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1975 Shovelhead

Ride of the Week

Custom 1975 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead

Not every Ride of the Week we feature is a brand new build — sometimes we come across something cool that was put together years ago, just waiting for us to find it at the right moment! Case in point, we stumbled across an old friend at Mama Tried who showed us a custom bike he built over 15 years ago.

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Patrick Patterson is the owner of Led Sled, a motorcycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, that has built quite the portfolio over the years. Led Sled provides a number of services for its customers, with the forefront of the business being ground-up custom motorcycle builds. The shop’s inventive Harley-Davidson builds have led to it receiving a ton of attention and appearing in magazines across the world.

Patterson and the team at Led Sled have also manufactured and shipped their own line of handcrafted parts since 2002, which often get used in their builds. They’ve worked with thousands of customers to plan their builds and have many of them ship their full bike to the shop to have it broken down and built back up.

Despite all the flashy motorcycles Led Sled has built recently and displayed on their website, Patterson decided Mama Tried was a show to bring a throwback to, which also holds some sentimental value. The bike is a 1975 Shovelhead that was built for Patterson’s brother back in 2006. Since then, he’s made some minor tweaks and revamped a couple aspects of the build.

“Growing up with a lot of older brothers that had a lot of Novas and GTOs and dusters, they were doing a lot of hot-rod type stuff,” Patterson says. “So, I wanted to kind of throw stuff that I remembered when I was young that they did into this bike.

“There’s a kind of decorative trim on the back like the stainless trim on cars back in the day. And when I was growing up, I always saw my brothers take their gas pedals off and would put the foot there and stuff so that’s what inspired this motorcycle.”

A number of things make the bike stand out, including a Kiwi Indian Leaf springer front end that Patterson bought back in the day at the V-Twin Expos in Cincinnati. The back half was hard-tailed, and the gas tank cut up. Interestingly, Patterson chose to rip off valve covers from a Mercury car and “frenched” them into the gas tank.

The Shovelhead first existed with spoke wheels, but that soon changed. It now sports Challenger Invader wheels, which were built in-house, giving the bike a much more modern and aggressive style. A parameter brake on the rear wheel was also added to get a bit more stopping power.  

Along with the cosmetic work, a few minor tweaks were given to the engine, including a set of larger pistons.

“It’s not a hotrod by any means, it’s just a nicely-built cruiser that gives a good ride.”

If you have a motorcycle, ATV, UTV, snowmobile or jet ski you’d like to feature in MPN’s Ride of the Week series, please email MPN Content Director Greg Jones at [email protected].

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