Dotty

Article By: Roadside Marty

Photos By: Carsten Fritzen

Originally Published In The April 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

You’ve got to give Harley- Davidson credit where credit is due. For years they’ve created multiple platforms of frames and engine configurations that have supplied the basic essentials needed to build a custom bike. This sweet Evo Softail Bobber built by Peter Ballard is definitely no exception. Since its inception, the Softail line has been extremely popular. It was introduced in 1984 and up until the 2018 model year that combined the Dyna and Softail frames it saw more than a few revisions to its frame design: this was due to the introduction of the Twin Cam “B” motor and increased tire sizes. An interesting side note that deserves a mention is that the original concept for the frame was designed and fabricated by a rider from the St. Louis area. After a few prototypes were built he sold his patented design to the Motor Company…and the rest is history. The all new Evolution motor was placed in it and Harley-Davidson started to see some improved sales every year. The Softail remains a strong part of their production motorcycles to this day. Okay, enough with the history lesson. The owner of this Softail is Peter Ballard, who like most of us grew up riding various makes and models of bikes. He got his first HD when he was 24 and from then on it was only Harleys. The idea for this bike started at Daytona Bike Week after his good friend Kyle Shorey of Shade Tree Fabrication invited him to ride along on the Hot Bike tour that was to kick off in September of that year. It took a few minutes for Peter to realize that if he went along he would be riding the Tail of the Dragon on his 40th birthday, so needless to say he was pumped.

 

He decided he wanted to build a new bike for this adventure and with the timeline he was facing he thought using an existing bike would help ease the fabrication process. On the way home from Daytona he made a call to his father-in-law who had a 99 Fat Boy that was collecting dust in his garage. He knew it only had 5400 original miles on it and he knew it was the perfect candidate for what he had in mind. The bike eventually earned the nickname “Dotty” because of the oil dots she left behind wherever she went. The gaskets had gotten hard from years of just sitting- thus the “dots”. Not only did Kyle give him an invitation to go on the tour he also kicked up a few parts from his Shade Tree Fabrications line of Softail components. This included things like the rear fender struts that give the frame a more aggressive stance. This is fast becoming a very popular modification on these frames. Next up was a Led Sled fender that was worked into place and since it came undrilled Peter was able to lower it to the point where it hugs the rear tire perfectly. The seat was made using a hinge mount on the pan that was covered with a 1/2” gel pad and after staining a raw piece of leather black it was mounted up and good to go.

Next is the taillight. Peter cut down the stalk of a stock turn signal and after replacing the lens with a red one it worked like a charm. Another trick part of this build I really dig is the stock odometer trip reset button. This was rewired to work as the starter button, really a nice piece of work! Most people underestimate the CV carb but Peter kept this one. He did add another Shade Tree component when he used one of their free flow air cleaners that matched perfectly with the Shade Tree floorboards. The Vance and Hines short shot pipes were a Craigslist find and the exhaust wrap was left over from a 72 Nova project. Originally, Peter used the stock Fat Boy front end but after a 1000 miles with it he decided to use a 2” under stock reproduction springer that gives it a nice level stance. He used a narrow squared off set of bars that he had to machine special risers for due to the width of the springer top tree. He also updated the front brake with a GMA unit that he custom milled for a clean look. The stock wheels didn’t go with what he had done so far so he went with a set of Ultima 60 spoke wheels.

 

However, instead of the tried and true chopper formula of a 16” rear and a 21” front he used a 16” rear and a 23” front with Bridgestone dirt bike tires. That nice paint job was laid down by a good friend named Pete Carver who paints all of Peter’s bikes. Peter opted for a modern twist on the traditional HD green and went with a Jeep color called “Rescue Green”. According to Peter he couldn’t be happier with the way the bike turned out, I personally like how he turned an otherwise stock bike and made something any biker would be proud to ride. Peter wants to thank his wife Sara for all of her help and support with this bike! Thanks for your sharing your ride with us Peter!

Dotty Tech Sheet

Owner: Peter Ballard

City/State: Barrington, NH

Fabrication By: Peter Ballard

Year: 1999

Model: Softail

Time: Never Enough

Value: Too Much

ENGINE

Year: 1999

Model: Evo

Builder: Stock

Ignition: Stock

Displacement: 80”

Pistons: Stock

Heads: Stock

Carb: Stock

Cam: Stock

Air Cleaner: Shadetree Fabrications

Exhaust:

Primary:

TRANSMISSION

Year: 1999

Make: Harley-Davidson

Shifting: Foot

Frame

Year: 1999

Make: Softail

Rake: Stock

Stretch: Stock

Front end

Type: Springer

Builder: Mid-USA

Triple trees:

Extension: -2”

WHEELS

Front Wheel: 60 Spoke

Size: 23”

Front tire: Bridgestone

Front brake: GMA

Rear Wheel: 60 Spoke

Size: 16”

Rear tire: Firestone

Rear brake: Harley-Davidson

PAINT

Painter: Pete’s Custom Cycles

Color: Rescue Green

Type: MBC

Powder Coat:

ACCESSORIES

Bars: Biltwell

Risers: Custom

Hand Controls: Stock

Foot controls: Shadetree Fabrications

Fuel tank: Stock

Oil tank: Ultima

Front Fender: Shadetree Fabrications

Rear Fender: Shadetree Fabrications

Seat: Shadetree Fabrications

Headlight: Who Knows?

Taillight: Chopped Up Blinker

Speedo: Stock

Photographer: Carsten Fritzen