Destiny with an IronHorse

Doc’s been a Harley-riding man just about all his life, but in a story most can relate to, kids, business, and life in general put all that on hold for a few years. Then, just as he was pondering the extent of the work to be done on his Shovel, he discovered American IronHorse motorcycles...

Ozbike Podcast

WE WERE over in Melbourne at the Hotrod show looking at some Harley-Davidsons but I wasn’t overly impressed. I’d seen the American IronHorse bikes they have at Dream Machines, Parkline Motors, in magazines, and went over to see them. Living in South Australia I could only get the Tejas or the Outlaw, due to the rakes and other things not allowed because of the crap rules we’ve got here. I saw this Outlaw and fell in love with it straight away.

I was thinking of getting a Harley, and had my eye on two, but when I went and saw them I wasn’t overly impressed. They were second-hand, and this American IronHorse Outlaw was virtually brand new for about the same money. It had 3400 km on the clock from new. I’m the first registered owner of the bike in Australia.

It’s a beautiful bike to ride. She’s really comfortable. I rode straight back from Melbourne, about six or seven hours, and when I got off I still felt fresh. She’s a nice, comfortable bike based on a softail kind of frame.

It’s a 111 cube S&S motor with a Baker six-speed gearbox and 240 rear-end. It’s got the Rattlesnake billet mags with the matching pulleys and discs.

I had a ’71 Shovel before; that was a good bike. I painted it myself in a similar colour. I was looking at spending some money on the Shovel. I really wanted to put a Springer front-end on it and do a few other things, and then I thought with the money I was going to spend I might be better off selling it and upgrading, which is pretty much what I’ve done. In hindsight, if I’d kept the Shovel and improved it, I may not have ended up with the IronHorse, so Destiny’s worked its way.

I did love my Shovel and I was looking at some old school bikes, but when I saw this Pro Street kind of chopper, it just did it for me. Really like the low, sleek look of the bike. Nothing compares to this thing; it’s just got so much more power having the six-speed gearbox, another 40 years of technology, and upping the cubes slightly.

I like the indicators they’ve got; the rear brake lights are in the indicators as well; that was a feature of the bike.

I like the tear drop tank; the colour obviously was my cup of tea.

It wasn’t registered when I bought it so I got a permit. Ross Caminiti at Parkline Motors organised all that for me. They import the bikes and Dream Cars. He got it all complianced when it came over so nothing else was needed. We just put a permit on it from Melbourne to get me back home, then I had to get the local cop to check the VIN and the engine number and stuff like that which cost me about $60. After that it was straight down to Motor Reg to get some plates and get onto the road.

I’d been told that with the wide tyres — and there’s a 240 on the back — they’re not overly friendly on the corners, but realistically, I haven’t had any problems. Living out in the country, I guess a lot of the riding we do is pretty much straight riding with minor corners. The only problem you get with the bigger tyre is that you end up with a bigger flat spot in the middle as it wears. But I guess anybody with a big tyre knows what I’m talking about, and when the tyre gets going you just get a new tyre and get moving again.

I was really surprised at how well it stops on a dime with the disc brake front and back and four-spot calipers.

The headlight’s very bright. I’ve never had any problem seeing anything on high beam or low beam, even on that first trip back from Melbourne when I did a good hour and a half in the dark. The bugs were great, they’re always great, when you’re riding in the dark.

I reckon I can do about 320 km on a full tank. Obviously, the six-speed really helps with that — I’ll be cruising on 110—120 km/h and I’m only doing 2200 rpm which is almost just putting along in idle.

I’ve heard and read numerous stories but it seems the Global Financial Crisis really hit them hard at American IronHorse. Mine’s a 2006 model; in 2007 the Slammer took out Bike Of The Year and the company restructured but still went insolvent a few years later. In 2007 they were surfing on the back of a multi-million dollar turnover.

I took it to Andy at Hyperformance and he gave it the 4000 km general tune-up. He went over the bike from top to bottom and said everything was good, a beautiful bike, just take care of it. I’d heard he’s the man, he’s been around for a while, he’s good with performance motors; a couple of my mates recommended him after they took their bikes round there.

I’ve never been a big fan of the two-into-one pipes, as much as it looks shit hot on the bike, so I might get a set of Vance & Hines Big Radius curved pipes to pop on it. I’ve been thinking about maybe going with a three-inch open primary drive; I like the mechanical look of having that all exposed.

Maybe I’ll change the mirrors — get rid of the big paddles they have there and get some sleek looking ones.

Ross at Parkline reckons he sold more than 30 of them in Australia so I gather they’re all floating around somewhere. I’ve yet to see one anywhere I’ve been, although I’ve seen them in Ozbike so they’re obviously hooning around here, just not in big numbers. I live out in the sticks and probably don’t get to half the shows I used to; a bit of a shame but that might all change — this is my first year back on a bike for five or six years so I’ve been looking forward to getting out and maybe doing a couple of shows.

Thinking about it, I really can’t fault anything on this bike. It’s brilliant, it’s everything I’ve always wanted, and now I’ve got it, I’m stoked. They use the right parts and they’ve certainly got the look. Twelve months later and you still can’t wipe the smile off my face.

Photos by Chris Randells
Words by Doc

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