I don’t think there would honestly be one of you out there that doesn’t remember your first? Your first girlfriend, first car or those of us lucky enough first bike. Memories good or bad our first always holds a special place in our hearts. Feature bike owner Ben Lynch brought his first bike new (a 1994 Nostalgia) off Metho Tom at Blacktown Harley when he was twenty back in 1994 (ok do your sums, I know you want to!). As all young blokes do Ben went through a phase of customisation. An apprentice engineer by trade and spare coin hard to find Ben would make many of the parts himself. Years pasted, and with his career taking off Ben didn’t have the time he once had and the bike customisation came to a halt up until last year. The thought never entered Ben’s mind to sell the bike, it was still his pride and joy and held too many found memories so he decided to give the old girl an overhaul, somewhat of a face lift and not lose any of its original styling and sentimental values and not an unrecognisable recreation and keep some of the original special features and add some of those nice touches like a wide arse rear end.
For a good year Ben spent a good year studying quality magazines for his inspiration and ideas, because he knew he was only going to do it the once and wanted to do it right. Ben’s good mate Lyle was constantly on to Ben to do something with the bike and introduced him to his good friend and local, APL Performance Bike owner Adam Layton. Adam and APL Performance Bikes are high end builders and so go that extra yard when it comes to a project and whilst the doors are always open at APL Adam takes another approach when it comes to builder, customer relationships and makes an effort to get to know the customer and get a real take on what their expectations are before he commits to the build and did the drop in on at his home Ben, not to pressure him but to get a real feel of what Ben wanted. Ben took out all the pictures he had gathered and assembled them in a way to show Adam what he had in mind and Ben was pleasantly surprised with what the high end builder put on the table, Adam seemed to have a good grasp on what Ben’s demand where and they by all measures were on the same page and Adam took the bike back to the workshop that same day.
The build was to take 6months and Ben would drop in from time to time to see how it was going. The 6months wasn’t a stretch because the bike would still be just sitting there and Ben didn’t think it would be right to push Adam too hard to get the bike back. But as time went on Ben was losing patience with Adam and was getting a bit shirty with Adam, but unbeknown to Ben the build was well in hand and Adam had an accomplice who was close to Ben helping Adam behind the scenes, you see you buy a bike off APL Performance Bikes and it’s an experience like no other. Adam has taken to modern media like no other OZ builder and has made the hand over an art and an experience the owner will never forget. The bike was finished two weeks before the completion date given to Ben and Adam ha teed up Kim to have Ben at the Outback Bakehouse, Windsor where he had organised a run. The bike was parked in a position where it obstructed pedestrian access to the shop and couldn’t be missed, Ben on first glance didn’t even know it was his bike and it took a double take before he realised it was and was speechless ‘’I loved it! We have done so many things and there is so many stories behind it and now I will get another twenty years out of it looking as it does’’. The whole experience doesn’t stop there, the whole thing in true APL fashion was captured on film as was the run with footage of the run captured from a helicopter.
Adam’s take on the bike was spot on with what Ben envisioned and he also knew he would have his work cut out and he was the right person for the job. Adam’s take on Ben’s vision was something of a restoration and to keep the bike from looking tacky and keep the bike a Harley Davidson. Adam says he could have much easier thrown in an S&S motor and aftermarket gearbox, but not with Ben, ben wanted an enhanced Harley Davidson so the motor and gearbox had to be fully stripped down and enhanced. The heads were Power flowed with four angle cuts. A process used by Formula 1 and NASCAR teams where the valve seats are angled cut and an abrasive media blasted through the heads. The angles change progressively so when the valve opens the flow starts early, which means greater air flow (CFM) and powers comes up and a 600 lift cam was fitted to tie in with the heads (APL possess the only power-flow machine in Australia and import their heads worldwide). The comp pipes were closed and the crank balanced. The full strip down meant weeks of works with the cosmetics also, the motor needed to be repainted and all the nuts and bolts polished and chromed. Adam did decide to run with a Bandit primary for its clutch action, smoothness and quietness and decided to keep the standard carbie with PM (Performance Machine) filter which was a punt that payed off with the nice clean note made by the EVO make it easily confused for a fuel injected bike and the way the primary whistles through is also a nice smooth sound and not rattly as with many other aftermarket primaries. The once docile EVO now puts out around 120HP; the gearbox was fully rebuilt with Andrew Gears.
The look of the bike is somewhat subtle but dramatic, the original 1 ¼ x 18’’ Burleigh Ape Hanger handle bars stayed but as with all wiring the suspension was all replaced. APL are the importers of Shot Gun shocks a sponsor from Adams racing background, a Enhancer front end with gold valves and another of the APL imported products is the Heartland wide arse kit. Ben chose to go with the 250 rear which comes with everything from swing-arm, rear guard, seat and CNC trim and replaced the standard rims with Ride Right, Fat Daddy 50 Spoke tubeless rims with hardened axels. There was to use Adam’s words no compromise approach and when it came to accessories, Adam used all PM (Performance Machine) accessories, grips, controls and callipers, for their price and functionality, Russel Cables and Freedom exhaust pipes. The front guard was replaced with a late model Fatboy guard and Mark from Sydney Custom spray paint was given the task of laying the paint. Adam decided to take the risk and do away with the original flat white and add a yellow pearl, an idea he got from one of his Anniversary 203 paint jobs.
‘’I love the bike and wish it was mine, but the two days leading up to the unveiling were two of the worst days of his life, after talking to Ben’s wife Kim and not knowing if it could come off and Ben had planned a ride and I had to tell him it was going to be two days late to surprise him on the day. It all came together and Ben’s a mate now, all our customers turn into friends for some unknown reason!’’
Check APL performance bikes at www.aplperformancebikes.com.au and check out the links to Ben’s unveiling and run and APL’s other clips on YouTube.