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  • Writer's pictureLawless

Pro Street MADNS

When David Mercieca from Mild and Wild says he has a bike you may want to look at, we take this bloke seriously because if anyone knows a nice bike it has to be the Mild to Wild boys and when I got to see George’s Pro Street I wasn’t let down. I’m not pissin’ in your pocket when I say this bike is one of the nicest bikes I have photographed. Every angle offers another photo opportunity and the bike whilst not as outlandish or loud as many, still has a subtle but not understated paint job. The exhaust, seat and all the accessories such as pipes and controls are well aligned. The stance has the attitude and rider position true to the Pro-Streeter. Bike owner George from GM Automotive as with many of the new school Chopper owners has come from a hotrod and show car background and whilst he has owned several stock Harley Davidson’s over the years he has always been in the market for a custom but was unable to find something that ticked all the boxes. The bikes he looked at weren’t doing it for George they were either the wrong colour or the wrong look with many as he put it just messed up and if he was going to spend 40 grand on someone else’s bike and then sink another 15 grand into it I may as well build my own. So with George tossing up whether to build one himself he decided to go and see David to get the heads up on how he would go about building his dream bike and as timing would have it Dave knew of an unfinished project a bloke had for sale that he may want to look at. George had himself a look, his first impression of the bike was that the colour was right (House of Kolor Blue). The wheels were right and the Pro-Street stance was also his preferred style of custom. This opportunity was too good too turn down and he thought rather than waiting two years to finish something off the impatient George looking at what he had there in what was a full rolling chassis that he could have it on the road in six months – he jumped on it. George enlisted the help of David and Mild and Wild’s Brad to finish off the rolling chassis. George entrusted the build to the boys because in his words “It had to be done right and be Mickey Mouse with a showroom finish.” When George handed the bike over it was ready to get wired and with George jumping out of his skin wanting to get the bike on the road he pleaded with David to prioritise his bike because he wanted it by Christmas! (Well that might be partly true George actually said “I want the Fuckin thing by Christmas!” There goes our G rating! A mechanic by trade with his own shop (GM Automotive) George has built himself several show cars and even a drag car but says the skills in building a custom motorcycle are totally different. For example, with a car you may do the interior and throw carpet on the floor which ends up covering everything, whereas with a bike every nut and bolt is on show. For some odd reason George couldn’t get his head around having built cars every nut and bolt,

“with bikes” he says “It’s a smaller thing to build but so fuckin’ fiddly and its those fiddly bits you have to get right that’s why I looked up Dave to give me a hand to do it. I can do it myself but it may have taken me as much as ten years to finish, I just don’t know my way around a bike like I do a car!” David did what was asked and prioritised the Pro Streeter and went full steam ahead with the build finishing it in six months. The Softail roller came with a 45 degree rake and a 330 arse end, 6 speed baker box and 114 cube (Total Performance) motor. All the polished controls were on the bike and only needed hoses and wiring. George chose an Eddie Trotter D2’s exhaust with matching stack he imported from the United States and went with a head light that incorporates LED indicators in its surround and LED’s in the rear guard as to keep the clean look of the bike whilst keeping the boys in blue happy by keeping the bike as roadworthy as possible. They (David and George) spoke about internal throttle cables and that sort of thing only for David to point out that they weren’t practical so George decided to take David’s advice. David’s reasoning for avoiding the internal cables was last thing you want is motorcycling cables not opening up, jamming or notching up and while George wanted everything to look good he wanted it to work properly and went with braided lines and hoses. George says the bike rides better and is more “comfy” than his 2006 Springer, the bike has plenty of clearance and is easy to turn but admits it is obvious that with the 330 tyre that it’s going to take more room to turn on a roundabout. The sitting position is that typical of a Pro-streeter with the low seat you sit close to the ground elbows slightly bent and extended a little higher than shoulders to the handle bars. Though he hasn’t cracked it or turned the back wheel as yet George says you have to respect it and you know it’s got some! The Totter straight through pipes are a nice touch and give the Total Performance V-Twin a nice note. As with anyone who has tried to give their whip, that custom touch or built a custom ride there is always that story of torment of wrong parts or shotty workmanship and the Pro Street was to be no different. George’s thorn in his side was to be his seat. Not knowing anyone who specialised in bike seats George ended up trusting his seat to a bloke out Campbelltown way who (to use George’s phrase quote) “Fucked it up!” Pointing at the saddle seat makes the comment $1,000 worth of seat there and then goes on to tell me about a bloke named Dave who came out to the shop (Mild and Wild) once then came back fitted it up and said there’s your seat mate! That bloke is our old Mate Dave Britton from Bad Arse Seat Co. George was wrapped in his new seat saying “Haven’t seen a seat like it! Tops, went through heart ache with that seat, you know yourself the seat will either make or brake the bike”. As with his company Hilux which bares the descriptive number plate “Lowee” George thought his new acquisition deserved a plate of its own and so grabbed his laptop computer and planted his arse on the lounge and hit the RTA website and searched for a plate. The first thing he thought of was MAD

but that was gone so he added a NS to the MAD making it MADNS (short for madness). Asked if he is going to show it George says he isn’t fussed! “I built it to ride” he says “I will ride it to work ride it out with the boys on a Saturday Night. I’ve been in the show scene before, I’m not going to stand around all day for a five dollar trophy, not interested! Then again if I ride up to a show, park it, have a bit of fun come back and its won an award – bonus! Put it in my pocket and ride home!” George is wrapped in the results and in the three weeks up to when we caught up with him for this feature had already clocked up 400kms. “I’m going to ring its neck, that’s what I built it for” he said. George’s workshop is on the grounds of well known vehicle auctions Manheim Fowles in the Sydney south western suburb of Moorebank and it was here where George got his inspiration and idea of what he wanted his shoot to look like. “I’ve seen a lot of bikes and graffiti walls or on the lawn at Bondi and I don’t think it does the bike any justice and thought we can get that junk yard look with a couple of burnt out cars.” As soon as he mentioned it I thought Mad Max Thunder Dome and thought what a great idea but I didn’t want any Tina Turner look-a-like, we needed a special babe and I found her! Our babe is 21 year old Larissa Bartolo. Larissa like many a young girl wanted to be a model at an early age and it was when her father took the young teen to Auto Salon and saw the promo girls that she decided that was she wanted to do. She asked her father how she would go about getting into it. At the tender age of 16 years Larissa decided to follow her dream. She googled and got a heads up on what she had to do and from there the rest is history. The enterprising Larissa has never worked for agents and has done everything on her own and says she’d rather do it that way. Everything she’s done, all the different comps, photo shoots and magazines and finally OzBike. In the beginning it was hard now at the ripe old age of 21 she’s now I’m a pro! A few years ago at age 18 was a hard time for her admitting she was still a baby and wasn’t really interested. “Now I’ve got boobs and a bum - every magazine wants me!” Says our 10D, green eyed babe, with measurements of 81-65-86 our 163cm pocket rocket is the product of a Canadian/Maltese marriage. Her mum was on holidays from Canada when she met Dad. Larissa says “mum and dad are cool with her chosen career and push her to do as much as possible.”