Working Class Horse

It’s great to meet a bloke who can build a fully functional every-dayer on a strict budget. This is the case with Peter’s Softail. Tell ’em Pete…

I STARTED my motorcycle riding days back in the mid-70’s. I was a teenager when I first started riding on the road aboard an old Jawa 360. There was a car battery hanging from the handlebars in an old onion bag that I used to fire the bike up. Once the bike was started, I’d un-hook the battery, hang it back up on the bars and I was away. 

I bought this bike as a stock 1992 Softail Custom in 2002. I started to get inspiration from the bikes that appeared in Ozbike. But not just the feature bikes, also the Readers Rockets and bikes in photos at runs and rallies, etc. About 90 percent of the ideas I had for my new ride came from the magazine. 

The bike spent close on 14 months at Picko’s shop (Southern Custom Choppers) in Brendale, Brisbane. The whole time Picko never once complained about me leaving the bike there and his help and input were invaluable. I would see something in the mag and take it down to Picko’s shop and we’d work out the pros and cons on my new idea over a few bourbons on any given Friday arvo.

The frame got the rake and stretch treatment on the front; the rear end bumped out to a healthy 200 mm to achieve good looks and practicality. Rear drive is via a tidy chain-driven sprocket which also doubles up as the rear brake disc. 

One of the best parts of this bike build-up was the ‘scrounge’ factor. The bike was being built on a tight budget so a lot of the parts had to be sourced on the old ‘bargain and barter’ system. As you can see, the front and rear wheels don’t match perfectly but come pretty damn close.

The motor was shipped off to Adelaide to be re-built. It was a case of, build it right, build it strong and make it reliable! 

I wanted a duel carb set-up which ended up being a story by itself as far as the setting up the intake manifold and making it all work. Once we had it all sorted and Picko had fabricated the filters, we realised that the forward controls had to be spaced out further to accommodate the extra width.

I decided on the ‘religious parody’ theme for the paint-job. Little Mick transformed my ideas into reality and the paint was applied by Digger.

I can’t tell you how pleased I am with Picko and the team at Southern Custom Choppers who put much time and effort into the building of my dream machine. Thanks guys.

Words & photos by Chuck U Farley

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