Pinner’s Long Ass Shovel

Article By: Milwaukee Mike

Photos By: Christian Otjen

Originally Published In The February 2012 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

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On a westward trip out to Mario’s Arizona casa, the Milwaukee crew met a cool cat with a penchant for building some sick bikes. His name is Robert Hernandez but he is better known as Pinner because of the crazy things he could make his well-known chopper, “The Pinner,” do. If you have seen the cover of Two Wheeled Terrors, that’s him on the cover with his fire breathing m o n s t e r turned sideways in a crazy cool left handed death slide; hell of a photo, but more on that later. Our good friend Keith Cole introduced us to Pinner at one of my favorite traditions of those trips, a dinner that we all prepare and share with the crew from AZ. On this particular night, Teach got talking about how he wanted to go visit George Counes down at Spartan Frameworks in Vail, AZ which is just south of Tucson. When Pinner heard of this plan, he asked if he could join us as he also had to see Spartan George. He had been planning the frame and front end for this bike to be built and owed him a visit so they could hammer out the details face to face instead of on the phone. The next morning arrived in a bright and sunny manner, as most do out to there this time of year. We all (Pinner, Mario, Big Willy, JFB Byker Jym, Teach and Amy, and myself) headed down to Tucson on Route 79 away from the super slab, and that always makes me happy. We stopped for a bite to eat at the Epic Café (if you are from this area you must check it out, this place is unbelievable!) so I could visit with my longtime friend Nancy who joined us on the trip down to the edge of Arizona to meet up with George at his home shop. Going there was like hanging at a good friend’s house. George and Wendy made us feel very welcomed and to see how he does the work he does in his natural environment was something to behold. So as the day wore on, Pinner and George hammered out the details for a chassis that is one-of-a-kind as you can easily tell by the 37” over frontend, but it still needed to be ride-able as Pinner absolutely does not build show queens.

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In Pinner’s own words, “A long time dream has finally come true. I have wanted the excitement of a long chopper for several years now; it is just something that’s in the soul. I guess I am an adrenaline junky. I live for the wild ride on a difficult bike so the long chopper was naturally inevitable. Friends would ask, ‘How long are you talking about?’ and I would answer, ‘Front wheel across the street long.’ Originally I was going to do what I love and use modified original parts for the chassis then I realized after all those miles (100K) on old rigids, maybe it was time to try some 4130 chromoly. So off I went to George Counes. We spoke of this bike many times over the years, so he knew I wanted a frame and fork that was longer than he was willing to build. We compromised on 37” over – 8” up – 6” out and 50 degrees of rake for the frame and fork. I went to my friend Rudy Sedgwick’s shop to do all the additional fab work, and after that, it was back to the Rabbit Hole (Pinner’s home shop) for everything else. The overall bike came natural; a tailor fitted solo rider designed for comfort with an aggressive stance for riding the long haul. I wanted to keep the natural finish on the frame and fork without rusting so Jay and I decided that nickel was the way to go. After hours and hours of sanding and ScotchBriting, we had the finish. The pipes are another story. They have to be performance enhancing, functional and straight forward, only when I am satisfied with that criteria will I either plate or finish the exhaust. I had a few motors to choose from for this bike. First a stroked Panhead came to mind. Then Jay and I thought about a hopped-up Knuckle; I LOVE KNUCKLES! But in the end, it only made sense that my dream hot rod, long bike have my favorite motor of all time: the Pinner motor. Jay and I knew this bike needed a down and dirty Shovelhead so we stroked the ‘62 Pan bottom with 4.5” wheels, 4340 forged moly rods and dynamically balanced it to 58%. Then we flowed and ported the heads until we had every bit of performance we needed for the 525 lift Andrews’ cam. We did the heads up to the max with badass rockers, valves, springs and a precision multi angle valve job. The dual throat 30mm Weber carb matches the head setup very well and a ‘62 tranny case, stuffed with all new American made components, shifts smooth and handles the power with ease. Elvis had the 21” Radio front wheel with the leather hub cleaner hanging around his place for the last 20 years and then passed it on to me for this bike. Scott Craig then gave me a great deal on the “must have” American Racing rear mag wheel.

