Scott Pardo won ‘Best of Show’ at the 2013 Laconia Custom Bike Show for his ’74 FXE Shovelhead.
This ultra-clean Rokon Automatic is one of 50 made in celebration of the 1976 Bicentennial.
Scott Pardo started riding motorcycles when he was five-years-old. His father Ralph bought a Honda 50, igniting a life-long passion the two would share. This passion would burn in Scott long after his father passed in 1990.
About 20 motorcycles parked on the green lawns of Opechee Park for the 2013 Laconia Custom Bike Show. There were some great looking motorcycles, from a Norton Commando to a Suzuki bobber to Twisted Tea’s Harley sidecar. But the bike of the day was Pardo’s 1974 FXE Shovelhead, a clean little open belt, kick starting rigid. Pardo said the bike had been in an accident and was in pretty bad shape when he bought it. Just about everything had to be lovingly redone by Timothy Klaus, Jr., from bolting on a new rigid rear section to adding a sprung solo seat to cleaning up the engine before rewiring the bike and prepping it for paint. A miscommunication resulted in Tim not receiving due credit for his hard work on the winning Shovel, which we apologize for. When it came time to have it dolled up, Pardo took it to the guys at Stoughton Auto Body for the royal blue flake paint while Chris Greely did the white gold inlay. At the crest of the tank lies a tribute to his dad, “In Memory of Ralph L. Pardo, 1924 – 1990,” because even though his father is no longer with him on earth, he still rides with the memory of his spirit.
There were other notable bikes in the competition. One we really liked was a 1979 Suzuki 450 café racer built by Thomas Foulds of Chop Whatcha’ Got. Foulds totally reworked the rear, cutting off the standard dual shock set-up and converting it to a monoshock. He reinforced the tail section under the seat with an X-frame design so it would be strong enough to support a rider. He lowered the front end, twisted up some killer shorty pipes coming off the Suzuki 450 mill, and mounted rear sets way back toward the back wheel. What made this bike standout were the copper
The tank on Scott Pardo’s ’74 Shovel reads ‘In Memory of Ralph L. Pardo, 1924 -1990’ in honor of his father who bought him his first bike, a Honda 50, at age five.
accents he used, hand-lacing the spoke wheels and wrapping the rear sets in 14-3 electrical wire. Set against the black paint job of the bike, the copper really stood out. Details like the open chain guard helped set it apart. Overall the bike was clean, tidy, and looked fun to ride.
Another standout was the Rokon Automatic of Aaron Gray. This was one of the cleanest examples we’ve run across, looking like it came right off the floor of the dealer’s showroom. Turns out it was one of 50 Bicentennial Editions, with the #16 stamped on its frame as proof. Restoring it was a year-and-a-half process as the tank was caved in and the transmission housing was smashed. Now it shines with its celebratory red, white and blue paint scheme. The chain-driven Rokon powers both front and back wheels which also house the fuel, and though it might not be the fastest thing around, it will pull like a mule and run over just about anything beneath its tractor-like tires.
Congratulations Scott Pardo for not only winning, but for keeping the Shovel true to form and for honoring your father with the build. We wish all the other dads out there a “Happy Father’s Day.”