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The Baja Twins go Matchlight!

The Baja Twins go Matchlight!

If you look for long enough into the rearview mirrors of our Baja Twins, you’ll discover derelict barn finds, forks longer than timber trucks and upsweep pipes menacing international air travel. In short, our MexiCalifornian duo of Shovelheads is covered with the dust and the memories of last year’s Born Free Motorcycle Show.

Born Free is arguably the global centre of Wrenching Culture, drawing us in like moths to the light. So we thought, why not bring a couple of nice bikes of our own? We checked our warehouse for interesting parts and found enough sufficient for not one, but two Shovelheads. So we decided to build them both as identical twins, but still slightly different. With the same Baja California dust eating chopper road movie spirit, and a good gulp of tequila and beer thrown in.

Dances with wrenches

Mattias "LeBeef" Anderson is our man at the workbench, steel whisperer numero uno at W&W with the built in ability to create very slick, very cool Shovel choppers from our original concept idea.

Mattias worked his magic on the LED headlights he incorporated into a set of wicked hand-built nacelles to achieve that slick enduro look, or rather, Baja style. Also the custom built (ever tried to build two identical sets of pipes?) exhaust systems for the two Shovelheads. Did you notice the footrests? The foot controls? Better take a second or third look: all custom-built as custom-built can. This is all top drawer.

There were the usual "man, why isn’t this working", "right, I’ll undo everything and fiddle with it some more and do it again the RIGHT way and then we’ll know" or "tomorrow’s another day – oh nooo, IT IS tomorrow already" moments, but from the start it was a fun project, ’cos wrenching on two identical bikes simultaneously is a mental challenge of the first order.

Here’s the master’s words:"When you do the first part, it’s a lot of experimenting, trial and error and so on. Once you’re there, you almost start all over again, and are comparing the parts, so they are as close to the first part as possible. It would be easier to make 100, because then you would build tools and fixtures …"

After months of wrenching, welding, grinding, chroming, swearing, head shaking, more swearing and grinning the Baja Twins were ready to roll. With striking paint from Bob’s Custom Garage, Tidaholm, Sweden. The California Bear and the Mexican Eagle were hand painted by Annika Ljungberg of Duckstripe, Varberg, Sweden

Baja Twins are go!

Bikes need to taste the open road. Before Born Free we showed these two Shovels a little bit of their home continent, so Nobbi and Tommy took the finished Baja Twins for some serious testing kilometers on German Autobahns, mountain switchbacks and rustic single tracks to make sure that they would stand up to the MexiCalifornian back roads. After that, they went straight over the Big Pond to Born Free California. After the show they were flying their Mexican-Californian colors across America to Born Free Texas and the Paradise Road Show. Now they’re back on their home turf, with the Matchlight Show Eindhoven (at Radio Royaal) scheduled for another chance to check out their immaculate build …

Cannonball StealthStarter SSK-R Kick Drive Rigid Frame
Cannonball StealthStarter SSK-R Kick Drive Rigid Frame
The Cannonball StealthStarter system converts your classic kickstart-only motorcycle to electric start. After installation you just push the button or turn the key to fire up your classic Big Twin.
The Cannonball SSK electric start system bolts between kicker cover and transmission case. The stock kick starter can be retained. Due to the system’s low profile, only 19 mm wide construction the overall appearance of your motorcycle will remain virtually unchanged. Primary drive, primary housing and oil tank will stay untouched.
Installation is fairly easy and straightforward. The kit includes everything needed for the conversion except for the extended throwout bearing, battery, wires and starter button/switch.
If the bike is still equipped with an early stock 6 V electrical system, you will have to convert this to 12 V. Depending on the configuration some other options are available separately.
Since the kicker cover moves 19 mm to the right the following modifications may be necessary:
A stock 2-1 exhaust system will have to be routed slightly outward to compensate for the offset of the kicker cover. , A longer clutch release lever will be necessary on rod actuated configurations like Moustraps or Footclutch. A longer lever can be ordered seperately if needed., A extended throwout bearing must be ordered seperately for your type of clutch pushrod since the stock pushrod will be 19 mm too short.,
A longer brake crossover shaft will be necessary on all bikes using the original mechanical rear brake in conjunction with the original 2-1 or similar exhaust. A longer crossover shaft can be ordered separately if needed. , Original rear fenders need to be slightly dented for starter motor clearance. Alternatively, an aluminum “Dent” can be ordered separately. In this case the fender needs to be cut out to allow the “dent” to be mounted with the original lower fender mount bolt and the two oil tank/battery tray bolts.,
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MAG-12 Rear Wheels 1973-07 Type
MAG-12 Rear Wheels 1973-07 Type
If you’re serious about wrenching your Harley, you’ll always be looking for that special part that makes all the difference. Introducing the legendary Mag Wheel.
When in the 60s car drag racing started to move from being a pastime of a few aficionados to serious motor sport, equipment got ever more important. Among other things lightweight and truly round wheels capable of taking hard loads got popular. And there it was, the magical wheel, the dragster front wheel, cast from magnesium alloy. It was called mag wheel. Not long, and the first chopper jocks tried to bolt these wheels to their rides. A favorite ever since: the 12 spoke variety.
The mag wheels of yore with their respective sizes of 15” and 18” are extremely rare by now and about as easy to find as an Ironhead Sportster that starts on the first kick. Even if one of those beauties can be unearthed, it should be clear that time has never stopped nibbling away at the metal — and the task of making them compatible with Harley brakes and axles is another story.
That’s why W&W had the Cannonball MAG-12 wheels cast using the latest technology and state-of-the-art aluminum alloys which guarantee long-term trouble-free service. The hub design was changed, too, in that it accepts special adapters which allow for the installation of common H-D drum and disc brake systems.
The Cannonball MAG-12 takes its styling cues from the originals, but is certified to take loads of 350 kg per wheel, and engineered to be compatible with a variety of Harley brake and sprocket setups. The available sizes of 16” and 19” give a wide scope of application for that next custom project.
Choose from wheels with a barrel polished or MAG finish. For the latter the barrel polished wheels are finely bead-blasted to achieve a dull magnesium-like appearance.
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