George’s work kick’s ass! The chromoly works well and the bike rides better than I could ever have imagined. There is no pogo in the fast corners and the whole ‘long bikes can’t turn’ thing…. My ass they can’t. This bike eats up the switchbacks and is by far the smoothest rigid I have ever ridden. The motor was painstakingly broken-in slowly but in time for the Born Free III show so I know it goes and effortlessly hauls ass when it needs to.” Pinner’s bike is one of the few that actually gets ridden to the events where it will be shown. In the case of Born Free (where he was a featured builder), he had to ride 400+ miles from Phoenix to LA. I wasn’t aware of any other featured builders in that show that accomplished that feat. He also took his time getting there as it was the maiden voyage of the rebuilt motor, new tranny, and all new chassis. It had not been more than 40 miles from home before setting off on that trek. I can personally attest to the strength of that motor and the slow break-in working correctly. When I attended the Born Free show this past June, and last week when I was in Cali for the David Mann Chopperfest, I rode no less than 150 miles each time with Pinner’s long bike right next to me. Let me tell you, that long, skinny bike glides through traffic and lane splits like a hot knife through soft butter. The look on people’s faces as he gently slides by is something else too. Because of the sheer length of the bike, they get about a 2 second preview of the machine before they get to witness the man who pilots it. Then it is a quick flash of the taillight, a twist of the throttle, and the long, skinny bitch is gone daddy gone! Pinner would like to thank the guys at Ramjet Racing who always have what he needs and treats him like family, Doug Stintson at All American Upholstery – 480-580-5863 – who killed it on the seat (hell yes it is comfortable), Buddy Hale at Type 1 Restoration who did the paint, Rudy Sedgwick for all the help on the fab work, his partner Jay and the rest of the guys at the Rabbit Hole (Nick and Grimm), Keith Cole just for being the righteous cat he is and who is always willing to help, Christian Otjen for doing the photos and making the shoot easy, and finally, his woman Heather and one-andonly son Zane for putting up with his madness and making it all possible.

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Long Ass Shovel Tech Sheet

Owner: Robert “Pinner” Hernandez

City: Glendale, AZ

Fabrication By: Pinner/ Rudy Sedgwick

Year: 1962

Model: Crazy As F*!k

Time: 6 Months

Value: Priceless


Year: 1962 FLH

Model: Pan/Shovel

Builder: Robert & Jay – The Rabbit Hole

Ignition: Harley Points

Displacement: 84 ci

Pistons: S&S

Heads: Shovle – Flowed and Ported

Cam(s): Andrews C Grind

Carb: Dual Throat Weber 28mm Venturies

Air Cleaner: Stacks


Primary: Open


Year: 1962

Make: Harley

Shifting: Suicide


Year: 2010

Make: Spartan Frameworks

Rake: 50 Degrees

Stretch: 6 Up & 8 Out


Type: Riveted Springer

Builder: Spartan Frameworks

Extension: 37 Over


Front Wheel: Gift From Elvis

Size: 21”

Tire: Avon Speedmaster

Brakes: None

Rear Wheel: American Racing

Size: 15”

Tire: Some Kind Of Rubber

Brakes: Mechanical


Painter: Buddy Hale

Color: Not Sure

Type: Spies Hecker



Nickel Plating: LA Specialties


Bars: Tailor Fitted

Risers: Some Of Those Fancy Ones

Hand Controls:

Gas Tank(s): Body Box

Front Fender: OCC Invisible

Rear Fender: 5” Flat

Seat: King

Foot Controls: Stock

Mirrors: OCC Invisible

Oil Tank: 8 Sided Double Tunneled Mess

headlight: Zodiac

Taillight: Lucas

Speedo: Digital

Photos By: Christian Otjen

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