Have you heard the story of the very 1st Harley with 3 (Shovel)heads ?...

 It's the story of the man called Bobby Labrie, a passionate and mechanically inclined fella. After spending his apprenticeship in his dad's Harley Davidson dealership in Concord, New Hampshire, he finally opens up his own shop. This was happeining back in 1973. It was called Bob’s Cycle Repair and it was a one-man, 2 cars garage,

    Always having a desire of wrenching (and dWrencheding I guess) he even got the attention of the factory Harley riders; many stepping inside his shop. When anything bike racing events took place in the Laconia area, Bobby was called upon.
     But let's talk about the elephant in the room...

        The bike started out as a 1982 Harley-Davidson FXE. With Bobby's passion of wrenching and with the ''why not?'' q in mind... he managed to put another cylinder the there. Because, why the fuck not... right ?
  First of all, he modified the frame to receive the 3rd guest. A custom manifold was in order after and of course, a new exhaust system. But not much information was shared with the public or friends for that matter, on how & why it works. Bobby was friends with John Andrews (Andrews Cams), and with his help and knowledge they managed the cams and timing right.

    The 3rd cylinder provides a plus o 600cc's / 37' bringing the total power of the bike to 1800cc's and 111's . In '82 !!!
    It was first displayed at Harley Rendezvous in 1982 and the next year at the Daytona Beach Bike Week in March of 1983 ( at the Rats Hole motorcycle show).

      Many after copied Bobby's design. Like Jim Fueling (link here) and Cory Ness with his 3 Headed Monster (link here).
   Bobby wasn't into making a high performance machine but rather make people look-stop-&-stare. A mechanical marvel, no doubt.

   The 3 headed Shovelhead was recetly rescued for under dust covers by a friend of Bobby Labrie's and we're hoping to see it up and running again soon !

Photo credit Nick Keating

*Based on the original Iron & Air magazine article.


  1. Bob built an engine for me a little after that. I ran it for ten years and it never leaked a drop of oil.

    I asked him "how" he built the three cylnder version, and he said, "If I wouldn't tell Harley-Davidson, why the hell would I tell you???"

    He worked out of an anonymous garage by his house, next to the city dump, but it was the cleanest and best organized shop I've ever been in.

    Pete L

  2. Hahahaha I see your comment only now, sorry ! Funny story, appreciate you sharing it Pete !

  3. Where are you getting you getting yourinformation from. surely is not right. Maybe you should of asked his wife Bev first? And his owm son, sold it for money not the value, or the memories. or to keep it in tje family. before yoi write and article you should get the facts and story behind the 3 cylinder.

  4. Hey Anonymous, pfff I finally get to reply to your massage. All the info I've been taking from the Iron & Air Magazine. So please if you are a solid source and can back that up, send me some extra infos. Thank you

  5. I knew Bob personally and even dated his daughter briefly. I can tell you that the basic facts are all there but the sad truth is "anonymous" is correct with his as well Bob's son sold it for the quick cash after Bob's passing. Anonymous' sentiment and heartfelt concern is evident for Bob's (Buggy's) hard work and passion for his legacy-the three cylinder shovel. I was actually present on one occasion when Bob and all his subtlety told Harley in so many words to F-off, he'd never disclose his secrets. I don't really know what happened to that bike from that point I've never seen it again but I do like to think, I was, in my own little world, a part of history just having known Bobbie Laurie and spent time in that historical little shop on Old Dump Rd. in Concord, N.H. My love to Bev!

    1. Kim Labrie-WoodwardSeptember 8, 2017 at 7:47 AM

      After my Dads passing ,my brother Bruce sold the bike. Didnt evwn ask a family memwber first, in which we would of bougjt it to keep in the family. Sold just for the cash. Shame on him. some facts are not correct

    2. Ok for one I am Steven labrie Jr I am Bob labrie oldest sons son an for 2 the Nick name buggy was not my gramps bobs it was my dad's an the road the shop was on is caled old turnpike in concord an Bruce sold that motor with non of the family knowing because it was being stored in his basement he sold it for 1 good session to keep his house or elts it would have never been sold

  6. Dear Lew, appreciate the input. It's funny (and crazy) to see how one idea, one bike, made/makes so much inpact in people's life, right ? Again, appreciate your comment !

  7. Hi my name is Steven labrie Jr my dad was Bob labrie oldest son (buggy) Can you please tell me were the motor is now I would like to see my grandpa's masterpiece agen it's been years and I've never seen it as a roling bike and I've never heird it run

  8. @ Steven Labrie Jr, hey Steven, I really don't know where this masterpiece lays today... Maybe somebody who knows will read this story and let us know !

    1. Ask Uncle Bruce he sold it,from right under us all.


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