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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm looking to take on a Shovelhead hardtail + Springer front end project. I'm trying to do all of my research right now to figure out the best path to take for each of the components.

I'd like to find parts or options that yield the most quality and is simply the best choice for that purpose.

For example, regarding the Springer front end, it seems that the W&W one from Europe is the one to get as the VTwin stuff is no longer made from the same manufacturer and is of lesser quality?

The biggest thing I'm trying to figure out right now is the frame/bike itself. It seems that these are the options:
  1. Find an original Hardtail Shovelhead frame and retain its VIN and piece everything together onto it
  2. Buy a new hardtail frame altogether... for this option, would be cool to get something that is constructed of higher grade than Harley, i.e. Cromoly tubing and TIG welded. I saw Visionary Cycle Products had a complete frame that seemed to be of this spec, but is no longer available??
  3. Buy a Softail Shovelhead bike and then convert it... but heard that the VTwin hardtail conversion kind of sucks
Which of the 3 would you do and am I missing anything?

Thanks!!
 

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no shovelheads were ever made in a hardtail frame from the factory so you can forget that one on ya list ... avoid anything made by tiawan ted & v-twin mfg,... utter crap which leaves you to buy a new made frame with an MSO from a reputable frame builder & get it made exactly as you want it,... less ya want the same as everyone & his brother
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ah well then just 2 options then:

Buying a complete Softail Bike and then converting it to a Hardtail.
-Pros include having numbers matching
-Cons include having a chopped and converted frame

Buying a new hardtail frame from a builder
-Pros include all new construction to your specs?
-Cons include not having a title or numbers matching...

Who are reputable builders that can do Option 2 anyway and maybe do it with Tig welding and all that?
 

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As a W&W dealer and V-Twin dealer also I can tell you that the Vtwin springer is just as nice as the W&W. The W&W has a casting number on the front leg spring brace which many like and don't mind paying the difference between the two.
I sold many Vtwin hardtails and have not had one buyer complain. Many of the nicest bikes on Instagram have Shovelhead frames with V-Twin hardtails. The only alternative to the V-Twin hardtail that I see is the old Haifley Brothers hardtail now sold and made by Throttle Addiction. Those have perfect lines.
Don't take advice from someone who has never touched or seen a V-twin springer or hardtail. Ask those who have actual experience working with them.
 

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The other road we take to customers - is buy a real shovel frame with a title FLH or FX is usually cheaper then you have someone like 47 industries in jersey install a dead nuts hard tail and anything else you want on a complete ready to use dead straight frame

two thing happen you have papers and what you want and any engine before 1984 is bolt in with some finesse
 

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You want a Shovelhead, buy a complete bike that has an OEM frame/title. You could buy a project bike as long as the frame was OEM and the title came with it, but sometimes one can find a complete, rideable Shovelhead for a good price. Buy it, title/register it, then either tear it apart, or even ride it for a while as you gather parts, etc.

As far as springers, I'd personally stay away from Vtwin unless that was the only option.

Since you mentioned quality, there is a good thread on springers in regards to the differences between the European made springers and the ones from Vtwin, which are made in Taiwan. Read what Carmine (ralphiejantz) has to say in posts #17 and #27 of this thread:

 

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Discussion Starter #7
It sounds like the advantage of having a frame made from scratch, with possibly better and more consistent materials and welding, is trumped by the OEM frame/title issue? I guess, why for a Shovelhead, is it better to buy an OEM frame and then chop it up and weld on a hardtail?

And yep that was a great thread and what led me to my initial conclusion that the W&W one is superior. Although interesting that @VonWegener has a contrary thought to it!
 

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Yes I have a contrary point to that. I handle these springers every day. I sold 4 W&W this month and 2 V-twin. I bought 2 V-Twin springers for two of my own projects. The V-Twin are in their 5th or 6th generation and they are really nice in workmanship and chrome or powder coating. I feel they are comparable now in originality and workmanship.
The mid USA springers are made in red china and DO NOT match the design or styling of a real HD springer. Yes to an uneducated person they look the same. Aside from the right leg brake stay the sleeve where the legs start is way too thick. You can tell in pictures whether a bike has a Mid USA or an original/W&W/V-twin.
W&W springers have a made up Part number and foundry mark on the spring bridge of the front legs and a true top to bottom 1"stem. V-Twin doesn't have the number and their stem is like original Harley with a little step at the bottom that no Timken bearing matches in size so the stem needs to be ground down or a sleeve made for an L44649 bearing. The same thing you have to do to a stock Harley Springer.
So in conclusion if I were rich I would buy W&W exclusively as I kinda dig those little numbers as silly and unoriginal they may be and I prefer the 1" stem. But I am not. I don't mind saving $500 and having a springer just as nice.
 
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