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

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

Eye-Catching Harley-Davidson Softail Custom

WE started with a stock Harley Softail Custom and everything you see — except for the exhaust system and paint job — is from the Harley-Davidson catalogue. We had a budget of $50,000 and we came in just shy of it at around $48,000. We wanted a modern style chopper, probably something a little bit retro, something that someone back in the late ’60s, early ’70s, would do to chop their FLH. That’s the look we wanted.

Mark at Sydney Custom Spraypainting painted it. We wanted something bright instead of bad man black, and the yellow and green is something I’ve always wanted to do. I think it works well. I think it is bright, it stands out, it’s an eye-catching motorcycle.

We also wanted to keep it a rider’s bike. It’s got a slightly lower front suspension, but when you sit on and ride it, it’s a comfortable motorcycle.

It’s a great Friday night special but it’s also something you could throw on a sleeping bag and off you go. Look at the grips. We stayed away from the metal grips and went with old style touring rubber grips which are comfortable and easy on the hands. Even down to the rear vision mirror. It’s just a chrome round mirror you can actually use.

There are a lot of subtle changes on the bike that you would have to look closely to notice. The 21-inch front wheel, for instance. The Softail Customs come with a 21-inch front wheel but this one is an 80-spoker.

The Samson fishtail pipes are something different and not everyone agreed on using them, but they worked well with the overall style of the bike, and everyone who has walked into the showroom since has admired them.

The problem with a lot of the bikes you see featured in magazines is that they are just not rideable. By staying with Harley-Davidson Genuine parts, we can build a nice, good, customised motorcycle that you can ride every day, in any situation. We can do a whole conglomerate of work to it — cosmetics, engine work, etc — and it will still have warranty, it will be personalised to your taste, and it will hold its value.

Photos by Wall 2 Wall; words by Greg Ryan from Fraser’s Motorcycles, 153—165 Parramatta Road, Concord NSW 2037; 02-8741-3000.

Honda K2 Chopper Stopper

AS A KID I dreamt of owning a cool chopper or custom like the ones you see in the magazines, but making money was hard and saving was even harder, so when I decided if I wanted a chopper, I would have to build my own.

In 1990 I answered an advert in the classified that said, ‘Santee chopper frame and other parts to suit a Honda K model,’ and even though I had no idea what a Honda K model was, I gave the bloke 250 of my hard earned cash and dragged the frame home.

The other parts I got with the frame were a set of six-inch-over forks, oil tank, electric box and some handlebars so I was well on the way to owning my very own chopper.

The next thing I did was look through the for-sale adds again till I found an advert for a very rough Honda K2 still registered for $500, and I knew I had the rest of my chopper.

It then took me about three or four weeks to get all the parts on the frame, and with a ripped Cobra seat and rusted Harley rear guard, I had my chopper ready to go to the RTA.

Lucky for me, the frame came with police numbers already stamped on and had been registered in Victoria before, so getting it on the road wasn’t as hard as I thought, and before long, I was up and riding—and I rode the arse off that thing for years, cleaning things up and getting new parts when I could.

In 1998 I had the bike looking good, but on the way home from a bike show, some prick in a station wagon decided he didn’t want to stop at a stop sign and proceeded to write off the front of my bike which pissed me off—but I had visions of bigger and better things, and with the insurance money in hand, it was time to start rebuilding.

I was ringing around trying to find some new forks when I contacted the guys out at Pacific H-D and they told me about a pair of original Harman springer forks they had sitting around for years but never wanted to sell. I guess I called them on the right day as they offered them to me complete with a Chopper Stopper front wheel.

The forks and wheel was pretty badly rusted so I stripped everything down and sent them off to be polished and chrome-plated, and while I was at it, I got stainless spokes laced up to a 19-inch front rim and had a 15-inch rear rim fitted so I could run a car tyre on the back like they did in the ’70s.

Recent modifications include the twin Mikuni carbs to upgrade the old carbs that were showing their age and the electronic ignition to bring the old girl up-to-date. 

