La Negrita

Article By: Matt Reel Photos By: Chris Callen

Originally Published In The March 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Feature 3a

I don’t know what it is but there is just something about a Shovelhead. That distinguishable exhaust note, the tick of solid lifters, that vibration that slowly smooths out as you reach cruising speed, that’s what it is all about. To this day I still regret selling my FL because I thought I needed a newer bike. When I saw Bryan Cunningham’s Shovel I was hit with a little bit of jealously. It’s a great bike with all the parts that truly compliment any Shovel build. Bryan happened upon this bike when a guy he worked with mentioned he had a bike for sale. After checking it out a deal was set and it was taken home. Once home the work started on building the bike Bryan had in mind. After close inspection the frame and internal engine parts were of the few parts used from the original purchase. Over the next couple of years parts were sourced and assembly began. Steve Duncan let Bryan work on the Shovel at his shop. The down side of this was that the shop was 2 hours away from Bryan’s home which limited him to only working on it a few times every couple of weeks.

Feature 3b

The engine was rebuilt by Bryan and Steve using tried and true parts. A set of Delkron cases were fitted with an S&S 93 inch stroker crank. A Leineweber cam was plugged in to open and close the valves, and a Super E carb feeds the fuel and air. To light the fire a Morris magneto was used. Paughco exhaust finish the power plant off. This was then tied to a hand shifted 4 speed by way of an open belt drive. With power taken care of attention was turned to a roller. Bryan painted the frame that he got in the original purchase and attached forks and trees from Mullins. A 21 inch front and 16 inch rear wheel were wrapped with Avon rubber and put in place. A single Performance Machine brake caliper was added to the rear to slow things down. With things getting closer Bryan enrolled his friend Clinton to help with some fabrication and welding. They fabbed up the sissy bar and took care of some other tabs and mounts. To finish things off Bryan added a set of Zombie Performance handle bars holding only a throttle. An aluminum fender was placed on the rear and a Rich Phillips seat placed on top. A set of Excel forward controls were used to work the PM caliper and actuate the clutch. A gas tank painted by Chemical Candy Customs was placed on the frame along with a repop oil tank.

After 2 years of collecting parts, and running back and forth to shops Bryan has put together a great Shovel chopper. This is one of those bike you look at drool over and then want to kick your own ass for getting rid of yours (that part may have just been me). Who knows though, one day you may walk into work and someone will mention that they have an old motorcycle project they want to get rid of. That’s where it all begins.

Feature 3c

La Negrita Tech Sheet

Owner: Bryan Cunningham

City/state: Lake Jackson, TX

Fabrication By: Owner/Clinton Wallace

Year: 1968

Model: Harley Davidson/Delkron

Make: FL


Time: 2 Years


Year: 1968

Model: FL

Builder: Owner / Steve Duncan

Ignition: Morris

Displacement: 93”

Pistons: S&S

Heads: S&S

Cam(s): Leineweber

Carb: Super E

Air Cleaner: Tiny By Arich

Exhaust: A Bit Too Low

Primary: Open


Year: 1976

Make: HD

Shifting: Hand


Year: Old

Make: ??

Rake: Stock

Stretch: Stock


Type: Mullins

Builder: Some Guy At Mullins I Guess

Extension: Stock

Triple Trees: Mullins


Front Wheel: Bobs

Size: 21”

Front Tire: Avon

Front brake: Nope

Rear Wheel: Paughco

Size: 16”

Rear Tire: Avon

Rear Brake: Performance Machine


Painter: Chemical Candy Customs

Color: Silver Flake & Black

Type: Dull


Bars: Zombie Performance


Hand controls: Throttle

Gas Tank(s): Doesn’t Leak

Front fender: Missing

Rear fender: Aluminum

Seat: Rich Phillips

Foot Controls: Excel USA

Headlight: ???

Taillight: After Hours Choppers


Photographer: Chris Callen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *