Fickle Finger of Fate

The first time we did a feature on this custom, the owner, Dallas, said he no plans to change anything. But then the Fickle Finger of Fate gave the bike a poke and it fall off its side-stand and smashed the fuel tank.

THIS IS NOT the first time this bike has found its way onto the haloed paged of Ozbike magazine. Way back in Issue #286, we featured the bike under the heading ‘A Different Type of V-Twin.’ It told how Dallas took a brand new 1600 cc Road Star, and with the help of Ian Splatt at Dragway Engineering, turned it into one sweet little street custom. It saw a lot of road use and a very happy owner until down on its side it went.

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“I took the bike back to Ian at Dragway with the plan of just getting the tank repaired and repainted,” Dallas said.

The Fickle Finger struck again when another customer with the same model bike was looking to do a similar custom job on his bike. He saw Dallas’s bike in the shop, told him he would buy all the custom parts including the damaged tank if he was interested. A deal was stuck and Dallas was left with just a frame, engine, and the original Dragway Warlock wheels and matching disc rotors he’d fitted in the first build.

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The frame received a 45-degree-rake, which is three more than stock, and then it was converted to a rigid by replacing the shocks with a solid bar; and with new six-degree raked triple-trees and fork legs, the height and stance were just right, although one of the twin front discs had to go.

The dollar was strong so the forward controls, grips and mirrors were brought from Mammoth Cycles in the USA.

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The stretched tank, guards and custom-made side-covers were sorted by Ian, the Toxic Ford Green paint job was well underway by Bruce Clape, when that Fickle Finger struck again. See, Dallas had been having big problems with his hip, and at the ripe old age of 36, had to get it replaced because of arthritis. This put him down for six weeks, and in this time, the mechanic who was going to handle a lot of the rebuild was lost to us in a fall from his bike on a weekend ride.

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Dallas is the first to admit that he is no mechanic or engineer, that’s why he took the bike to Dragway in the first place, but said, “I sat down and looked at all the parts that I had and had no idea where to start. After talking to Ian, I decided to have a go at putting the bike back together myself. It was good occupational therapy and Ian was always there with advise when I needed it.

The final touches included handlebars from Burleigh Bars, custom headlight from JD Cycles, pipes from BMS Choppers, and a custom air-filter on the Mikuni carb.

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Shane Webb from Image Trimming did a brilliant job on the seat. It is designed to flow from the airbrushed image of Heath Ledger’s Joker on the tank. The seat is the bottom half of his coat and the stripping represents his pants; and the dice match on the hand and forward controls.

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Dallas hopes for now the Fickle Finger leaves him alone as he is 100 percent happy with the bike, but he thinks with what he has learn, he may just start looking for another project bike to build on his own. I’m sure if that is meant to be, the Fickle Finger of Fate with start poking around when the time is right.

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Words & Pics by Keith Cole

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