Western Bling Harley-Davidson Deluxe

Trade in the quarter-horse for the Iron-horse but don’t lose the style.

COMING from a background of riding western horses (think big saddles, bigger belt buckles, chaps, fringes, cowboy hats, whips, boots), Brenda Smith chose to shuffle off her nags and instead customise her own Harley-Davidson the way she’d always envisioned. Looking at her Softail Deluxe Nostalgia you can see she kept the genre going all be it with a bit more horsepower.

Being on the shorter side, her starter Harley was a new 883 Super-Low, but after coming to grips with riding that, she decided to go looking for the white/silver Deluxe she had always wanted since seeing one while on a group ride. Determining if she could manage the bigger Softail was the next step, and as fate would have it, while visiting Perth Harley-Davidson there was the exact bike she’d been looking for all be it in standard form for sale in the front carpark.

“Oliver, the store owner, was there and he just said take the bike and see if you like it. If you like it, come back!”

Quick as a quarter-horse she’d thrown the Sporty’s keys the dealer’s way and left them with her list of mods before picking the bike up a short time later to head home. These included the all chrome swing-arm, peaked headlight bezels, lowering all round, a new billet number plate holder, and some chrome braided cables. Not a bad way to make it her own bike but she wasn’t done, and over the last four years, Brenda continued to modify the bike to suit her western taste.

A trip to Daytona Bike Week was at first a once-in-a-lifetime experience for both her and husband, Steve, but so good was the riding they followed it up with two consecutive trips to Sturgis. Riding two-up through the countryside around South Dakota being one of many highlights.

After every trip away the modifying continued.

“I saw a LePera Barebones seat on a bike online which I liked so I took one to Charisma Custom Motor Trimmers and he did the diamond stitching, and being short, I slipped a bit so he put a little extra padding in the rear section to sit me more forwards. He also did the fender bib to match too. Nobody rides on the back.”

With more encouragement from Steve, Brenda got in touch with Sam at Ridewright wheels directly and ordered her favourite all chrome Ridewright 50-spoke Fat Daddy wheels.

“It was EASY, and they were here in two weeks but the dual 16’s just weren’t working for me so I had Westside order me a 21-inch wheel and fit it with a new whitewall tyre.”

A fat set of 1.25-inch Burleigh Beach Bars found their way on with a set of risers as low as could be fitted but it’s what’s at the ends of those bars that catches the eye. Those big pair of streamers were a must-have.

“I saw them at the rally in Daytona and you could take your levers in and have them done while you were there. It was a company called IronBraid and they’ll do whatever colours you want so I went with silver and white. The last year when we went to Sturgis the all-white floorboards, shifter ends and handlebar grips came out so I got them while we were there.”

As for the fat twisted ignition leads, “I just wanted white ones!”

Other touches leaving passers-by in no doubt as to the ownership of the bike are the heart-shaped horn cover, Diamante cam cover, etched Peace Dove derby cover, and the HDIVA number plate. “I’m not really a diva but I wanted a short number plate to suit the number plate surround so I came up with that.”

“Plans for the future are maybe some panniers because bags would be handy sometimes, with a bit of a custom paint job that incorporated a peace sign or the dove but I’m just still toying with that.”

Words and photos by Brad Miskiewicz

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