Dan Hamilton's Shovel


Written by Lee Bender


I guess it all started like many others, with a random posting on craigslist.  I saw this ad saying this guy wanted to trade harley parts for guns out near Clear Lake, which is sorta the meth zone of all meth zones.  I didn’t have any guns, but figured I’ll call the guy.  He had an 81 shovel “project” he that he needed to get rid of that night and preferred to get guns, but would take cash after I informed him cash can buy guns as well (you see who we’re working with here). Long story short, I had to drive 90 miles south to get a truck before I could turn around and drive another 180 miles back north. So, after we drove down some random one lane dirt road, we showed up around 1am to a beautiful crack den. My buddy and I were pretty sure we were gonna get robbed, stabbed or shot, so we brought a rusty pocketknife and my favorite flathead screwdriver for backup.  The weapons or rash destruction ended up being totally unnecessary and the guy ended up being super nice.  As I thought from before, high on meth and drunk, but that worked out in my favor.  


Photos by Rob Williamson



This “project” of his consisted of a stock swing arm frame that was once in a fire then rusted to shit, a motor that was living in a tub of water, and boxes and boxes of random parts that I’m pretty sure were from the clearance shelf at Pepboys.  He had a lot of other stuff too, and the deal was, if I bought the bike, I have to take everything, so, of course I did.  I ended up with 2 frames, 3 front ends, 3 wheel sets, a crusty seized motor and tranny, boxes of shit parts, a bird cage, some broken lamps and more garbage he wanted to throw out.  



After almost a year of slacking and being broke I ended up completely rebuilding the motor and tranny in my mothers garage, and sold everything else except for one narrow glide that I kept.  Brandon at Mullins Chaindrive worked his magic and built an amazing rear section on the fire bitten frame.  From there it was just a slow learning process of building a bike in your mom’s garage and spending all the money that you don’t have on parts that usually don’t work out.  It took me about 9 months and at least 1,000 beers to build/sand/polish/rebuild what I messed up the first time.  






There isn’t anything special to say about the bike.  It’s pretty simple, nothing fancy, but that’s all you really need.  It gets the job done and it’s taken care of me on trips from as far away as Mexico to as close to home as  blasting around the city streets of SF.   ...and for that I’ll always love it.  





I just wanted to thank all my friends for motivating me by talking shit about how it’ll never be done, everyone that leant a knowledgeable hand, and my dog Lydia for being just awesome.

Dan Hamilton/Oakland, Ca.


See this bike and many more in the lastest issue of Show Class Magazine, available now

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Commented on 12-2-2013 At 10:24 am

I took these photos. Please correct. My website is and my email is rob.williamson@gmx

Commented on 12-2-2013 At 10:46 am

That is one sick ride....

Commented on 12-2-2013 At 12:02 pm

Killer bike, killer photos. About time Nor Cal got some love on the Cult.

Commented on 12-2-2013 At 12:09 pm

SwornToFun- Credit and link has been changed, thanks for the help

Commented on 12-2-2013 At 12:27 pm

Fuck yeah, Dan and Rob! 2 self-made masters of their crafts.

Commented on 12-2-2013 At 03:14 pm

Great bike and greats photos, congrats to both of you.

Commented on 12-2-2013 At 03:22 pm

tight as fuck my man, tight as fuck.

Commented on 12-2-2013 At 04:20 pm

Nice classic rebuild man, that work paid off for sure!

Commented on 12-2-2013 At 09:44 pm

great work, nice bike and sweet pics!

Commented on 12-3-2013 At 12:09 am

I Remember that craigslist ad!!! wheel done

Commented on 12-3-2013 At 07:50 am

great work so clean... gratz!!

Commented on 12-3-2013 At 11:15 am

Great write up. Kick ass bike. It WILL happen for me someday. F.T.W.

Commented on 12-3-2013 At 07:39 pm

classic lines. great scoot

Commented on 12-3-2013 At 10:13 pm

God dammit!!! That thing is badass

Commented on 12-5-2013 At 01:24 am

Why the fuck don't the tweekers where I live have shovel projects for sale!! Ass, Ass or Ass bitches, clean ass scoot, good work!!

Commented on 12-6-2013 At 11:04 am

Wow that is sooo clean! Great bike!

Commented on 12-6-2013 At 12:13 pm

"and spending all the money that you don’t have on parts that usually don’t work out" hahaha - aint that the truth. Well done on the resurrection!

Commented on 5-18-2014 At 07:32 pm

this bike has it all.nice,dam nice!

Commented on 7-5-2014 At 04:28 pm

This bike haunts my dreams!

Commented on 7-11-2014 At 09:43 am

kick ass scoot Dan, congrats, you have all my respect for that challenge!

and Rob, those pics are awesome, the details and fun reflected are sick! good job bud!

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