The Day of the Dead Softail Deluxe

“The bike has a Cholo look, and when I get on it, I feel like a gangster…” said Paul Whittaker.

I’M a member of the American Motorcycle Club, Slopes and Plains Chapter. We have runs nearly every weekend. I’m in the ideal position because one of the problems with leaving Sydney is actually leaving Sydney, but I’m just far enough up the coast that we can do some great rides out in the country easily; we often ride out through Denman and Dungog which is awesome.

I bought this Softail Deluxe second-hand with 3000 km on it. It was just the Harley black colour when I got it, but I ride with a guy called Jason who had a tricked-out Softail that I was in awe of. He talked me into spending a bit of money on my bike; originally it just started out as some chrome bling but just grew and grew from there.

We eventually sent the tins away to the Paint Doctor, Hans, in Queensland, who did the murals. We came up with ideas off the internet and sent them up to Hans; he didn’t do any of them; he came up with his own black and grey wash murals. I wanted it to look like a low-rider—washed out and that wet back look—wanted to keep the mural on the sides only and not over-do it, but there is only the centre that has any space left now.

The theme is The Day of the Dead and the skeleton with the Bonds singlet and hat reminds me of my father who has passed away; he loved anything with a motor in it and would say, “This is the prettiest one!” He would say that about this bike if he were alive, but he said it about all my other bikes.

That’s a Le Pera Barebones seat; the missus isn’t too in love with riding on the back—I took her out once and scared the shit out of her—so she said I can have it—but she is happy enough for me to go away on it.

The front wheel is 21 by 2.25 inches. It’s the stock front guard. The fat spokes were ordered off eBay which Jason fitted. The back wheel is the same but is 18 by 3.5 inches.

The handlebars are 16 inch LA Gangster apes.

I bought the little blue dot and fitted it to the tombstone taillight to give it a hot rod look.

I’ve done well at every show I’ve put it in and won Best Paint, People’s Choice in all of them; Best Custom and Outright Harley. From the four shows I’ve entered it in, I have ended up with six trophies. We don’t trailer it anywhere, and I’m out riding every weekend.

I’d like to mention my wife for letting me spend all the money on it and being a good sport. The bike is now in memory of my father who loved all motor vehicles and used to customise cars and bikes in the shed with me and my brothers who have also all got modified cars and bikes; it wouldn’t have been possible with out him.

Words by Paul Whittaker; photos by George

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