Cop Chopped Shovel

Article By: GTP

Photos By: Markus Cuff

Originally Published In The March 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

In a sea of flaked out Panheads and million dollar Knuckles, it’s refreshing to see what the cone Shovelhead guys are doin’. While everyone is trying to emulate those builders from the past or assembling bikes that look like farm tractors those Shovel guys are taking their bikes and making them cooler and improving on the original without the constraints that accompany one of the more choppular genny bikes. The acquisition of a cone Shovel is usually just something that happens instead of getting a second mortgage just to buy a set of blown apart cases. They are either a “deal too good to pass up’ or ‘thrown in with a bunch of other shit.’ You never hear of anybody going into financial ruin over a cone Shovel, and when they’re dialed in, they are the most power capable of all the iron cylinder models. But Shovelhead guys don’t care about all that, they just like their Cone Shovels. This one belongs to Ryan McQuiston of McQuiston’s Chopper Design on the left coast in Long Beach California. He scored this from a customer who wanted to go the genny route. Yeah, thrown in with a bunch of other shit…sorta. The bike had fallen victim to some ham-fisted hardtailing and was as crooked as a Clinton. A revamp of epic proportions was in its future and as the sparks flew the frame was cut apart stripping it of everything sans the engine cradle.

This wasn’t Ryans first build and he knew what he wanted out of this bike from the start. Knowing that he wanted a hardtail with some ground clearance that would handle great and be as comfortable as possible with the rigid frame. Mounting the M&H ribbed drag slick on the rear the enormous sidewall was twofold. One for the ground clearance as stated before and to improve the overall ride. Having the ass end that high allowed the rake to be set at 43° with a 14 over 41mm front end. The single 2” downtube sets the neck 6” up with 1.3” out all to keep the bike radical but ridable. The frame was then molded. The axed alien tank is heavily molded into the backbone with only a skim-coat of putty on the all steel construction. Although they weren’t reinventing the wheel on this bike, Ryan wanted to use it to show off what can be done inhouse at the shop. Everything, according to Ryan, except chroming and upholstery was done on site. That includes the simple cream and black paint that will look good on this bike for years to come.

The 80” motor was given a complete rebuild replacing all the worn parts creating a fresh streetable motor. With an electronic ignition, an S&S Super E and appropriate Jim’s cam; the bike starts first or second kick all day long. Speaking of kickers, the rebuilt four-speed kick only ratchet top trans is connected to the motor via a Primo Pro- Clutch and narrow belt drive configuration. Like I stated before, above all this is a bike that is ridden and this one is ridden hard. A fist full of throttle is great but if you can’t stop it’ll do more than ruin your day. Enter the appearance of good brakes. One of the endless upsides to building a Shovel chopper is that you aren’t limited to antiquated brakes stopping every once in a while when the moon is full. Nope, Ryan went with the Performance Machine brake ensemble front, and rear attached to 80 spoke wheels on both ends. Ryan says this might be the most comfortable hardtail he’s ever ridden.

With the geometry set from the start, the 14 over telescopic Wide Glide front end set with the proper numbers still functions even with the extension and rake. Reports have it that there isn’t even any front-end flop and that goes to show you what is possible if you do your homework. Ryan has nothing but good things to say about his choices on the bike both aesthetically and mechanically. So happy in fact, he has plans to reuse this design on future bikes. The only complaint he might have is that with the slightest moisture on the road the rear tire (drag slick) the sudden lack of control is downright horrifying. This bike will be making the rounds on the show circuit as well as being ridden hard every chance he gets. Keep your eye out if you’re around Long Beach for this slick ride and if you have any interest in this or future builds hit up Ryan at McQuiston’s Chopper Design.

CopChop Tech Sheet

Owner: Ryan McQuiston

City: Long Beach, CA

Fabrication By: Ryan McQuiston

Year: 1970

Model: FLH


Time: 5 Months


Year: 1970

Model: Shovelhead

Builder: Ryan McQuiston

Ignition: Dyna S

Displacement: 80”

Pistons: CP

Heads: Harley-Davidson

Cam(s): Jim’s

Carb: S&S Super E

Air Cleaner: Velocity Stack

Exhaust: V-Twin

Primary: Rivera Primo


Year: 1970

Make: Harley-Davidson

Shifting: 1 Up 3 Down, Go Fast


Year: 1970

Model:H-D Shovelhead, Molded

Rake: 40°

Stretch: 6 Up 1.5 Out

Front end

Type: Wide Glide

Builder: Ryan McQuiston

Extension: +14”

Triple Trees: Harley-Davidson


Front Wheel: 80 Spoke

Size: 21”

Front Tire: Firestone

Front brake: Performance Machine

Rear Wheel: 80 Spoke

Size: 16”

Rear Tire: M&H

Rear Brake: Performance Machine


Painter: Ryan McQuiston

Color: Black & Cream


Graphics: None

Chroming: None


Bars: 14” Ape Hanger

Risers: Flanders

Hand Controls: Performance Machine

Foot Controls: Harley- Davidson

Fuel tank: Alien Axe

Oil tank: Harley- Davidson

Front fender: None

Rear fender: McQuiston’s Chopper Designs

Seat: McQuiston’s Chopper Designs



Speedo: None

Photographer: Markus Cuff

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.