In fairytales a knight would wear certain armour to distinguish himself. The good knight would be all shiny and bright on a light coloured steed whilst the black knight was just that, black, menacing and mysterious mounted on his evil and somewhat tougher black steed. Can you see where I’m going with this? Why even teen heart throb Justin Beiber has caught on to the fact ‘’black is the new chrome’’ having West Coast Customs build him a matt black ride (the kid has to get some credibility somehow!). Large prestige car companies like BMW, Mercedes and Lexus have also seen the power in black with many of their cars and accessories being painted in different shades and textures of black but hey us bike guys along with the mafia have always seen the power and status of black. While bike manufacturers have come out with certain models pertaining to the black theme they are not a common occurrence.
Featured builder APL Performance Bikes has a new line of bike for those who love black and came up with a range of bikes that don’t only look mean and menacing but perform like bats from hell.
APL have come up with a line of bikes called the Tuff Series where as a customer can pick a bike out of the Harley Davidson line up and transform a stock bike into a supercharged adrenaline filled bike for a percentage of the price of a glitzy show pony.
With paint being cheaper than chrome and APL being an approved importer of Pro-Chargers in Australia has meant that they can keep prices down and tailor make a bike for those on a budget. With one of the most sophisticated and equipped shops in Australia there is no waiting on parts with most parts always in stock and the boys are currently turning over 4-5 bikes a month.
Customers can bring their chosen bike in from the Harley Davidson range (Dyna, Fatboy, Softail, Baggers or Sportsters) or APL can organise the bike of choice for a discounted price through Sys Harley Davidson and for as low as $5,000-$10,000 on top of the purchase price the bike can be transformed into a fire breathing Tuff Series powerhouse. APL recommends 106 cube over the 103 only due to the fact they are relatively the same price.
APL will then take the stock bike fit a Procharger Supercharger (14lbs boost), lockup clutch, Thundermax controller and customer’s choice of cam. All parts quality tested and warranted by S&S. Builds usually take no longer than two weeks, with the majority of work done in-house at APL premises in the suburb of Wilberforce in Sydney’s North West and at the foot of the Blue Mountains. That is all except paint in which APL owner Adam Leighton has recruited the talented and well respected Mark (Sydney Custom Paint) and Joe Webb (Bad Image). APL use a blend contrasting blacks and finishes which also include the blower all bar the snail making it the predominated feature and then blending the rest with the motor.
The test bike we had on the day at Sydney Dragway began life as a 2010 Harley Davidson Street Bob.
This particular bike belongs to a customer who has since the rebuild clocked up well over 100,000km between the three eastern states of NSW, VIC and QLD. The Tuff series rebuild consisted of a 200 Arse end and APL widened the struts and the guard, APL Tuff Series wheels (wheels not fitted at time of shoot), Arlen Ness pegs, Burly Bars and Procharger Supercharger (APL painted the Procharger Wrinkle black as with the motor to blend in) currently running at 12lbs and putting out 160 HP, a set of 103 Wiseco Flat-top pistons and 5.85 S&S Cams and the heads power-flowed by Power Flow Heads. APL also have their own base tuning programme and once the motor is run in and loosened up the motor goes through a final Dyno tuning but APL has found that much of the time it wasn’t necessary because the motor was purposely built for the blower/Supercharger. APL can also fit Pro Chargers on standard motors which can be run at 5-6lbs boost and 130hp. Tuning is easy Adam explains because the Pro-Charger is progressive and smooth and almost not Harley like and whilst very powerful, easy to ride and predictable. The seat on the test bike had to be modified and padded as to keep the rider in the saddle and not let them slip off the back.
APL Performance Bikes catch phrase is ‘’more bang for the buck!’’ and Adam stands by that and says the customers he has had over the years are and will remain friends because one of their goals is to see people get value for their money and customers to go fast and have fun. Interstate customers often ride up or down and stay overnight in one of the local motels and get to ride home the next day.
You can check out www.aplperformancebikes.com.au or contact Adam at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ph (02) 45 751 116.
Special thanks Sydney Dragway (Eastern Creek Sydney) and our models Seth Enslow and our beautiful Lawless Angels Larrissa Bartolo and Lexy Mackenzie.