Harley-Davidson styling has always been deliberately behind the times. Even in the 70s, the Shovelheads had more of an early 60s vibe.
But what if a little early superbike magic had rubbed off on the Big Twins? You’d get something like this stunning machine—a 1979 FL from master builder Scott ‘T-Bone’ Jones of Noise Cycles.
It’s called ‘Shovelhead KZ,’ and yes, there’s a hint of Kawasaki KZ1000 in there.
But sitting above those 74 cubes of Milwaukee grunt is a Yamaha RD350 tank. It shouldn’t work, but it fits just perfectly.
Right behind is a long and plush stepped seat, with ample room for two-up riding. Check out the stitching and trim—it’s incredible detailing.
The tank is not the only Japanese part. Scott has slotted a Kawasaki headlight into the one-off aluminum nacelle, and fitted a discreet Honda stoplight to the chunky custom tail unit.
The fabrication is top-notch, as you’d expect from a man who worked with Jesse James and Ian Barry before setting out on his own just four years ago. Not surprisingly, he’s now a regular at the invite-only Born Free shows.
The 18-inch front wheel began life on a Honda Gold Wing, but the solid 16-inch rear disc is from the Harley-Davidson catalog.
Both rims are shod with Dunlop Qualifier high performance radials—no Firestones here.
The torquey motor was in good condition, so Scott has just tickled it a little. He’s grafted on a Harley FXS header, hooked it up to a custom Noise Cycles muffler, and coated both in a deep black. A Biltwell throttle controls the gas, installed on custom-made bars.
The ride has been brought up to date with the help of the fine folks at Progressive Suspension. “I didn’t realize while building it how comfortable it would be,” says Scott. “It’s super comfortable.”
And that deep, impossibly glossy paint? Full credit to Matt Ross Custom Paint and Jen Hallett for a sublime job.
Black and gold never gets old.