Custom 1977 Harley-Davidson FLHS

Wrecked and retired, a 1977 Harley-Davidson FLHS thunders back to life

| November/December 2005

  • Joel Sechrist’s FLHS retains the essential character of the Shovelhead while fixing some design flaws and modernizing various components
    Joel Sechrist’s FLHS retains the essential character of the Shovelhead while fixing some design flaws and modernizing various components. The result is not only good at gathering a crowd, but is easy to ride.
    Photo by Dana Shirey
  • Performance and suspension enhancements make Sechrist’s custom a good runner on the highway, city streets and twisty roads
    Performance and suspension enhancements make Sechrist’s custom a good runner on the highway, city streets and twisty roads.
    Photo by Dana Shirey
  • In only two weeks, custom painter Shawn Emenheiser crafted a dazzling paint scheme for Sechrist's '77 FLHS
    In only two weeks, custom painter Shawn Emenheiser crafted a dazzling paint scheme for Sechrist's '77 FLHS.
    Photo by Dana Shirey
  • The FLHS' speedometer
    The FLHS' speedometer
    Photo by Dana Shirey
  • In only two weeks, custom painter Shawn Emenheiser crafted a dazzling paint scheme for Sechrist’s ‘77 FLHS
    In only two weeks, custom painter Shawn Emenheiser crafted a dazzling paint scheme for Sechrist’s ‘77 FLHS.
    Photo by Dana Shirey
  • The ‘77 model’s front end was almost an exact reproduction of a 1963 Panhead
    The ‘77 model’s front end was almost an exact reproduction of a 1963 Panhead.
    Photo by Dana Shirey
  • An aftermarket exhaust and dual disc brakes combine with traditional instrumentation
    An aftermarket exhaust and dual disc brakes combine with traditional instrumentation.
    Photo by Dana Shirey
  • In keeping with the stylish but functional theme of Sechrist’s Shovelhead, the Mustang seat is both attractive and comfortable
    In keeping with the stylish but functional theme of Sechrist’s Shovelhead, the Mustang seat is both attractive and comfortable.
    Photo by Dana Shirey
  • Custom FLHS
    Custom FLHS
    Photo by Dana Shirey
  • Hillegass boosted the FLHS’s output by adding a hotter cam, aftermarket exhaust and S&S carb
    Hillegass boosted the FLHS’s output by adding a hotter cam, aftermarket exhaust and S&S carb.
    Photo by Dana Shirey
  • Hillegass boosted the FLHS's output by adding a hotter cam and aftermarket exhaust
    Hillegass boosted the FLHS's output by adding a hotter cam and aftermarket exhaust.
    Photo by Dana Shirey

  • Joel Sechrist’s FLHS retains the essential character of the Shovelhead while fixing some design flaws and modernizing various components
  • Performance and suspension enhancements make Sechrist’s custom a good runner on the highway, city streets and twisty roads
  • In only two weeks, custom painter Shawn Emenheiser crafted a dazzling paint scheme for Sechrist's '77 FLHS
  • The FLHS' speedometer
  • In only two weeks, custom painter Shawn Emenheiser crafted a dazzling paint scheme for Sechrist’s ‘77 FLHS
  • The ‘77 model’s front end was almost an exact reproduction of a 1963 Panhead
  • An aftermarket exhaust and dual disc brakes combine with traditional instrumentation
  • In keeping with the stylish but functional theme of Sechrist’s Shovelhead, the Mustang seat is both attractive and comfortable
  • Custom FLHS
  • Hillegass boosted the FLHS’s output by adding a hotter cam, aftermarket exhaust and S&S carb
  • Hillegass boosted the FLHS's output by adding a hotter cam and aftermarket exhaust

Custom Harley-Davidson FLHS

Year produced: 2005
Claimed power: 65bhp @ 4,000rpm (est.)
Top speed: 120mph (est.)
Engine type: 1,208cc, two-valve, 45-degree V-twin
Weight (dry): 332.1kg (738lb) 
Price: Not for sale

In 1977 Joel Sechrist plopped down $4,200 for a new Harley-Davidson FLHS. He liked the bike, he liked to ride and he also liked to party. And the combination exacted its toll.

"You got the word on me — I tried to use it like an International Harvester one day. I was riding on a dirt road, and both me and the bike had a full tank of fuel. The road made a hairpin turn, and I wasn't going to make it, so I went straight into a cornfield," Sechrist says. The result? "Light damage to the motorcycle and heavy damage to my ego."

Later, Sechrist cut back on the partying, but back problems forced him to mothball the bike. Ten years later, after his back healed and he bought a new Harley Road King, he asked his son if he wanted the FLHS for his 21st birthday.



When his son told him he’d rather have a dirt bike, Sechrist decided to fix up his old bike and ride it himself. He took the big V-twin to Ed Hillegass at Keystone Performance Cycle, near York, Pa., and asked him to rebuild it.

Hillegass worked for Harley-Davidson for more than 20 years before shifting to the retail side of the motorcycle world and founding Keystone three years ago. "I specialize in performance and customizing. I take in restorations over the winter — they take twice as long."

Stretch
12/1/2017 11:26:06 PM

Like your bike I have a1977 Shovelhead AMF







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