: Santee or Fab Kevin Weld on?

11-05-2008, 12:21 PM
I'm on the verge of hardtailing my shovel, but i cant decide which route i wanna take. I love the look of the o.e.m. axle plates that Fab Kevin uses. All of his give the frame complete a factory look, but i'm definitely on a budget. So i'm thinkin that a rigid tail section from paughco or santee is the way to go. Does anybody have any pics of either or both? Maybe that'd help me make a decision....

11-05-2008, 12:25 PM
if you buy ANYTHING from Kevin, you won't regret it. IMHO, that's not one area to compromise on with your build. i'm just saying dude, ask around or call him. You'll be glad you did.

11-05-2008, 12:27 PM
fab kevin for president!

11-05-2008, 12:28 PM
I believe Santee closed it's doors, no? Maybe they still have inventory.

I can tell you this, there is no higher quality in this biz than Kevin's stuff. The axle plates make the price a little higher, but it is well worth it in my opinion. Take some pride in your bike man, spend the extra coin on the frame. It is arguably the most important part of the bike.


later, Paul

11-05-2008, 12:29 PM
If I had a choice between supporting fab kevin or anyone else, it would be kevin. I have bought some of his stuff and there is no finer. Step up and buy his and you will not be disappointed. for sure!!

11-05-2008, 12:35 PM
The prob with the santee is that it wont fit to well you will need to "adjust it". Kevins will be better. But if its a money thing then do what u got to do.

11-05-2008, 12:39 PM
I just did a Santee weldon hardtail two months ago, due to the cost factor. I Dont have the bike on the road yet, but I do like the lines. I did it myself with a laser leveler. Im within 1/16" on all measurements. The rear axle plates on the Santee have a somewhat factory profile to them. The look better than the paughco frame sideplate. If I could, I would have definatly went with fab Kevins. They are the top of the line.

11-05-2008, 12:40 PM
If you are going to fuck up a factory frame.. do it with a Fab Kevin hard tail section.

Wait, that doesnt sound right.

If you must hardtail your factory frame, Fab Kevins stuff CAN NOT be beat!

11-05-2008, 12:52 PM
How much does Fab Kevin typically charge to do this?

11-05-2008, 12:54 PM
I love hardtail frames. Im happy with the lines I got, But I will never do another one. I have butchers remorse. Its the cheap way I had to go. $200 and I have a hardtail. LegendsMC has the best deal on Santee weld-ons.
But everyone Ive read, has all said they were happy with the end result, but wouldnt do another because it is a factory Harley frame.

Larry T
11-05-2008, 12:56 PM
There was a bike mag that had Fab Kevin deal in it just a few mo, back. Larry T may be able to help you on this. Could PM him
Sorry, but I haven't bought a bike mag in 10 years or so.

Santee is owned by Custom Chrome, still turning out hardtails but they may get here by boat. I don't really know.

I'm with Trent on this deal. There have been enough factory frames hardtailed that you should be able to fine one without cutting another one up. I really think it will hurt the value of the bike if that is any consideration. Or how about something different. I put drop seat frame castings on a shovel frame to lower it a little once. Turned out pretty well, I'm thinking about doing it again on another butchered frame I might redo one of these days.

I can see a future market for oem style swingarm replacement sections to put frames back to original. Don't think so? Look at fat bob mounts, sidecar loop repair sections, replacement necks, etc.

But the bottom line is, it's your deal. Fire up the torch if that's what you think needs done.

11-05-2008, 01:27 PM

$1,000 plus shipping.

11-05-2008, 01:47 PM

Larry T
11-05-2008, 02:07 PM

$1,000 plus shipping.

......would just about cover the price of a reproduction wishbone and leave you with a good swing arm frame.
Larry T

11-05-2008, 02:19 PM
I e-mailed Kevin about his hardtail kit, I think it's about 500 bucks.
If you have him do it , you know it's going to be perfect but your going to pay about 1000 dollars I think.
There are plenty of swing arm shovel frames around, I have one sittin in my basement collecting dust and if Kevin does it I wouldn't call the frame butchered. I've seen one of his frames, comes out beautiful. Stand up guy too, save up and go with Kevin, my .02.

