Article And Photos By: Mark Velazquez
Originally Published In The March 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Balance is a very hard thing to achieve. It can be a lifelong process you sometimes never even realize you are doing till one day you look back, and the end result smacks you right in the face. A case in point; is the story of JohnnyBoy from Beachwood, New Jersey. Like most of us, Johnny, in his “younger years”, hung out with his buddies. He lived in northern Jersey and learned to ride his first bike, a YZ-80. That’s where it all began. Eventually his true love for riding would pull him away from just hanging out, to doing what he still loves best today, putting miles on the road.
As time progressed so did Johnny. With his partner in crime at his side, his lovely and beautiful wife Gloria, he felt it was time to take his riding to the next level. Johnny wanted more power and speed to do the longs hauls that he knew in his heart would be part of their future life. He knew he had to build a bike that would stand the test of time and be a true reflection of who he was and what riding meant to him. After serving time in the Marine Corps (thank you for your service) from ’84 to ’88 riding was still in his blood, so in 1990 Johnny said goodbye to his Sportster and traded it in for a 1979 FLH. Although the shocks looked like peeled bananas, Johnny rode that puppy home but swore, he would never ride her like that ever again!
Counting on the influences from the likes of Paul Cox and English Don, as well as the Indian Larry scene that was happening down on the lower east side of NYC, the lifelong basket case project, was about to begin. With a vision in mind, the strip down to the frame began in the transmission shop of his long-time buddy Danny in Englewood, New Jersey. As good fortune would have it, Johnny would find out that changes to the bike would not be the only changes to occur in his near future. Going out on a limb, Johnny left his teamster job to go into business for himself as a master tile contractor. He invested a boatload of money in the project to be and found out during the build that his first child was on the way. After the smoke cleared both bike and son are still in one piece, under the same roof and doing great!
When I asked Johnny what he did to his Shovel, his response was “EVERYTHING.” So, in a nutshell, here is some of that everything. The cases were cut for an S&S Sidewinder Fly Wheel kit. The engine was done by Bob over at Blockheads in Toms River, the front end came out of the garage of Richie Pan, and the rest was just a lot of long nights and some blood sweat and tears which to most of us is the best part of any build… once its done.
Let’s not forget the paint, because eye candy is eye candy, and this black and white scallop design was done by Ray Shred. Performance was, of course, the main goal in putting together this great road warrior bike, but Johnny wanted the visual to also reflect himself. Johnny believes a book needs to be read as well as admired to understand the story behind the cover.
I have to say I love this bike. Maybe it’s because I know the sacrifices behind the man both as a father and a rider. Life is a road you’re forced to ride, and when you get to the forks it’s only you that chooses the direction you will go. Somehow Johnny was able to ride both sides of the forks with no compromise. He has three bikes in his stable, was able to work his ass off and build a successful business, raise two great kids, Kevin who at the age of 25 is currently building a bike with his dad while attending the Police Academy and Cole 19, a current Jersey State wrestling champ and Ivy Leaguer at Colombia University.
And to top it all off he’s kept an amazing and loving friendship with his riding partner and wife Gloria! Let it be said the grass can be greener on both sides of the fence and these days Johnny and Gloria try get as many miles on the road as they can. To this day Johnny remains a true rider. So, if you know Johnny or happen to see him somewhere, it might be Laconia, the Indian Larry Block party, Sturgis or Cheap Thrills chances are he got there on two wheels! I will always be the first to say never judge a book by its cover. Sometimes what you see on the surface is not what the story is all about. Don’t let all the dust, tattoos, and badass bikes fool ya. In the end, there may be a deeper story behind the person pushing those two wheels.
ANTI SOCIAL SKOOTER TECH SHEET
City/State: Tom’s River, NJ
Time: 25 Years
Carb: S&S Super E
Primary: 1 1/2 Belt
Shifting: 1 Down
Type: HD Springer
Builder: Mike@47 Industries
Wheels, Tires, Brake
Front Tire: Firestone
Front Brake: Nah
Rear Wheel: Stock
Rear Tire: Firestone
Rear Brake: PM
Painter: Ray Shred
Color: Black And White
Bars: Baby Apes
Risers: Indian Larrys
Oil Tank: Stock
PHOTOGRAPHER: Mark Velazquez
and Ivy Leaguer at Colombia
University. And to top it all off
he’s kept an amazing and loving
friendship with his riding partner
and wife Gloria! Let it be said
the grass can be greener on both
sides of the fence and these days
Johnny and Gloria try get as many
miles on the road as they can. To
this day Johnny remains a true
rider. So, if you know Johnny or
happen to see him somewhere, it
might be Laconia, the Indian Larry
Block party, Sturgis or Cheap
Thrills chances are he got there
on two wheels!
I will always be the first to say
never judge a book by its cover.
Sometimes what you see on the
surface is not what the story is
all about. Don’t let all the dust,
tattoos, and badass bikes fool ya.
In the end, there may be a deeper
story behind the person pushing
those two wheels