From Bent Fat Boy to Excellent Fat Boy

Like many a bike that has graced Ozbike, Paul’s Softail went down the road before the ‘custom bike’ approach overruled a back-to-stock repair.

PAUL IS the owner/operator of Paul Saunders Mechanical Repairs in Brisbane’s north. Paul has a great reputation with the locals as a top mechanic and he has quite an impressive array of vehicles in his possession. Classy machines are a prominent part of the Saunders family—the Purple HQ Holden you see in the pics belongs to Paul’s lovely wife, Jannine, and was a ground up rebuild by Paul.

Paul owned a couple of metric bikes before he finally got his dream bike. It was love at first sight when Paul laid eyes on the bike at Brisbane’s Harley-Davidson dealer. 

“It’s a 2000 Fat Boy. First of the Twin Cams. I brought it when it was a couple of years old. Not long after buying it, a 4WD backed out of a driveway straight in front of me so I damaged the forks and tank.

“I took it to my mate Picko at Southern Custom Choppers who raked the frame, extended the forks four inches, and got Little Mick to do his magic with the paint. Later on, I fitted bigger cams and bearings and a Screamin’ Eagle ignition module; and machined out the rivets and polished the back wheel. 

“Everything was great until this year when a car in front stopped abruptly and I could not go around him. There goes the tank, guard and a few shinny bits.

“I rang the insurance and they wanted to see the bike for an assessment. Got a call back saying ‘no’ to the custom paint job. They told me I had not stated it in my policy so you are only able to have a standard paint job which is just blue! I said that is not stock; you will have to put a brand new tank on; and anyway, I didn’t want them fixing the bike. 

“After a few phone calls, I got the bike to Bomber at King Pin Choppers where he stretched the tank, built new bars, fitted a new wheel and guard, and got Little Mick to do another paint job. And now I couldn’t be happier!”

You may notice in a couple of the pics that the bike still bears the scars from its last close encounter of the car kind. These will soon be replaced but act as a constant reminder that idiots will always be able to get licences and cars can be used to start involuntary custom projects in the hands of the wrong users.

The bike now sports an impressive list of mods including raked frame, extended forks, machined and polished rear wheel, 22-inch fat spoked front wheel, big Screamin’ Eagle cams and bearings, Hooker pipes, custom stretched tank, custom bars, custom seat, custom floor-boards, Screamin’ Eagle performance module and shinny billet bits, and Arlen Ness slam rear suspension.

“I would like to thank, Picko, Bomber, Little Mick, and Noel Ace Auto Trimming for coming to the party when the insurance people let me down.”

Pics by Jo; words by Chuck U Farley 

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