Readers and their Rides

Rick Conrad and His 1975 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead

Written by  November 30, 2009

Last Labor Day weekend, my long-time friend Zick rode down from Washington, Iowa, with a couple of his buddies to join me in attending the annual ABATE of Kansas rally at Perry Lake. The Iowa delegation included Rick 'Kookie' Conrad who made the trip on his '07 Harley Ultra Classic. I enjoyed hearing about this other bike, the '75 Shovelhead featured here. Kookie rebuilt the bike himself in his garage shop over a six-month period. He completed the project in March, 2008.

CC: Where do you work?
Kookie The VA Hospital in Iowa City Iowa –IV Team.

CC: Do you have hobbies other than motorcycling?
Kookie: Computers and shooting.

CC: Why do you ride?
Kookie: To relieve the stress and to honor those that can not ride.

CC: How long have you been riding?
Kookie: 36 years.

CC: What was your first bike?
Kookie: A ROFL Honda 50cc.

CC: How many bikes have you owned?
Kookie: Seven.

CC: What do you like most about your motorcycles?
Kookie: Ultra: the smooth ride - Shovelhead: the attention it gets.

CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?
Kookie: Riding the Tail of the Dragon with good friends.

CC: Do you have a least memorable riding experience?
Kookie: Riding in a hard pouring rain for two hours.

CC: What motorcycle rallies & events have you attended, and which is your favorite?
Kookie: Sturgis has to be my favorite one out of all of them. Others include the Freedom Ride in Humboldt Iowa. End of Summer Ride in Keosauqua, Iowa, and ABATE of Kansas Rally at Perry Lake.

CC: How many tattoos do you have?
Kookie: None but if I did it would be a wolf.

Here are some specs on Kookie's beautiful ride:

Engine Size: 1,200 cc

Carburetor and Air Cleaner: S&S

Pipes: Straight Drag 36 inch

Frame: Stock FLH with Powder coating

Rear Suspension: Stock except I moved the rear bottom attachment for the shocks back 1 inch to lower the bike more.

Forks: Wide Glide

Front wheel: 21' spoked

Tires: Dunlop

Finish: Mural work was done by Sue Hopper

Headlight: Springer Headlight

Taillight: LED

Rear Fender: Modified – took rear hinge out by having it welded shut.

Pegs: Floorboards

Seat: Modified

Other information:
This bike was something I had always wanted to build. I kept the “Old School” look because I love that style and I tried to keep it as stock as possible. The whole bike has been rebuilt, painting, wiring etc (rewiring it eliminated a lot of ugly wires and useless buttons on the handlebars. The high/low headlight switch for example is on the coil cover. The reason I put Wolves on the tanks and fenders is because I respect them and I try to associate with them. They are a proud animal with a strong sense of family ties. Yet they roam the great outdoors where ever they want--FREE. That’s how I always want to feel.

Interview by Stripe
Photos and specs provided by Kookie.