Rico’s Crusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

It’s a odd story of an oddball bike. In 2012 I received a call from Bud in Austin TX. Bud’s shop was legendary for old bike kooks and I had traded vintage bikes & parts with him for 30 years. (Sadly, he died & his shop is but a sweet memory these days.) He called me and said, “I got a dirt cheap bike for you. It has got great bones, starts, runs and is ugly as hell….” I had to see for myself.

The bike had been a beauty in the 1980’s. Apparently, a carb cough backfire had caused a fire that burned down the bike and it’s owner’s million dollar barn. The owner who was a rancher, pushed it out back to sit with the rest of his old broken tractor collection.

I bought the bike sight unseen over the phone. The list of ball-busting I received for buying this junker is too long. Fueled with spite for all the haters, I got the bike running. I was riding it with a single tank and three wires. My plan was to make a chopper out of it and then sell it. Instead, I ended up falling for it. After years of riding pretty bikes, fresh show-off builds etc., the Burner grew on me quick.

In the past few years I’ve turned it into a finely tuned road bike. I’ve rebuilt everything while leaving it ugly. I built a hot engine trans geared for high-speed travel. I ride it 300+ days a year. It’s become my shop bike for getting parts, so I added my 99-year-old grandmother’s bicycle basket to the front end. Being an engine and bike builder who rides a junker instead of something fancy that shows off my work is probably not a good idea. But well after 30+ years of building bikes, I ride what turns me on and keeps me young.

My long-trip bikes sit idly while the barn burner serves as my magic carpet on all my cross country trips, 3-4 day camping trips and so many rides I’ve lost count. My riding buddies laugh seeing me on this smoky, leaky, choo-choo but that doesn’t matter. Having fun and enjoying every mile and every stop with your friends, whatever you may be riding is what counts!

Rico Fodrey
Hi Bond Modified
Pomona, CA

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

Rico's Rusty Shovel

  • joe momma

    ….i guess the schwinn basket cancels the indian light…..still…..you be messin’ with forces you may not understand???…….

    • Maekong Mike

      Well, one of them forces that might have helped you would have been called “literacy.” A pity, had you been able to read, you would would have understood why the basket’s there. Damn serviceable, too. As for the Indian part bolted on, who knows, maybe his grandfather rode a Chief. Mine did. You’re too busy trying to convince everyone with your cryptic nonsense that you’re some kind of pansy-a**ed biker to even understand what you’re looking at. Enjoy your freaking goldwing.

    • joe momma

      ….i guess the snotty reply i received has been lifted…..i don’t rely on my grandmother’s chief for gravitas…..i have my own……several schwin’s as well…..i meant to pull rico’s laig a little……trolled up a maroon

  • Drew

    I’m confused on why this bike has TWO muffler pipes (one for each side),as it clearly shows from all the pictures above,that both exhaust-pipe manifolds,exit into the one pipe on the right hand side!!! What’s the other one for? Show???

    • joe momma

      …heat shields hide the left over pipe…..early ones actually had real duel exhaust without the common one you’ve noticed on the right…..

      • Drew

        Well,I’ve studied the pics closely……….and I fail to see ANY pipe going from one side to the other!?!? A few pics where You can see the underneath of the bike,I don’t see any pipe that’s going underneath the frame of it,to the left-side!?!? Who knows? Maybe there IS one,and it’s just cleverly hidden by stuff!?!? Lol.

        • CrayZay1

          It does a twist right out of the head and comes out above the primary on left side… turns down and then turns back…in the pic of him on the road you can see the edge of the pipe(reflection) just above the primary, and in the rear pic, showing both pipes…that diagonal line down the back of the primary is that pipe leading to that muffler via one more bend turning it horizontal…

          • Drew

            Awesome!!! Ahhh yes,I SEE IT now in both the second to last pic,and the 7th one from the top! Very hidden unless your staring right at it in these pics! Lol. Thanks for the heads up on this one CrayZay Baird!!! It’s appreciated!!! 😉

  • Maekong Mike

    Man, if this doesn’t stir up some deep and pleasant memories. Long may she (and you) run.

  • Burton Skiles

    Man that is a great bike! I love it.

  • Luke Richey

    Incredible story, beautiful bike. Thanks for the inspiration man.