 Photos by George; words by Simon 

Game Over Harley-Davidson Street Bob

GAME Over Cycles, a Polish manufacturer of custom motorcycles, presents its latest project—a uniquely modified Harley-Davidson Street Bob adorned with impressive gold and unique brass elements. The modified Street Bob includes many handcrafted elements, such as the rear fender, a plow or brass sheets on the tank. In addition, the vehicle is decorated with a custom leather seat and painting made in the pinstriping technique.

This is a sister motorcycle to New York-Rzeszów, a custom Harley-Davidson inspired by the cities of New York and Rzeszów. The motorcycle was made for a Pole who comes from Rzeszów and currently lives in New York. In principle, the machine is to express the local patriotism of both homelands of the vehicle owner. It is manifested by the unique construction of the motorcycle, the structure of which includes the characteristic features of the architecture of a given city, yet they are not only elements of ornamentation, but also fully functional parts of the motorcycle. An example of structural elements containing the architecture of a given city is, for example, an exhaust pipe in the shape of a Chrysler building or a seat back in the form of a Tadeusz Mazowiecki bridge, the largest bridge in Rzeszów.

Game Over Cycles is also known for The Recidivst—the world’s first tattooed motorcycle—and the Behemoth Bike—a custom motorcycle created in collaboration with global Polish metal music legends Behemoth. 

Machines created by Game Over Cycles have won awards at some of the world’s biggest custom bike competitions. The company has already won 23 awards, including 16 international ones, of which as many as eight trophies were received at the European Bike Week (EBW), the largest motorcycle festival in Europe. The company also won awards in the USA. In 2017 The Recidivist received first place trophy in the Most Unusual category at the Rats Hole Custom Bike Show—the most prestigious custom bike competition in the world organised every year at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, the world’s largest motorcycle rally. In the same year, The Recidivist also won the first place in the PRO category in the Harley-Davidson Museum Custom Bike Show in Milwaukee. 

photos by Paweł Olearka, Wojciech Ujda / Claudiq Photography and Leszek Kozłowski

Flex the Harley-Davidson V-Rod Muscle

I WAS GOING to buy a Night Rod Special when I saw the Muscle. There were a few things I didn’t like about it, but it came standard with upside down forks, mag wheels and braided lines, and I thought, “That’s good value; way better value than the Night Rod Special, something a bit more modern.”

One thing I didn’t like about it with was the headlight so that was the first thing I changed. I just put on an aftermarket chopper style headlight.

The seat was the same. It was pretty square so I modified it. I scooped it out to make it a little bit lower, got rid of the back pad and rounded it off, then covered it in crocodile.

I was going to go for the Air Ride Suspension that you can raise and lower, but a couple of guys I was riding with had a leak, and when it leaked, they had no suspension. So I went for a manual pump-up one which is still a shocker; even if all the air comes out of it you’ve still got suspension. It doesn’t look as good because it doesn’t sit as low but it’s a good ride and works really well.

I didn’t want to pull all the wiring out of the handlebars so I painted them and the mirrors instead. Painted the fork legs for the same reason; didn’t want to pull them apart. Powder-coated the triple trees, front and rear wheels and the swingarm. A lot of the stuff that was polished, I powder-coated or painted.

The swingarm is American Suspension to suit a 300 wide tyre. There was a lot of mucking around to get that to work. There’s a Dragway rear wheel that’s 10.5 inches wide. Dragway Performance Engineering made everything with a cush-drive hub; that’s standard on this model. A lot of guys with the earlier models got aftermarket pulleys and discs and just bolted them up solid, where this has got the cush-drive. The ABS brakes are all working, so yes, there was a bit of mucking around. In out, in out, just trying to get it in the right spot. I had to get the hub machined down after I got it made, to make everything clear. Then I dummied it all up, got it powder-coated, put it all back together, then I had to change one wheel bearing for the ABS sensor. It worked out it was 3 mm wider than the standard sensor so I had to do some more modifications to get it all to fit. There’s not a lot of room, but it all fits in there and it all works.

