Hotrod Harley Springer Racer

Andre reckons the experience of riding choppers is about freedom with an attitude of justified defiance.

ABOUT TWO years ago I saw a nice old school racer at SC Choppers. It was just plain & simple, the sort a bike I liked. I decided right there that’s the style of bike for me. Even though the bike was for sale, I couldn’t move on it. But damn! It was a nice machine; real cool ass.

A little while later when Picko & Jon at SC Choppers told me they were putting together a similar bike, this time using a Softail frame, I immediately was interested.

At the time I was riding a rigid Evo Bobber with a jockey shift, suicide clutch, kickstartin’, oil splatterin’, four-speed — loved it — but after a couple of years I felt, rather my back felt, it was time to upgrade (go soft) to a higher comfort level.

The built for this bike was mostly left to Jon Richmond. He has a good eye for style and detail, and he is also into A model hotrods, so I felt confident that I’d end up with a seriously cool bike, which is not always a guaranteed outcome when building a bike. It’s all about style and getting it right. What I’m saying is, you can spend big bucks on something that’s all custom but has little appeal ’cause it’s just a mismatch of different styles and ideas. So thanks to SC Choppers for getting it right.

The look of the bike is along the lines of the old board-racers. With the springer front-end and laced wheels it looks old school. Even though it’s an Evo and the bike doesn’t have a kicker, it does genuinely feel like an old school bike, mainly because I’m running a superseded (by about half a century) S&S Super B carb. No accel pump, no Thunderjet, just smooth roll-on power. Just like the way they rode them back in the seventies. Oh yeah!

I got the bike off Jon before it was finished so I could do a lot of the finishing touches myself, including the Whiskey bars with internal throttle and internal twist clutch.

Although it’s an ’09 build, I managed to get hold of a registered 1972 frame neck so I was able to register the bike as pre-ADR. This was important as I wanted a clean bike with as little crap as possible hanging off it.

The bike is nothing fancy, fairly simple shit really, just all the parts needed to make it run and not much else. I went for super clean bars which meant that the front brake is connected to a proportioning valve, so the rear brake operates both systems.

Also the clutch is an internal twist clutch which I got off Bomba at Kingpin Choppers (these guys not only sell these but actually manufacture both the internal clutch and throttle). It all works really well and is actually fun to ride, once you’re used to it.

This bike performs well even though it’s only 80 cubes. With the worked motor and the fairly light weight (for a Harley), it lights up alright! Certainly puts a smile on my dial every time I take her out.

I felt that sticking with a H-D Evo motor and tranny was the way to go; it also was the cheaper option (it’s meant to be a working man’s chopper after all). These days there is a lot of choice in motors and drive-trains. However, I am happy to stay with H-D, particularly Shovels and Evos because these bikes were responsible for inspiring not just myself, but generations of bikers and bike builders alike. Just about the whole chopper thing was spawned from these motors.

Now people tell me, “You can’t have everything.” So with style and performance being at the top of the list, it means comfort and handling are somewhere near the bottom, but I tell you, I’m happy to make that compromise ’cause I’m riding the bike of my choice. Besides, it handles sufficiently well for the type of riding I do.

As for the saddle, it is fine for about two hours straight. Anyway, I’m not really into riding the whole day. Very often I just don’t have that slab of time available. Also my lovely lady is often at home waiting for me to take care of stuff that’s important to her. It’s best to also look after her interest as I’m grateful to her for letting me have something that’s entirely selfish. Although the therapy benefits far outweigh any concerns or criticism. I’m sure you bros can relate.

Essentially, all you want is something that’s safe and reliable; no point lookin’ cool on the side of the road as you wait for a tow truck to arrive.

It would be great to continue to ride without a front guard. So far I’ve been fortunate not to have been victimised for it. I view it as part of your freedom to ride what you want, it sort of adds to the experience of what riding choppers is about — finding that sense of freedom with an attitude of justified defiance; doing it your way. Whatever evil is, riding without a front guard isn’t.

It’d be great if ‘they’ could just leave us alone. We’re not hurting anyone; we should be able to ride the way we want without fear of harassment. What’s with all the scrutiny and negative press? We’re not all bad ass. Some of us may look a trifle sus, that’s all. It doesn’t mean we carry a gun and are about to use it. We’re just out riding and just because the bike looks bad ass, we get judged that way as well. People should just learn to relax a bit more.

I still like Maltese crosses, skulls or flames but I don’t mind the racing stripes as it is in keeping with the drag racer and hotrod theme, and of course, being old school.

The Pin Up Gal on the tank seems to complement it nicely, as does the beautiful Dayna, if you haven’t noticed already. Talk about a chopper doll, well what can I say! She makes my bike look cool ’cause she’s so damn smoking! I bet most guys would be tempted to change their mind about a pillion seat and fit one in a flash, no worries, just to have her on the back of their bike!

Like most aspiring models/actresses, Dayna doesn’t rely on the frequency of assignments like these but works in the retail fashion industry. She is also working her way through her teaching degree. Having recently come back from Europe, travel and adventure is still very much on her to-do list, as is doing a road trip around Oz riding on a bike of her own.

Besides possessing the obvious qualities of beauty and grace, she’s got plenty of style, all centred around her dark but wacky personality, all of which made shooting this ‘hot babe on a cool bike’ thing an absolute pleasure and a lot of fun.

Words by Andre Eman; pics by Jules @ Top Gun

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