MY birthday was coming up, and sitting at the dinner table one night, I said to my family, “I don’t want you to get me anything for my birthday… I’m buying my own present.”
The family all looked at me and said, “Oh no, what are you up to?”
I told them I’m buying myself a Harley-Davidson! They just shook their heads and laughed at me.
A few days later I went to see my mate, Graham Logan, aka Red. I told him that I wanna buy a Harley.
He laughed and said, “Have you got a licence?”
“No,” I said. “I’ve never even had a motorbike.”
He told me that I needed to get my learners and then my licence first.
Red kept at me every few days. “Got ya learners yet?” was his constant refrain to which I’d reply, “No.”
Then one night Red rang me and told me that he booked me in to Q-ride for my licence. So the next day I got my learners.
Red then borrowed a bike from Beth for me so we could go riding and he could teach me the road rules. This went on every day for the next few weeks.
Then the day came to go for my licence which was a full day with Q-ride. Red came along as well, was riding behind and following me. At the end of the day I passed the test.
Then the hunt was on for a bike! Red and I looked at the Gold Coast and Brisbane Harley-Davidson shops. I liked the Softail Deuce so I hired one for the weekend and decided that it was the one for me.
About a week later I ran into a friend named Alex, and I told him I was getting a Softail Deuce, and he suggested that I call Ken at Seaside Ballina.
I rang and told him what I was after and I left my number. A couple weeks later Ken called and told me that he just got a Deuce in but it wasn’t black, it was blue and black. I said I would come have a look at it. I called Red and we went down the next day.
Ken showed us the bike, and I looked at Red and said, “Yep, this is the one.” Only problem was that it wasn’t loud, it didn’t sound like a Harley, so I asked Ken if he could change the pipes and he said that wasn’t a problem and it would be ready by the end of the week.
Red and I went back on Friday and picked it up at about 2 pm. I went home to show my family my new motorbike and then off I went riding around all night, stopping off at friends’ houses and didn’t get home until one in the morning!
Over the next few years I met Rick and Joel from Motorcycle Performance and Dyno Centre, and I also met Stu from Ultimate Airbrush. I had booked to go to Vegas with my brother Bruno, and a week before I left, I took my bike to Rick and Joel and told them I would be away for a couple of weeks and I wanted to change a few things on my bike. I rang Stu and asked him if he could do some airbrushing while I was away and he asked me what theme I would like. I said that being Italian I love the Godfather.
Over the next few days Rick and Joel pulled my bike apart and I took the tank and guards to Stu.
I went on my holiday and the boys got to working on my bike, more chrome, new paint, and I bought a new air-filter in Vegas.
When I got back I took the seat I made myself, being an upholsterer, and the air-filter to Rick. A couple of days later Rick called me and told me that my bike was finished. When I got there and saw my bike I was the happiest bloke in the world!
I’d like to thank everyone when helped me put my bike together, Rod Cole for the photography, and George for the venue.
photos by Rod Cole; words by Sam