Bear-Necessities Cross Bones

“Everything I've ever owned, I’ve customised — it’s just what I do.” said Bear from Bestway Customs & Choppers in the ACT.

I’VE BEEN customising bikes full time going on 10 years now. As a youngster I was drawn to the drag strip here in Canberra; standing at the fence watching the machines race each other down the hill was probably where the addiction sunk its teeth in and has never let go. Cars, drag racing and modifications go hand-in-hand which led to racing flat track quads around the country, building blown bridge-to-bridge race boats… basically, if it had an engine, it got customised not matter what!

Building my projects led to doing friends’ toys in my spare time and one thing led to another and here we are today. I’ve got plenty of work, heaps of it.

They say bad things happen in three’s but not in this case! This particular build featured here was bought new from Frasers in Sydney; it was delivered here one Saturday morning on the back of his ute with a brand new factory installed 113 ci big bore engine, pipes, computer and air cleaner for one of my good customers. Other than the above, it didn’t have much else done, but then we cut sick on it.

It started life as a ’09 Cross Bones. The first makeover from us was great, Robbie loved it, but unfortunately it was involved in an incident which lead to a second makeover — a total transformation which included a 120 ci Screamin’ Eagle crate motor; Heartland 250 rear; a 23 inch diamond cut, front wheel and 18 x 8.5 inch rear from Ride Wright wheels with gold spokes, nipples and hubs; Bestway ‘T’ Bars; and a pretty wild paint job which looked awesome for many years and a lot of miles.

Recently the former paint scheme needed a freshen up so I suggested we go black — really black! Less is more in my eyes and is proven by my array of black beauties; it was a no brainer and of course this always leads to more changes — black tins, new style Meanstreet inverted front-end, Renegade Phantom Cut Black Whistler wheels, HHI inboard rear brake system, and 16 inch Highballs from Burleigh Bars.

Duchy from Duchy’s Motorcycle Spray Art in Wollongong does all my paint because he is absolutely brilliant and the best painter around. He has used a jet black; it’s like the blackest black you can get. Everything that could be pulled off for paint was; we removed the oil tank, horn cover, coil cover, and Dutchy sprayed them all to match the amazing jet black tins.

The Heartland seat has been recovered in sued.

As far as wide-ass kits go, Heartland is at the top of the pile; they supply everything from the seat, struts, recessed number plate, fender, guards, swingarm, the splash guard; and topped off nicely with the LED indicators in the struts.

Every bike I’ve ever built has two main criteria: it has to be a show stopper, but as importantly, it has to be functional! No point having something that looks amazing but is a pig to ride. A good builder ticks all the boxes or what’s the point of doing anything?

Big front wheels are my thing so the rake and trail has to be perfect. Let’s face it, if anything isn’t enjoyable you’re not going to want to do it again, so why trade looks for comfort?

Bike enthusiasts have bikes for a reason — we love to hit the road and enjoy the wind in our face, the open roads, and look forward to doing it as much as possible — and this is why everything has to right otherwise what’s the point?

There’s been a lot of interest in this bike; everybody who sees it asks if it’s for sale. I’ve built some great bikes in my day and this one is right up there with the best of them. Follow us on Facebook for up-to-date builds and info.

Bestway Customs & Choppers, 25 John Russell Circuit, Conder ACT 2906; 02-6294-6196.

Photos by George
Words by Jason ‘Bear’ Stares

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