I’VE never really seen the point in building a mega-expensive show bike that can’t be registered and ridden, wouldn’t handle anyway, and that totally sacrifices substance for style. If you’re gonna build it, build it to ride. There will be lots of people who disagree with that, but it’s horses for courses, I guess.
The customer brief for this bike was to build a traffic stopper that gets lots of the right attention wherever it rolls into public view (and it does!) but not the wrong kind of attention from the boys in blue. And it had to have a dragon to match the customer’s tattoo airbrushed through the fuel tank, oil tank and into the rear fender (hence the name of the bike). What you’re looking at here is a fully street legal and Queensland registered custom that can be ridden every day.
We started with a Kraftech five-out, two-under frame carrying 38 degrees neck rake with an extra three degrees in the triple trees which meets the Australian 550 mm rule, while still giving the bike that classic pro-street long and low look. The trick to getting these bikes to handle properly—particularly with big rear tyres—is getting the trail measurement right. This one is bang on four inches and handles beautifully.
Driveline is a 127 ci Ultima Proof motor, closed primary and six-speed right-side-drive trans. The motor breathes through a MoFlo air cleaner and out through a 2-into-2 SuperTrapp exhaust. The exhaust choice was specifically to give it a cool ‘hot rod’ note, but keep the noise levels within a reasonable range that isn’t going to have every squad car within six city blocks converging on you every time you go cruising. They also make it much easier to tune the engine for optimum performance.
An Avon 300 mm rear tyre sits on a Renegade Cinci 18 x 10.5 rear wheel with an HHI inboard drive-side brake set-up. Front end is also HHI hidden axle with a 21 x 3.25 rim. The handlebars are Burleigh Roller Bars.
Headlight and tailight are Harley-Davidson units, again staying consistent to full street compliance regulations. Forward controls are Switchblade.
I’ve always said that the toughest part of designing a custom bike is the paint scheme. All the good work that goes into designing and building a custom bike can be either enhanced or totally diminished by the final application of the paint scheme. With this bike we ran a black base coat covered with a candy red and light flake and the ghosted airbrushed dragon over the top. At first look, the bike appears black, but when sunlight starts to fall on it, the candy red and the airbrushing comes through a bit like a pearl effect. Whichever way you look at it, there are several colour tones showing through the soft curves of the bodywork.
Every bike has a story. Just a few hours after this photo shoot was completed, the bike was crated up and loaded on a plane bound for its new owners in the style capital of the world in Milan, Italy. So we’re kind of excited to have one of our bikes cruising the fashion capital of the planet amongst all those Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Style is style, no matter where in the world it happens to be…
Photos by Rod Cole; words by Paul (aka; Johnny Chop)