The Creation Of Eagle Wings

Custom motorbike design has always been one of Daryl’s personal passions. And although creativity is a must, it still had to maintain its historical ties to the origins of Harley-Davidson.

IT’S FUNNY how some people get hooked. My memories are full of prime blocks of South-West Queensland outback, riding those blasted chook chasers over heavily corrugated dirt roads trying not to kill myself. It is like a motorcycle addiction—you like the blast of the engine, the thrill of the ride, you get a taste that will always stay with you forever—and it certainly has with me.

From sliding over those dirt roads I upgraded to a helmet and various Jap road bikes, with the dream of eventually owning an award winning custom Harley. It wasn’t too long, only 50 years or so, and that dream came true. My first Softail custom arrived.

There is nothing that sounds like these machines. Their uniqueness attracts imitators but we all know they’re not the same. It’s like using cheap tools — they’ll do the job but it’s not like using the proper hardware.

This addiction for customisation started with basic modifications to the Softail. I always enjoyed creating and adding new bits and pieces to it which really fuelled a passion for customisation and further adventure.

Thankfully, I have had many opportunities throughout my working career to gain the practical and analytical skills, an eye for detail, both absolute pre-requisites paramount to designing a custom motorcycle to stand out from the rest of the pack. Starting my working life as a tradie cabinetmaker, I strove on to join the Ambulance Service which I have devoted the majority of my career as a respectable officer within the service achieving the ranks as Senior Officer, Intensive Care flight Paramedic, and now as an educator passing down these invaluable skills to other paramedics. It’s amazing how quick 30 years can go by.

As you may understand, the life of our emergency service officers and the nature of our career thankfully encourages many different internal support mechanisms to assist us and our families. However, you learn to develop additional mechanisms to separate yourself from the front-line trauma. Mine are tinkering with motorcycles and creating customised parts designed for a specific custom cycles, and I relish enjoying the completed project, riding those long bitumen straights with that unique, echoing rumble of the Harley exhaust.

I hope you enjoy this story, The Creation of Eagle Wings.

THE Eagle Wings is about an enthusiast and his custom machine. The concept of motorcycle design has always been one of my personal passions. Delivering an extreme custom throws another factor into the equation which really gets my creative engine fired up. The vision to creation was always going to be different to most customised machines. The criteria for the design had to include a continuous flowing theme, a sleek and stylish look, and a truckload of bling!

This personal adventure started off with research and legwork, reviewing many different resources, websites and magazine articles to create a Harley-Davidson theme.

A Harley-Davidson Softail Deuce was selected as the rolling chassis to attach the American tribal/ Bald Eagle theme to. The Deuce model was always one of my preferred Softails due to the long sleek fuel tank and the limitless potential to customise a motorcycle that was stylish yet still practical with one or two riders.

Jeff & Kerin Marshall at Wrench Devil Cycles (Capalaba, Qld) provided expertise assistance in the design and vision of these custom modifications. These guys certainly have the professional knowledge and experience in the customisation of Harley-Davidsons, and were very helpful in the construction throughout the entire process.

The construction of the front fender was very time consuming, struggling to get a snug fit with the USA Packard Affliction chrome wheels. A custom set of polished tribal spacers and a tarmac hugging Avon tyre was used to finish off the front-end.

The integration of the electronic Dakota digital gauge, ignition system, the fuel tank, and tribal themed centre console was my own personal construction and one of the biggest challenges faced. The tribal themed centre console was constructed of pewter metal and designed to flow from the seat into the digital gauges to create a concise sleek theme.

The fuel tank was raised at the front to maintain this theme and to explode the view of the rocker covers, especially when you illuminate the blue neons shining back into all that chrome at night.

The boys at Chopper Works (Brisbane) provided the professional installation of the Heartland USA 250 kit and Fournales shocks. This helps with the low flowing theme of the bike, in particularly from the rear end to give it the overall aspect of a custom looking bike.

The final finishing touches included fitting Performance Machine Brakes and forward controls, Vance & Hines Big Radius exhausts, Kuryakyn Hypercharger, Burleigh handlebars, custom mirrors, and USA Image Eagle claw foot pegs and talon stand. A numerous number of personally-made custom chrome parts were constructed to hide all the ugly bits and to complete the flowing theme.

The custom paint and eagle theme mural artwork was elegantly created by the wizard artist himself, Hans Kreuzen, The Paint Doctor (Maryborough, Qld). Hans completed my vision to perfection, creating a custom award-winning show-bike that has won numerous bike and custom motor vehicle shows.

The art and adventure of customising bikes will always be a passion of mine, although the enjoyment of being able to put them on the road with those white dotted lines screaming past my back is always the real excitement.

Catch you on the highway and may all your riding journeys be a safe one.

written by Daryl Holley; photos by Jules @ Top Gun

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