Twisted Shovel

Article By: Chris Callen

Photos By: Chris Callen & Amelia Rose

Originally Published In The September 2014 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Feature 2a

Last year Zack Conway’s first build was featured in this very magazine, as a matter of fact, it was our pleasure to put it on the cover. I’ve watched this kid come up since he was in a stroller out at the shows me and his ol’ man went to together. Not to embarrass him because today he and the boys he runs around with are building some of the most impressive bikes I’ve seen come out lately. When it came time for this year’s Hillbilly Invitational, a few of the original picks had to bow out and I asked Panhead Frank about giving a lesser known a shot. He agreed and when I mentioned this to Zack he was all over it. The cat already had a little bobber tore down and was tooling around with it but this put the deal into high gear. This bike was originally owned by one of our very dear friend’s, Alex Grecco. Alex was unfortunately taken from us as the result of complications due to an accident on this very bike. The remains of the bike would be used as a sort of tribute to Alex as Zack reconstructed it into the latest “Diamonds & Rust” original. Also a master of the deal, this kid works a trade like few other. Yes sir, even Roadside Marty would be impressed with the way he wheels and deals. The motor you see on Twisted Shovel was the result of a trade that started with a dirt bike, traded for a truck that turned into an XS 650 and eventually a shovel motor. It’s all kind of unclear but probably kept that way to not reveal his secrets. The frame was in pretty bad shape so the final configuration of it is a ’71 neck with a ’78 cradle and an aftermarket hardtail section.

Feature 2b

The tranny used was from Alex’s bike too but was first put to work in Zack’s bike from last year. He went with an upgrade on that bike so this, along with a pile of other stuff went into a collection for a someday build. Zack has a little shop behind his ol’ man’s house now and everyone in the area, even yours truly, calls him up for work on their scoots. He’s a good solid wrench and from that he has less and less time to work on his own stuff. The sum total of the original donor bike would end up making two motorcycles for Zack. He is a perfect example of how we do things in my neighborhood, buy the bare minimum. He’s gotten pretty good at fixing up old stuff and hand making parts as he goes. Take the rear fender on this bike for example, he found it by missing a swap meet and meeting a man that also couldn’t make the same meet. He mentioned the old ’32 Ford fender to Zack and they struck a deal. Now there’s no way that fender would have been at the swap for longer than the first ten minutes but because he is always on the hunt, he scored. Not only that but he managed to make it into two fenders!

Like I said, he has a good crew that hangs at the shop with him. Guys that all lend a hand to help get things done like Kyle Lopes, Kevin “Puddin” Codarcure and Shawn Kostek. Of course his old man is the inspiration and the real old man, Keith Parson, who sits in an advisory position above all of it, just to make sure everyone is doing what they’re supposed to. Thirty days before BMR I stopped in and saw the bike, all raw and in full mock up, it already looked bad ass but still had a way to go. Zack’s work ethic is so good that I knew he wouldn’t have a problem getting done, but the level he finished it was impressive. When you realize that in his day job he installs carpet, day in and day out and that all this is just in his extra time with very little resources to squander, it’s simply amazing. This is exactly why I give him mad props, he does my heart proud by keeping in the traditions of where his dad and I came from. Hell, he’s probably even cooler than we were…. But don’t tell him I said that.

Feature 2c

Twisted Shovel Tech Sheet

Owner: Zack Conway

City: Lower Burrell

Fabrication By: Zack Conway/ Diamonds N’

Rust Cycles

Year: 1977

Model: 1977 Shovel

Time: 4 months


Year: 1977

Model: Shovelhead

Builder: Zack Conway

Ignition: Points

Displacement: 74”

Pistons: HD

Heads: HD

Cam(s): Sifton

Carb: SU

Air Cleaner: an old sock

Exhaust: Zack Conway/ Diamonds N’ Rust Cycles

Primary: BDL


Year: 1978

Make: HD

Shifting: Jockey


Year: 1981

Make: HD

Rake: 30

Stretch: 0


Type: Super Narrow Springer

Builder: HD/ Diamonds N’ Rust Cycles

Extension: 0

Triple Trees: HD


Front Wheel: Mini Drum

Size: 21

Tire: Avon

Rear Wheel: HD

Size: 16

Tire: Dunlop

Brakes: GMA


Painter: Zombie Shawn

Color: Gold Candy Flake


Bars: T Bars

Risers: None

Hand Controls: None

Gas Tank(s): Axed

Rear fender: ‘32 Ford Spare Tire Ring

Seat: Danny Gray

Foot Controls: Floor Boards/ Foot Clutch

Oil Tank: Spun Aluminum

Headlight: Cheapo

Tailight: Cheapo

Photographer: Chris Callen & Amelia Rose


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