The Godfather Harley-Davidson Deuce

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

True Harley-Davidson Fat One

I THOUGHT I would send a couple of pics of my Fat Boy for consideration in Ozbike mag. Some of the rides you have in there are spectacular! And I often thought that mine wouldn’t come close, but I thought, Fuck it! No harm in trying.

It’s a 2009 Fatty, 96 cube with S&S 583 cams and tune, extra plate H-D clutch, and heavy breather with Bassani Road Rage pipes; Arlen Ness six-degree triple trees and four-inch-over on the forks; Legend air suspension; wild one-inch Chubby 16-inch apes.

Artwork is by Custom Digital in Adelaide.

I have kept it a ‘true’ Fat Boy by not changing the OEM wheels or the floor boards and blinkers. To me, that’s what a Fatty is about. I have also tried not to over-do the chrome by keeping a balance of black and chrome on the bike.

It’s done on a budget because I don’t have the funds to do a big dollar build, but it looks good and turns heads.

Thanks for taking the time to look at it.


Harley-Davidson Sportster Stuntster

STUNT man Matt Mingay has travelled the world with his stunt show (Stuntz Inc) and is a feature on the Aussie motor racing circuit. He has featured in many TV adverts and recently, he and Harley-Davidson Australia nutted out a deal to do stunts on the iconic Harley-Davidson Sportster. Matt went about making some modifications to a Nightster.

“I loved the challenge,” said Matt. “I tried to keep the modifications to a minimum. I didn’t want it looking as if I had to modify crap out of the bike to make it do what I wanted it to!”

The Stuntster was fitted with bigger brakes on the front, an extra brake caliper on the rear, Moto X handlebars and heavy duty shocks front and rear. Matt welded a couple of freestyle pegs in strategic positions so he can jump around the bike; and most importantly, he fitted a remote idle adjuster.

The Stuntster was a massive departure from the previous Honda CBR600RR and Triumph 954 Matt had been using for his stunts. The weight difference took some getting use to. The previous stunt bikes weighed around 150 kg; the Stuntster weighs in at around 250 kg. Matt says the Stuntster’s weight has got him the fittest he has been in years — every time he takes the Stuntster out it’s like a full-on workout!

Getting used to the bike didn’t take as long as Matt expected. He rode the bike at the Sydney Motorcycling Expo for its debut performance after only one day’s practice. Modest Matt said it must have been okay; it seemed to impress everyone!

Known for his 180 stoppies and rear wheel on the wall stoppie (particularly on racing track walls), and having cracked a couple of world records with stoppies, ironically, the stoppie is the only trick from his large repertoire he has trouble with. He can do them if the surface is perfect and conditions are right. If the ground is a bit shinny the front wheel locks up. Matt finds no problem with any of the other tricks and can even perform some tricks on the Stuntster that he couldn’t perform on the old bikes. Matt just puts it down to a little bit of give and take!

Matt has a philosophical view to the Stuntster. “The Harley-Davidson Sportster is not only a wicked machine, it is a motoring icon as well. To the young blokes out there who think Harleys are for middle-aged blokes going through a crisis, cruisers and doctors, this bike blows that theory out of the water! On practice days there will be maybe 20 — 30 riders and the Stuntster makes many of them look ordinary and has gone a long way to changing the point of view for many of the other riders about Harley-Davidsons!”

This past year has been the busiest for Matt’s long career. With 30 odd events under his belt for the past 12 months, things are going great and there is no sign of it slowing up. The highlight of his career being hired for the sultry songstress Pink for her Australian Tour, as well as her hubby freestyle legend, Carey Hart, for his Hart Hungary Tour, and getting to hang out with the couple.

Next year Matt also has a couple of large hot rod shows which he says he is looking forward to. “The Harley ties in well with the hot rod scene.”

Matt’s other major sponsor is Holden and stunt driving is Matt’s other passion. This often means he finds himself performing stunt driving and then jumping out of the car and mounting the Stuntster for some stunt riding, and then back in the car. Matt does this Superman feat at 15 of the V8 events throughout the year.

Matt’s movie stunt work in the past year has taken him to Dubai, Kuala Lumpa and Bollywood India. He has also done a couple of local ads here in Australia and says it’s great seeing your commercial come on, saying to onlookers, that’s me!

So deep is his love for stunt work and Harley-Davidson, Matt had his idol Evil Knievel’s signature tattooed on his left forearm.

Matt’s other baby is Stuntz Inc, a clothing line named after his stunt bike team, dealing in everything from T-shirts, hoodies and hats to DVDs. With the line getting bigger and bigger, Matt has been able to put the profits back into the business as well as sponsoring some up-and-coming jet skiers, BMX riders and skaters.

