If you follow the Sons of Anarchy series for any time at all, you will run across Happy. The character, played by David Labrava, is an enforcer with the gang who has at least 16 kills to his name. The character has appeared in 70 episodes, riding the same bike, a Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob.
David Labrava: The Actor
Actor David Labrava was hired as the technical advisor on Sons of Anarchy, and he’s a member in good standing of the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club. Born in Miami and raised in Europe, Labrava builds bikes and hot rods himself, and he has five Harley-Davidson diplomas from the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute (MMI).
He writes and has written columns for a number of custom culture magazines, and a bike he built made the cover of the March 2001 issue of The Horse motorcycle magazine. He owns a tattoo shop in Oakland called “Evil Ink,” is working on a book, a show, and a documentary. And get this: he’s a practicing Buddhist.
Happy Lowman: The Character
Happy Lowman is the Sergeant at Arms of the Charming chapter of the Sons of Anarchy Motorcycle Club. Initially he is tied to the charter in Tacoma, Washington; but, after a brief stint under the Nomad charter, he earns a full patch within SAMCRO.
Happy is credited with killing several unnamed rival gang members, but his named kills have made him the most infamous. That list includes Esai Alvarez, Plow, Bohai Lin, and Tony. He is perhaps best known for getting a smiley face tattoo after each kill.
Happy’s Street Bob: The Bike
Happy rides the same bike throughout the series. The year of the bike has changed a few times, but it has always been a Harley-Davidson Dyna Street Bob also known as an FXDB Street Bob, typically a 2011.
Prior to 1971, HD featured two distinct lines of V-twin bikes…big twins and small twins. Many bikers liked the bigger engines, but preferred the frame and style components of the small twins, so would customize their bikes. Willie Davidson was aware of the custom work, so designed a new line that eventually became the FX line. The result of his work was a bike with the frame and rear suspension from an FLH Electra Glide and the smaller forks of the XLH Sportster. The FX line also used the drivetrain of the FLH, XLH front headlights and brakes, then added buckhorn handlebars and a boattail rear unit. Very few buyers liked the boattail, so it was eliminated shortly after the 1971 introduction of the FX line.
The FX line has had several variants, including the Dyna. The Dyna chassis was introduced in 1991 to replace the FXR chassis. The first Dyna chassis bike released was the FXDBI Sturgis model. The early chassis had fewer rubber engine mounts, so the bike vibrated harder.
The Dyna chassis was redesigned for the 2006 model year. The same year, a new six-speed transmission was introduced to the FXDBI line. 2006 also marked the introduction of the FXDBI Street Bob. The Street Bob is a minimalistic single-seater, giving it an independent stance. For 2007, the ”I” designation was dropped because all of the big twin engines had been switched from direct injection to fuel injection. A fuel-injected 1584cc Twin Cam 96 engine appeared in 2007 to replace the Twin Cam 88 that had been powering the FXD group.
Happy’s bike features a custom fairing and bars, airbrushed graphics that read “Reaper of Death” across the rear fender, with an airbrushed reaper and scythe on the tank.
One particular copy of Happy’s bike is of note. A 2011 model straight from the set was auctioned by Auctions America in 2012 and the funds donated to Ronald McDonald House. For more, check out our piece on Jax’s motorcycle from Sons of Anarchy.