I’VE BEEN a motorcycle enthusiast since I was 10-years-old; grew up around them and always loved them. I asked dad for a bike when I was quite young; he agreed, and ever since then, my passion for bikes and cars continued to evolve. I’ve been a motor mechanic now for 14 years and I’m still going on with it all.
This was my first Harley. I actually rode it into my wedding in October.
It’s a custom Softail which was supplied by Natalie’s. My best mate, Paul, owns the shop. We’ve been mates for close to four years and he is like a brother; he is family; he was in my bridal party; one of my groomsmen.
My brother-in-law — who owns Just Customs at St Marys — did all the paintwork and marbling on the tank. It’s a Mazda 2, Ice Blue metallic paint with a hint of gold pearl. When the sun hits it, you can see the transparent gold through it. We were sitting in the backyard one night having a smoke and thought, yeah, a silver pearl marbling on the tank would look good. He hadn’t done it before but the result looks great and I wouldn’t change it for the world; I thank him greatly for it.
Custom Wheels and Tyres in Penrith helped by supplying and fitting all the tyres. I also bought the rims there.
It has a 280 arse end — it’s supposed to be for a 250 but we’ve jammed the 280 tyre on. It probably took about an hour and a half to get that tyre on the rim by blowing it with 1000 psi pressure just to lift the bead over it.
It’s a rigid thing to ride. It has a Softail suspension with the normal shocks underneath but it’s sitting on the bump stops and the shocks are wound right down to give it that chopper look.
It had a closed primary but it kept pissing oil so we put the three-and-a-half-inch belt primary drive on so now when you ride it, you’ve got to wear tight pants or you’re straight off the side.
It has a seven-degree rake, 23-inch front wheel and custom guard.
All the guards had to be fabricated. Paul basically welded the guards and I fabricated the back with the grinder which took me a good three-and-a-half hours just in the rear one.
Dave at Bad Arse Trim did the seat.
The engine is a 113 Ultima crate motor that had to be rebuilt. I was at a set of lights when the engine blew up so I had to strip it all down and rebuild it; it was off the road for about three months.
It’s got a cam out of a 140 Ultima engine — bought from the States — and there was a fair bit of mucking around to get the timing lined up right. It doesn’t like the cold, it’s very lumpy, but it goes incredibly well and I’ve done the Creek in 11.2. Ever since I did that, it’s been my pride and joy.
Nothing was easy in this whole build; everything had to be machined or refitted and mucked around with. It was a nightmare from day one but half the joy is in overcoming the problems. I wouldn’t change it and if I could build another one, I would. The time and effort you put into this kind of project is incredible. When I think back to all the endless nights you sit up to three and four am in the morning, it’s pretty intense but extremely rewarding once you’ve got your finished bike.
I’ve got folders of books and copies of Ozbike that I’d always kept and looked at; my dream has always been to build a bike and get it in the magazine and Ozbike has been a part of making this dream come true.
Photos by George; words by Frank