Perfection

Article And Photos By: Mark Velazquez

Orignally Published In The April 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Say hello to Kevin Graham. If you are part of the ever-growing Jersey bike scene you might have been lucky enough to have already met him. At the end of the day he parks his ride in Freehold New Jersey. This soft spoken yet rough around the edges dude is what I call a true grit rider. I’m pretty sure he has been riding since he could walk. It’s funny how small the circle of coolness really can be sometimes. I have to admit that I’m not so cool myself but when I’m in need, I hit these circles and always come home with keeper builds and better yet, new friends. I say this because this is just how I happened to meet Kevin. As always, I attended the annual Indian Larry Block Party this past year, who wouldn’t? During the day, I got to see so many people I have known over the years as well as a load of great bikes that grace this great outdoor party, It was there that I ran into my old friend Bob Crank, another long time Jersey boy. Cutting to the chase I asked him what he thought was cool that day and he pointed out a killer Sporty. We walked over and there she was, a perfectly done 1967 XLCH. I’ve always had a soft spot for Sportsters. I had to have this bike and wanted to find out the story behind it. That’s when I made a new friend, Kevin.

Kevin was quick to show his Jersey pride and told me how he had been riding for over 45 years thanks to buddies like Lou and Fitz who he has known since his high school days in Jersey City. The three of them together have made riding their age defender. So now the deal with the Sporty. Kevin has had this bike since 1975. He found it while Pan shopping with his buddies. After having no luck he just happened to run into this 67 after being given a tip on a guy who was getting married and was packing it in. When purchased, the bike was a super cool chopper, the kind everyone is trying to build today. It was kick only and perfect down to the bolts: and at the time it was built for two. He made a quick deal, brought her home and added her to his growing stable. The bike stayed just the way it was purchased for years. It was tucked away and taken out when it was her turn with his wife as his copilot. The years would roll by and then with a twist of bad fate, Kevin’s sister passed away.

Needing something to take away the loss and keep him grounded,  his wife suggested that it was time he take on a feel-good project to keep his mind busy. Not being a builder but a pretty good wrench Graham thought it would be a good time to re-build the Sporty and make it truly his own. And so, it began. He was on a budget but didn’t want to cut any corners. He began the teardown with the removal of the engine and tranny. Kevin went to Chris Freda over at Design Worx Customs and with a little guidance from Chris turned it into a hardtail with a 4” stretch in the rear. With the main frame modifications done, it was time to get the engine back in place. Keving wanted to keep her as stock as possible but did work out some upgrades which included cams and push rods by Andrews, Manley valves, a Magneto ignition and of course a S&S Super E carb. For the rest, you can hit the spec sheet. When all was said and done, it’s a pretty bullet proof engine that just keeps on ticking.

With engine done and placed, a super glide front end was added along with a custom rear fender to accommodate the chain drive and shocks. A solo Rich Phillips seat was added. One of my favorite features is the Paughco Goose Neck exhaust. With all these killer mods, aftermarket parts and of course the killer motor all good in the world. Now, it all came down to paint, paint, paint. Kevin has been using Andy Hoy of Lee’s Garage for every bike he has ever owned and did not plan to break the chain. So, the killer paint you see on this ride proves that you should always go with who you know! With the bike done in just 3 months Kevin is truly blessed and a happy camper with a bike he can call his own. It’s interesting that when in tough and troubled times these bikes always seem to get us to the other side. As for Kevin, the blessings of this bike seem to never end. It’s been a winner at Panstock and many other shows but what Graham feels is the best thing to come from this is what he calls the forced friendships. With this bike, he has grown a larger circle of friends. Friendships of love and respect that you only get from this culture. Such a testament makes even a guy like me want to build my own one day. But for now, I will let lady luck lead me to more people like Kevin Graham.

Perfection Tech Sheet

Owner:Kevin Graham

City/State: Freehold New Jersey

Fab. By: Kevin Graham/Chris Freda

Mayhem Cycles

Year: 1967

Model: HD XLCH

Value:

Time: 3 Months

Engine

Year: 1967

Model: XLCH

Builder: Kevin Graham

Ignition: Magneto

Displacement: 900cc

Pistons: Wiseco

Heads: Harley Davidson

Carb: S&S Super E

Cam: Andrews

Air Cleaner: Speed Dealer Customs Velocity Stack

Exhaust: Paughco Goose Neck

Primary: Harley-Davidson

Transmission

Year: 1967

Make: Harley Davidson

Shifting: 4 speed foot

Frame

Year: 1967

Make: Harley -Davidson Modified

Rake: A Little

Stretch: 4” Tail Section

Forks

Type: 41mm Wide Glide

Builder: V -Twin

Extension:

Triple Trees:

Wheels, Tires, Brakes

Front Wheel: Spoke

Size: 21”

Front Tire: Avon Speed Master MK II

Front Brake: Disc

Rear Wheel: Spoke

Size: 16”

Rear Tire: Goodyear Super Eagle

Rear Brake: Mechanical Drum

Painting

Painter: Andy Hoy, Lees Garage

Color: Green

Type:

Graphics: Kerry Buckley K&M

Molding: Neck & Tank

Chroming: Ecker Plating

Accessories

Bars: Drag

Risers: ”

Hand Controls: Speed Dealer Customs

Fuel Tank: Harley -Davidson

Front Fender: None

Rear Fender: J&P Cycle

Seat: Rich Phillips

Foot Controls: Forward

Mirror: Speed Dealer Customs

Oil Tank: Wrap Around

Headlight: Bates

Taillight: Lowbrow Customs Model A

Speedo: None

Photographer: Mark Velazquez