The Holy Grail

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Article By: George The Painter

Photos By: Melissa Shoemaker

Originally Published In The June 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magzine

When Jeff Kelderman decided he wanted to build a long bike he contacted his longtime friend Bill Dodge, of Bling’s Cycle. Although this would not be the usual build to come rolling out of the doors of the Daytona Florida shop, Bill had just the frame to start the project. Hiding in the rafters, Bill had an old ’40 – ‘41 Knucklehead frame that, back in the day, had been chopperized. The first thing Bill needed to do was to debastardize the frame and set it up for the 20” over Denver’s front end. With 5 ¾” up and 1 5/8’ out the bike sits nice with a 49-degree rake. The front end is an original Denver’s 20” over that was in a sad state of affairs. It was well used and had been put away wet and the springer was in need of a major renovation. Repairs were made using pieces from a ‘71 Maco dirt bike and a resurrected set of Sugar Bear rockers.

With an 18” Sportster rear wheel and a 21” spool front wheel the bike sits nice and level with around 4 ½” or less of trail making a stable chassis that is hands-free at highway speeds. The tank is a swap meet pair of tanks that were destroyed. Bill axed ‘em and made the cool tank perched above the backbone. The rear fender was a blank from Bare Knuckle Choppers that had been sitting around the shop for a while and was originally stamped for Kiwi Cycles for an Indian configuration. The final piece of the sheet metal is the original Pan oil bag massaged to incorporate a reversed Trans Am style scoop (a dig to Jeff who is a diehard Mopar fan). The paintwork was handled by Willy, and he slathered the tins in a thick coat of blue pearl enamel. The seat pan was built at Bling’s and was covered by Duane Ballard.

The motor, a 1967 slab side Shovel was rebuilt and stroked to 88 cubic inches by Bacon of DC Choppers. It’s a four ¾” stroke with a stock bore which is as big as you can go without whittling away on those already fragile cases. Aside from the stroke, the motor is a mild build using stock heads, an Andrews “A” grind and an S&S Super “E,” and just to make things easy and reliable there is mini ham can air cleaner by LC Fabrications.

A stock 67 HD transmission was also rebuilt by Bacon and incorporates a hand shifter and foot clutch. The motor and trans are connected sans great plate and run a Bare Knuckle Choppers open chain drive just to keep things dicey. The thing that separates a Bling’s build from many of the other operations is that Bill prefers to do the majority of the work inhouse. The little bits and pieces that would be easier to buy are built out of stainless in Dodge’s shop. That includes the bars and risers, exhaust, foot controls and hand shifter, and a plethora of odds and ends.

The adjustable (stroker) carb support and taillight are both from Fn’A, and the headlight is a found 3 ½”. There are subtle touches on the bike that you will see if you ever get a chance to see it in person. There are little markings on the bike such as the stainless sissy bar that designate the dates of certain events in Jeff’s life like his Dad’s birthday and the starting date of his business. It’s these touches that can really make a bike feel personal. With the 25-tooth front chain sprocket, this bike is a freeway flier even though they don’t have freeways in Florida. According to Jeff, the bike is both stable at speeds and agile. The bike has “handsfree” at speed but also doesn’t suffer from ‘flop’ when toolin’ around in a parking lot.

The bike is everything Jeff hoped it would be with good looks, a long stance and enough power to point that long front end to the sky. There is nothing on this bike that is revolutionary, and that’s just fine. There are only so many things you can do to a bike that will still leave the bike efficient and reliable with all the style you need. From a design standpoint, a simple configuration is always better than an overworked, overengineered monstrosity that tries too hard to flash you with gadgets and gizmos. To take a simple design and manipulate it in a fashion that just looks right is something Bling’s is known for. Go check it out at or if you’re in Daytona go visit the shop…”GTP”

Owner: Jeff Kelderman
City/State: Iowa
Builder: Bling’s Cycles
Year: 1967
Model: FL
Value: Priceless
Time: 3 Months
Engine 88” Gen Shovel Stroker
Year: 67
Model: Fl
Builder: DC Choppers
Ignition: Morris Mag
Displacement: 88”
Pistons: S&S
Heads: Factory
Carb: S& S Super E
Cam: A Grind
Air Cleaner: Mini Ham Lc Fab
Exhaust: Stainless Bling’s
Primary: BKC
Year: 67
Make: Harley-Davidson
Shifting: Hand
Year: 1941 Knuck
Model: Fl
Rake: 49
Stretch: 5 7/8
Forks Denvers 70
Builder: Denver’s Repaired By Bling’s
Type: Springer
Triple Trees: Denvers
Extension: 20 Over / Sugarbear Rockers
Front Wheel: Spool
Size: 21×1.60
Tire: Avon
Front Brake: None
Rear Wheel: Sporty Mag
Size: 18×2.50
Rear Brake: Brembo
Painter: Willy
Color: Blue Pearl
Type: Pearl
Graphics: Willy
Chroming: Spacecoast Plating
Bars: Stainless Blings
Risers: Stainless Blings
Hand Controls: None
Foot Controls: Stainless Blings
Gas Tank(S): Handmade Blings
Oil Tank: Pan Heavily Modified
Front Fender: None
Rear Fender: Handmade Blings
Seat pan: Blings. Cover Duane Ballard
Headlight: Old Found 3.5
Tail Light: FNA
Speedo: None
PHOTOGRAPHER: Melissa Shoemaker

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