IT ALL STARTED one Friday night when I went to Humble Pie and saw a couple of bikes that were really trick in the carpark. Humble Pie is like a hangout for cars and bikes in Brisbane. I decided then and there I was going to have one.
The next day I turned up at SC Choppers and spoke to Picko. I told him I wanted to build a bike but he just assumed I was just a typical tyre kicker — it took about a month to convince him I was serious.
Picko organised a frame, R&S wheels, an S&S diamond-cut motor, BDL primary drive and Baker gearbox, to be sent from the States.
One of the biggest parts of the project involved the sheet metal work. Little Mick made the fuel tank initially out of cardboard about 16 times before we were happy with the right shape — same with the rear guard — so we could see how it was going to look. It took about three months — cutting, welding, painting — before the sheet metal work was finally finished.
Meanwhile I gave Picko a hard time with everything else he was designing. He would pick handgrips and I would say I don’t want those.
“You don’t want to spend that much money,” he was saying.
I have a history with speedway — I used to swing on sidecars for a mate, Bill Sewell, for probably seven years — so I got this idea of installing a two-stage rev-limiter on the bike. With the speedway bike, you would tune it down for the start, so when you dropped the clutch, it wouldn’t wheel-spin off the gate. With the chopper, you can dial in the revs to wherever you want for taking off, and as soon as you pull in the clutch to change up to second gear, it just revs out normally.
The Legionnaire air-ride suspension uses a compressor so when you ride the bike, it’s pumped up; and it drops down when you park it. Really, it’s all about the looks, but it works alright too.
Headcase Designs painted the bike. I saw this van going down the road with all these murals and flames and girls and, you know, it was a bit wild so I got the phone number from the van and gave the guys a call. I threw a couple of ideas at them and they came up with this awesome Asian-themed paint job. Also, I saw an orange Lamborghini down the coast and decided to go that way with the colour.
I wanted a black headlight because I thought there would be too much chrome on the bike; same with the black exhaust (and black pipes don’t tarnish).
The handlebars were built for someone else. We just shortened them a bit and they fit perfectly on the orange bike.
I originally wanted a 300 rear wheel, same as the one I had seen at Humble Pie, but when the frame arrived, we could only fit a 280.
So how does it handle? I haven’t ridden it yet — it’s that new. Herb (SC Choppers) rode it in from the carpark into the Brisbane Hotrod Show — where it won Top Chopper and Top Competition Bike — and that’s it.
I am so rapt in Asian girls I decided use Avyhana to model my flash orange and black masterpiece.
Photos by Wall 2 Wall; words by Steve.