Union Eighty One

Article By: GTP

Photos By: Matt Driscoll

Originally Published In The February 2019 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Angel Perez doesn’t get out to ride as much as he would like, spending most of his time in his shop, Motorcycle Mania in Chicago Illinois. Although working on older Harleys, Perez mostly focuses on Japanese bike maintenance, rebuilds, and restoration. Most of his riding is on an Asian missile on track day at his local road racing course. Angel loves himself some bikes but as we all know, once your passion becomes your job you need to shake things up to keep you sane. Enter a pair of Shovelhead four-speed framed bikes in assorted crates strewn across his shop floor. Projects disassembled and forgotten, and Angel was cherry pickin’ the bunch of it. Grabbing up a stout ’81 Shovelhead motor from of the pile, he mated it to a ’79 rotary four-speed tranny and dumped it all into a Santee hardtail frame with 0 stretch and the neck set at 34 degrees.

The drive train is tied together with a Blower Drives Limited 3” open primary and diaphragm style clutch. Although there is a kicker, a Tech-Cycle electric start is there for when “you just don’t have the time” to be messin’ with an old Shovelhead with a stubborn streak. As you have read in the tech sheet, Angel doesn’t list a rebuilder, and I was dumbfounded that someone had a good running factory-built cone Shovel but that unicorn scampered back into the forest when I was informed the motor was stuffed full of S&S components. The motor has been rebuilt, but Angel doesn’t know who did it. It was a good runner and was sprinkled with some pretty chrome bits and fired off with Twin-Power single fire ignition. Being a track guy, Angel’s inspiration came in the form of those Sons of Speed style board track racers. You know the ones, they have oval wheels, and the guys riding them are wearing those little leather hats. This is his interpretation of those old racers with Shovelhead power.

Keeping with the whole board track theme, Angel grabbed a pair of 23” front wheels. One, a single flange DNA was shod with an Avon Cobra tire was mounted up front while an Ultima dual flange wheel was used in the rear. It’s also running the matching Avon. Braking up front is handled by a Midwest rotor and caliper and Performance Machine in the rear. The foot controls are by Mid USA while the Roland Sands hand controls are mounted to a set of Burley Brand bars that keep with the board track theme. While the frame is painted in a base coat silver, the tank is actually unpainted aluminum formed into the classic board track style by Angels friend Craig Rodsmith, proprietor of Rodsmith Design. His flawless execution is displayed unpainted adding to the nostalgic racer ques Angel was chasing.


A horseshoe style oil tank houses the battery and electronics. Just above is a very nice leaf spring type seat mount. The leaf spring is mounted to the backbone while the seat post is incorporated, to keep it all in alignment. The actual seat was designed and built by PlzBeSeated a local shop that added the Motorcycle Mania cloth patch that works well with the suede insert. Although he’s only had a chance to ride his creation to a local show or two, he says that it rides surprisingly comfortable despite its board track lineage. It’s reported the bike performed flawlessly the first time out with not a gremlin to be had and has continued that way ever since. Angel is again locked away in his shop wrenching and restoring old bikes; he knows when he is in the mood for something different, his board tracker is always there.


Owner: Angel Perez

City/State: Chicago, Illinois

Builder: Motorcycle Mania Inc.

Year: 1981

Model: FLH

Value: $15,000

Time: 400 Hrs


Year: 1981

Model: FLH

Builder: HD

Ignition: Twin Power

Displacement: 1340

Pistons: HD

Heads: HD

Carb: S&S

Cam: HD

Air Cleaner: S&S

Exhaust: Drag pipes

Primary: BDL


Year: 1979

Make: HD

Shifting: 4-SPD


Year: 1981

Model: Santee

Rake: 34°

Stretch: None


Builder: ULTIMA

Type: Springer

Triple Trees:

Extension: None


Front Wheel: DNA

Size: 23×3.5

Tire: Avon Cobra

Front Brake: Midwest

Rear Wheel: Ultima

Size: 23×3.5

Tire: Avon Cobra

Rear Brake: Performance Machine








Bars: Burley Brand

Risers: Midwest

Hand Controls: Roland Sands

Foot Controls: Midwest

Gas Tank(s): Rodsmith Design

Oil Tank: Midwest

Front fender:

Rear Fender:

Seat: PlzBeSeated

Headlight: PIAA

Tail light: Bikemaster

Speedo: None


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