You know sometimes the hardest part to one of these features is coming up with a name for the article or in the case of a bike feature a name for the bike. You often get owners wanting to name the bike some ridiculous name or place or even person (no shit!) It takes some convincing, at times to try to get through and convince them of a better name or try to get them to rethink their choice of name and choose something that reflects the bike. When the bike’s owner Daniel O’Farrell suggested we call this bike The Mongrel, it was a no brainer, when you look at the stance and dimensions of the bike it speaks for itself, it’s like, if there was a pit bull bike this would be it with its wide girth, meaty arse end and low to the ground stance and its balls to spare. But credit needs to go where credit is due and Dan is up front about where he got the name from, saying ‘’what was meant to be an insult, actually became its name.” The name calling culprit was Lee from Redgraves. Every time Dan would go there Lee would call it ‘’The Fucking Mongrel!’’ and the name stuck (Mongrel that is!)
The relationship between the Mongrel and Dan began after he found the bike a 1997 Night Train sitting in a back shed of a workshop, the bikes owner was going to fix it up and sell it but Dan made an offer he couldn’t refuse and bought the bike as is. The bike was an original with the basic motor as it stands now, this made for a great canvas for his dream bike. The motor, a Harley Davidson Evolution (Blockhead) bottom end with cast iron drag barrels and STD heads and twin spark plugs on each cylinder, the coil is unknown but Dan reckons it resembles a VK Holden Commodore coil.
As with any would be customizer, there would be lessons to be learnt and the first would be expensive and time consuming with the on and off build taking two years. Dan explains “I had a bit of a false start with another guy who had a go at doing a bit on it!’’
Unfortunately the lesson learnt was not only expensive but time consuming, the ‘’guy’’ didn’t put the motor together properly and hadn’t used lock tight on any of the bolts and things were rattling loose.
Dan had a vision for the bike and was looking to build something a bit different from what everyone else was riding and now looking back says ‘’I think I’ve come up with something different!’’ Dan recognised his dream via the help of Lawless featured builder Darryl Farnon (Farnon Fabrication) who went about customizing the chassis adding a 5 degree rake Springer front end and DNA 80 spoke front rim, Farnon Fabrication custom handle bars and 250 arse end and DNA 80 spoke rear rim. Other nice touches are the Zodiac rotors, PM callipers, grips and Forward controls. Darryl also lowered the rear end to match the rake and therefore making the whole bike lower, thus creating the Mongrel like stance. ‘’By the end of it there wasn’t much left, the frame is still Harley Davidson so it’s an Harley at heart!’’ Many of Dan’s mates were trying to talk him out of the Springer front end but the defiant Dan stands by his decision saying ‘’I have no drama with it [Springer Forks] the bike might not corner like a stock bike but I knew that before I raked it and put a wide arse rear end on the bike!’’
The markers or blinkers have been set down on the lower arm of the swing-arm. Dan is happy with the positioning saying they are somewhat legal but restrained from repositioning the number plate so as to keep it street legal.
The seat pan was also fabricated by Darryl and trimmed by Bad Arse Seats. Darryl also organised the paint job and had his own vision for the bike. Darrin was trying to convince Dan into a satin blue and Dan ummed and arhd and almost went for it until Dan’s good mate Chris ‘’Simsy’’ talked him around, making the point Dan could not build a bike like that and lay a plain paint job on it! Dan looked around and had a few of his own ideas until this particular flame and skull combination come up and everyone he asked agreed, so he decided to run with it, ‘’it had a bit of that Old School Mongrel feel’’ he says.
The motor was then freshened up by Steve ‘’Bullets’’ Stanley (Hot Rod Choppers) I don’t know if freshened up is the right way to put it but we will run with it!
Bullets started by putting a Stroker kit through the Evo which offset the barrels which meant the original Vance and Hines pipes the pipes needed to be cut and modified to fit. With the addition of the twin G series S&S carburettors and its filter the forward controls had to also be offset 1¾ inches because the air filter protruded so far. Dan wasn’t going to compromise on the filter saying ‘’It not too practical but it looks great and I don’t think the bike would look right with anything but this set up!’’ The original Harley 5 speed gear box was spared, being replaced due to the fact there was no need and the box was having no trouble coping with the new found horses. Bullets Dyno tuned the back which returned figures of around 115-120 BHP and a sharp rise in torque with figures around 125-130ftlbs. Pan Head rocker boxes were added for that Old School look. When asked what he thought of his new ride Dan replies ‘’Now that everything is done and all seems to run well, I’m definitely happy with it and it’s everything I wanted!’’