Sidewayz Colour Change Harley-Davidson

“I hear the sound of metal hitting metal — my twin boys had decided to learn some panel-beating skills on dad’s Harley…”

I’VE ALWAYS been into bikes for as long as I can remember, from pushbikes to dirt bikes, and as soon as I got my licence, I got a road bike. Seeing Harley-Davidsons on the road I always wanted one — the look, the sound, they were just cool.

Fast forward a few years and a lot of Jap bikes and I was able to purchase my first Harley-Davidson, a Fat Boy just like the one Arnie rode in Terminator 2. A mate purchased a brand new Softail and his old girl was for sale and in my price range. It was old and dirty but mechanically sound; old scrapper as everyone called it; so off I went with a fist full of cash, helmet in hand, and rode home my first Harley.

I never worked on a Harley before but my brother Lawrence and me just hooked in and tidied the old girl up; a polish, a clean, new bars and pipes, lots of new chrome, and a new paint job; she looked pretty sweet.

I was happy riding the Fatty around for a few years but seeing new bikes and wanting a bit more power, I put it up for sale and went to visit the boys at Sunshine Coast Harley-Davidson and bought myself a Softail Standard. I got it fitted with a set of Burleigh Bars, Screamin’ Eagle slip-ons, a big breather, and a Screamin’ Eagle Race Tuner and off I rode.

I was a happy bloke again for a while but seeing all the bikes out there that looked the same as mine, I knew I had to change it to make it stand out from the crowd. Off I went to have a talk with Matt King at Kings Customs about a new coat of paint. He went all out with an in-your-face bright orange with gold pearl, and I gotta tell ya, it was definitely standing out from the crowd now.

While it was in getting the new paint, I decided on some new pipes. A mate had just bought a set of pipes for his bike — Hooker four-into-ones called Forbidden — but after his first ride he decided they were way too loud for him. Too loud, you say, no way. I snapped them up and put them on and never looked back. Like the old saying goes, loud pipes save lives.

As soon as I finished the bike, I decided to go for the long trip down to my old home town of Batemans Bay for the South Coast Nationals run by some friends of mine, Lee and Debbie Pearce. A long way away but a good excuse to catch up with old mates and show off the scooter.

I did really well at the show to my surprise and got a few dust collectors for my hassles: Best Street Bike, Promotor’s Choice, Mayor’s Choice and Longest Distanced Travelled to the Show.

I rode the bike like that for more than two years, racking up the km and loving it. I don’t mind riding hard or a burnout or two as anyone who knows me will tell ya — that’s how I got my nickname Sidewayz. It goes pretty well for a mostly stock motor with a few bolt-ons — keep it simple and ya can’t go wrong. Decent fuel and services and it’s never let me down.

After a few mates asked if I was going to come back down for the South Coast Nationals, I decided to give the bike a polish and make the trip down. It had a few scratches and stone chips but it’s a daily ride, so into the shed and up on the stand for a good detail, a new set of tyres, and I decided to fit a new front wheel as well. I wanted a billet front wheel but I was on a budget so ya gotta think out of the box. I ended up getting a wheel off a Honda Fury (don’t lynch me, guys and girls). It’s a billet 21-inch, and with a little bit of work, I made it fit: a new axle, some spacers and a bracket so I was able to use the factory caliper with the huge Honda rotor.

With wheel on and fitting perfectly and braking better than ever, I sent it off with the rocker boxes, lower fork legs, and the rear wheel to Darrell Bradley from Metal Polishing by Darrell. I couldn’t believe how great they looked when I got them back; shinning like you wouldn’t believe. Darrell is a master of his trade and a great guy as well.

Back in the shed to start fitting it all back together; my little girl riding around the house and my twins boys in the shed helping dad on the bike having a great time. I have six kids all up. Dion, my eldest son at 18; Jon, my 12-year-old son; Aliyah, my five-year-old daughter; Kiyah, my three-year-old daughter; and my twin boys, Jax and Chase, almost two. I stepped out of the shed for a few seconds to see what the girls are up to when I hear the sound of metal hitting metal — my twin boys had decided to learn some panel-beating skills on dad’s Harley. I couldn’t believe it — two little dudes with huge smiles thinking they were helping dad out. What can ya do? I yelled a little bit and said some choice words, but looking back, it was kind of my own fault.

So three months before I had to be at a show I guess it was time for a respray. I could have just given it a touch-up but figured it was time for a big change so I called up another mate, Mike Williams; he is a panel-beater full-time but gives painting a go in his spare time. I told him the deadline and he was more than up for the challenge.

I didn’t really have any idea what we were going to do but he came up with a killer idea: a crazy green by DNA Paints called Tsunami Green over a black with a product called Mutant Crystals. He had never done it before but I thought, what the Hell, and man I was impressed — it came out incredible! Most people can’t believe it was all done in a tiny backyard garden shed.

Next was the seat. It was already done in a nice tan leather and suede but didn’t really match the bike so I dropped in to see Mick at Rosemount Auto and Marine Trimming, told him about the colour and said I wanted something crazy to match the wild paint and left him to go for it — and he blew me away — black leather with black suede insert and lime green double-diamond-stitching. He even did the tank insert to match.

Looking at it sitting in the shed I decided it needed a few more things to bring it all together so I went to visit Mal and Marleen at Biker Life in Maroochydore and ordered RSD fuel caps, levers and matching pegs and grips as well as a set of mirrors.

Next call was to Nathan Ford from HogLights Australia. I told him I was finishing up the bike for a show and was running out of time so he opened his shop on a Saturday night and stayed there working with me until 3 am to make sure it was all complete and working perfectly — and man did he hook me up: new headlight, front and rear indicators, LED tail-light and full colour-change-under-glow kit all controlled by remote. If you need any lighting for your bike, Nate is the man.

The bike was looking the best it ever has and I couldn’t be happier so off to the South Coast Nationals I went with a massive smile on my face.

On my way I made one last stop at Style Side White Walls on the Gold Coast for a set of green walls. Great service — I rode in and within an hour I was ready to head off again, and man, they set the bike off perfectly.

So got all the way to Batemans Bay for the show and stayed with a good mate, Johnny P. The bike was pretty dirty from the trip down and he was more than happy to help give it a full detail; what a legend.

I turned up at the show with a completely different bike to what I had last time and I did pretty well: got the gong for Second-Best Harley, Best Street Paint and Longest Distanced Travelled to the Show again.

It’s been a crazy few months getting it to where it is now and all I wanna do is rack up the kays and enjoy riding it. I’m stoked with how it’s all turned out. I guess the twins had a plan all along to make dad’s Harley better.

I have to throw a shout to everyone who made it possible, especially my wife, Kacey, for putting up with the long hours and all my bullshit, and my kids for all their support and always wanting to help out.

Harley-Davidson Softail Standard

photos by Nick Cousins from Pandemonium Performance Photography; words by Sidewayz

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