You can check out some of videos and merchandise at

Words & pics by Chris Nilsson

Harley-Davidson Shovelhead Low Rider

THIS IS ONE very clean example of a Harley-Davidson Shovelhead, an iconic model in many respects. The Shovel kept the H-D flag flying through some of the motor company’s darkest days. AMF had merged with the motorcycle giant in 1969, and due to some severe cost-cutting exercises and lack of quality control, more than once the factory came within hours of closing its doors and never producing another motorcycle! A legend would have been lost forever. 1981 saw the much publicised buy-back of the Motor Co by 13 of Harley-Davidson’s top executives. Three years later the Evolution motor was introduced, the Shovel engine was put out to pasture and the rest, as they say, is history. During its 18-year-run, the Shovel amassed many fans and today these bikes enjoy a solid base of devout owners who swear by these rugged old classics from days gone by. 

Which brings us to Fred’s bike.

Fred originally bought the 1980 Low Rider in fairly stock trim back in 1997 in Perth WA. The motor was rebuilt by Dick (Fred’s dad) and Dean Harrison. Although the original 1340 cc displacement was retained, this donk was in for thorough warming over. She now runs twin-plug heads, an Andrews B-grind cam, Jims pushrods and billet lifter blocks, a S&S bottom-end and oil pump, a Mikuni carb, and that very business-like two-into-one exhaust system.

A three-inch Primo belt-drive connects the motor to the original four-speed box which now runs Andrews internal gearing.

The custom guards, wrap-around oil tank, front scoop and the four-inch stretched custom tank are all adorned with the Freddy Krueger paint scheme. The metal-clawed dream-killer appears in several different incarnations over the entire bike.

A set of fat T-bars tops off the front-end, while adjustable shocks help iron out the bumps at the rear. 

A set of Performance Machine forward controls were added and Scorpion wheels top off the overall appearance of the bike with a matching rear sprocket.

The end result is a well presented machine which has a nice balance of old versus new customising trends. The stretched tank, paint work and custom wheels look quite at home on the original 1980 Shovelhead chassis and engine, etc.

Fred would like to extend a huge thanks to his father, Dick, for the help with the motor rebuild, and Sonny for the shit-hot looking airbrush work of Freddy on the bike.

Another big thank you has to go to our very lovely model. Heidi is a good friend of Fred’s and was more than happy to help out on the day of the shoot by posing for some shots with the bike. Heidi is looking to do some promo work in the future so keep your eyes open at this website.

Pics by Jo; words by Chuck U Farley

Tattoo Club of South Australia Show

BACK IN 2003, the Tattoo Club of South Australia came into being and promptly launched itself into a position of prominence with its inaugural tattoo show. Fast forward a few years, and a lot of the same faces — with a healthy influx of new faces — are still at it: keeping the good name and the high profile of their club by running a slick and professional tattoo show. And they’ve got a clever twist that not many other people follow — they only put on a show when the time’s right.

It’s not an annual event, although it may well become that one day. It’s a tattoo show that the club puts on when they know they can do it justice, not a panicked series of rushed half measures to meet a deadline. It’s a good solid tattoo show they can be proud of and that they know other people will appreciate and enjoy.

This year’s show was held at the Live Nightclub, right in Adelaide’s city centre, so all the hard infrastructure was readily available — a couple of bars, plenty of seating, different rooms, DJ facilities, and a stage for the bands. Tattoo Club regulars Overdrive set the mood with favourites from musicians like Steve Miller, The Doors, Steppenwolf and The Rolling Stones. All the trappings that were needed for a sell-out show came through the hard work of the Tattoo Club members who organised the contestants, the judging, the tattoo booths, the live video for the crowd, and all the hundred and one little details that make a show flourish.

On entering, one of the first people you’d see after the bustling workers would be 77-year-old Fred. He’d agreed with a couple of mates that they’d start getting tattooed once they hit 75, but sadly his mates didn’t quite make it that far. Up to now, Fred’s had 38 tattoos completed and has another two just about ready to go. Not sure whether it was planned that way or not, but Chloe — with an enigmatic smile and her own collection of striking tattoos — who did Fred’s very first tattoo, was also one of the more noticeable people on the day.

Among the familiar Adelaide based tattooists working on site was Joe Faller, a German tattooist currently based in Ireland — Cork to be exact — and speaking near perfect English with a German-Irish accent and a mischievous air that owes more to Ireland than Germany. Having just come back from Ireland myself, and having met a similarly accented German Bandido who lived in Cork for years, meeting Joe was a strange moment… I mean, what are the chances?

