I HAD MY first motor bike when I was 18, a Honda 750 Four. Then I had a Yamaha, a Suzuki 1100, a motocross 250, and a Ducati, before I decided to get a man’s bike and progressed to a Harley-Davidson.
I got myself a Heritage Softail which I customised — you know, put on all the bling and stuff that you do. I took it from a standard bike to a pretty good custom bike which I really enjoyed. Then one day a lady pulled out in front of me and wrote it off.
I upgraded to a new Deluxe Softail which I did the same thing as you normally do — put on all the bling.
Over the course of those two bikes we decided, me and some friends, to get some real custom bikes before we got too old and looked too silly on them.
In the process of doing research on the best way to go — reading Ozbike, etc — we decided the best option for us was to go to America and have a look at the major kit bikes that were available; we also decided to incorporate a trip to the Sturgis Rally at the same time.
In America we rode 4000 miles from LA to Sturgis and it was an absolute hoot. We realised most of the bike builders were building bikes that were far too extreme for Australian conditions; but when we went up to Big Bear Lake and had a look at the Big Bear Choppers, we found they were using quality components and they had a pretty strong connection with the Australian market — rego compliance, etc — so we placed our orders.
However, there was a lot of trauma which I won’t go into, but to cut a long story short, I got into a bit of a situation and asked Wrench Devil Cycles, who were also importing a kit from Big Bear Choppers at the time, to help me out. They got the bike out of American and into Brisbane for me.
I wanted the bike master-built — if I was going to this expense I didn’t want to mess around and get it half done. I wanted everything done perfectly so that I would have a bike that I could be proud of. Finally, after 16 weeks, Wrench Devil Cycles delivered to me as good a chopper as I could have imagined. I was absolutely stoked with the way they built the bike, right down to the smallest details — all the braided lines, all the controls and so on; they upgraded the starter motor; they changed the seals in the front-end to original Harley-Davidson seals — all stuff that could cause me a problem later on.
The Deutch plug is a fail safe way of connecting two wires together. If you have to pull any of the wiring apart, it’s just a matter of unplugging it — you don’t have to break any soldered connections — and Wrench Devil Cycles used 74 Deutch plugs right though the wiring system which I believe it was a big plus.
The 100 cubic inch engine supplied by Big Bear in conjunction with S&S is bomb proof. It’s a beautiful engine to ride, smooth as can be, very little vibration and built for longevity.
Originally I was going to go with a 280 tyre but I rode one and I just wasn’t happy with the way it handled. I do a lot of miles and I wanted a custom look plus comfort. I spoke to a number of people and they told me the 250 is pretty much the size you want for comfort, handling and so on. Also, I went with a rear chain and right-side-drive because it is totally balanced and it has that mechanical look I like.
I really liked the pointing tank which is actually off a different bike. I had to get the guys at Wrench Devils Cycles to re-engineer it to fit the frame and work right with the seat. They then had to reshape the handlebars to suit the tank.
It’s not your basic chopper. It is sort of, how can I say, a mongrel breed because we ended up with a one-off look using parts from different models.
I designed the paint scheme with, I must say, the artistic flare of Mark Walker from Queensland Motorcycle Panel and Paint who, I believe, is arguably the best painter in Australia. He added some major touches to the paintwork which I was more than happy with.
I live in Sydney and the bike was built in Brisbane. I could have had it registered up there pretty simple but the guys at Wrench Devil Cycles loaded it on their truck and drove it down to Tweed Heads in NSW for registration. Our laws are more stringent than Brisbane and they made us jump through hoops but everything turned out well in the end.
It takes more than one guy to build a bike and the whole team at Wrench Devil Cycles were not only professional but a bunch of fun to work with. At the end of the day, I know I can ride down the street knowing that nothing awful is going to happen; the bike is totally reliable. They built the bike perfectly, and now I have the hot custom bike you see today.
Pics by Wall 2 Wall; words by Greg Clifton
I HAVE been modelling since January this year. I live in Wollongong and, as you can imagine, there is no modelling work there so I have to travel to Sydney regularly.
I did read somewhere that Wollongong was the centre of the universe but it’s definitely not. Looks can be deceiving.
I want to be a flight stewardess so I’m studying tourism at TAFE at the moment. It involves understanding on-line reservations, product knowledge, looking at brochures, and all kinds of crazy stuff. As a tourism person you don’t actually have to go to all those places in the brochures and tell people about them, but you do need to have a lot of knowledge about the world. Take Dubai. You can’t send someone to Dubai at the moment… well, if it was me, I would, but apparently their tourism rate is below 40 percent so it’s not really a good place to go.
I do know people who own motorbikes. My friend actually taught me how to ride a dirt bike six months ago but I came off and I haven’t done anything on a bike since. But I wasn’t riding, I was sort of on the back, so it wasn’t my fault.