THIS STARTED off as a Harley Fat Boy. We changed quite a few parts on it: the front-end, front wheel, brake calipers. It was in very good condition when I got it, even the paint work was fine; it started off as plain burgundy. The rear is a Softail rear end with a chrome swingarm.
I was sick of seeing all the other bikes with skulls and tribal and Von Dutch; I wanted something different. I gave Joe Pega the theme of waves, thinking we’d try something different, and it’s come up quite well; he painted it himself.
Then we got Con from CKT Motor Trim to do the seat, to try and match with a flow through it. He did it in snake and alligator skin, and all in all I’m quite happy with it.
At the moment we may do a bit more paint work in different areas, we might even try another front-end, just a different look.
With the headlight, we tried to retain the original Fat Boy headlight and running boards; we may change those and put forward controls on them; we’re just playing around with it at the moment; we’ll see how we’re going.
Joe has most of the ideas; every time we see each other, usually at least once a week, he’ll say, “Why don’t you try this?” and “Why don’t you try that?” It just depends on how much money I’ve got in my pocket.
The front forks have got a five-degree rake in them; they’re referred to as an upside down fork; they’re imported—Pega supplied all those. I had exactly the same front-end but with three-inch-overs and I just found that it was raising the front of the bike too far, so we’ve changed those again and put on the shorter standard version.
With the front-end, the rake does change your ride but it goes quite well. I’ve never really had a major problem; it’s quite comfortable to ride. Being lowered, occasionally you hit a pot hole or something and it does get a little bit uncomfortable, but on the highway, no problems.
I found that the spoked wheels tend to warp a bit under high pressure, so we went for the solid back wheel. It’s an original Harley Softail rear wheel and that seems to stand up all right; seems to go quite well. Normally you ride just within the speed limit but occasionally you do get up there and play tricks and have a bit of fun—that’s what it’s all about.
VPW imported the front wheel, which was all handled by Joe. Reservoir Hogs did the engine—performance heads, forged piston, cam, billet high pressure oil pump, Mikuni carby. The exhaust is Hooker.
There’s LED front indicators; the rear have been recessed into the back guard. We went through about six different sets of mirrors over a space of three or four months, trying to work out which ones suited better, and in the end, I just stuck with these.
We spread the build out over quite a bit of time because we just tried different things.
Owning it, I won’t leave it in the garage or under the house or anything like that—mine sits fair and square in the middle of the lounge room. I built a ramp and I ride straight in. I have had a couple of situations with the tiles—with the tyres being wet, I’ve hit the lounge suite and the lounge suite’s pushed the TV through the wall, but all in good fun.
I’ve had a few different bikes over the years, but this one I’ve stuck with for the last three or four years; I’m quite happy with it. I may look at getting a second bike just for long rides, but I’ll still keep this one.
We changed everything on this one just to be different, I suppose you individualise the bike to the rider and the owner, really. It’s your taste and it reflects on you. If someone doesn’t like it, well, that’s my bike, that’s the way came up with it.
pics by Chris Randells; words by Honch