I’VE HAD this bike for about six years. There’s not one part of that machine that’s not been customised. Even the oil tank — that’s not stock — it’s been chrome plated and it’s got a pigsticker for a dipstick. Every other thing you can pick — it’s either been chromed, changed or modified, even the frame.
The handlebars are 1 ¾ inch Burleigh Bars. I only got ’em ’cause I had apehangers on the bike and I was going through a roundabout when the left slide let go. Frightening. So I said, “Fuck, I’m going to get those big buggers from Burleigh Bars; see if I can break them!”
It’s a ’98 Softail so it’s an old bike. It doesn’t have overheads cams or fuel injection, none of that shit. It’s just a reliable, old school bike. The motor is almost stock too. It’s got a cam in it, Mikuni carb and Vance & Hines pipes, that’s it.
All the customising has been done locally, even graphics on the speedo. I’ve done most of the work on the bike. Frank at Cyco did the rear-end. What happened was, he had this rear-end on his bike, and I said, “Frank, you can’t go around with a little 240 on it. You’ll have to go to a 300.” Three weeks later he agreed and I got his old 240 rear-end.
When I did the conversion they didn’t have the thin Harley belt and I could only get a chain to go in. Now they’ve come out with a thin one, thinner than that chain. The one thing I’d like to do is go back to belt drive. Chains are a pain in the arse.
I saw another custom Harley that had round spokes in the wheels, then I found out you could actually buy wheels with diamond-cut spokes so I ordered one for the front. They only make them for 2000 and up models I had to change my rotor and re-jig it a bit to fit. I should have got the back one at the same time but I wasn’t too sure how it would look.
Ken at Skin by Finn did the graphics. He’s the best around here. He does a bloody good job. People ask me how much it cost and I say, “Count the skulls; there’s $300 for every skull you can see.”
I’ve been riding Harleys for 40 years. I started off with 1200 Flatheads with reverse gear, and half a dozen WLAs; had them all my life; never ridden anything else.
Bikes are a very primitive means of transport, I found that out years ago, but If you’re going to ride one, it might as well be a Harley.
Pics by Brian White; words by Chris