Daniel and Lyndal are a Chicano pair
“Daniel rang me when he was working in Rockhampton to tell me he’d found some buckles for my blanket wrap.” Lyndal laughs.
That’s the kind of relationship this couple have. There’s lots of motorcycle content.
I had sought them out after Daniel posted photos of their bikes on the HEAVY DUTY Facebook page and subsequently sat down with them in their garage in South Brisbane to find out how this husband and wife team works.
The first thing that became obvious is one of the things they share is the joy of a nicely customised Harley-Davidson. I asked them to tell me about their bikes and their history.
“We started riding dirt bikes and offroad together. Yeah, off road first. And then we moved onto road bikes together” They began, almost as one - something they did often during the interview.
Daniel continued, “Then over the last few years we started riding more on the road.” At which point Lyndal notes, “I bought the Street in 2015 but had an accident at work so it put us back a little bit, but we’ve been back riding together again for a few years now.”
Which led us to discussing the bikes. We started with Daniel’s great looking Heritage Softail.
“We both liked the Cholo style, so when this one came up for sale, we grabbed it.
It’s a 2009 Heritage Softail that had a bit of stuff done. It was black, it had 20” apes on it, which I replaced with the 16” that are on it now.
It has a stage three motor, with bigger cams etc, but that was also done before I got it. I’ve only owned it for around three years, in fact one of my mates owned it, and he was looking to upgrade, so I grabbed it.
So far, I’ve changed the wheels, with the 23” fat spoked wheel on the front and a 16” on the rear.
I know everyone says that you have to rake them with the big wheel, but I actually like the way it handles – it didn’t need changing. It could be because I went from a skinny front 21” to the bigger wheel. It used to wander on the road a little with the 21, now it sits on the highway beautifully with the 23”. Because it sits so low you scrape the fishtails everywhere, so handling isn’t a big issue.
If I want to go somewhere and ride a bit harder, I have other bikes for that – this is an around town cruiser.
I also fitted extended front and rear guards, and then I painted the bike myself.
I wanted to go for an old school colour. At first, I thought I would paint it like Lyndal’s and have them in a full matching style, but I like the nostalgia colours for this style of bike, so I made the colour. It was literally just green paint in the tin and I started adding white till I got a shade I liked and it come out great. Spray painting is a hobby.
The rear suspension is standard with adjusters fitted to the standard shock, it’s not air bagged at this stage, but that is something I’d like to do in the future, fit some Air Ride suspension to make it a bit more manageable and not wear out the fishtails. I also lowered the front 1” to bring the look down a bit and fitted Performance Machine brake calipers.
The seats on both bikes were custom upholstered by Tigerhawk in Warwick and it’s fitted with the old style nostalgia grips and standard switchgear to suit the Vicla look.”
“So, what attracted you to this style of motorcycle?” I asked.
“We both like the look” they answered simultaneously. “We came from cars and hot rods and old school styling and the Vicla look just fits that so well.”
“Any other plans for the bike” was the obvious question.
“Chrome switchgear, Air Ride suspension and I’ll look at doing something in a gold or silver leaf with the paint.”
Which lead us to talk about Lyndal’s sweet 500 and she took up the story.
“We originally bought the Heritage as a bike for us both to ride and enjoy, but I just didn’t have the confidence to deal with its weight. So, we kept the 500 which I had bought new in 2015. I loved the look of the Heritage, but it’s just too heavy.
So that’s why we started to work on the 500 and doing some research into making it a Vicla. Can you cholo a Street 500 we asked? And we couldn’t find anyone who had done it previously, anywhere.
So, we decided to start pulling my 500 apart and see what we could come up with and Daniel started on the build.
Daniel took over, “I modified the rear frame, cut the back off it, and put some lowered shocks in it. The rear guard on it is actually the old guard off the Softail, which I chopped and modified to fit. I welded rails onto the fame, similar to a Softail to make it work.
I then modified the seat, made a custom pan to give Lyndal better back support, and took it to Tigerhawk with instructions on how we wanted it to look. And it worked out great.
Then I fitted the old wheels off the Heritage. The biggest issue there is the Street 500 is a cush drive, so I had to modify the pulley to make it a bolt-on style, which is on it now.
Then when it came to the front end, it was all much narrower, including the wheel. But we wanted to run the Softail wheels, so I made custom triple trees for it on our CNC Mill at work and used the standard forks.
So now it’s the same width as a Heritage so I can interchange the wheels. The front guard is off the Softail too and all works great.
I then fabricated the light bar. We also had to move the Speedo, relocated the ignition as well as fitting Heritage risers with the 16” apes – which are modified 1” bars with 7/8” ends to use the standard switchgear and controls.”
“It’s very comfortable.” Lyndal added.
“Suspension wise all we’ve done is lower it a little in the rear. The front is stock as is the motor, apart from the pipes, which I made, because you can’t buy Fishtails for a Street 500 anywhere.
I added some footboards then custom painted it. Lyndal chose the paint colours and scheme and we made the whole bike exactly as she wanted it.
“Any other plans for it?”
“At some stage I’d like Fat Spoked wheels for it too” Lyndal smiles. “Maybe he might get an upgrade on the Heritage and I can get his. Otherwise, I’m just really happy with it.”
“They are good to ride. They are great cruisers, they aren’t the bikes we’d take on an interstate trip, but we just love them as show bike cruisers.”
Which was the perfect time to head out for a photo shoot.
It was great to spend time with this happy couple and the way they play off each other as true motorcycle and Vicla enthusiasts.
Exactly what HEAVY DUTY likes to see.