11-05-2008, 02:19 PM
Fab Kevin all the way. He uses Panhead axle plates and when it's done it looks sweet. I've seen one in person and was very impressed. There is nothing to think about, call Fab Kevin and you'll be glad you did.

11-05-2008, 02:21 PM
......would just about cover the price of a reproduction wishbone and leave you with a good swing arm frame.
Larry T

Titling issue if it's a Shovel, post '70! I agree if it was a titled pre '69 motor!

11-05-2008, 02:48 PM
Fab Kevin all the way!!!!

11-05-2008, 02:50 PM
I concur about the aesthetic quality of Fab Kevin's work. Here's a shot of the 81 FX frame he did for me. the cost was about $1100, but there's no way in my mind this devalues a stock frame. If anything, the value of the completed bike is enhanced by retaining an HD title. That's worth far more to me than having an 08 SPCS.

11-05-2008, 02:54 PM

11-05-2008, 03:23 PM
We already had a beat-dead-horse thread about preserving and/or restoring stock frames for future generations, vs how very many late (numbered) frames are around.

Another vote for Fab Kevin & a legal stock-numbered rigid frame.

You purists would loved to have seen me sawing the rear triangles off a rigid Pan frame to give Kevin for that X-15 Shovel he won a Smokeout build-off with...



Fab Kevin
11-05-2008, 03:31 PM
Holy crap. Thanks to all for the positive remarks.

My belief on cutting up any bike, is if you do a half-assed job about it and take away from the bike - you are making a mistake. If you take a heap and make something more than it was - then you've done your job. Yes - someday there may be folks lined up to pay crazy money for a restored swingarm shovelhead. Right now, you can find a complete FX or FL for less than 4 grand all day long.

I started doing the frames this way because I didn't like the way the hardtail kits attach to the cut-apart frames, especially at the bottom. Also, most of the ones I've seen lower the frame and the axle plates are tilted forward - out of kilter with the rest if you know what I mean. This is just my opinion. Irish Rich does a nice conversion using the kits, and he tweaks everything and adds his own touches to make them look much better. Everyone has their idea of what looks good, and also what their budget can handle.

Thanks again to all for the votes of confidence.

11-05-2008, 03:32 PM
Heres the fab Kevin thread. great pics, most righteous frame jig


Oh and heres another thread brought back from the dead.

11-05-2008, 05:44 PM
i havent dealt with him directly other than a strut kit, but here's my consensus -

i have heard bad things about Santee
i have heard NOTHING BUT good things about Kevin

11-05-2008, 05:53 PM
big oscar had a frame with one of kevins kits on it and the whole thing looked flawless why deal with a faceless corporation when you can talk to the guy who will stand behind his work but its your money

11-05-2008, 07:16 PM
If your mind isn't made up yet I will tell you I have used some of Kevin's other stuff and it is all top notch. He was a great guy to deal with and most of all everything he said he was going to do he did. After you see his welds you will have no problem doing 100+mph on your bike (not on public roads of course).

11-06-2008, 03:50 PM
Look at Englishmans shubble. Killer. Frame looks soooo good

11-06-2008, 04:23 PM
I've seen Roadside Marty's Shovel that Kevin hardtailed and it is perfect. Keep in mind that Marty built the bike after Kevin did the frame and even he couldn't fuck it up! The saying about never being afraid to buy the best b/c you won't be disappointed applies 100% here. Save your pennies and have Kevin do the work.

11-06-2008, 05:13 PM
By the way, who gives a shit about cutting up an AMF frame? I wouldnt cut up a pre 70 frame for many reasons, unless it is just too far gone.

11-16-2008, 10:39 AM
Fab Kevin is the best. You won't be sorry. He just did my 81 FXS.