Some of the highlights included Marte’s peacock arm and Tom’s weirdly gory medical scene arm job complete with super sexy nurses, deranged doctors and mummified patients. One young bloke had Chief Wiggum from The Simpsons on his leg as the first of the full set of characters that he plans to get. Something I’d never come across before involved good mates Nick and Danny: their pirate themed arms stood as complete works on their own, but also blended into each other when the two of them stood together. A unique and original thought (especially when you consider there are still people who mainly equate tattoos with skulls, wizards, and oriental dragons) and superbly executed by Tattooist of the Show winner Reg.

As sometimes happens when the best work’s on display, you could only admire the way a good tattooist somehow finds extra space on an arm or some other body part to fit in an extravagantly oversized work of art. Somehow or other, you’d see a tattoo that must have been 20 cm across neatly sitting in an area only 15 cm across. And not looking remotely squeezed or cramped! It’s a gift that seems to defy standard laws of physics, and one that only the finest tattooists enjoy.

Typically, tattoo shows don’t attract much attention from the major media outlets. Perhaps as a consequence of such things as the various Anti Association laws different state governments have introduced there’s been a greater interest in the sort of lifestyle Ozbike readers relish. Accordingly, ABC Radio sent one of their reporters along to do an online feature on the day’s events. Considering the shit camera they’d issued him with, Brett did an impressive job and should be welcome at any future tattoo shows.

There haven’t been many tattoo shows in Adelaide over the last year, in fact, right now, I can only think of this one. But even if there’d been half a dozen of them, Skin Deep would still stand out. It’s the fine product of the endless enthusiasm the Club members have for their art, and you know they’re going to keep on arranging it. But only when the time’s right.

Words & pics by Chris Randells

Mars Bar Bribe

THE only way to pull off a Sunday afternoon ‘quick bout of love making’ with their eight-year-old son in the apartment was to send him out on the balcony with a Mars Bar and tell him to report on all the street activities.

He began his commentary as his parents put their plan into operation:

“There’s a car being towed from the parking lot.

An ambulance just drove by. Looks like the Anderson’s have company. 

Matt’s riding a new bike.

Looks like the Sanders are moving.

Jason is on his skate board.

The Coopers are having a root.”

Startled, his mum and dad shot up in bed! Dad cautiously called out,
 “How do you know that?”

“Jimmy Cooper is standing on his balcony with a Mars Bar.”

Bargain Harley-Davidson Softy

MICK IS YOUR average, hard-working, small business owner who needed a new shop truck for his spray painting and panel beating business so he sold one of his toys—his much loved Sporty—and he swore he would buy another Harley-Davidson later when he had a few dollars to spare. That time came when a mate decided to sell his ’89 Softail because he had a kid on the way.

“He had ridden it all over the country and spent a lot of the last part of his trip up in the Northern Territory,” Mick said. “He got back to Sydney and parked it in the shed and it sat there for three years until I bought it in a rough but fairly original state.”

The many and widespread use of zip-ties as opposed to proper fasteners and hardware was never-the-less an interesting feature.

Mick started to ride it around but there were a few things needed fixing so he took it down to Rusty’s Bayside Custom Cycles for Rusty to check it out and that’s when Mick found out the bike, especially the engine, was in a worse condition than he thought.

“Mick first came to me with a leaking exhaust,” said Rusty, “but the more I looked into the bike, the more it became apparent that it needed a lot of help.”

 After a detailed discussion with Mick, a full rebuild and a custom job was decided on and the bike was completely stripped.

First on the job-sheet was a wide rear-end so the frame was sent George McKenzie to have it checked, straightened and a few degrees of rake added to the front-end. George then performed an amazing modification to the left-hand side of the frame extending the rear leg outwards that allowed the German wide-arse kit to fit perfectly.

The use of a 25 mm Zodiac tranny off-set kit, and no engine-to-frame-offset required in this instance, greatly assists in the handling department with the wide rear tyre used.

Since the engine drive-side case was shot—the bearing race being loose and expensive to repair, Mick got Rusty to source an aftermarket engine. They chose an 88 cube RevTech to do the job. The fact is quite a few companies that build bikes in the States us them, the good warranty, and the overall package that includes a 42 mm Mikuni carb and single-fire ignition for a great price, made it a winner.

The gearbox housing also was cracked along the main bearing housing but this turned out to be good in one way as the ’89 models are limited by a not-so-great clutch and the tranny and case were upgraded to ’94 and later specs.

An electronic speedo were introduced into the rebuild as well as an optimum-ratio starter drive/ring-gear combo and later model primary.

A new stainless 60-spoke front wheel and the wider 21 x 31/2 inch rim is fitted to a rebuilt front-end including bushes, dampers and tubes.

