Big Booty Judy

Article & Photos By Chris Callen

Originally Published In The April 2020 Issue

The guys at Three-Two Choppers have this buddy; we’ll call him “Bob.” Bob has a unique talent for finding deals. He is a true, modern-day treasure hunter. He has come across everything from a free sub-zero refrigerator, to a 1997 Ford F250, 7.3 PowerStroke, four-door unicorn with only 86,000 miles. Bob can hunt. It would not surprise me if he eventually unearthed a hidden copy of the Declaration of Independence. One day, early last year, the phone rang. It’s Bob. “Hey, Bro, I think I found an old Harley. The guy wants two grand. What do you think?” “Really, Bob?” I said, “Why are you calling me? Go get it.” Another remarkable find. Bob stumbled onto a 1979 Harley Davidson FLH Electraglide with all the touring bags. The guy threw in multiple seats, some other miscellaneous parts and he even had the elusive, bat-wing fairing. When the bike got to the shop, we cleaned the carburetor, replaced the battery, and gave it a quick static timing. The bike fired right up, and a new project was born.

Sometimes the key to building a great bike is more about what not to do than what to do. Like the famous adage says, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” This was clearly the case for the ’79. The initial plan was to take the bike apart, clean it up, put it back together, and ride it. It was agreed that a solid plan was in place, but we needed to modify a few things.

The first adjustment, and probably the most important, was the decision to lower the bike. The original square-tube swing arm was swapped for an early model round tube style. That switch allows you to drop the lower shock mount, which in turn, lowers the rear of the bike. To achieve a level stance, they cut 2-1/2 inches out of the front legs and added another inch of spring for a lowering total of 3-1/2 inches. The solid wheels were Bob’s choice, and they really added a nice hot rod element to the project.

For the exhaust, Three Two Choppers started with a set of Paughco, true dual headers. They then built a slick set of double-barrel shotgun slip-ons accented with brass tips. The pipes run long and low and really emphasize the bike’s lowered stance. The slip-ons were a copy of a set Jimmie Lee built-in 1994 at a muffler shop in Reseda, California. That set still lives on his brother’s 74/74, and like the first set, their sound is undeniable. As an unexpected bonus, the great Ryan McQuiston from McQuiston’s Chopper Designs hooked us up with a set of his hand-made brass shot collars. Ryan’s collars are a significant way to dress up your Shovelhead engine.

Updating the brakes to a set of Performance Machine Vintage Series calipers was a must for this build.  JC and Jimmie Lee designed and built the mounting brackets for the front and rear to allow the new brakes to work with the stock FLH chassis. As the true over-thinkers that they are at Three Two Choppers, they also built three different styles of handlebars, until finally settling on a set of wide pullbacks.

Bob is not only an esteemed treasure hunter; he is also never afraid of learning and trying something new. He took the sheet metal home with him one day after leaving the shop and brought it back painted and ready to mount. Jimmie Lee recalls when Bob sent the initial photos of the tanks and showing that he was able to save the original sticker emblems. His first attempt at painting was an absolute home run. Along with replacing rotors, shocks and other clean-up items like kicker covers and floorboard rubber, that’s the nuts and bolts of the build.

A funny thing happens when you take apart a forty-year-old motorcycle; you find stuff.  That is why old Shovelhead projects like this can become a bit dangerous to your budget. The phrase, “As long as we are fixing this, we should clean this up, too,” becomes very common. It’s like renovating a bathroom in your house. Never look back at all the receipts to the Home Depot. Twenty-eight dollars, eleven cents. Seven dollars, thirty-two cents. Fifteen dollars, sixteen cents. It adds up quick. Instead of sandpaper, caulk and grout, it’s updating bolts, gaskets, wire, heat shrink and oil lines. Again, it adds up quick.  In the end, when all the late nights are done, when the last trip to the hardware store for that 2.5” 5/16-18 chrome, button-head is done, and the bike rolls off the table, it is all worth it. This 1979 Electraglide was definitely worth all the extra hoop-jumping. Bob decided to name the bike, “Big Booty Judy.” Word to the wise, do not Google that term looking for more pictures of Judy, you might not like the results.

TECH SHEET

Owner: Jesse Hubbard

City/State:  Fort Worth Texas

Builder:Three Two Choppers & Jesse Hubbard

Year: 1979

Model: FLH

Value: $1

Time:  222 Days

ENGINE Shovelhead

Year: 1979

Model:  VTwin

Builder: Three Two Choppers

Ignition: Dyna S

Displacement: 80

Pistons: S&S

Heads: S&S

Carb: S&S E

Cam: Andrews

Air Cleaner: yes

Exhaust: Paughco Headersw/ Three Two Choppers Duals

Primary: stock

 

TRANSMISSION

Year: 1976

Make: Harley

Shifting: 1 Down/ 3 up

 

FRAME

Year: 1979

Model: Harley

Rake: 32°

Stretch: none

 

Forks 41mm

Builder: Harley/lowered by 3/2

Type: Juice

Triple Trees: wide

Extension: -3.5”

 

WHEELS

Front Wheel: RC Components

Size:21-3.5

Tire: Avon

Front Brake: PM Vintage

Rear Wheel: RC Components

Size: 16×3

Tire: Avon

Rear Brake: PM Vintage

 

PAINT

Painter: Jesse Hubbard

Color: tan/cream

Type: pretty kind

Graphics:  Jesse Hubbard

Chroming:  none

 

ACCESSORIES

Bars: Three Two Choppers

Risers: stock

Hand Controls: PM

Foot Controls: stock

Gas Tank(s):stock

Oil Tank: stock

Front fender: stock

Rear Fender: stock

Seat: swap meet

Headlight: stock

Taillight: stock

Speedo: stock

Photographer: Chris Callen

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