Black Thunder Harley-Davidson Breakout & Becc

“There were many times I threw spanners across the garage and used every blue word imaginable before walking back into the house late at night covered in scratches and Loctite,” said Rick.

THERE’S A fair chance we can all remember the day we decided to get into bikes despite a very thorough history of personal brain cell reduction. Who really knows why but I’d venture to suggest it’s got something to do with the absolute freedom and thrills riding a bike provides. It doesn’t matter what kind of bike it is, just as long as it works for us! In this case, a much younger Rick Stringer’s Uncle Arthur picked up a brand new 100th Anniversary Harley-Davidson Dyna Wide Glide and set about giving it the royal treatment. Before too long it was dripping in chrome along with a Heartland 250 conversion, extended forks, custom wheels, and a stretched tank. Rick was hooked on the idea of one day having his own custom Harley-Davidson, and along with his whole family, loved to hear the roar signalling the imminent arrival of Uncle Arthur at family gatherings.

“Over the years he would randomly turn up at family events on his bike and the whole family would be excited when they would hear that roar pull up out front. Around four years ago at Christmas, I heard the V-twin coming down the footpath where we were set up. It was my Uncle Arthur on that 2003 Wide Glide. Still as immaculate as ever.”

A month later Rick pulled the trigger on his own H-D dream when he bid on this virtually brand new 2016 Breakout at his local auction after a good mate had to give it back after experiencing some financial strife. The bike already had a few tasteful mods but Rick was itching to put his own mark on the bike.

“I’d been looking at the Thunderbike builds and found inspiration to start the transformation to what I wanted it to be. The NRS headlight cowl was an idea I had but I hadn’t seen one on a Breakout. Taking a chance I tracked one down and modified it to fit.” Rick then filled it with a Hog Lights LED unit. 

To the rear a Custom Dynamics all-in-one number plate surround takes care of the brake, park, and indicator lighting while doing away with the wide-and-high dual-light set-up the bike came with, further slimming down the look of the back end.

An item from the Thunderbike catalogue found its way onto the bike with the chin spoiler. 

Not stopping there, Rick sourced some 60 mm metal tubing and made his own upper fork covers to fit between the triple clamps giving a more solid look around the new cowl.

“I love having a go at anything, getting my hands dirty and persevering until I get it right. I have a creative mind but let’s just say it wasn’t all a walk in the park. There were many times I threw spanners across the garage and used every blue word imaginable before walking back into the house late at night covered in scratches and Loctite!”

Across the top of the bike there’s a pair of Kuryakyn Trigger levers, some Alloy Art under-perch indicators, and a pair of Arlen Ness mini oval mirrors. H-D Diamond grips cap off the handlebars with matching pegs on the three-inch extended forward controls.

Speaking volumes for Rick’s want to have a go at most things, the bulk of the mods were done in his own garage with only a few things like the custom trim, paint, and powder-coating being farmed out to the experts. Subtle body mods were incorporated like welding up the rear indicator mounting holes for a cleaner look to the struts, as well as lowering the fender’s mounting position by re-drilling the mounting holes. 

Brett from 2Tone Motor Trimming tried something new for the seat and swing-arm bag, stitching up a one-off design that compliments the bike perfectly.

Joel from Paint Pirate Automotive Exteriors used a combination of satin and gloss black to give the tins some subtle detail incorporating a H-D logo and body lines into the paint.

Getting further stuck into the modifications a black engine kit was fitted along with a Screamin’ Eagle Elite Heavy breather.

A Bassani Pro-Street exhaust was touched up by Rick before being fitted and the Turbine wheels had a fresh coating of black baked on at the powder-coaters.

That’s going to be it for the mods so far now the riding weather is back again. “I’ll keep working towards the next winter where I plan to transform it into something a little wilder. It’s exactly how I want it for the time being.” 

Rick would like to dedicate his build to the memory of his late Uncle Arthur Stanley Salton. R.I.P.

Words & Pics by Brad Miskiewicz

Grid Girl Becc

I HAD such a great time doing this shoot in Perth with Rick’s amazing custom Harley-Davidson! I love my bikes so I jumped at the opportunity to shoot for Ozbike! I have always been an adrenaline junkie and I ride a road bike of my own and have grown up riding dirt bikes. My partner Brad also races motorbikes and sidecars around Australia and Europe too.

I work as a grid girl at many Motorsport events each year. I’m originally from Adelaide and base myself there and travel for work. A highlight being the Playboy Philippines first ever international playmate and I’ve been privileged to work with loads of talented people from all over the world.

We had a lot of fun and laughs shooting in the studio. Thanks to the boys for being awesome fun, and photographer Brad for making me look the part.

Words by Becc; pics by Brad Miskiewicz

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