Article By: Roadside Marty
Photos By: Melissa Shoemaker
Originally Published In The February 2019 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Think back to 2005 for a minute, what were you doing? Honestly, it’s just a blur for me, but for the man who holds the paper to this fine scoot, it’s when the idea for this bike took hold. Dan Starkey and his brother were into fast cars but were starting to develop a growing fascination in vehicles of the two-wheeled variety. There was one small detail that couldn’t be overlooked, neither of them had ever so much as ridden a dirt bike. That didn’t stop them from hanging out late drinking beers in his brother’s garage talking about old Harley-Davidsons and custom choppers.
It was only a matter of time before one of them took the plunge and got a bike. Dan was the first. He found a 1975 FXE online and bought it and before he knew what hit him. Starkey and his brother borrowed his boss’s Sprinter van and made a weekend trip out to Iowa City to pick it up. It wasn’t until the day after they got back that he got it running and took off on the rural back roads of Indiana and from that point on he was hooked! Needless to say, it was an adventure to take your first Harley ride on a bike that had a six over springer front end with no front brake, ape hangers and kick only. He rode the bike in that configuration for the rest of the season. Once old man winter set in, he ordered up an Ultima rigid frame that was four up and two out. The plan was to build a custom chopper with his motor, transmission and front end off of the FXE. It took a little time, but with the help of some good friends he got it on the road and rode it that way for the next eight years until the rear springer leg broke. Dan says the bike was cool, and he loved riding it, but it was time for some changes. He had always been a fan the bikes coming out of Choppers Inc, so he decided that he was going to build his in that style. Billy and Warren Lane were building some wild choppers back in the mid to late 90’s that were nothing short of incredible, and no doubt influenced a lot of people like Dan.
The new build started with an extended Harley 45 springer that Dan picked up for a fraction of what they’re going for today. Sometime in its past, the extend job didn’t hold up very well after the front end was magnafluxed on the rear legs numerous cracks were found. Starkey’s brother cut off the rear legs and installed a set of slugs and welded it up in a jig that he built. Once he had the front end straightened out, he knew the motor needed a full rebuild. The man to go to in his area is Jimi Driver; he’s the guy who can do it all from Knuckles to Twin Cams Driver kept the motor a stock 74” and gave the transmission a full rebuild with stock gears. One of my favorite things on this bike are the LAF pipes (aka Loud As F#@k), I had a set on my shovel around the same time.
While he was waiting on Jimi to work his magic, he found a cheap imitation of a WCC Villian gas tank that was pretty wide and full of dents. Dan knew it had the look he was after, so he turned it over to his brother John and his co-worker Mike Turner, who took care of reshaping it and welding the imperfections. As luck would have Dan was working in Daytona in 2007 or so and was able to buy the pegs for this bike from Billy Lane himself. Lane had just taken them off of his VQ bike; Billy asked him if he wanted a new set as he had a few sets on hand but Dan loved the idea of owning a set that had seen so many miles on one of Billy’s bikes. A few years later Billy sold Dan a set of his forward control mounting plates which Dan used with the old pegs to make his forward controls.
Dan made the bars with materials he bought from Warren Lane. He met Warren by chance thru a car deal when one of Lane’s friends bought a 1964 Karmann Ghia from Dan. He and Warren kept in touch. Starkey opted to keep the bars tight and snug to the narrowed tank. Dan picked up a round oil tank which he had chromed and then hand bent the copper oil lines to hook it up. The sealed battery lays on its side under the transmission in a tray that Dan made; all that’s needed to remove the battery is to take out one bolt and the tray swings down. That incredible paint job was handled by Jason Mattox of Time Bomb Kustoms in Indiana. Once Jason and Dan settled on what the panels on the tank would be, Dan says he can’t go anywhere without someone asking him about the paint. The seat was tooled by Adam Croft who happens to be one of Dan’s close friends. Adam had already done the seat for Dan’s FLH, so it only made sense for him to do this one as well. The bike was finished up in time for Biketoberfest this year where guest judge Bill Dodge picked it for his award at Choppertime, and it also received the Cycle Source Award at the same show. Dan says it’s a huge honor to have both Bill and Chris acknowledge his work. He says the bike has taught him a lot over the last 12 years; it’s been there for him thru career changes, a divorce and other tough times. It’s introduced him to a lot of people he now considers good friends. Dan says he’ll never sell it! I like to see someone build memories with their bike that they’ll never forget. Dan said he’s working on Pan now, so I guess we’ll see what he comes up with next!
THE BLUE SEVENTY FIVE TECH SHEET
Owner: Dan Starkey
City/State: Carthage, In
Builder: Starkey Bros
Model: Shovelhead Chopper
Time: 1 Year
Builder: Jimi Driver
Ignition: Dyna S
Carb: S&S Super E
Cam: Andrews J Grind
Air Cleaner: Lyle Landstrom
Shifting: Hand Shift Via Foot Clutch
Stretch: 4 Up 2 Out
Builder: John Starkey
Extension: 4 Over
Front Wheel: Spool
Rear Wheel: Spoke
Rear Brake: Performance Machine
Painter: Timebomb Kustoms
Color: Strato Blue
Type: House Of Kolor/Roth MetalFlake
Chroming: Shelbyville Plating & Polishing
Bars: Warren Lane / Dan Starkey
Hand Controls: Internal Throttle
Foot Controls: Starkey Bros
Gas Tank(S): John Starkey/Michael Turner
Oil Tank: Round
Front Fender: N/A
Rear Fender: Starkey Bros
Seat: Adam Croft
Headlight: 5 .”
Tail Light: Cateye
PHOTOGRAPHER: Melissa Shoemaker