I AM actually a car guy. The garage at home has a few shiny, black, low and chromed four-wheel toys. So why build a custom Harley? In memory of my brother who adored Harleys is the simple and short answer. When I spoke with my financial manager (aka the cheese and kisses) about my ideas she was very understanding.
I live around 1000 km from Darwin so a lot of trust was going to be needed and for that I chose Hidden Valley Harley-Davidson to do the work.
The Softail was purchased new and never hit the road until the mods were finished. It took some time, what with ideas and changed ideas and then some new ideas, testing the patience of Dave Hartree of Hidden Valley. Thank Heavens for modern technology as Dave kept me right up-to-date as changes were made.
As I mentioned, I like low, shiny, black and chrome. The bike was purchased in Vivid Black, and to make it low, there had to be air ride suspension. Recommendations were sought sifted and settled on Arnott TruAIR suspension components. I just love the stance once the bike is lowered.
And chrome! I added it where I could — chrome covers and fastener caps on all visible fasteners, DNA Mammoth Spoke all chrome wheels front and rear, chrome inner and outer primary, cylinder base, tappet covers, chrome heavy breather and cover, various Willie G Skull accents.
Did I mention I like smooth as well — I ordered a flush mount fuel cap and a tail-tidy just because I could.
Burleigh 16-inch High Balls and braided lines completed the picture, mechanically, any way.
It was now black, chromed and low. But still lacking that something a man of taste needs. The art work had to be exceptional. As it happens, I did a course with Wayne Harrison at Advanced Airbrush, and one thing led to another, and voila! I had my artwork, which I love.
I don’t get to ride very often but that is mostly because of the heat and bad roads where I live. But when I get a chance to blow the cobwebs out, I love the ride and know my brother would have loved this bike as well.
Elkie Ashbree Gregory
I HAVE been living in Darwin for seven years now after travelling up here from Victoria. I fell in love with the Northern Territory and everything that it has to offer — the relaxed lifestyle and the weather, of course.
I am a qualified personal trainer and a swimming instructor.
I am a model with Passerella Models and have been involved with them for three years. The opportunities are endless including this amazing one. After a late notification through our member page the night before this shoot, our director needed a model for a bike shoot the following morning. I wasn’t passing this up so I showed my interest and was chosen.
After a very quick preparation, I found myself at the Harley-Davidson shop with the awesome crew and posing over the best bike I have ever laid eyes on. My childhood dream was to be on a Harley-Davidson and it happened!
This won’t be the last time you see me. Thanks to all involved!
words by Mark Gillard & Elkie; photos by Rick Benson