Aussie Renegade Powered Billy Bike

This Billy Bike was hand-built from the ground up using an Aussie engine whereas most custom bikes these days are built from parts brought in from the USA and bolted together here.

I STARTED my motorcycle apprenticeship at Fraser Motorcycles in 1998 and finished it in 2002. I used to race Australian Superbikes, riding Ducatis for a number of years. In 2004, I went over to Italy for 12 months and raced in the World Superstock Championships with Ducati. I opened my first motorcycle shop in Lithgow, NSW, then moved to Sydney where I opened another shop before moving up to the Gold Coast and opening DB Kustomz.

The Billy Bike replica from the Easyrider movie started from my customer buying a replica Captain American Easyrider bike from the USA. He also bought the original rolling frame from (with the documents of proof) Billy’s Bike from the movie’s accident scene. Unfortunately, the frame was a mess where someone in the USA tried to rake it and stretch it.

My customer bought the frame to me to start work on; converting it back to the Billy Bike specs was the task. He said he had an engine for it as well. 

When he bought the engine in, that’s when I realised this wasn’t going to work. The engine is an Australian-made, 145-cubic-inch Renegade. They are a massive engine and there’s no way it was going to fit the original Billy frame without chopping it to pieces. Even the tubing was too light for the power of this engine and it would had flexed and cracked for sure. 

As the customer left, he said, “There’s the engine, all I want is something that looks like the Billy Bike. Let me know when it’s finished.”

I sourced some larger diameter tubing and started fabricating a new frame on the jig. The frame had to be made higher than the original Billy Bike to physically fit the larger engine. I mocked up the engine sitting in the frame and the customer was very happy with it so the build continued.

There was 12 hours just in the welding of the frame alone. I fabricated the guards, sissy-bar bracket, number plate bracket and the oil tank. The oil tank was a three-day-job. There was a lot of work trying to keep it to the size I had to work with, along with the oil capacity for this engine and the internal dimensions to fit the larger battery to turn over the 145. 

The wheels are Ridewright with a 15-inch rear and a 21-inch front. The original bike had a 19-inch front but in keeping with the size of the engine, the 21-inch looked more suited.

I went with the Ridewright rotors with original Harley calipers.  

The front-end is from a Harley-Davidson Night Train.

The header pipes are from a Harley-Davidson CVO Breakout; there’s also five sets of Harley pipes I had to cut up to get the bends I needed. The mufflers I went with are S&S Tapered Turbos to keep in theme from the original bike. 

The tranny is a Baker six-speed with a kickstart added for looks. It’s paired to the BDL belt drive. 

I went with the All Balls heavy duty starter motor to crank this monster over. 

The fuel tank is the original tank from the Billy Bike that was crashed at the end of the movie so there’s some history there. 

The bars were made by Adam at the Burleigh Bars workshop. The hand controls and switches are PM. I ran the bulk of the wiring through the frame to the rear tail lights, brake lights and indicators.

The oil tank, number plate bracket, sissy-bar and guards had to be chromed and the front-end re-chromed.

The paint was done by Bramwell Auto Paint and Custom from Gatton.

The owner is very happy with the finished build; I am too just quietly. I want to do more custom bike building and fabricating now as I really enjoyed the challenge.

Photos by Rod Cole; story by Dave at DB Kustomz

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