CHRIS IS JUST your average biker who has owned a couple of near stock Harleys and couple of choppers that other people built. He always added his own personal touches and paint jobs to make the bikes his own, but the thought of building a bike from scratch was not really on his mind until he started watching the OCC show on TV.
As Chris said, “Those guys made it look easy, and deciding that I wanted a low, fat-looking bike, I found myself down at Bar Hoppers Choppers ordering a frame so I could get started. The Black Cloud wide-arse frame was actually de-raked a couple of degrees and powder-coated yellow while the swingarm was sent to the chromers.”
Chris went with an 18-inch wheel on the back with the usual 21 on the front.
“I asked for a fat front-end at another shop and paid the money up front for it. When I went to pick it up it was all wrong. They were supposed to fix it but not long after they went out of business. It was a hard lesson but I just had to cop the loss and move on.”
Chris checked out a few more shops to finish the bike before talking to Dragway Wheels in Brisbane who got the nod.
“Ian Splatt, the owner of Dragway, had another bike in there that had the same front-end that’s now fitted to my bike.” said Chris. “I told him that’s what I wanted and he tracked down the last one in the country. It’s an Arlen Ness upside-down number that is fitted with one of his headlights and a set of custom Burleigh bars.”
Dragway discs, calipers and forward controls got the nod to take care of the brakes and then Chris scored a full hydraulic clutch setup off eBay cheap and that went on to the standard gearbox that sits behind a completely standard engine and primary.
“I had to sell the family boat for the drivetrain and I’m happy to just run the 1340 Evo as they have given me good service in the past,” said Chris. “I fitted a set of Vance & Hines pipes for looks and performance and I might play with the engine later; I’ll see what happens.”
The style of fuel tank, guards and paint job look just right.
“The tank and rear guard with its built-in struts came from Down Under Choppers on the Gold Coast while the front guard came from Scotty’s Choppers in Uralla.”
At first Chris wasn’t sure he liked the front guard but it had grown on him by the time it was given to Oxenford Smash Repairs to squirt his favourite colour yellow on it.
“Of course Ian at Dragway handled the final assemble and made all the fiddley brackets, etc, and did fine job to totally finish the bike which I can’t thank him enough for,” said Chris.
The bike was finished a week before the shoot and, strangely enough, it will not be ridden here in Oz. Chris is a Kiwi by birth and he’s taking the bike back to New Zealand. “At least I have a bike of export quality to take home!”
words & pics by Keith Cole