A wise man or woman once stated that patience is a virtue and ChopCult member Austin Fotou would be a prime example. He emailed me a couple of months back about doing a bike feature and we started to get the ball rolling. Then life stepped in my way and I had to put many features on the back burner, to cope with my father’s passing. Austin never once threatened to take his bike away because of the unexpected delay. Austin, I appreciate your patience more than you’ll ever know.
Photos by Charles Fallon
Last October I saw this old shovel on the local classifieds page. It barely ran, and had kind of a goofy style that I wasn’t into, but it was sitting in this killer old rigid panhead frame, and had an OG mechanical drum 16” rear wheel. I could just tell that this bike had some stories to tell. I instantly knew I had to buy it. My first intentions were just to make it a rider, nothing fancy, just something to ride and wrench on.
I started tearing into it a little bit, and realized that the frame was twisted as shit and cracked in a few places. I knew then that I was going to build it up a little nicer than I had originally planned. I didn’t want to just ditch the frame, so I asked Andy Carter from Pangea Speed if he could straighten it out for me. He got the frame done in record time, and I couldn’t be happier with the quality of the work.
I figured, since the motor was already out, I would give it a little love. I am lucky enough to have some friends who are Harley motor gurus; so with their help, we rebuilt the motor and now it runs like a top. Thanks guys! I did as much of the fab work as I felt comfortable with and just started piecing it together.
I didn’t really have a picture in my head of what I wanted it to look like, I just found parts that I was into and it ended up coming together. I knew I wanted some kind of crazy paint job, but I didn’t know exactly what to do. I asked Adam at Time Warp Custom Paint in Ogden, Utah to just go nuts, and he did. He painted my sporty a while back and killed it, so that was an easy decision for me.
Overall, I couldn’t be happier with the outcome; its perfect for me and a blast to ride. Big thanks to Pangea Speed, SIDS Speed Shop, Time Warp Custom Paint, No Limit Powder Coating, Sunsets and Sodas for the killer photos, My girlfriend for putting up with my shit, all of my friends and family, and ChopCult!
Name and location: Austin Fotou, Layton Utah
Chop Cult Member profile: oUTsider
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1973 Shovelhead 74CI
Fork: DNA with Three Two Choppers wishbone kit
Tire/wheel size and style: 16 inch factory mechanical drum, 21 inch front, both wrapped in shanks
Favorite thing about this bike: Riding It!
Next modification will be: Build some longer pipes
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Seat by Old Gold Garage, Thanks Dan!
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: Too many to list, Lots of roadside wrenching at first, but now she's golden!
Kindly give Austin a follow on Instagram.