Bestway CVO Springer Custom

WELL, where do I start with this story…

I can thank a valued customer of mine for this amazing bike in hindsight! Ritchie had her booked in for a makeover with a bunch of high-end parts already here in stock. He brought the bike down from Sydney so I could get stuck into it and up ‘the anti’ a few hundred levels on an already immaculate fairly stock CVO Springer.

But this project took a hard left in the storyline when I asked him an off-the-cusp question that any bike builder should ask: “Hey, have you ever ridden a bike with a 26-inch front wheel and a 250 ass-end, and a 120 cubes of kickass in your right hand?” 

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That ‘one’ sentence changed so many things in the next 10 minutes that couldn’t be scripted if you tried.

He said, “Nar, mate, that’s why she’s here, remember?”

So I offered him a quick ride on my own personal ride, the Bear Train, which at the time was probably a little bit ahead of its time in a couple of areas, and he jumped on it and rode off into the sunshine.

I clearly remember standing next to his brother George out the front of the shop feeling pretty good about myself, thinking, ‘Well there’s not many places where you could test ride your project before it’s built!’ when this monster of a man next to me grunts, “Well that’s the Springer fucked!”

I cranked my neck back to say, “WTF are you talking about?”

“You shouldn’t have let him ride that. He’ll buy that now and won’t build the Springer!”

I shook my head and said, “Don’t worry, that bike is not and never will be for sale — period!”

George just chuckled and said, “We’ll see!”

So, after being talked out of something that really was never, ever, ever, leaving my sight, I was left with a champagne problem — building another top-shelf custom bike.

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Starting life as a CVO is already a head-start, but having the luxury of a Heartland 250 kit in stock with a set of billet SMT machining Optical Illusion wheels is kinda cheating but that’s exactly what happened.

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Straight away, I started ordering a host of top-shelf parts to build myself a new toy. Being a perfectionist with a large dose of OCD mixed up with a pile of fun tickets is everyone’s dream when building anything, but having a milestone like my dearly departed Bear Train looming in my every thought, I knew I had to start pushing some serious boundaries!

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The engine is probably the least molested part of the bike to be honest — Ritchie already had that covered and since then I’ve only changed out the cams for my ‘go to’ S&S 575 chain-drive bump sticks.

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The rear-end coped a HHI Driveside Brake System which is a fair bit of extra work, but done right, it speaks for itself! Just take a look at any pics from the righthand side and see a big dollar billet wheel in all its glory and that extra work just disappears!

RB Racing takes care of all my exhausts. The two-into-one has an amazing sound and produces horsepower. 

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The one and only Heartland USA 250 Softail wide ass kit is like no other. They’ve been copied but no one comes close to the look, feel, fitment and finesse of those guy!

Daniel from Bitchn Stichn took care of the seat reshape and the final trimming.

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Russ Wernimont Designs is another ‘go to’ of mine for a bunch of parts that are top shit! Take a look at that gas tank — there is nothing out there that flows like one of these — and those sexy lines are all metal — no weld on bits and bobs, no bog, etc, etc — and, yes, they were in another price postcode but suck it up, Suzy — you want the look, you shell out them fun tickets or forever hold your tongue! What’s worse is that Russ has sadly stopped making these pieces of art for Softails!

The complete factory CVO springer was getting re-chromed when the deal was done so I had the pleasure and pain of piecing together my first ever completely disassembled springer front. It’s a daunting sight having it all laid out on a nice clean sheet, but with a couple of mistakes along the way, I got it on and working nicely.

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Performance Machine took care of the billet rocker boxes, top gearbox cover, front brakes, forward controls, and a bunch of other trinkets. God bless Uncle Ted and young mister Roland Sands for their range of Clarity Covers which I have a small fetish for! They took care of the clear cam, derby, and just recently, the Hydraulic clear gearbox cover, which are all made to perfection and work. 

And there’s plenty of other RSD parts on different corners wherever you may glance from the hand grips to billet brake and clutch reservoir covers and, and, and…

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I can’t go past a Baker DD7 gearbox cassette in all my personal bikes. They have to be experienced to understand how good they are in every department! Comparing a DD7 to a regular slush drive six-speed gearbox should be illegal — there’s no comparison.

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Burleigh Bars took care of the bars. There’s actually been about three different sets of their bars on this bike: first pair were the flat-track-feel Knuckle bars, then a pair of my Signature Straight Rise T-Bars to these beautiful 1-1/4-inch polished stainless steel HiBall apes.

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The finishing touch was the paint. Being an ’06 CVO Springer, they had a particular paint job available in a couple of colours every year a CVO is released; this gives them a look that is unmistakable and gives a kind of allure that is… well, a CVO and nothing else! But anyone who knows me knows that there’s always a curveball somewhere in my builds that sometimes only makes sense in my demented mind — but that’s okay; that’s all it’s got to do. Enter the master painter Dutchy! I told him I want to recreate the later factory 240 ass-end CVO Springer’s paint to make people who actually know what they’re looking at stand back and scratch their melons asking themselves, ‘That’s a trick ’09 CVO but what’s going on with the paint?’ Instead of just copying the factory bare metal flowing into painted flames, I wanted a chrome underlay in the paint flowing into better flames to give the illusion of a late model bike but it’s not!

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Dutchy absolutely nailed this paint again. I can’t thank him enough for the level of love he puts into every job, every time.

Anyway, thanks for looking and we at Bestway Customs wish you all a very Merry Christmas — have a great safe break and enjoy, cheers.

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To see more photos of Hannah go to Hannah for Christmas.

words by Bear Stares at Bestway Customs; photos by Julius at Tower Photographics.

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