I ALWAYS find the Wide Glides just a little too wide. I’ve had a Wide Glide and a Springer, and I just find the Dyna front-ends are much more responsive. They haven’t got as much flex and also I’ve got the adjustable front-end so I can change my settings depending on the riding conditions.
When I got it, it was in a fairly similar condition to what it is now, but without the paintwork. The paintwork was the result of losing it going around a corner on the Great Ocean Road, and losing my licence at the same time. So I took the opportunity to do something I always wanted which was a mural. I just wanted to get something totally different from what I’d seen on other bikes but also something that reflected my brothers in the club and also a bit about my faith, so it’s a combination of all that.
Brad, who works at Unique Paint and Custom at Cavan, did it. We worked from a number of photographs for the guys on the fuel tank, and the one on the top he just ad-libbed; made it up as he went along. We had a photo but it wasn’t of Jesus, it was a mermaid coming out of the water, but I wanted the effect of Jesus rising up out of the depths and holding up his arms for all to come to him, but as he’s rising up there’s all the people reaching out. As it goes further down, it goes into the depths where the skulls and the despair are. So you’re rising out of despair into hope.
I went through a bad period with depression and decided to run away, and went to Melbourne. Just went up the end of the Great Ocean Road, and as I was riding through the country on the way back to Ballarat, I took a corner in the hills a little bit too fast and had to lay it down.
I busted up my arm and spent the night in hospital, and I was off the road again for three months while I waited for the arm to get better.
The exhaust was bent and banged around a bit and the top faring was scratched and that was it; I didn’t even break a mirror. I was blessed; God was watching out for me that day. During that period I discovered my licence had been revoked because of points.
I made up the gear linkage, got the naked girls for the handgrips, later model mirrors, and different rear licence bracket and indicator assembly.
It’s beautiful to ride. it handles very well; it’s small, it’s light, it goes where I want it, and it’s very responsive; goes like a shower of shit.
What I’m looking at doing next is the front-end. I want to black that and the triple trees out, make the whole bike even more black. The chrome on the wheels is starting to get a bit pitted in a few spots so I may redo them in black.
I ride it nearly every day, going to work, so I don’t really have time to do all that. It means taking it off the road, so if the Police help me out with another break, that’s when I’ll probably make a few more changes.
Since the photo-shoot I’ve ridden over to Perth across the Nullarbor and return via Wave Rock at Hyden. When I got back in Adelaide I stayed for three days to recover and then went on our 20 year anniversary National Run—Adelaide to Melbourne up to Lakes Entrance, Eden, Batesman Bay, up the hill to the War Memorial in Canberra before riding down the Alpine Way through Thredbo to Wodonga and back to Adelaide just before the bushfires.
Back to work for a rest after a month on the road. We are Longriders.
The Longriders is just a group of guys. We all ride and we’ve come from various backgrounds but we’re united by our faith in Jesus and hope. And we use that to be able to witness to people around us that we don’t all have to be the same, that we can come from different places. It gives people a place where they can come into faith and grow, and turn away from the life they were in before.
words & pics by Chris Randells