The offset pulley came with the swingarm; it bolts on exactly the same but it’s set right out. It looked funny when I first put the swingarm in—it sticks out further on the left-hand side than the right—so I pulled it all out, put the standard one back in, the wheel back in and measured it all up and got the centre where the standard wheel was, marked all that and put it back in so the new wheel would be in the same spot. But without the wheel, it just looked wrong because it was so far over one way.

Every weekend, I had it rideable. I’d want to ride it on Saturday, so every Friday, I put everything back on that was unfinished and I rode it just to make sure everything was right. ABS didn’t work one weekend but I sorted it all out.

Rino at Wild Rhino helped out by getting me all the parts, but I’ve done the work myself. I’ve always had bikes and always done my own work. I’m a motor mechanic by trade, got my own business with cars, but all through the ’80s I worked on bikes for a Yamaha dealer.

It’s great to ride. I reckon the power’s great. It all depends which dyno you put it on. Peter Stevens had 120-plus at the back wheel. Rino had his done somewhere else when he had the Power Commander on, and that came in at 131, but mine would just zap past him. They’re basically identical when they’re on the same dyno, but on the road mine’ll just leave him, go past him. He’s put the same pipes on, put the Power Commander on with the same programme. The only advantage he’s got is he weighs about 30 kg more than me, but I’ve got more rubber on the road.

It is a little different now, especially at high-speed big sweepers. It doesn’t fall in like it used to; you have to give her a bit of a push. We went on a poker run down the Great Ocean Road and a few guys from Melbourne with V-Rods were saying, “It looks good but it won’t go ’round corners.” I waited on the side of the road until I’d seen them go past and then waited for the twisties so I could go around the outside of them and underneath them just to show them it does go around corners: you’ve just got to ride it.

pics by Chris Randells; words by Chris Kelly

Suzuki DR650 Cafe Racer

MY WIFE and I recently purchased our future hobby farm, so with a little practicality in mind, I was inspired to build a ‘dual sport cafe racer’ that could handle the unsealed country roads while still maintaining the look and appeal of a hand-crafted cafe racer. Initially, I gathered a large amount of inspiration from raw scramblers, but as the build progressed, so did my desire for a finely finished agile cafe racer!

I did hours of research into different bike models and decided on seeking a bike with a spine frame for easy fitment of a retro tank, electric start, mono shock rear, and being of small build myself, I was looking for something light!

I found this 2007 Suzuki DR650se locally and went to see it straight away. It was worn out and completely geared up for long distance touring with the long range tank, bag and carrier on the back; all the fruit just not the fruit I wanted.

I stripped the bike straight away and sold all the unwanted parts which covered the cost of the bike and half of the build!

The project took six weeks to build after work and over the weekends. I took on every aspect of the build from the welding to the painting, the engine rebuilding, etc.

Almost everything outside of the frame has been changed from the custom seat, fabricated tank, tail-lights, headlight, handlebars, levers, grips, mirror, indicators, fenders, and the list goes on.

The old dash has been upgraded to an Acewell digital dash complete with pilot lights, tacho and many other functions.

The wiring has been simplified/shortened and tucked into a custom built ‘electrics’ box under the seat which also houses the battery and the remote hardwired alarm system complete with knock sensor and keyless start.

The motor was rebuilt, repainted and lightly worked which has significantly ‘uncorked’ the true power potential from the 650 cc motor. Topped off with a Stage 3 jet kit, high-flow intake and a straight-through retro muffler, the sound and responsiveness of the motor is spectacular.

After the custom fabrication of the frame and removal of the unwanted parts and tabs, I was able to reduce the weight of the bike down to around 135 kg wet which drastically improved the power-to-weight ratio and the bike’s handling.

The frame and retro tank have been custom painted and detailed. The tank has been carefully mounted as to maintain smooth lines throughout the bike.

Much to my surprise the hardest part of the entire build was the tank! Choosing the exact shape to compliment the envisioned bike, sourcing the tank, mounting the tank so the body lines flow without interruption, modifying the tank to fit the frame, sanding the tank, painting the tank, detailing and the list goes on. Even with everything else involved from welding, to engine rebuilding, to electrics, etc, the tank consumed one third of the total build, but it was worth it!

