Twisted Shovelhead

Blueline1Blueline7Blueline10Blueline2Blueline3Blueline4One custom bike that I forgot in my files, but it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter when it was completed if it’s a good project. East of France, somewhere in a small village lost in the Vosges mountain range, each night and weekend of the first 7 months of the year, 5 good friends meet at night to work on an old Shovelhead that they intend to show in Sturgis. All those involved dream of this first trip to the US, just to get the feel of Sturgis, to mingle with the custom builders they heard about, to admire their machines, to ride the Black Hills, watch the wild scene on Main and Lazelle streets, just to say I went there…

Blueline5Blueline6Blueline8Of course, in August under the huge white tent of the AMD Show, they will find me, introduce themselves. It was for them a huge financial effort to rebuild and customize this Shovel, then to pay for the transportation of the bike and take care of their own trip. Now they are on Sturgis soil, all 5 very happy to explain that “Sound Of Vosges” was built using very old traditional machines and tools. No CNC machines. Just 10 hands banging, torturing, forming, polishing stainless steel, bronze and aluminum.

After accomplishing a full rebuilt of the shovel engine (82″) and modifying the rigid Santee frame by twisting a down tube (many trials & errors), they adapted a Cole Foster gas tank and went on a long list of hand made parts, from a twisted stainless steel exhaust system to one-off foot controls. Result is a 1979 Shovelhead with soul that you can ride hard anywhere, anytime as long as there is a road front of you. Blue Line Chopper France. (photography copyright Onno Wieringa for AMD World Championship, courtesy JeremySumpter)

Blueline9Business Blue Line Chopper
Moselle Vosges. France
Bike Name Sound of Vosges
Builders Name Antoine Bigel
Owner Stephane Coste
Year / Model FLH 1979
Engine Make / Size Harley Shovelhead 82″
Carb: S&S
Cam: Crane
Frame Make / Type Santee / Blue Line Chopper
Front End Springer Harley
Drivetrain Revtech 4 speed, BDL 3″
Wheels [Front] 21″ 60 Spokes
Wheels [Rear] 18″ 60 Spokes
Tyres [Front] 21″ Avon Speedmaster
Tyres [Rear] 18″ Avon Venom 200
Brakes [Front] Blue Line Chopper, PM caliper
Brakes [Rear] PM
Painter Blue Line Chopper
Chroming / Plating Polished stainless steel, brass, aluminum

18 Responses to “Twisted Shovelhead”

  1. 1 Jack Deagazio May 25th, 2015 at 8:25 am

    Great looking bike!!

  2. 2 calif phil May 25th, 2015 at 8:45 am

    Very nice , great design and I love the attention to detail.

  3. 3 Sharkey May 25th, 2015 at 9:17 am

    A functional custom built for the greatest motorcycle get together on the planet…love it!

  4. 4 LowriderLarry May 25th, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Wow, super les Français. Really elegant bike, I must say…

  5. 5 OUB12 May 25th, 2015 at 11:50 am

    I like it !!

  6. 6 Pop May 25th, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Great. I would be tickled if it were ugly just because it was built by artisans instead of CAD/CAM techs. That it is a well proportioned, legacy style shovel with some(pardon me) neat twists, is the icing on the cake.

    Vive la fait a la main.

    (Hope I didn’t butcher the translation too bad. Been a long time since Mrs. Teja’s French class).

  7. 7 Dave Blevins May 25th, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Very nice bike.

  8. 8 SIGFREED May 25th, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    Will not ask them for advice on grooming…

    But on building a handsome little bike – they have my vote. WELL DONE.

  9. 9 May 25th, 2015 at 1:31 pm

    NICE !!! Wish would’ve had something like it about 20 yrs ago

  10. 10 Mike May 25th, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    I love the rear brake mechanism.

  11. 11 Smittydog May 25th, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Shovels are King!!!

  12. 12 James just another Crazy Kiwi May 26th, 2015 at 1:51 am

    Real Cool !! but I like Trad Bikes.
    Has an Indian Larry twist to it……

  13. 13 May 26th, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Nice little Ride

  14. 14 Jay Horton's Private Shop May 26th, 2015 at 8:07 am

    Beautiful BIKE!!!

    CNC is not the enemy, though. Best, Later Jay

  15. 15 BCinSoCal May 26th, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    Great Trad chopper, they way they should be.

  16. 16 Zenaldo May 27th, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    Im just glad it doesnt have knobby tires on it….

  17. 17 nicker May 27th, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    A nice look-en scooter, for sure.
    (thankfully it doesn’t have a “Frisco” style tank)


  18. 18 Chris May 28th, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    Beautiful bike. Why the extra bends to the front exhaust pipe? Was this done for pure aesthetics or was this a header length tuning decision? With the obvious attention to detail I’m curious as to what the thought process was there.

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