Bobber With A Twist

0shovelscates1shovelscates2shovelscates3shovelscates19shovelscates9shovelscates7shovelscatesYou are looking at one of the custom bikes that has received the largest number of best of show and 1st place trophies during the 2016 winter/spring/summer show tour. Built by Tim Scates, a backyard builder with high professional skills, this Twisted Bobber was created for his daughter Amy who now owns it. It’s based on a 1977 Harley Shovelhead formally owned by her grandfather. The merit of Tim’s Bobber and the reason why his creation is so appealing to both judges and the public at large, is the mix of very creative details with very entertaining repurposed parts, all with an intersting history.

13shovelscates19tershovelscates16shovelscates15shovelscatesTim’s most difficult task was the frame. Those who have only tried or even succeeded at manually twisting 1.5” steel bar know that getting the perfect twist shape duplicated at each turn of the bar is an art requiring patience and expertise. The steel in question was found at a downtown Houston Black Smith shop created during the Civil War… For looks, Tim splited the 77 Shovel rocker boxes, and sent them to be engraved by a certain Dennis. Then, for more effect, he had the heads diamond cut. Engine is equipped with a SU carb and is breathing through an air cleaner created from a 1956 Cadillac air vent. Nicely routed external copper plumbing adds visual interest to the beautiful motor.

12shovelscates6shovelscates19bisshoveltimscates18shovelscatesGas tank was also massaged by Tim and fitted on top with a very ornamental gas cap made from a 1930’s gas can chopped from his handle and to which he added a set of brass knuckles. For a smile, fuel filter is a miniature Jack Daniel’s glass bottle working by gravity and that you unscrew to dump the gas crap if any…. Rear fender had a 1st life as a Ford spare tire ring. Taillight was born on a 1938 Chevy. The hand-built oil tank is half oil/half gas. The reason why gas is present in this location is because this Twisted Bobber is also a serious flamethrower spitting 20-foot flames at idle speed and 60-foot ones when revving up the engine towards the red line. The flame throwing kit features a line running from the small gas compartment to the exhaust. Spark plugs in the tips create the ignition. Boom. Show time. No incident until now…

14shovelscates8shovelscates17shovelscates4shovelscatesFront suspension is a shortened Panhead front end. Tim Scates made the bar to accept an internal throttle, adding a recessed neutral light (not to be confused with gears when using the foot clutch.) He also recessed an indicator for the headlight, a repurposed police spotlight. No brake on the front wheel and a chain Sprocket/Disc on the rear wheel left side for a very uncluttered right side of the bike. Dual pipe exhaust is also Tim’s work. Handle of the jockey shifter comes from a 1918 trench knife. Chrome plating and powdercoating performed by Atlas Plating in Houston, TX. Flashy green paint job was sprayed by Pygmy in La Marque, Texas. (photography H. Roesler for C. Huze)

Technical data

Name : Amy’s Twisted Bobber
Owner: Timothy Scates
Location: Waller, TX
Assembly: Tim Scates
Motor/Engine: 1977 Harley Davidson 74 Shovelhead
Block/Lower end: Harley Davidson
Crankshaft: Harley Davidson
Cylinder: Harley Davidson
Pistons: Harley Davidson
Displacement: (Cubic-Inch) 74 cu. in.
Heads: Harley Davidson Diamond-Cut Shovelhead
Valves: Harley Davidson
Pushrods: Harley Davidson
Camshaft: Harley Davidson
Carburator: SU
Air cleaner: 1956 Cadillac Air Vent
Ignition: Morris Magneto
Pipes: Custom built true duals with flame thrower kit
Transmission: 4 Speed Rachet Top Year 1977
Type: Harley Davidson
Gears: Harley Davidson
Shifting: Jockey Shift
Primary Transmission: Clutch: Harley Davidson Dry
Brakes: Harley Davidson Rear Sprotor
Frame: Custom Built Twisted
Rake: 32 Degrees
Shortened 4″
Wheels: Front: 21″ Custom Made Spool on reproduction Avon tire
Rear: 16″ with Sprotor on reproduction Goodyear
Hub/Rotor: Rear Harley Davidson with Sprotor
Spokes: Harley Davidson (Front & Rear)
Brakes: Front: None. Rear: Sprotor
Disk(s): Sprotor
Caliper(s): 4 Piston
Bars: Hand built with internal throttle
Mirrors: Bar End
Grips: Brass
Front: Anderson
Rear: None
Gas Tank: Hand Built 2.5 gallon
Seat: Danny Gray Oil-tank: Custom Built 1/2 oil and 1/2 gas (gas reservoir for flame thrower)
Fenders: Front: None. Rear: 1936 Ford Spare Tire Ring
Headlight: 1920’s Police Car Spot Light
Taillight: 1938 Chevrolet
Indicators: None
Painter: Paint by Pygmy La Marque, TX
Base laquer: PPG
Color: Viper Green
Design/Airbrush Art: Gold Leaf

