Adam’s Rail Job

Article By: Chris Callen

Photos By: Joan Bortels

Originally Published In The August 2011 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

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The sweet seventies styled chopper you see here was not only the “Best in Show” winner at BMR this year but happens to be owned by one of my good brothers, Adam Doyle. Adam is twenty-nine although most times he’s probably the most grownup one of the lot. He is a police officer just outside of D.C. in the little county of Prince George. It has one o f the highest crime rates even compared to big cities so to say that he needs good motorcycle therapy would be an understatement. In spite of that hostile work environment, Adam is a mild-mannered dude, father, husband and an all around good soul. He is the last to act up and I often wonder how he found his way into this band of maniacs we travel with. It turns out that Adam did have a very different upbringing. He attended catholic schools, never really did anything crazy, then one day in college he was watching “Cops” and decided to dropout and become a police officer. Eight years later he says that it’s still one of the best things he’s ever done and he still digs it. So when it came to the motorcycle, it started out as a way to take a break from the job. He’d get on and let go. But over the past eight years he’s moved into a place where the bike is just part of everyday life. He commented that even his clothes bear the trace of chain slung grease and oil from riding or fixing them, and at this point he doesn’t care. He figures that this is just what he wants to do; he’ll always be fixing bikes and riding so he doesn’t pay attention to the clothes anymore. He said that for most cops it’s like the military. You hang out with cop friends and family where people know what you get into everyday. With Adam, he prefers the company of tramps and gypsies and on a few occasions, his level head has helped us through a problem or two.

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Adam’s dad, Ron, was into bikes when he was young but it had been a long time since he had ridden when Adam purchased his first one. Taber from Nash had a bike on e-Bay and Adam scooped it up. Since then he’s spent tireless hours learning how to tear them down and fix them, relentless in his pursuit of a dependable ride that is usually old iron. That’s another habit of Adam’s, he surfs the blogs with a watchful eye peeled to see who is building what and what the next cool part will be. That’s how he came along this old girl. He was watching a build series this cat Justin on the Jockey Journal was doing. This bike was a bit different then, it had an old handmade Springer on it, some rabbit ear bars and was a jockey shifter. The look was killer though and Adam found himself on the winning end of the deal as the bike was finished and came up for sale. On his first time out, he wondered what he had done. It was hard as hell to ride and a little scary. He d e c i d e d to hook up with Midnight Mike and see what could be done with it to make the BMR this year. Mike called him up and gave him the bad news on the frontend; it had to go. It just so happened that Adam had an extra Harmond frontend lying around and with it in tow, he headed off to Mike’s place just a few short days before BMR. The two worked around the clock and got the headlight mounting bracket welded on it just in time to get the frontend on and make ready to leave for Tennessee. While they were in it they changed it back to a foot shifter so that it was a little more ready for city riding around Adam’s place, and traded the SU carb for and S&S E.

Once at the campground, he rode the hell out of it. The new parts made it a completely different ride in handling, so much so that Adam wants to make this his full time ride now. Trust me it was that comfortable; I got a ride on it too. The idea to switch the shifting was a good one, especially since there is no front brake and with a bike that has this much frontend, that combination can be a handful. Other than those few mods, the bike sits like he got it from the builder. The graphics on the tank were done out of Ohio and other than the fact that he wants to swap out the tranny for a Baker 6 in a 4 over the winter, for more ride ability, Adam plans on keeping it much as it is here. The tranny is something he said he and his dad could do as a project. Oh yeah, the old man is back into riding now too. As a matter of fact, last year he came to BMR with Adam and left from there for a ride to Texas on his own. He was a little worried about the trip but once he spent some time talking to the rest of our pack, we had him chompin’ at the bit for it. It turns out the trip was just what he needed and he can’t wait for the next one. So good to see motorcycles bring people together, huh? Whether it’s people from different walks of life like me and Adam, or a father and son who will enjoy riding for the rest of their lives, motorcycling is good medicine, man.
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Adam’s Rail Job Tech Sheet

Owner: Adam Doyle

City: GlennDale, MD

Fabrication By: Justin Walls / Midnight Mike

Year: 1979

Model: FXE

Time: Still Ongoing

Value: Way Too Much!


Year: 1979

Model: Shovel

Builder: HD

Ignition: Dyna





Carb: S&S Shorty R

Air Cleaner: F.M.A Shorty Stack

Exhaust: Shorty Fishtails



Year: 1979

Make: H-D

Shifting: Ratchet Top Foot Shift


Year: 1979

Make: HD

Rake: 50 Degrees?



Type: Harmon Girder

Builder: Harmon

Extension: 10” Over

Triple Trees: Harmon


Front Wheel: Spool

Size: 21”


Brakes: None

Rear Wheel: HD

Size: 18”


Brakes: HD Drum


Painter: Josh Shaw (Cincy, OH)

Color: Wings





Bars: Harmon

Risers: Harmon

Hand Controls: HD

Gas Tank(s): Mustang

Front Fender: None

Rear Fender: JW Modded

Seat: JW Custom

Foot Controls: HD

Oil Tank: JW Custom

Speedo: None

Taillight: “Stop”

Headlight: Hella

Photographer: JoAnn Bortles

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