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  • Writer's pictureLawless

Once old is new again (From the Vault)

How many of you punters remember the old days? People often reminisce of things or skills lost or heading towards extinction, so it’s great to see things being born again.

Back when the family would huddle in front of the old B/W HMV (His Masters Voice) teak laminated TV and watch urban legends such as Andre the Giant, Killer Kowaski and Brute Bernard who would try their best to take down Aussie hero’s Larry O’Dea, Haystacks Calhoun and the peoples hero Mario Merlano in the ring on World Champion Wrestling. On rival stations the bad girls of Roller Derby were also shown on the box. Babes dressed in short shorts, fish net stockings and roller skates trying to knock shit out of each other on an oval timber incline. Blokes in tights babes in shorts it’s a no brainer! I know what I’d be watchin! Those were the days!

But don’t fret! They’re back!

We caught up with Kimakaze and Killawatts (Coach) and the rest of the girls from the South West Sydney Rockets at training. The girls train every Monday and Sunday mainly in Campbelltown with many of the members coming from Cabramatta/Fairfield area and as far as the Oaks at the foot of the Blue Mountains. The game of Roller Derby is called a “bout” as in the boxing term for a match up of two competitors. The rules are easy. There are two teams, five girls on each side with one having the task of a Jammer.

The Jammer is the one that scores the points by having to lap the opposition’s players.

The Jammer has to lap all the opposition players on the first lap and on the second lap is where the Jammer starts to accumulate points with every opposition team member that she passes being worth a point and that’s pretty much it!

Threatening to be the next best thing, there are 23 teams in the league at the moment and another 13 joining the league in 2011. Each team has about 40 girls so competition will be a round robin format. There is also a State of Origin (Queensland/New South Wales) bout at the Hordern Pavilion.

By now you may be thinkin “Chris, you gone bloody mad? This is a bike mag!”

That may be right but I thought Old School Roller Derby would be just the theme to put the cool into Old School and with a motto Blood, sweat and bruises I thought it in my best interest! Here it is!

I often have punters coming up to me and telling me how they’d love to join the Harley Davidson family but are unable to afford a ride and that’s understandable. Harley Davidson is one of those desirable and collectable motor vehicle brands that still keep their value and I know we would all love a new twin cam, but as mentioned to buy a new Harley you are looking at big dollars.

I know its still a lot of dough but why not consider a Shovel Head?

The Shovel Head motor was in all models from 1966-84. Whilst not being as reliable and oil friendly as the Evo which was to replace the Shovel if you’re handy with a spanner and don’t mind the odd oil stain on the garage floor you may want to consider the shovel! Prices vary, Mick “Silver” Potts picked up his black classic FLH shovel for $10,000.

The two shovels featured belong to Tatts and Leroy (South Coast Customs). Tatts rides a 1972 FLH Shovel head that was brought from a bloke in Queensland and given a “Quick” as Tatts put it ‘Old School Makeover’ adding red rims with white wall tyres 20” Ape Hangers (Handle Bars). Originally Blue, Tatts laid down a black satin paint job and Old School pin striping and a stroker kit through the motor. Owner of many custom bikes the FLH is Tatts’ daily ride. With its standard tyres, the FLH is a far cry from the 300 and 330 customs he’s used to riding but Tatts tells me his lovin it. “I love the Old School thump of the Shovel and the fact I can zip around, get in and get out. Its just a fun ride!”

The only changes, if any Tatts would make is probably changing the motor to a 103 S&S but at the moment is happy with the stroker. When asked about the kick start, Tatts replies “I’ve never used it, I use the electric start! The only kick I would give it is off the stand if it didn’t start!”

The second Shovel belongs to Leroy (Owner South West Customs and all round nice bloke!). The bike was featured in the 2009 Inspired calendar and one of the better known shovels on the show scene. The Shovel has a 1200 bottom end with 1340 Barrels with a stroker and standard primary. The Nitros bottle is just an accessory though the sound and performance make for the illusion. Other changes were the seat, rake and triple trees. A wide glide front end with twin disc with standard calipers, Arlen Ness head light grips and rear PM caliper, chrome swing arm and OMP forward controls and pegs and Old School ‘flame’ paint job finish off the cool ride!

Though neither of the boys have let on what the bikes owe them for re-sale reasons other owners of similar rides aren’t so shy with builds of similar bikes being as low as $10,000-$15,000 (Shovel Sportsters can be found for half that money). What it cost is usually up to the individual - the sky being the limit. You have to admit it’s a low price to pay for a cool ride!

You can check out the Derby Girls and up coming bouts at

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