MY LIFE WITH bikes began back when I purchased my first, a 750 Norton Commando, and I thought I was untouchable at age 17. As the years went on, I headed over to New Zealand and picked up a Russian bike — that piece of crap lasted one week and I traded it for a Triumph Bonneville — now that was a bike — with two years of travelling New Zealand, that bike never missed a beat.
Over the years I had different bikes. In 1987, I dropped a bike and watched it go under an eight-wheeler. This gave me such a scare that I went off bikes for many years after.
Throughout my life, I still had that desire to recapture the dream of owning my own bike again but finances never allowed. With the kids moving on, I had money back in the pocket and that urge got the better of me and I knew it was time to get back in the saddle.
I hooked up with a 1200 custom Harley-Davidson Sportster. With no disrespect to other makes, for me, Harley-Davidson was the best I had ever ridden and I still love every bit of it.
Last year I called into Central Coast Harley-Davidson just to buy a shirt and chill out with the staff there who are always friendly and make you feel you have known them for years. The problem with that day — I walked out after buying a new Fat Boy Softail. I must say, the excitement was overwhelming! All that was left now was to go home and tell the misses — that crap didn’t go down well but the bike always wins.
Riding around on this bike for me was like Kyle Sandilands driving his Rolls Royce — I couldn’t imagine anything better.
Not long after I attended a Show & Shine at Central Coast Harley-Davidson — that’s when I spotted the best looking bike I had ever seen. This bike was owned by a top guy named Jason, and as expected, he took out first place on the day. I became that inspired by his bike, I figured I would start on mine and hope the missus didn’t notice.
The journey began with the help of truly great friends at Central Coast Harley-Davidson. We began the chroming cycle with a couple of parts that had to go to Queanbeyan, ACT, but the wait was worth it.
The biggest problem was the paintwork; not an easy decision to make. Tony, a friendship I truly value from Central Coast Harley-Davidson, recommended Joe Webb from Bad Image so I did some research and decided he was the one to do the job. Deciding what to do was the next dilemma. A family member suggested a Ned Kelly theme based on my chequered past and defiantly no argument there, so I figured that’s the way to go. I cannot speak highly enough of Bad Image; Joe’s attention to detail is second to none, giving me exactly what I was looking for.
The opportunity to show the bike off came along, so it was time to put together the photo shoot. Once again Tony came to the rescue. Location became a bit of a problem until Greg, our club member, arranged for me to use Old Sydney Town as the backdrop; and the young lady, Kareena Black, who supported me for the shoot is a true friend and I will be forever grateful. I cannot thank everybody concerned enough. The day was long and hard but perfect.
So now that I have achieved my goal. I just cruse along enjoying the freedom, and the great thing about this is the looks I get — and you look into their eyes and see their envy, and with that, it makes me reflect on the words of an Australian legend: Such Is Life.
Story by Kelvin; photos by Roger C.