About the Stoic Joker and Project Alice
For now I'll just address the obvious question: Why?
Because ain't nothing funnier that watching a guy on a shiny new TwinCam getting out run by a gray haired old fool on a 35 year old Shovelhead!
My last sleeper was an Evo ...(1987 FLHTP)... But I've always loved Shovelheads.
I started riding in 1977, and I've been doing it ever since.
How did Alice get her name?
Hopefully not too long of a story...
This all started 3 years ago when I traded in my 1987 FLHTP (Blue) on (Trixie) a Scarlet Red 2010 FLTRX. Trixie was quite the flashy little minx, and it occured to me rather quickly that there would be absolutely no point in making her fast...because it would be way to predictable. She already looked fast and flashy, so making her really fast...or at least as fast as she looked would be boring, because people would expect that.
And I hate being predictable...
So an idea was born. Building another Evo was out...because that would just make me feel bad for selling Blue. But a Shovelhead - Well... - That idea started to fester. It was completely insane. But I just couldn't shake it ... I was possessed. My only hope to get grounded by vague sense of sanity was to run this madness past my wife of 25 years ... Who I'd married so long ago for a reason.
She said go for it ...(and that's the reason)... And the Rubber Shovel Project came to life!
Yes, the target had already been pre selected as any one of - the very new at the time - 1980-1983 rubber mounted Shovelhead engine FLT's. I'd had an 82 FLT back in my early 20's that I always remembered fondly ... But had to sell to keep a business venture running that later failed. After a short sabbatical involving a Sportster, Blue came into the picture about a year later.
The next two years were spent on the arduous task of trying to squirrel away enough cash to make an offer on anything I could find that fit the criteria I was after. And it was actually during this time period that Alice got her name.
Hands down the most frequently asked question I get is if Alice is named after the chick from the Resident Evil movie series. And despite the fact that Milla Jovovich is indeed mind blowingly hot ... The answer is no. She's actually named after Alice Kramden from the 50's TV show The Honeymooners ... Because of Jackie Gleasons' famous line from the series "One of these days Alice...". I've always liked Jackie Gleason, and frequently as time wore on - without progress - I found myself saying in my head - in his voice - 'Damn It Alice!' whenever yet another hurdle was encountered. And this went on for quite some time ... Like about 2 years.
And then we get to the weird part
During the initial phase of this madness, I'd gone to a local shop that I'd been doing business with for over 30 years to see what a Shovelhead FLT might be going for these days. And we stood by the line of what was - at the time - currently available discussing price and availability for close to an hour. I then went on my way in search of cash...and hopefully a better/cheaper private sale option. Only to rather quickly find out that Craig's List was totally useless. Because everything they listed was either $5,000+, alreadly heavily "customized" (badly), or both ... Fuck!
But as time wore on the squirrel fund finally hit the magic number that had been mentioned years before. So one fine Tuesday - hoping to catch the owner in a 'Good Mood' I strolled up to the counter and said "You already know what I'm after...I got $3,000...what can we do?". He said "for that money it's got to be as-is" and - after a good bit of theatrical grumbling... - he walked me right back to the exact same bike I'd been leaning against for an hour two years before.
Damn It Alice!!!
Get in the truck bitch ...... We're going home!