The Green Machine

Article By: Jimmy Frizzell

Photos By: Jeff Cochran

Originally Published In The March 2017 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Jeff Cochran is no stranger to Shovelheads, in fact some would say that what he can do to these old bikes is an art form. For the past ten years Jeff has run solo with SpeedKing Racing, one man, one shop and one vision, to pump out the highest quality products and bikes that don’t only look amazing but function better than any other. Jeff’s bikes are known to have a perfect stance with clean lines and attention to all the details. Over everything else they are built to be ridden and Cochran is the first to admit that he will gladly sacrifice form in the pursuit of performance and reliability any day. With over twenty years in this business he still gets excited about every build as if it was his first. And although he wishes he could keep every build, his loyal customer base ensures that every bike goes to a great home. Last year, along with all the SpeedKing parts rolling out the door Jeff was able to also build eleven bikes. All his projects wear the original Harley numbers and either receive a hardtail or SpeedKing Racing drop seat kit, converting the stock Shovel frame to a 58-64 Panhead style frame that you can read about in the tech article in this issue. While he has been known to take Shovelheads in on trade he also hunts them out on his own. His vast knowledge of Shovel manipulation allows him to take in customer’s bikes and give them the SpeedKing makeover. When he brings them to final mockup it allows the customer to break it down for their own paint, chrome, and final touches. This all came with the realization that some of us don’t have time to strip a bike all the way down and chop it when life tends to get in the way. Jeff is able to give his customer a spot-on quote for their personal build and says the process in turns saves his customers money by not purchasing parts that aren’t needed or taking risky shortcuts because of lack of the correct tools and or knowledge. In turn they receive a new love for their old bike and the satisfaction of having their own hand in the build. As if Cochran wasn’t busy enough, he builds three or four “shop truck” builds which are reliable bikes he puts together from the spare parts of all the builds he has coming in. In true SpeedKing Racing style they are reliable and built to perform.

It would be safe to assume that with all the bikes Jeff builds in the span of a year he always has some bikes sitting around looking for an owner but that is just not the case. The custom bikes are already spoken for before the build or are quickly claimed during the build. Cochran has a loyal repeat customer base due to his own loyalty to them. He’s always quick to answer a question and always gives it the attention it deserves, following his Grandfather’s old saying “there are no stupid questions.” This Shovelhead started life as a 72 FLH. The motor and trans were all but washed out, so he decided to try a 96” Midwest. Jeff says even though he never ran one before he was impressed and the engine is a damn good runner. He used a polished 4 speed ratchet top and BDL two-inch electric start belt drive set up, anodized in black. He cut down the tubes on a 39mm Narrow Glide front end, still leaving it functional, everything was done in house. He installed his SpeedKing Racing drop seat conversion and ran the shocks in nice and tight. He went with a 5 ½ inch rear wheel using an undersized tire on an oversized wheel. To give it his personal touch the lubrication finds its home in a SpeedKing oil tank that sits nice and tight with the conversion and allows for a small Anti Gravity battery to be hidden. Jeff used an old Wassel style tank for holding fuel, with the 96” engine it doesn’t allow for maximum mileage but he preferred the look. The two into one exhaust, was also designed for performance and Jeff likes how the Shovel reacts and breathes. The stainless-steel struts were also done in house. Jeff claims that he really isn’t a patient man and prefers to do the dirty work instead of outsourcing and being delayed. Like 90% of his builds he went with Z bars. Jeff finds Z bars to be the most comfortable for him and his beat-up shoulder as they allow for a more comfortable day’s ride. Because of the engine size this build also went with the addition of a steering dampener. The green mini flake was sprayed by his friend at Reincarnation in Cincinnati Ohio. After 400 plus Shovelhead builds Jeff still tends to over analyze each bike but that’s why they work so well. Cochran is a fast builder. He says he’s never been late on a deadline and usually finishes early. He would love to do only eight bikes a year but just can’t slow down. His Loyalty to his product and his customer guarantees that they are getting his 100%. He’s right where he wants to be, hidden away in his shop tucked in the woods churning out the baddest bikes around…

Green Machine Tech Sheet

Owner: David Garcia

City/State: Houston, TX

Builder: Jeff Cochran

Year: 1972

Model: FLH

Time: 60 Days

ENGINE

Year: 2016

Model: Shovelhead

Builder: Ultima

Ignition: Single Fire

Displacement: 96”

Pistons: Cast Domed

Heads: C355 – T6 Casting

Carb: Super E

Cam: .450 Lift

Air Cleaner: S&S

Exhaust: 2 Into 1

Primary: BDL

TRANSMISSION

Year: 2016

Make: 4 Speed

Shifting: Ratchet

FRAME

Year: 1972

Make: Harley-Davidson

Rake: 30°

Stretch: None

Forks

Builder: Jeff Cochran

Type: 39MM

Extension: Minus

Triple trees: Narrowglide

WHEELS

Front Wheel Size: 21×2.15

Tire: Scorpion

Front brake: None

Rear Wheel Size: 18×5.5

Tire: Continental

Rear Brake: SpeedKing Dual

PAINT

Painter: Reincarnation

Color: Forest

Type: House of Kolor Mini Flake

Graphics: None

Chroming: None

ACCESSORIES

Bars: 8” Z’s

Risers: Biltwell

Hand controls: BDL

Foot controls: BDL

Gas Tank(s): Wassel

Front fender: None

Rear Fender: RWD

Seat: Rich Phillips

Oil Tank: SpeedKing

Headlight: 5 3/4”

Tail light: Radius

Speedo: None

Photographer: Jeff Cochran