Thunder Down Under Chopper

Dave wanted to build a chopper for years, and when he broke up with his missus, he headed off to the bank for a loan.

Dave the Owner 

I WAS INTO hot-rods before bikes. I had a 1929 coup which took out the best Victoria Street Rod recently. Then I got into bikes as well but ended up liking the bikes more than the cars.

My first bike was a Harley-Davidson, an ’84 Wide Glide. I had a couple of mates with Harleys and met more as I went. I had a good friend, Noel Anthony, who put me onto Dave at Doc Hogs. Dave helped me with my Wide Glide; we did a bit to that.

I always said, if I was ever going to build a chopper, I’d build it through Dave. Dave would say, “Yeah, yeah, yeah.”

“No, I’m serious,” I’d say.

So he said, “Well come down for a drink first.”

We had a drink a couple of times and I told him my ideas. I had pictures from Ozbike, and friend’s photos from bike shows, and ideas from here and there.

Then I split up with the missus and thought, ‘That’s it, I’m going for it,’ so I went to the bank and got a loan.

“Dave, I’m here,” I said. “I’ve got the money—let’s do it!”

Ever since I’ve known Dave he was a down-to-earth bloke, an honest bloke, and all the work he did on my other bike was brilliant so I really trusted him. It’s been good. He’s taught me a lot about bikes.

This chopper was built from scratch. I had a heap of ideas and told Dave about them and he knew where I was heading. He got the frame in and we went from there, adding the pieces as we went along. He’d say, come have a look at this, and I’d either be nar or yeah, and he just put it all together and that’s what we come up with.

I wanted a chopper look but still wanted it to handle really good, and I wanted a different front-end than everyone else had. I wanted the wide arse-end, but not too wide because I wanted to be able to ride it hard.

Dave said, “You’ve got a fat arse so you need a decent tyre to cover your own arse!”

The paint job was my idea, which was the hardest part, I reckon, telling people what you want. You imagine it in your own head, then you’ve got to try to tell people how you want it and see what they can come up with. I thought that would have to be the worst part of the job, if it comes back and wrecks all Dave’s work. It came up pretty close to what I imagined so I was damn happy.

I haven’t ridden it yet; it’s only just been finished. It’s getting the engineering part done and we’re waiting for the RTA to give us the Vin number. That’s another thing—Dave does it all properly, there is no shonky business, so they can get registered.

I’m biting the bullet to ride the bike, I’m hanging out, believe me, I’m hanging out.

Dave the Builder

DAVE WANDERS in and says, “I wanna build a chopper.” He’s actually been saying it for about five years, but today he puts the money on the counter and says, “Let’s get started.”

We used an Ultima frame because it already had the stretch and rake that he wanted, that out and up. It’s about four inches up and six out, with a 38-degree rake.

It’s not a Sporty fuel tank; it’s more of a chopper, extended, longer tank.

It’s got a RevTech 100 cube Drive Line package in it: six-speed gearbox, Evo style engine, S&S velocity stack, RevTech belt drive, high torque starter motor.

The rear guard was fabricated to fit the bike and belt-drive rear end. The rear-end is 250. 

He went for more of a traditional look with the 60-spoke wheels, Mean Street front-end, Burleigh bars, Dakota digital speedo which sits down on the top of the head attached to the engine mount, and Bassani exhaust.

Dave always had this thing that he wanted something Australian so Thunder Down Under is his theme. It makes the bike unique.

Photos by Wall 2 Wall

If you’d like to see more photos of Dave’s Thunder Down Under Chopper, go to Dani’s feature.

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