Attitude Changer

Featured In The June 2015 Issue Of Cycle Source

Article By: Matt Reel Photos By: Jeff Cochran

Feature 5a

Let me start this story out by saying I’ve never really been a “trike person”. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking anyone’s ride and I understand in some cases trikes are keeping guys in the wind who may not be able to do it on two wheels anymore. Trikes have just never been my thing, that is until Randy Ardeno rolled into West Virginia’s MountainFest last year. As soon as I laid eyes on this thing my thoughts went from “not my thing” to “I’d ride the crap out of that”. I’d been hit with an “Attitude Changer”. Move forward to more recently and I get a chance to actually talk to Randy about his bike. Talking to Randy I realize that this bike is truly his. By that I mean that if it needed built, polished, painted or modified in any way Randy did it. Randy is an elevator mechanic by trade and builds motorcycles in his garage on occasion. This particular Shovel sat in Randy’s garage for a while in a more original state. The bike never really fit Randy and he never really had a feel for it. Randy was then struck with an idea and a four winter project began. Noticed I said four winter and not four year project, you see Randy builds bikes like this: knock out all the big stuff one winter and then ride it and shake it down, move on the smaller stuff the next winter and ride again. Randy continued this process over four winters until he was able to knock out the paint and polish and show off what you see here. The frame modifications were first on the list. The rear area section was cut up and the seat area was dropped 3 inches. Then work started on a custom swing arm and rear end housing. A 1972 ServiCar rear end was narrowed 3 inches and modified to use modern bearings Harley Calipers and 11 ½ rotors. The rear end was attached to a custom swing arm set up that Randy built. The set up was then hung from the frame and suspended with a set of Street Glide shocks that Randy tore apart, cut down 1 ¼ inches and reassembled. To handle the front end Randy used a set of Ultima 5* trees and Deuce lowers. With the frame and suspension ready a set of 18 inch wheels were mounted out back and a Harley Switch Back front wheel used up front. A set of stock Harley bars were cut down and modified with an internal throttle and bolted to the front end to control direction.

Feature 5b

With the frame modifications done, the suspension built, and a roller in front of him it was time for Randy to move on to a drivetrain. The engine was torn down, again all by Randy, a 4 ¾ S&S stroker crank was added, the heads received a port job, a mild cam plugged in and a Mikuni HSR 42 carb added. For spark a Dyna ignition was used and exhaust is routed out by a set of Randy built exhaust. The engine was connected to a RevTech 5 speed transmission using an Ultima primary drive. By using this transmission, primary combo Randy was able to use a more modern starter and clutch set up. Now that all the big work was done it was time to start on the little pieces. When fabricating parts Randy prefers to work with stainless steel. Stainless is very strong, and when polished holds its shine very well. Also, because of its strength stainless steel can be a real pain to work with, but the end result Randy built the rear fenders, forward control mounts, brake and clutch arms, and jockey shift lever from this tough metal and then polished it to a beautiful shine. To finish things off Randy added a set of 5 gallon gas tanks with the right side holding the engine oil. He then built a seat pan, shaped the foam, and made his own cover. With the last of the work done Randy shot some paint on the tanks and chin spoiler and began to enjoy his new ride. So the next time you think that something just isn’t your thing step back take a long look. You may be surprised what you see when you look deep down at it. You may even get hit with an Attitude Changer like Randy Ardeno’s Shovel Head trike. You know what they say “Never Say Never” (whoever “They” are).

Feature 5c

Owner: Randy Ardeno
Fabrication By: Randy Ardeno
City/State: Washington, PA
Year: 1978
Make: Harley-Davidson
Model: FXE Shovelhead
Value: Priceless
Time: 4 Cold Winters
Year: 1978
Model: FXE Shovelhead
Builder: Randy Ardeno
ignition: Dynatech
Displacement: 88 In.
pistons: S&S Stroker
Heads: Stock- Modified
Cam(s): S&S
Carb: HSR 42 Mikuni
Air Cleaner: K&N
Exhaust: Randy Ardeno
Primary: Ultima Open Belt Drive
Year: 1999
Make: Revtech, 5 Speed
Shifting: Foot Clutch, Hand Shift
Year: 1978
Make: Harley-Davidson
Rake: Stock
Stretch: Stock
Type: Harley-Davidson
Builder: Randy Ardeno
Triple Trees: Ultima 5 Degree
Front Wheel: HD Switchback
Size: 130/70/18
Front Tire: H-D Dunlop
Front Brake: Harley-Davidson
Rear Wheel: Aftermarket 5 Spoke
Size: 285/30/18
Rear Tire: General
Rear Brake: Harley-Davidson
Painter: Randy Ardeno
Color: Cast Iron
Type: Base / Clear
Chroming: Polished Stainless
Bars: Custom Stainless
Risers: Aftermarket – Modified
Hand Controls: Modified Radial Master Cylinder
Fuel tank: Harley-Davidson
Front Fender: None
Rear Fender: Custom Stainless
Seat: Randy Ardeno
Foot Controls: Randy Ardeno
Oil Tank: RH Fuel Tank
Headlight: Aftermarket & H-D
Taillight: LED
Speedo: H-D With Tach
Photographer: Jeff Cochran

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