Mermaid Waters Harley-Davidson Shovelhead

John Mason built this Harley Shovelhead in his garden shed.

I STARTED work on my first bike at 12-years-of-age after picking up an old bike from the local tip with the help of my dad. I rode that around the streets until the local policeman suggested I find a paddock to ride around in. My interest in bikes grew from there, and after completing a trade, so did my knowledge and level of workmanship. 

 I started customising this mostly 1973 Harley-Davidson Shovel because I got bored after retirement and needed a project; my wife also wanted him out of the house. The first thing I changed was the springer front-end.

It’s basically an 80-cubic-inch Shovel motor with a S&S Super E Shorty carby. It’s using the original four-speed tranny but with an open primary belt drive.

The colour is Archon Bronze from a rattle can.

A special thanks to everyone who gave me advice, and helped me with the sourcing of hard-to-get parts. No need to mention names.

Over the years I have restored about a dozen or so bikes with varying levels of finish and success in my small garden shed. I’m currently working on another old chopper-style Harley-Davidson and a Norton Commando 750 which will probably be the last projects I’ll undertake—no room in the shed, maybe… 

photos by Rick Benson.

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