Reece Zyl­stra’s 1955 FL

When we last left our hero Reece Zyl­stra a few is­sues back, a lead from a meth head at a garage sale led to a shady dou­blewide oc­cu­pied by an old troll hawk­ing a ’92 Sof­tail, which Reece parleyed into a rigid Evo chop­per (“The Holy Grail of Junk,” Street Chop­per Spring 2016). For as much as that sounds like a sea­son of True De­tec­tive, it didn’t end like one; as far as we know ev­ery­one in­volved is still alive and well.

His next ad­ven­ture in chop­ping is this 1955 FL Shovel/pan. At 95ci and chock-full o’ S&S parts, it’s a tad more pow­er­ful than when the orig­i­nal mo­tor(s) rolled out of the fac­tory back in the day. Rather than just spew­ing the tech­ni­cal as­pects of this cool rigid chop­per back at you, I’m go­ing to let you read what Reece’s friend, Dustin “Thommy” Themm, has to say about Zyl­stra and this bike:

“Reece has been a good friend of mine for over a decade now, and his out­look on things is one that’s al­ways been fas­ci­nat­ing. I’ve been on sev­eral mo­tor­cy­cle trips with him over the course of our friend­ship, most of which are the ones I con­sider to be the most me­morable and fun. His care­free ‘no bull­shit’ view of things spills over into every cor­ner of his be­ing. I’ve rid­den next to him un­der the beau­ti­ful fall sun, tor­ren­tial down­pours, tor­nado winds, and the ever-oc­ca­sional dim-lit night skies. No mat­ter the cir­cum­stance it’s al­ways the same un­both­ered men­tal­ity with him.

“When Reece was younger he did a spell trav­el­ing around the coun­try via train cars and ex­pe­ri­enced a lot within the var­i­ous cor­ners of the USA. I believe from that he took away a lot of things that he still holds a good amount of value in to­day, mak­ing him the per­son that he is.

“The breezy tone that sur­rounds him also gives way to the types of bike I’ve al­ways seen him build. The main fo­cus on each one has al­ways been on per­for­mance yet still hold­ing on to nice, clean, and func­tional de­sign as­pects through­out the bike. This chop­per holds true to all of the above. When you can look at a bike and it sim­ply emits speed, that’s al­ways a good thing. The mo­tor­cy­cle seen here looks like a blast to ride, and it surely doesn’t shy away from hold­ing its own to the con­stant flog­ging it sees. Reece hit the nail on the head with this one, and he used a big f—king sledge­ham­mer to do so.” SC

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