EVERY NATION has at least one character who doesn’t fit the description of ‘good citizen’. The Poms had their Robin Hood, Slovaks are proud of Juro Janosik, Ukrainians had a guy called Yergush Lapin. There are thousands more robbers and bandits who became historical figures as time passed on (my smoked out brain refuses to remember their names if they’re not in my immediate family). Many people walked into the history books by that route (today’s crim’s prefer to stay in anonymity, robbing us from their comfortable chairs in their offices).

While you’re contemplating an evil crime that will achieve you notoriety, check out Bruce’s ride which he devoted to our national hero—Ned Kelly.

One of Bruce’s mates, Disco, heard about this bloke at Exquisite Airbrushing in Hobart who could do miracles with his airbrush. It didn’t take long and the 1997 Fat Boy’s mudguards and tank sported a new colour—Dodge Viper (true) Blue Pearl—and the airbrush murals of Ned Kelly by Jeff Elliot.

Bruce, knowing that Tasmania is not famous just for its cheeses, got Shaun Kelly (any family connections, Shaun?) from Titan Bikes in Hobart to add some stuff to the engine. Chris from C&R Engineering provided further services. The bike got Wiseco comp pistons, Screamin’ Eagle cam, chromemoly push rods, Black Diamond valves, and ported heads. Looks like Bruce is into the birds as he installed a Screamin’ Eagle kit in the carby, Screamin’ Eagle performance module, Screamin’ Eagle slash cut pipes, and Screamin’ Eag… oh boy, there is much more to come.

Handlebars are 8 inch pullbacks. The tombstone tail and headlight are custom too but I don’t remember from where. Blame it on my parents and the weed I was forced to attend in mum’s vegetable garden. I should have had spinach instead and I would be famous like Popeye. Alright, where did we finish? Yeah, an Annihilator annihilates problems in the front wheel and the custom seat makes long rides a breeze.

Warrick from Led Zeppelin, I mean LED Effects, installed the blue LED lights. I have a suspicion it’s to trick the boys in blue that Bruce is one of them.

Both wheels were machined and polished by Titan Bike & Trike.

I would like to thank Lesley Byrne from Gledswood Homestead & Winery for letting us shoot on their property. If you want to taste a bit of the history you’re welcome to do so by visiting them. And don’t forget to taste their wines and meals too. Gledswood Homestead & Winery, 900 Camden Valley Way, Catherine Field, Sydney; 02-9606-5111.

words & pics by George