Sheep Shearing Shovel & Goth Girl

When Neil isn’t shearing the sheep, he’s building some pretty damn interesting Shovels.

I HAVE been into bikes since I was young. I was always into Harleys, never anything else. This is my third Harley; the other two were Shovels too. I live about 30 km from Forbes on a sheep farm. We have a big workshop with lots of equipment — lathes, TIG welders, that sort of stuff — where I do all the maintenance on the farm equipment. This is also the ideal place to build bikes.

The frame for this bike is my design which I have patented. Basically, I wanted it to look like a ’57 rigid Harley-Davidson frame with the front cut off and replaced with the front axle from a model A Ford. The frame was a collaboration between me and Graham. I supplied the I-beam castings; he built the frame for me.

I had Branko at Branko Built Motorcycles build me the motor. He basically blueprinted a 93 cubic inch S&S motor for me. It has a generator right-side case and alternator left-side case so you can run late-model electrics. It’s also running Evolution hydraulics so the top-end oil goes up through the pushrods instead of up external oil lines. Yeah, it’s a nice motor; it runs like a train.

I stayed with the hand-shift and the gearbox is a Baker six-speed with neutral on the bottom. It was specifically designed for drag racing and jockey shift applications. You go all the way down to find neutral; all the way up to sixth gear.

I sourced my drive transmission through Branko. He actually opened a Tech-Cycle account for me because I wanted one of their three-inch belt drives.

It’s got both kick and electric start. It has a 2 kilowatt Tech-Cycle starter on it. Beautiful.

The front brake is connected to a cable running down underneath the tank where it activates a master cylinder to operate the hydraulic brake caliper. The glass decanter top is the reservoir for the master cylinder.

There’s no suspension on the rear; just springs under the seat.

The two-inch-over springer front-end is a repro; not Genuine Harley-Davidson. They even made the welds look old; you’d have to be microscopic to pick the difference.

There are a bunch of us guys living in this area. They are mostly Shovel riders; a few Panheads. We have a couple of rides a year that we put on for charity, but it’s mostly making parts for each other.

The exhaust system is Old Chiffer handmade. We haven’t got a bending machine; we just source all the mandrel bends and make up the systems. Because it’s got the six-gear-set in a four-speed box, the exhaust hangs out further and that’s why we are able to run a side-by-side system which I think is a first.

The air cleaner is a urinal fragrancer from a men’s toilet. I made the aluminium backing plate to fit it. It’s all fluted, and as a urinal fragrance, it’s meant to flow air so there’s no real reason why it won’t flow air into the carby. It runs pretty nice with it actually.

The wheels are stainless-steel spokes; 21-inch front; 16-inch with five-inch rim on the rear.

All the lightening through the whole bike is a performance modification. Before performance parts were available, they would drill the guts out of everything to lighten things up so they could go faster.

The ignition is Mallory and the carby is an E series S&S.

The tank is a Sportster which we cut the bottom out of because of all the press-marks, and re-made the bottom so it looks cleaner.

The seat was done by us as well.

The brass door knob on the shifter came from a collection of old spares.

The paintwork was done by me. I do all the airbrushing and painting in the shed.

There is no solid brass on the bike; everything, the frame and plates, have been brass-plated and oxidised by me. It’s referred to as ‘patina’, which is basically making something look 100 years old in five minutes. We use an acid to make it oxidise and then polish it with Autosol Metal Polish.

This bike is personally ridden more than two kilometres of dirt before it even hits tar. Everything is cleanable, everything is fixable, and everything is paintable; it’s just how much time you have.

If you’d like to know more about the custom Shovel, give me a call at Old Chiffer Enterprises: 0429-135-150.


I AM A Goth girl. I am 18-years-old, I am from Toronto, I have tattoos and I love motorbikes. I love all that macabre stuff. Everyone focuses on the light side of life so they are not focusing on the dark side. The dark side is more interesting. Some people don’t get it but that’s their problem.

My tattooist is Smithy, the Inksmith. He is next to the Energy Australia Stadium in Broadmeadow. So if you ever want a tattoo, go to Inksmith.

The piercings in my nipples are little horseshoes with diamonds on them with two little spikes. My belly piercing is a spider shield. I like it and it’s different.

I just love sport — baseball, belly dancing, soccer, swimming, netball.

Belly dancing its really about connecting with yourself; you can express the way you feel through dance.

Baseball is an unusual sport in Australia. It’s good because you get a ball thrown at you and you can smack it as hard as you want and then you get to run — it’s brilliant.

I have done probably five or six months of modelling — I love it and I get paid to do it.

Pics by Wall 2 Wall; words by Neil & Rosie

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