The thing I love most about the finished bike is that I built it with my own hands. Every part of the bike has its own funny story. The finished build is a reflection of myself and I think the uniqueness of this type of build is what really drove me to take on every challenge.

words by James Alkins; photos by Ben Pilatti

Prison Harley-Davidson Dream Machine & Gia Girl

LIFE DID deal an ace from the bottom of the deck. I got 15 years in Victorian prisons, starting in Pentridge, the hell hole. Working my way through the system into my time, I began to get an idea of building a bike. I started looking at the torn and tattered old bike mags that were passed from cell to cell.

With plenty of time on my hands, I found myself writing to different bike shops.

Getting more ideas on what I wanted, I was even making folders and putting in cut-outs from different mags that I would come by. Sometimes, someone would send me some Ozbike magazines and they often had good ideas in them.

You can imagine how much I had gathered over the years, enough to mess with my head as to what I wanted. There were was so many nice bikes out there, it became difficult to know just what to choose. It wasn’t until I got home that I saw this Softail in the window of Fraser’s Motorcycles on Parramatta Road, Sydney. “That’s my bike,” I said. Just three weeks later and I was riding it.

Two years later I was having lunch at a hotel when I looked out the window and saw this black Softail with this massive back wheel that looked awesome. I began to look for the owner, who I never found. So I went outside and took photos from my mobile phone. Went home and started coming up with my own ideas for my bike. Three years later and you are looking at my ideas.

A big thanks to all the boys at MMVR Customs who were able to transfer my ideas from paper to reality. After many man-hours of modifying and customising I could finally see my dream coming to life. MMVR then finished it off with a one-of-a-kind paint job and awesome airbrushing.

Coming home after 15 years from a cold, damp hole, steel and concrete beds with a 2-inch foam mattress and barely enough food to feed a kid let alone a man, trying to get my head together and around little things we all take for granted, I found much had changed. I had never seen a mobile phone let alone used one.

A big thank you to my best friend Brett who I met in prison, and his mate Wishy who inspired me with the wild posters he would send in, which I still have today. Also thanks to all the other people who helped put this bike together. A special thank-you to Matt for putting up with me every time something went wrong. It took all these people and many more and a lot of money to make this dream come true.

To all you guys back there in that overcrowded, noise polluted, tinea-infested place you call home—ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE!

Gia Girl

GIA IS 21-years-old and this is her first modelling assignment. Not bad for a rookie, eh? She is a hairdresser and makeup artist but wouldn’t mind to do more modelling in the future. Born and raised in Blacktown she makes us Westies proud of her.

“I saw Billy’s bike for the first time on the shooting day and I just couldn’t believe how hot it was,” she said. “I have always wanted to do some photoshoot on a bike and finally the dream has come true.

“It was fun day, especially since I’m not a girlie girlie, but the bike just brought the best out of me. 

“In the future I would like to travel around the world and have more fun in front of camera.”

Photos by George

The Undertaker Harley-Davidson Evo

WHEN I first started corresponding with Mick (or Chief as he is known to his friends), I got the funny feeling that we were going to get along just fine. It turned out that my hunch was right and me and Mick greeted each other like old mates after just a few witty emails and a couple shared pics that bonded us due to an undying love and respect for flathead Harley-Davidsons. 

Mick O’Loughlin (BA LLB SYD. UNI). All those letters after his name roughly stand for “One very cluey bloke when it comes to legal stuff.” He has only ever ridden Milwaukee’s V-Twin marvels starting off aboard a 1942 WLA that was purchased for the grand sum of $400 in 1971. Another six or so flatheads followed including a 1947 1200 cc.

Fast forward about 40-plus years and Mick’s kidneys, back and loose fillings have had more than their fair share of the constant abuse that only a rigid frame can dish out. 

