The Blue Seventy Five

Article By: Roadside Marty

Photos By: Melissa Shoemaker

Originally Published In The February 2019 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Biketoberfest, Daytona Beach FL, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

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.

Biketoberfest, Daytona Beach FL, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

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.

Biketoberfest, Daytona Beach FL, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

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.

Biketoberfest, Daytona Beach FL, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

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.

Biketoberfest, Daytona Beach FL, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

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!

Biketoberfest, Daytona Beach FL, 2018 Copyright Melissa Shoemaker


Owner: Dan Starkey

City/State: Carthage, In

Builder: Starkey Bros

Year: 2007

Model: Shovelhead Chopper


Time: 1 Year


Year: 1975

Model: Shovelhead

Builder: Jimi Driver

Ignition: Dyna S

Displacement: 1200cc

Pistons: TRW

Heads: Stock

Carb: S&S Super E

Cam: Andrews J Grind

Air Cleaner: Lyle Landstrom

Exhaust: LAF

Primary: BDL


Year: 1975

Make: Harley-Davidson

Shifting: Hand Shift Via Foot Clutch


Year: Unknown

Model: Rigid

Rake: 34°

Stretch: 4 Up 2 Out


Builder: John Starkey

Type: Springer

Triple Trees:

Extension: 4 Over


Front Wheel: Spool

Size: 21”

Tire: Avon

Front Brake:

Rear Wheel: Spoke

Size: 18”

Tire: Avon

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

Speedo: None

PHOTOGRAPHER: Melissa Shoemaker

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