Customizing an 82 FXR Shovelhead

As covid-19 continues to be a challenge for us all, we’ve all had to adapt in one way or another. For us, it has come in the way of jobs we’d never really considered in the past. In this case it has been the customization of an 1982 FXR Shovelhead Harley Davidson motorcycle.

On this project we customized both the front and back tire rims and made a new derby cover for the bike. Since the derby cover was a new part it was pretty straight forward. The bike rims on the other hand were considerable more challenging.

On the rims, milling the patterns was a fairly easy operation but the engravings were much trickier. Without Computer Aided Design, CAD, this would have been almost impossible.  Not only were the engravings being written around the rim but the surface was on an angle also making it conical. This was all worked out on the computer but then came the real world issues. The engravings are only 0.015″ deep. Any variations in the rim make parts of the engraving to deep and nonexistent in other areas. Just clamping the aluminum rim to the table can introduce slight bends to the thin surfaces of the rim. A lot of care has to go into setting the job up in the machine. Getting it wrong means having to replace the rims!

To start on the rims we had to measure them and make computer models. To get engravings right, extra care had to be taken measuring the diameters and angles to get the conical surface right.
Once we had the model we used Computer Aided Machining, CAM, software to create the program for that would run the CNC machinery.
After a great amount of attention to details and plenty of nervous hours we the finished one side of the rim. Eventually both side were done on both the front and back rims.

As mentioned before the derby cover was a newly made part. We were given a lot of freedom in its design. We were all very happy with what we came up with. Making it out of aluminum not only made the part very light but it also shines up very nicely.


Here’s the results of all our hard work