The Joker: Why So Serious

I ride the bike pretty hard. It gets ridden every day; it’s not a bike that's locked away.

I’M FROM Tasmania and I recently moved to Bundaberg with my wife for the better weather for riding bikes and all that, and we love it up here.

This is my second Harley — the first one was a Softail Springer.

For this project I started with aSoftail I bought from Craig Bayliss in Dubbo. I shipped it back to Tasmania where we virtually stripped it down and rebuilt it. When I say ‘we’, I mean Shaun and Eva at Titan Bike & Trike in Tasmania who have done the majority of the work on it. I talked to Shaun and Eva about the bike, and then they went full steam ahead to create the specific look I wanted.

The idea for the paint job came from my wife, Christine. She wanted Heath Ledger.

I spoke to the painter, Jeff Elliot at Exquisite Airbrushing in Hobart, on the phone — I was actually on the road at the time, moving between Brisbane and Tasmania — and asked him if he could do a paint job of Heath Ledger as the Joker. He sent me pictures of what he recommended we do. We agreed and the result turned out absolutely perfect.

The huge Fat Tach tacho is great. It lights up fluorescent green at night, and if you over-rev the bike, an orange light will start flashing and you can’t go any further which just protects the engine.

When the Softail came down from Dubbo it had a 200 rear-end. Shaun suggested we go with a 280 which is as far as you can go without major modifications. It handles absolutely beautiful. It takes a bit of getting used to with the wide back wheel going around corners — with a smaller back tyre you can obviously lean into corners a bit better — but out on the wide straight roads they are sensational. I would never go back to a smaller wheel. I can ride it for five hours straight and not get a sore backside or anything.

The Joker bike was painted by Jeff Elliot at Exquisite Airbrushing in Hobart: 03-6261-2995.

The Joker bike was built by Titan Bike & Trike in Tasmania: 03-6272-1700.

Pics by Wall 2 Wall; words by John from Bundaberg

Alyssa

I’M ORIGINALLY from the Gold Coast but now I’m a Brisbane girl. I miss the beach and I will go back there one day, I reckon.

I have a pet bird which I call Bird. It’s a bit of a pest because it talks its head off all the time.

My hobbies include photography and netball. My netball is very competitive but we haven’t won a game yet.

I like to get on the other side of the camera but I just do other girls. The models feel more comfortable when the photographer is another girl.

I do modelling whenever I can get the work. I’m currently working Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings. I know it sounds a lot but I’m saving up to go to uni next year.

I plan on doing nursing at uni — it think it’s a four-year course — because I like to care for people. It’s a very fulfilling occupation.

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