Brilliant Behemoth Harley-Davidson Breakout

“As Brenton passed me on full song with a big handful, the bike bagged up when it hit second and tried to change lanes all by itself; all the while that exhaust note sounding glorious,” said Big Andy.

HARLEY-Davidson nailed the Breakout concept. It sits right and it looks right. When I see a Breakout roll by slowly, it looks like someone riding a prowling black panther. They look tough enough straight off the showroom floor but you can count the fellas on one hand who leave their bike as per the way the Motor factory intended. There’ll always be fellas who just have to customise and improve, regardless of what it is.

Brenton is one such fella. He’s never been one to just accept things the way they are. Back in the day, the car he built for his detailing business was slammed so low that even ants were nervous.

Over the years he’s built some notable rides, including a couple of bikes featured in Ozbike. Issue #91 had his clean ‘77 Shovelhead in it; and Issue #218 featured his ground-up-built 93-cube S&S Shovel that knocked ’em dead. He just can’t help himself. So far, I fail to see any problem.

This time around, he was drawn to the look of the Breakout and couldn’t wait to get it home to begin the transbikemutation (the process of dismantling a perfectly good motorcycle without first getting to enjoy it to the utter astonishment of wives and mates).

Sphincter-puckering horsepower was high on Brenton’s list so Craig at Adelaide Bikeworks got the gig to build the engine — and he was under instructions to make it nasty. 

Craig’s prowess for engine builds saw him upping the capacity to 110 cubes and lovingly inserting a pair of fist-sized 10:5 to 1 slugs into those cavernous jugs. A pair of CNC machined heads were buttoned down up top. Things were getting serious now, so with the installation of SE-260 cams, a billet 58-mm throttle body and bigger injectors, the engine started taking its nastiness pretty seriously. In fact, every time someone walked past it sitting on the bench, it growled at them. Yep… seems nasty enough!

But Craig was far from finished. All that talk about “Slugs & Jugs” had him all a fluster so he added an SE Race Tuner and hung a Hi-flo Roland Sands Design air-cleaner off the side. 

Brenton put plenty of research into the exhaust system. It was important that it actually worked with his engine build combination, and a Bassani Road Rage system proved its worth on the dyno. And on the street.

All this work sees a buttocks-clenching 134 hp at the back wheel, with 117 ft-lb of torque. That’s the kind of grunt that leaves a mark on the road. And one on the seat.

You don’t build an engine like this without including a heavy duty clutch upgrade while common sense dictated a Race-Tech suspension upgrade that slammed it 2 inches.

Brenton needed to know that this behemoth wasn’t going to buck him off under load so the right seat needed some thought. He found the Bitchin’ Seat company in the USA to his liking and sorted it with some emailing back and forth. The hand-built leather saddle’s low profile sits him ‘in’ the bike, and more importantly, he can ride without the need to get off after an hour. 

So then it was time to get the sled lookin’ all purty with the right paint. A bench racing session with Troy at ND Refinishers got everybody on the same page and he put in a champion effort laying down marble-finish candy apple green panels over onyx black. The two are kept in contrast by silver-leaf pin-striping. The net result is beautifully finished subtle custom paint work until it’s in direct sunlight — then it smacks the taste out of your mouth with a mesmerising blend of colour combined with that marble finish that commands your attention. While it was parked, I watched every single passer-by stop and admire it.

It just didn’t seem right having all that grunt dressed up in its best party frock without all the accessories to round it off, so a Chopz Tail Tidy sorted out that ugly number plate, along with matching tail lights and front indicators.

The rest of the tasty little morsels include a day-breaker headlight with Roland Sands trim ring, contrast cut levers, grips, pegs and fuel cap, with Ness mirrors riding up top.

Down the back, a billet pulley dresses up her taut rear-end and keeps that 260 rear tyre honest. Well, at least it tries to.

We took a ride so I could see and hear this bike on the road. As Brenton passed me on full song with a big handful, the bike bagged up when it hit second and tried to change lanes all by itself; all the while that exhaust note sounding glorious. Most impressive, Brenton. 

And a most impressive bike. Clean, customised without looking like a Christmas tree, while more than fast enough for a ‘cruiser’.

Misters Davidson & Harley nailed their version of the Breakout, and Brenton nailed his.

photos by Chris Randells; text by Big Andy Seymour

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