Mick’s current bike is a multi-award winner the goes by the title of Undertaker. This 1994 Evo Softail was bought with minimal mods from a fella in Coffs Harbour 12 years ago. All the Grim Reaper themed additions were added by Mick.

The list of mods to this regularly ridden custom is fairly comprehensive.

Kuryakyn Components include smoked lens blinkers, Stiletto foot pegs, Black Widow grips, forward controls, shifter linkage, axle covers, air dam/toolbox and fuel caps.

That lethal looking primary drive is an Ultima four-inch open unit with a laser-cut, self-designed belt-cover incorporating a Celtic-style, billet, outer-bearing-support and a Barnett clutch.

The fuel tank is a four-inch stretched Zodiac item.

Clean air gets to the motor via a Whimmer snorkel and exhaust fumes exit through a set of Big Radius Vance & Hines pipes.

As set of Burleigh Rollerbars top of the front-end with a pair of Arlen Ness scoop style mirrors, Stealth headlight, and of course, those wicked looking Wrath Slayer levers that came from Chesapeake Performance Inc.

A tried and trusted LePera solo Bare Bones unit takes care of the seating while a modified gothic styled Slayer taillight/number plate holder brings up the rear. It was actually a side mount unit to start off with but the NSW Police Department reckoned it looked much better on the rear guard.

Mick reckons he may add a reverse gear to help his tired old back and legs when it comes to getting the bike out of the shed.

In closing, Mick says, “I pretty much designed and built the bike myself in the back shed except for the 240 rear-end which was done by Cyco Cycles and the paint by Skin By Finn in Coffs. I would also like to give special recognition to the late Jack Johnson of Redfern Motorcycle Spares who, 45 years ago, first introduced me to the iconic Harley-Davidson.”

words & pics By Chuck U Farley.

Silver Iron-Head Harley-Davidson Sportster Bobber

THIS STARTED out as a 1979 Harley-Davidson Iron-head Sportster; I bought it from a guy as an already running and complete bike. As the ‘79 model is ugliest thing, I think, Harley has ever put out, I bought a KraftTech frame and decided to do a full rebuild on it. 

The motor had a freshen up — like the heads just to clean it up. 

It’s a bit of a rattle-can rebuild. I painted the cylinders. We had the vapour, wet blasting done on all the aluminium stuff; a mate of mine, Heath Balcher, does it. Everyone was matt clearing these to protect them but I threw gloss clear on it and it’s come up as a matt finish but looks wet and industrial. I didn’t want to keep polishing because, let’s face it, nobody likes polishing aluminium. 

I had to rebuild the gearbox and re-weld a section because I split the engine in half being an idiot, and not knowing what I was doing, I put the washer that the bearing rollers sits against in on the wrong side of the circlip which caught the bearing rollers, chewed the bearing out and made a massive oil leak spewing oil everywhere. So the gearbox came back out again. I had another engine on the stand, robbed the bearing from that. I was so scared of Iron-head gearboxes; I’d never touched one before. It took a few days to nut it out but I am pretty confident with them now. 

I decided I didn’t want to buy anything cheap and I wanted to build everything. I’m showing all the older guys that us young guns are getting into it. The thing I’ve found in Australia is that the old guys shun the young guys in this industry. I had to go to America to get guys to help me. I even had a guy Skype me just to help me with the gearbox. I find the old guys aren’t interested in us and that was across the whole industry but that needs to change, otherwise, it’s just going to die in the arse. 

I made the top engine mount the old school way — heat and bend, heat and bend, with a half inch solid rod — made a template up and did it myself; it shapes around the heads really nicely and follows the line through. 

The oil tank started out as a stock, round oil tank and I hated the way it sat so hard up against the rear cylinder; it made the whole bike look short and tiny so I moved all the mounts, moved the tank back as far as I could, lined everything up, cut the back off the oil tank to hide the Ultima control box, and got it to contour the back of the primary. I made that and the battery box myself. 

