Daniel Morgan’s Harley Story

This will take up a couple of paragraphs because I’m gonna span almost 50 years here.

In March of 1970, when I was a senior in high school I was over at my neighbors house one day after school, and his big brother, who had recently come back from Vietnam, come pulling up on this thing with two wheels and ape hanger handlebars idling along with that famous 45-degree lope. I was in love! I said, “what is that called?” And he replied, proudly, this is a shovelhead! I didn’t know at the time but it was a pan/shovel. 1951 Panhead with a bow-legged frame, with a shovelhead upper on it. Remember nobody had shovelheads yet cuz they were only four years old and nobody was buying new bikes.

Well I had a job working graveyard shift at a gas station (which I’m sure child labor laws wouldn’t allow now) and I was riding a Yamaha 350, but I needed one of those monsters! I had some money saved up but not enough to buy a Harley-Davidson. At the time you could find running beaters for $1200, a nice bike for $1600, and a cherry for $1900-$2100. So I got to looking around and I found a guy that had a ‘48 EL Panhead that ran well. Some idiot had taken off the stock rocker foot clutch and made a “suicide” out of it. Dummy! Anyway, I talked my mom into loaning me $300 and the guy wanted $1150 for it but I talked him down to $1050 and I had me a Harley. I sold the Yamaha for $350 and paid my mom back.

Anyway, I had that bike for a year or so but being an EL it was only 61 inches so it struggled running with the 74s. So I ended up buying a 1964 FLH, had that bike for four or five years and ended up buying a 1975 FL electraglide, which I ad for at least ten years, don’t quite remember when I sold it, the mid to late eighties.

In the late seventies I was getting the itch to build a bike from the ground up so I started off on a project that began with a set of 1960FLH cases and a straight leg Panhead rigid frame, probably 56 or 57. I ended up making that into a 93” pan/shovel, put a lo-rider dual-disc front end, yards yada. Had that bike for several years so after buying a new FXR I sold the Pan/Shovel to a friend of mine and somehow or the other he ended selling that to a couple of guys from Germany that were over here buying Harleys and taking them back to Europe, so there’s no telling where that bike is now.

So of course by then HD was making belt drives and five speeds so I bought a used 86 FXR in 1987. I had that bike for about a year, I absolutely loved that bike, I couldn’t believe they could make a bike that could handle as it did, it was phenomenal! Anyway, I walked into the local dealer down there one day and they had this brand new 1988 FXRS, I had to have that bike! At the time I was self-employed, making good money, I had gotten a smoking deal on the 86, so I sold it and went in there and paid cash for that 88. I was the first guy in my crowd to buy a new one, I still own it now. I lived in California at the time and I rode that bike to Daytona one year and it’s been to Sturgis a handful of times. About that time I’m getting a little older and I’m starting to think dresser, so In 2004 I bought a new Road King, I needed a little more out of that bike so I put a set of big-bore barrels on it and a set of Andrews cams just to spice it up. Since then I’ve upgraded it to hydraulic cam chain tensioners like they should have done in the first place. Also, during that time period I ended up with a 1968 electra glide, don’t ask me why but I let that one go, there was a divorce and some other things going on, oh well!

So (I’m almost done) here a year or two ago I bought a 2012 Dyna, had never had a Dyna so what the hell, right? So anyway I’ve still got the FXRS, the Road King, and the Dyna. And just to be well rounded, I’ve got a Porsche 911 Carrera too, people tell me bikers don’t drive Porsche’s, and I say just watch me!

Daniel Morgan

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