance guzzled Lone Star beers, I photographed Gabe's '99 XL next to the last bastion of Texas's proud coal-burning past. Here's Gabe's story…



I call my bike Goldilocks. When we started the build it took us three times to do everything. First it was the rear fender. I bought a Sportbob fender and mocked it up, but decided against it, Next I got an old ironhead fender and cut it up, but decided against it. On the third try I used the stock fender with a little cutting and massaging. It looked perfect.

While I was screwing with the fender my friend Steffan mocked up the bars… again, three times. Lance watched all this and finally said something like, "This one's too big, this one's too little, and this one's just right." From that point on the name Goldilocks stuck.


Owner: Gabe Choate

Hometown: Graham, Texas

Motor make, model year and specs: 1999 Harley-Davidson XL1200S, Dynatek 2KI ignition and custom jetting

Frame: Stock, lowered with chopped rear fender struts Fork: XL1200S, lowered 1.5" in the trees

Custom bits: Fork brace; headlight bracket; taillight/license plate bracket; top motor mount/coil bracket; seat, pipes and wiring by Loud N Greasy Customs; shaved stock hand controls; massaged the came cover; powdercoated rocker boxes, engine side covers and triple trees

Other bits: Gas tank by Rene at Mercury Moto; handlebars by Zombie Performance; Tiny Tit taillights by After Hours Choppers; pegs by Hippy Killer Garage

Thanks: Lance, my partner in crime in crime at Loud N Greasy; Lance’s wife for sewing up the seat cover; Steffan at Zombie Performance for all the help along the way; Rene for nailing the tank—it’s awesome; my wife and daughters for putting up with my chopper sickness

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Commented on 7-16-2012 At 06:24 am

Been one of my favorites for a while now! Awesome!

Commented on 7-16-2012 At 07:35 am

Very nice! Love the version of rear fender you landed on!

Commented on 7-16-2012 At 07:51 am

Always loved this bike.

Commented on 7-16-2012 At 08:09 am

Right on, Gabe!

Commented on 7-16-2012 At 08:28 am

congrate Gabe!

Commented on 7-16-2012 At 09:14 am


Commented on 7-16-2012 At 12:59 pm

Another great swing arm chop. Love it!

Commented on 7-16-2012 At 01:19 pm

I had the pleasure of riding alongside Gabe (SaltyTonk) and Lance (xllance) back in May. Great fellers with killer machines.

Congrats on the feature.

Commented on 7-16-2012 At 03:31 pm

looks great. love the fender and bars. diggin the speedo mount too.

Commented on 7-16-2012 At 07:25 pm

Yee Haw !! (See, We're from Texas). Turned out great, and runs like a hyena on meth. Gabe's busier than a one legged cat burying turds on a frozen pond. Don't know how he does it.

Commented on 7-16-2012 At 07:30 pm

Thanks Guys ! And Thanks McGoo for the awesome shots!

hehehehe hyena on meth... that maybe the name of my cafe bike that we build this winter.

Commented on 7-16-2012 At 07:38 pm

oh and Lance my grandmother used to say I was like a screw worm in hot ashes.

Commented on 7-16-2012 At 07:45 pm

Damn fine job. Guess I'm gonna have to get up there and see it in person. Congrats

Commented on 7-17-2012 At 01:04 pm

The mystery, the myth, the man behind the mount. Grats Gabe!

Commented on 7-18-2012 At 11:44 am

Hey Gabe, maybe I've just never paid attention to an "S" model before, but do the right side plug wires always run through the top of the valve cover like that, or did you use some ancient unicorn magic and forge different covers from enchanted iron ore picked from atop Mt. Olympus?

Commented on 7-18-2012 At 04:20 pm

Hey Jason. its stock location . gotta take the tank off to change plugs. I dont think the dual plugs are as effective on this type of head as opposed to a hemi , where there would be fire on both sides . This fires top and left side. not as effective ..........but still cool. and still my favorite bike HD has ever made.

But yes I did use some unicorn magic just in different places.. hahaha

Commented on 7-18-2012 At 08:42 pm

Loud n Greasy RULES! It was a pleasure riding with you on the Psycho de Mayo, and I'm looking forward to doing it again real soon.
Keep up the great work!

Commented on 7-19-2012 At 08:31 pm

great bike. love the bars. Well done sir.

Commented on 9-18-2012 At 01:46 pm

so fucking SICK.

Commented on 5-20-2014 At 08:58 pm

AS The current owner of the bike i will say he did an awesome job on this bike. Had the bike four a year now but just saw this. Thanks Gabe.

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