The Rockabilly King

“…this little rocket, a Harley-Davidson Rapido 125, turned up in a chook shed…,” said Terry.

AFTER being invited to the Motorcycle Lowdown Build-Off my inspiration was easy — I wanted to build a rockabilly bike on a very tight budget. Elvis being the King of Rockabilly made it an easy choice for the theme, and then this little rocket, a Harley-Davidson Rapido 125, turned up in a chook shed in outback Queensland. 

Many a night was spent sanding and scrapping all the chicken poo from it; it was even under the paint on the wheels where the guy had painted over it. I went through about 12 cans of spray-paint to get it to cover, left all the dents in it, and the front guard was so rusted and pitted I decided to cover it all with stickers. I got my friend to print up all the stickers and the girl on my tank is my sexy wife.

The engine is a rocket, 125-cc 2-stroke. New caskets, spark plug, tin of carby cleaner and fresh fuel and she fired straight up. 

I just really wanted to show the young kids that anyone can build a cool bike without a bucket of dollars, and judging from the response we got at the first show, everyone loved it. This whole project cost under $1600. That’s including the cost of the bike and two new tyres. For anyone thinking of building their first first bike, just go for it. It’s how we all started. The plan is to now race it around Western Australia in the vintage races.

Photos by Melody; words by Terry Doherty

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