SEVEN-year-old Harley-Davidson Fat Boy for private sale, dead stock, maroon paint, nothing at all fancy on it. Unknown history but all legit. It’s tempting, isn’t it, when you come across an advert like that in The Trader?
I took the plunge and grabbed the Fat Boy before anyone else could. I rode it for six months while I was getting more cash together, then it was a matter of doing bits and pieces over the next three years as I could afford it.
Andy at Hyperformance Cycles chromed the front-end and the arse-end, did all the braiding, all the hidden wiring in the bars, pretty much everything except the motor and the paint.
A week later I went a few kays down the road to Rai’s Cycle Shack for a bit of engine work.The motor was okay but that’s never been a reason to leave things alone; you can always make significant improvements with a little know-how.
We had to wait for some parts from the States, from the Zippers Race Team that he’s got contacts with. He put the motor together in about two weeks so it was only a wait of about one month altogether.
Rai did the heads: CC’d them, flowed them, ported them, put in 60-thou-over valves, Zippers triple valve springs, Rivera rods, and a Crane High 4 E ignition.
I think they come out from the factory with about 54 hp as standard but it’s tickling around the 100 mark now. That’s not big hp today with some of the bikes getting around but it’s enough for me at the moment. It’s a good cruiser and doesn’t really come alive ‘til after two grand.
Tiring of the original maroon, I initially went for a Candy Purple paint job, then picked the current House of Kolor Candy Tangello. Jason from Unique Custom Paint did his usual immaculate job, adding the skulls I wanted as well as the silver flames.
That red item on the chain around the skull’s neck is a Corno, something you’ll more often see dangling from a Monaro or Valiant’s rear-view mirror. It’s an old Italian myth to keep all the bad shit away and it’s worked so far.
Like most bikes that people actually ride, this one’s still something of a work-in-progress. There are a few potential changes I have in mind to improve my outings to the Barossa and the SA coast. I’d like to get some new wheels later on, they’ll be old school wheels, and if this motor ever goes I wouldn’t mind putting a big cuber in, and maybe a wide arse end, but it’s all dollars which can be a bit hard with two kids.
For now I’m planning on riding it and enjoying it rather than just pumping money into it all the time. I’ve only put 3000 km on it in four years so it’s time to enjoy it now. It rides as well today as the day I picked it up; it’s really sweet.
words by Ross; pics by Chris Randells