The oil lines are all stainless and I’ve got a Honeycomb oil filter which acts as an oil cooler too. I was doing a fit-out in NT on a mine site and came across all these oil lines and the stainless fittings and thought, hang on, I could use these! I didn’t steal them, I actually went out and bought them but realised how expensive they are; there is about $400 in oil lines there but I like it; it looks good. 

I built these mounts for the seat posts three times before I got them right, and then I had to machine up some little spaces for them and welded them all on. 

I wish I had done the seat myself — I am learning how to do the seats — because it’s the only thing on the bike that I didn’t do; it’s a floral pattern, tooled leather seat by Mother Rod and Customs in America. 

These wheels are brand new genuine Invaders. There aren’t many in Australia and they are the reason it took so long to build the bike. They’re hand-made and took three months just to get them over here. The guy who made them is just amazing; he designed them in the ’70s. They really finish the bike off. Guys often ask me if they’re Taiwanese knock offs, but no, they’re genuine.

I bought new triple trees. It’s a full billet front-end with hidden steering stops.

The handlebars are just a cheap $40 aftermarket set. I milled out the centre of the Dakota digital mounting cup and sunk it down onto the handlebars — file, weld, file, weld — so it actually looks like it’s one piece; recessed and integrated. 

The braid on the electrical is Techflex which hides it in really well. I haven’t seen it in Australia before but I’ll do it on all my bikes now as it’s got a real retro look. 

I’ve done away from the rubber mounting on the CV carby; it’s just an interference fit to the manifold for the Low Brow Custom support bracket. The carby sits so much further in; it’s great; it’s solid. 

It’s a Cole Foster fuel tank with a recessed Sinner — I think that’s what they call them. 

I saw the pipes while scrolling the internet one day and managed to track them down; they were about $400 shipped to my door from America in four days; super cheap. 

I recessed the ignition; I like it under the seat post; it’s neat.

There were so many little things that were done on the bike, which meant a lot of time was involved in the build. It’s not a fast bike, and being an Iron-Head, it’s never going to be a performance bike — although, they were originally the drag motors of the ’60s and ’70s with the quad cam, but they’re notorious for running too hot.

It rides really well; it’s nimble and you sit on it almost like you are on a sports bike; you feel like you’re on a rocket ship and it goes. 

I cop a lot of shit from the traditional bobber guys but it works and it’s comfortable and I know where I’m going; I know where my turn signals are, you know. 

Words by Chris Hamilton; photos by Brad Miskiewicz

The Psycho Circus Bear Motorbike

A FEW years ago, Andy was riding a Ducati until a dumb driver took him out. The Duke was a write-off and Andy’s wrist was smashed to pieces and took ages to come good again.

 After his wrist had healed, he started getting the bike-riding bug back in his veins. That’s when a Big Bear Devil’s Advocate caught his eye and instantly he knew it was the type of bike for him (with a few of his own ideas on how it should look when finished, of course). He then proceeded to pick the components that would make it into the final build, placed his order and painstakingly waited for his kit to arrive.

The heart of the beast is a S&S 100-cube engine which hooks up to a six-speed RSD Baker gearbox with a Big Bear Choppers enclosed primary drive. The ponies are delivered to the rear wheel via belt drive. 

Other extras include the billet web grips, bear tooth swing-arm, PAB (Punk Ass Bitch) wheels, reaper fuel tank and DA fenders. 

PM brakes were chosen to supply the stopping power and the front-end is topped off with a set of custom-made drag bars by Burleigh Bars.

Andy owns Prestige Marine Refinishing in Capalaba (south-east of Brisbane) so, after the bike had been mocked up and modified to his liking, he laid down the base colour of paint himself and then took the finished tank and fenders to Stuart Vimpani at Ultimate Airbrush to weave his airbrush magic.

The bike was then re-assembled and dubbed Psycho Circus.

Pics by Jo; words by Jeff

BSA Shooting Star Café Racer

THE BIKE started life as a 1957 BSA 500 cc A7 Shooting Star and was flogged around South America before a mate gathered a container load of bikes and shipped them to Oz in ’91. It was a pretty sad looking machine when I took delivery, but I wasn’t too concerned as I bought it to road-race in the Classic (pre ’63) Senior (500 cc) Class.