 The rear is also fitted with stainless 60 spokes on an 18 x 8.5 inch rim using a 240 Metzler tyre. Both wheels are covered by robust one-piece Kraft/Tech steel guards with the rear being held up with blind struts.

The rear tailight is recessed into rear guard and incorporates LED turn signals and makes a tidy and uncluttered rear fender.

Calipers are Mid-USA units clamping on DNA super spoke discs with a matching rear pulley. The forward controls are also Elite style units from DNA.

The paint was handled by Mick in-house at his business in two-pac and the detailed wiring by Holger of Zap Electrics.

To finish it all off, Rusty said there was a lot of detailed work to make it all come together. The result, however, was very satisfying and worth the effort.

Mick said he loves the finished bike and the job Rusty did on the rebuild, He’s on it as much as possible, and even though the only original parts are the frame, handlebars, tanks, seat, exhaust and number plate, he still thinks he got a bargain Harley-Davidson to replace his Sporty.

Article submitted by Keith Cole

The Old Biker

A HEAVY coat of dust, now hides the canvas tarp,

Thrown over his old Walla, that so long has been parked.

A sunbeam breaks the dingy shed, with a burst of morning light, 

Which illuminates the stubbie bottle, left there just last night.

And at ease sits the old biker, with his second coffee brew;

At rest on his verandah, still wet with morning dew.

He thinks about the Walla, in the shed across the yard,

“I’ll get that old girl going yet; it can’t be all that hard.”

This promise he’s made too many times, and through the hourglass,

The sands are falling evermore, another day will pass.

As he drags himself from his old deck chair, to head towards the lounge,

His tread does cease, he stands alert, to an old familiar sound.

The rattle of a snare drum, with a thunderous repore,

He waits with eyes hard searching, he’s heard this sound before.

And it echoes through the valleys, and rebounds from mountain sides,

The heartbeat of a Harley, finds something lost inside.

The old biker then steps forward, to get a better view,

Of a machine that once was familiar, of a life that he once knew.

He hears the throttle twist and close, to negotiate the course;

His toes tap down a phantom gear, as he watches from the porch.

Then a glimpse of chrome through distant trees, he strains his eyes to see,

A young man with his girl on the back, cutting through the breeze.

The Harley roars, his heartbeat soars, as the rumble finally peaks,

And fills his soul with every word, that engine cares to speak.

With his ear towards the fading roar, his bearded grin appears;

He thinks about his ‘days back when’; of bikes and mates and beers.

His wife walks out with a fresh brewed pot, and sees across the way,

The old shed door opened wide, today will be the day!

Biker poem by Adrien Sweetman

Belly Harley-Davidson Rocker C Build

MY customised Harley-Davidson Rocker C has been a work-in-progress over the last seven years since l bought it. Most of the work has been carried out by Colin at Geelong Harley. Here is a list of the modifications:

Custom paint from Shannon at Pro Finish in Geelong.
RC Components rims; 23” front, 18” rear.
Custom triple trees 2” wider
4”-over length fork tubes
Chrome swingarm and oil tank.
Custom front and rear guards.
Ultima hand controls and headlight.
Custom 2” drag-bars.
3” Rivera Primo open primary.
Custom seat by Con at CKT Trimming Melbourne.
ThunderMax auto tuner.
Vance & Hines short shots.
SMT grips and footpegs.
H-D forward controls.
Braided lines.
LED front indicators.
Shotgun air ride.

DARREN BELL, Geelong, Vic.

Silly Handlebars Sport Glide

I PUT my bike in for service at Fraser Motorcycles and the Sales Manager suggested I should take a new Softail home for a day. The bike they gave me is a new Sport Glide Milwaukee-Eight with a S&S 475 cam fitted. The cam certainly adds a lot of personality to the engine. The new cam… does it encourage me to race it a bit more… tempt me to give it a little squirt every now and then? Of course I wouldn’t do that… it’s a loan bike… obviously I’ve been riding it very carefully…

This is my first time on the new Softail frame and I’m completely surprised at how well it handles; it is quite amazing. It should be given to anyone who says Harleys don’t handle. I mean, it is the Sport Glide with inverted front forks and fancy mono-shock on the back but the ride is truely spectacular.

The West Glide T-bars do make a bit of a sock of you at freeway speeds, and at low speed it’s a little cumbersome, but you know what, it’s such an amazing handling bike they don’t really take that much away from it.

If people want to put high handlebars on their bikes, that’s fine. Whatever floats your boat. But I really wish it had the pull-back bars and screen that comes with it standard because that would have been excellent.

These T-bars are a bit high for me… or maybe I’m just a bit short… but they do make you feel bar-arse; no doubt about it.

by Paul Angus

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