BASICALLY, the owner walked in off the street and said he wanted us to build him a Fat Bastard custom bike; there was no hurry, he was going back overseas and it was left to me to come up with a few ideas. The funny thing was, because it was sitting on the bench and we had plenty of time, we kept coming up with new ideas on what to do with it. Because of the owner’s military background I decided to use a military theme as a tribute to the Aussie men and women fighting overseas.
The sidestand is a good example of a new idea. He had given me a couple of AK-47 bayonets and originally I was going to mount them on the side of the bike, but when the bike was on the bench, I realised it had to have a short side-stand and I needed a way to make it operate. I decided to use one of the bayonets with a mousetrap set up—you pull on the bayonet and the stand pops out.
We used an ammo box for the battery, the exhaust headers were made at Brisbane Motorcycle Exhaust, and the machine gun mufflers are straight out of the Jammer catalogue. We tried to run a muffler on each side but there was nowhere to put the battery box; thought about a two-into-one but that wouldn’t work either; the final result looks great.
The old-school seat sits on an airbag. You can dump the air altogether so the seat sits flat but it’s not really an adjustment of the seat height—it’s an adjustment of how much suspension you want—if the road gets really bumpy you just stick more air in it. The switch is in the bullet box; you just push the switch down until you have the right pressure under your arse.
The bomb at the front is actually the oil tank. Originally I was going to run some red and white wires so it looked like a proper bomb—you know, to throw a bit of terrorism back into their laps—but we decided to keep it simple.
The oil tank bomb also had me in trouble in Sydney airport. I was sitting in the QANTAS club when Craig rang me from the shop to tell me it had returned from the painter but it was way too arty-farty with a skull and crossbones, etc. I was trying to explain to him I wanted it to look like the classic bomb you’d see in a cartoon when a couple of security guards swooped on me and dragged me off for questioning. I think somebody must’ve overheard my conversation and freaked out.
The painting was done by PJ’s Trucks Paint and Panel. The teeth on the petrol tank gives it the look of a Spitfire fighter plane. The list on the rear guard are the ones who have been killed in action up to 2007. You’ll notice the Union Jack has been changed to symbolise Australia starting off as a convict settlement; the Southern Cross has bullet holes symbolising the Eureka Stockade when we took our freedom back. Pretty fuckin’ deep!
Check out the feature on Magenta from the Gold Coast for more photos of the Tribute Bike.
studio pics by Walter Wall; words by Danny.