The Work Truck

Article By: Roadside Marty

Photos By: Carsten Fritzen

Originally Published In The March 2017 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

I can’t think of a finer example of a Shovelhead for our Shovelhead issue than this beauty right here! The owner, Nick Jordan, started out like most of us by getting started on a 1978 Ironhead Sportster when he was 15. Now, some of us might not have gotten started that early but Nick is quick, to point that he usually pushed that bike more than he rode it. Over the next few years he got more than a few hands-on lessons with ’78. Eventually he upgraded to an 86 Softtail that he rode to high school. Man, can you imagine how envious the other kids must have been? It was during this period that he came up with the idea that he wanted to build his own bike. He had been admiring the bikes that were coming out of Sucker Punch Sally’s, which was started by Jeff Cochran and Donny Loos, and that was the direction he wanted to take. His good friend Jeff Cribb introduced him to a local motorcycle legend by the name of Chip Hoffner. It wasn’t long after that meeting that the Softail was sold and his dream of building a bike became a reality with Chip’s help and guidance. He says the feeling of hearing that first build crank to life is an experience that he’ll never forget. After several other Harley’s came and went he knew could never sell that Softtail for no selfish reason other than the good friends helping him out while he got to build that first bike. After putting many miles that bike, and a few others, he picked up his first Shovelhead in 2011 which was a rebuilt 1973 FL.


After working on it more than riding it he threw in the towel and pushed it into a corner of his shop and started to save his cash. All along, he knew what this bike could be so he pulled the trigger and got in touch with Jeff Cochran, who was his inspiration to build his first bike. With the level of bikes Jeff was turning out under his SpeedKing brand it was the reason Nick wanted a Shovelhead in the first place. After a few phone calls and emails with Jeff, Nick sold a car project that he had and was lucky enough to end up with another Shovelhead out of the deal. He loaded up both bikes and made the trip from his home in South Caroline to Jeff’s shop in Indiana. Nick knew that Jeff would do a great job because of the pride and high level of craftsmanship that Jeff puts into each build. Two weeks to the day after he had delivered the bike to Jeff he got a call saying that his bike was done. Jeff also told him the extra motor from the car deal was a stroker and it ran great! There’s a certain style that Jeff is known for, when you see a SpeedKing bike you instantly know that Jeff he had his hand in it in some way. For instance, the dual rear caliper setups that he sells through his site or no front brake and a jockey shift. Nick needed all of the stopping power he could get. The rear fender and struts are also another thing Jeff is known for, these struts are stainless steel and have a very distinct design to them.

The rear fender is mounted in conjunction with the swingarm which overall gives the rear fender a very tight look. The OEM 4 speed frame got one of Jeff’s drop seat conversions which lowers the rear shock mounting position on not just the frame but on the swingarm as well. This gives the bike a very low aggressive stance. Afterwards he got it covered with a nice coat of gloss black powder coat. Jeff usually uses forward controls with these configurations because the lowered position is more of a comfort when your legs are not tucked up under you as with a mid control position. The motor didn’t need very much, so Jeff just tuned it to his specs and the 4-speed transmission was freshened up as well. He also used the OEM 2 into 1 exhaust system because he says it works really well. Nick said the front end that originally came on the bike was used to keep costs down and Jeff topped it off with his usual Z bars. When Nick picked the bike up Jeff had left the tins bare because Nick had a paint idea that he wanted his friends at Truett’s Auto Collision to help him out with. They ended up shooting a gloss black paint job on the rear fender and tank. Nick put the decals on the tank then they gave them both a good clear coat. After several thousand miles and a few great summers of riding Nick is still completely satisfied with this bike. He says that taking this bike to Jeff was one of the best moves that he’s ever made. He still keeps in touch with Jeff and considers him to be a great friend. In closing Nick wants to thank his wife for her patience. Thanks for sharing your bike with us brother!!!

Work Truck Tech Sheet

Owner: Nick Jordan

Tate: Aynor, SC

Builder: Jeff Cochran

Year: 1973

Model: FL


Time: 2 Weeks


Year: 1973

Model: Shovelhead

Builder: Harley-Davidson

Ignition: Points


Pistons: Harley-Davidson

Heads: Harley-Davidson

Carb: S&S


Air Cleaner: S&S

Exhaust: Jeff Cochran

Primary: Open


Year: 1973

Make: Harley-Davidson

Shifting: Jockey Shift


Year: 1973

Make: HD/SpeedKing

Model: Drop Seat

Rake: Stock


Type: 41mm




Front Wheel: Spoke

Size: 16”

Front Tire: Firestone

Front brake: Kinda, Sorta, Not Really

Rear Wheel: Spoke

Size: 16”

Rear Tire: Firestone

Rear brake: Twin Wilwood


Painter: Truett’s Auto Collision

Color: Black


Bars: Jeff Cochran

Risers: Small

Hand Controls: GMA

Fuel tank: Harley-Davidson

Front Fender: None

Rear Fender: Jeff Cochran

Seat: Flyrite Chopper

Foot Controls: GMA

Oil tank: Jeff Cochran



Speedo: None

Photographer: Carsten Fristzen