Article By: Roadside Marty

Photos By: Chris Callen

Originally Published In The April 2020 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

One of the things I like best about being involved with this fine rag is the opportunity to meet new people and see a lot of bikes. This includes the newest offerings from the heavyweights to meticulous restorations to everyday riders built to lay down the miles, but some of my favorites are choppers like this fine Shovel here! Tyler Elliot really put his heart and soul into this build. He opened TE Customs twelve years ago and other than his dad, Big John, and a few friends helping him out on occasion, he’s a one-man operation that can handle almost anything you may want.

This particular build started out as a stock 1975 Super Glide, but it certainly didn’t stay that way for long. The first order of business was making the stock frame into a hardtail. Tyler cut off the rear swingarm casting mount, bent up some tubing for the hardtail section and plugged the tubes into a set of Knuckle style rear axle plates from Hardtail Choppers. The neck was sliced and raked a few degrees and a filler piece was welded in and smoothed to look as if it was never touched. The rear fender mounts were also custom made. The mid controls were fabbed up from tubing that was molded into the frame with handmade gussets. You might recognize a few stock pieces from the original FX mid controls while the actual control pieces are one-off stainless. To keep the rear chain nice and tight Tyler handmade a skateboard wheel tensioner. Since the traditional mounting point for the controls weren’t being used Tyler welded on a Sportster kickstand and mount while the handmade oil filter mount is mounted where a stock forward control rear master cylinder would go.

The motor still utilizes the stock cases, but the displacement was bumped up to 89” courtesy of 4 5/8 stroker flywheels and .060 over S&S pistons. An Andrews A2 grind cam was slid in while an S&S oil pump replaced the stock unit. The heads were treated to a dual plug conversion as well as a fresh rebuild and the rocker boxes  were split. A Daytona Twin Tech ignition is hidden underneath an old Cadillac hub cap that was cut down for a points cover and finally an S&S Super B with an original S&S “mushroom cap” velocity stack with a custom machined backing plate round out the motor. The machine work, head work and flywheel balancing were handled by GMS Racing Engines. Tyler and his Dad assembled the motor. The transmission is a 77 that was completely rebuilt and polished. A Karata Belt Drive clutch basket was machined to accept a custom machined 530 sprocket. The primary chain features a custom machined drive sprocket hub and matched sprocket that’s topped off with a really trick stainless nut and cap combination. A diaphragm clutch is worked by an original HD mousetrap assembly that was painted and polished to match the handmade clutch arm. The stainless shift drum arm is also handmade. Tyler even handmade license plate bracket. All machine work on the primary was performed by Jesse Exler at Jolly Roger Gunstocks.

Tyler liked the look of the 33mm front ends, so he shaved the legs and used 2” under tubes by Forking by Frank. Elliot fabricated the stem nut, fork stop, fork tube top covers and the stainless cap nuts for the handlebar mounts. The handlebars are made from tubing that use a factory internal throttle and other parts that are joined together with handmade brackets to attach under the top tree and bolt up from the bottom. A modified aftermarket headlight bucket handles the lighting which is mounted with a custom bracket. The “perchless” levers bolt to the bottom of the bars and run on sealed bearings. Tyler said the levers are carved and bent from 1/2” stainless rod. One of my favorite parts other than the primary is the front wheel which is an early Sportster “hamburger” drum that was sanded and polished that features a functional scoop that cools the front brakes.

The gas tank started as two 5-gallon Fatbob tanks cut down and joined together horizontally for a streamline look; a rib was center welded to match the rear fender. A hex thread sight glass was welded into the tank and can be removed via a small threaded trim ring. Elliot handcrafted the oil to match the gas tank shape. The rear fender is a 30’s Ford spare tire cover. Tyler fabricated the stainless bezels and uses a clear plastic bullet lens. Josh Littleton of Classic Canvas out of Delaware knocked out the classic black tuck and roll seat that follows the frame lines perfectly. Tyler handled all of the paint and bodywork himself with PPG brand base coat with layers of hand pinstriping, scrollwork, silver leaf and airbrushing. The graphics are completely buried for a smooth and uninterrupted finish. All of Tyler’s hard work paid off with a Best of Show win at the Cheap Thrills show in New Jersey and considering the level of bikes that enter that show, his win is well deserved. You can reach Tyler at www. or his Instagram is @tecustoms. Thanks for sharing your bike!



Owner: Tyler Elliott/ TE Customs

City/State: Eighty-Four Pa

Builder: Tyler Elliott

Year: 1975

Model: Superglide

Value: Case Of Iron City

Time: 8 Years On And Off


Year: 1975

Model: Shovelhead

Builder: GMS Racing Engines/TECustoms

Ignition: Daytona Twin Tec

Displacement: 89 Inch

Pistons: S&S Stroker

Heads: Dual Plug Harley

Carb: S&S B

Cam: Andrews A2

Air Cleaner: Tyler Elliott/ S&S

Exhaust: Swimming Pool Railings

Primary: Open Chain/TE Customs /

Jesse Exler


Year: 1975

Make: Harley Fl Rachet Top

Shifting: Foot/1 Down 3 Up


Year: 1975

Model: Superglide

Rake: Some

Stretch: Handmade Hardtail/Axle Plates


Builder: Harley /Te Customs/Forking By Frank

Type: 33.4 MM

Triple Trees: Harley Sportster

Extension: 2” Under


Front Wheel: Sportster Hub, Excel

Rim, Buchanan Spokes

Size: 21”

Tire: Avon Speedmaster

Front Brake: Drum

Rear Wheel: 67-72 Harley

Size: 18”

Tire: Firestone

Rear Brake: Harley Juice Drum


Painter: Tyler Elliott

Color: Grays And Silvers

Type: PPG/Oneshot

Graphics: TE Customs

Chroming: None


Bars: TE Customs

Risers: None

Hand Controls: TE Customs

Foot Controls: TE Customs

Gas Tank(S):TE Customs

Oil Tank: TE Customs

Front Fender: Nope

Rear Fender: 36 Ford Spare Tire Cover

Seat: Josh Littleton/Classic Canvas

Headlight: TE Customs

Tail Light: TE Customs

Speedo: None

Photographer: Chris Callen

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