Match for a King: Satomari’s 1981 Harley Shovelhead


Custom Harley Shovelhead by Satomari
If you would like to learn to weld, fabricate elements, or rebuild an engine, there’s no scarcity of sources on the market. However good design can’t be taught. You both have impeccable style and a pointy eye—otherwise you don’t.

For Yusaku Sato at Satomari Motorbike in Hiroshima, Japan, good design is instinctual. The Harley choppers that roll out of his workshop simply look ‘proper,’ typically with a easy magnificence that belies the quantity of engineering that goes into them.

Custom Harley Shovelhead by Satomari
This beautiful 1981 Harley-Davidson FXR proves our level with ease. It’s loosely based mostly on an earlier Satomari Shovelhead {that a} buyer noticed on the Mooneyes present. Earlier than lengthy, he had reached out to Sato-san and requested a {custom} Harley in the identical vein—albeit with a number of key variations.

One of many shopper’s requests was that the bike ought to have a springer fork. With that in thoughts, Yusaku tore the bike down and commenced bringing his imaginative and prescient to life. “My method is to take the picture that pops into my head and form it as I would like,” he says, “so it appears like I’m arising with a design concept in real-time.”

Custom Harley Shovelhead by Satomari
Yusaku began by fabricating an all-new body and swingarm, retaining solely the donor bike’s steering neck and motor mounts. The gorgeous twin down tube design rises to satisfy the custom-built springer fork, with a 2” stretch and a 2” rise within the neck. However, extra importantly, the springer fork has been made slender in a bid to maintain the general construct impossibly skinny.

The rear finish seems inflexible from afar, however there’s a shock lurking below there. Yusaku hasn’t given us a peek at it, however he describes it as a “cantilever mono-cross” system.

Custom Harley Shovelhead by Satomari
This Shovelhead rolls on a 23” entrance wheel and an 18” rear wheel, laced as much as two very totally different kinds of drum brake hub. Yusaku modified a mini drum brake unit to run up entrance, then pieced collectively a hydraulic drum brake system for the rear, utilizing salvaged Harley elements. The tires are surprisingly fashionable Metzeler objects.

A 23F/18R wheelset sounds wild on paper, nevertheless it works right here. And that’s largely all the way down to the truth that Yusaku has tailor-made each final piece on this bike to accommodate the subsequent.

Custom Harley Shovelhead by Satomari
Just like the chassis, this Shovelhead’s bodywork is all handmade. Yusaku formed the gasoline tank and rear fender out of metal and the aspect covers out of aluminum. A deeply sculpted seat sits perched within the center.

There’s rather a lot to digest across the engine bay too. The Shovel powerplant inhales through an S&S Cycle carb and exhales through an unapologetic twin exhaust system with turned-out finish caps. And the nearer you get, the extra copper and brass bits you’ll spot.

Custom Harley Shovelhead by Satomari
The left-hand aspect of the bike is dominated by an electric-start main drive from BDL. It’s an imposing piece of package that requires a fairly sized battery—which is presently hiding below the seat, competing with the rear suspension for actual property.

The cockpit is a tidy affair, consisting of a slender set of {custom} drag bars fitted with wrapped grips from Kuryakyn. Should you’re in search of the speedo, you’ll discover it on high of the tank, embedded in a dashboard that echoes traditional Dyna designs. The classically styled Motogadget unit is accompanied by a knurled fuel cap and a keyless ignition module.

Custom Harley Shovelhead by Satomari
The Shovelhead is completed in a deep gunmetal flake, punctuated by intricate silver-leaf work that provides an expensive contact to this near-flawless machine. It’s only a pity that it’s already spoken for.

Satomari Motorbike | Fb | Instagram | Photographs by, and with honest because of, Kazuo Matsumoto

Custom Harley Shovelhead by Satomari