Over the next 12 months, it was stripped down and items not needed for racing went in the bin, something I would regret 18 years later. Mudguards, tool-box, air filter, side and centre stands, kick starter, lights and generator removed. Other parts—oil tank, engine plates, rear sprocket, seat base—were replaced with duralumin. At the time I was living in the bush in a humpy with no electricity, so if I needed to drill a hole, it was a 50 km trip to a mate’s place in town.

The wheels were re-laced to Akront alloy rims with stainless steel spokes; the rear converted to 18 inch. The swing-arm rubber bushes were replaced with bronze; steering head bearings and fork bushes replaced.

The motor was warmed up. Larger A10 650 cc valves, lightened and polished rockers, alloy push rods, chamfered skirt pistons, polished rods, lightened crank, 357 cam, and a 32 mm Amal Concentric carb.

Its first race meeting was at the new Eastern Creek track; we were the first bikes to use it. Nothing like a film of oil over a new track. We finished last in most of the races. More horses needed. So over the next few years it gained electronic ignition, twin carb head (1954) with two 30 mm Amal Concentrics, roller timing-side main-bearing, and 13.5:1 compression by using T150 pistons and A10 rods shortened by 2.5 mm.

Now it was getting closer to the pointy-end with a few wins—but it all came at a price. With the higher compression, the barrels decided to part company with the cases. Quite a worrying sound at 100 mph down the straight! So I developed a through-bolt system to hold it all together. The four outside head bolts now go down to the cases. The next part to fail was the small journal crank. Not much I could do about that so I had to limit the revs to 7000.

Moderate success was achieved with wins at Amaroo Park, Oran Park, Wakefield Park, and Eastern Creek. Its best effort was being 1st placed in Division 2 at the ’97 NSW Championships at the Creek. ’98 saw its last race (read ‘blow up’) and it was retired under the house.

Fast forward ten years. I decided it deserved a second chance at life so I dragged it out from under the house. Ten years of crud and cobwebs. The plan was to put it on the road as a café racer—basically a racer with lights and mudguards.

It was stripped down and re-assembled with most of the moving parts replaced. Alloy guards, ace bars, speedo and lights were bought from all points of the globe, and a nice fibreglass tank from the UK. A pair of stainless steel coffee mugs were used to hide the underside of the speedo and tacho, and a sheet of stainless used to mount them. Two basic toggle switches handle lights and ignition. I made copies of the Eddie Dow fork dampers. A nice set of Mazzochi’s for the rear.

Once the roller was done, it was time for the motor—this time a A10 650 cc but not quite as high strung. The only parts off the old motor were the twin-carb head, cam, rocker box and ignition. New cases; large journal crank and rods; 10.5:1, forged, offset-pin pistons and thick flange barrels were assembled. The combustion chamber was modified to match the larger bore and tapered, alloy push-rods complete the motor. New inlet manifolds were made to match the two 30 mm Kehin flat-slide carbs.

The gearbox was rebuilt with new bushes and a kick starter installed. I still wanted an open primary but knew the chain would not hold up to road miles with no oil (okay for a few laps on the track). A belt and Norton type diaphragm clutch system was bought from Lytedrive as well as a belt drive for the generator. Silent and smooth with no slip or drag.

Soon it was ready. You won’t believe it, first kick it started for the first time in ten years. Oh man, it feels good. Out on the road there were a few teething problems, mostly electrical. The carbs were a pain to jet but were worth the effort.

Being a bit of a tight-arse, I thought I’d leave the old race tyres on until it was run in. WRONG. The front washed out and down we went. Lesson learnt, new Avon AM26 tyres fitted, and it handles like it’s on rails. Not bad for a 65-year-old. At 60 mph it’s only doing 3200 rpm and I have taken it to 7000 in top, you do the math!

There is still a few more mods to do, but at the moment, I’m just enjoying riding it again. Work in progress. Cheers.

Pics by Mark Yardley; words by Musky

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