Timothy Scates
Waller, TX


20 Responses to “Bobber With A Twist”

  1. 1 Cisco Nov 28th, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Maybe a little bit overdone in the details but very nice.

  2. 2 Donny Nov 28th, 2016 at 9:25 am

    If it was silver or black…

  3. 3 P.Hamilton Nov 28th, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Like, except the color. Too flashy for me.

  4. 4 Frank Ashfield Nov 28th, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Nice engraving.

  5. 5 Randy Basser Nov 28th, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I agree that it’s somewhat overdone. Would prefer it without repurposed parts because it has been done so often. And they just are visual gimmicks.

  6. 6 Greeko Nov 28th, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    Flames throwing. Not interested. Pipes should stop at rear of rotol. Except this, nice bike and rideable.

  7. 7 JohnnySpeed Nov 28th, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Very nice work. Especially the engraving. But the repurposed parts, color and flame throwing kind of for me.

  8. 8 Charles Erickson Nov 28th, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    It Rocks!!! As far as being overdone, I don’t think it is. I’ve seen a lot worse. The extravagance is tasteful, in my green opinion.

  9. 9 Woody's Nov 28th, 2016 at 5:06 pm

    As all above, very thin line to walk between custom touch or throwing glitter.

  10. 10 Oldharleygrump Nov 28th, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    Why cant people just call it like it is? A beautiful scoot!
    Dont think people get what it takes to build .
    Great job?
    Dont pay attention to the wanna bees

  11. 11 VForce Nov 28th, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    I just bought a Triumph Bobber because I want to be part of the club…

  12. 12 GUANOPSYCHOTIC Nov 28th, 2016 at 7:40 pm

    a little curious, why is the mainshaft for the shifter drum in the ratchet lid missing?

    otherwise, a nice show quality bike with a lot of one off custom hand work.

  13. 13 CabanaDan Nov 28th, 2016 at 8:10 pm

    Looking great Tim!!! CONGRATS!!!

  14. 14 Chris Nov 29th, 2016 at 8:54 am

    Green is Nice!

  15. 15 Tom Nov 29th, 2016 at 9:04 am

    amazing work !!!!!!! 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 Tim
    Oh yea

  16. 16 Dick Hirschberg Nov 29th, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    This isn’t a fucking bobber. It’s a short chop. A bobber, like a cutdown, is a period piece. You guys should know better

  17. 17 Gary Nov 29th, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    Dick. It’s the way the “new” Bobbers look.

  18. 18 Francesco Nov 29th, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    Belle moto, tres raffinée!!! couleur superbe!


  19. 19 Blackmax Nov 29th, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    I don;t care how old you are (I am for this type of bike)
    Where you’re from or anything else,
    That, my friends, is one bad ass cycle !!!!
    Kudos to the builder & your daughter is very lucky !!
    but that Jockey shift has to be kind of tough ???

  20. 20 nicker Nov 30th, 2016 at 12:30 am

    Hell, just looking at it outs a smile on my face……. 🙂


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Cyril Huze