The Australian Connection standing in the
Bikernet Headquarters shop.
Around mid June Kerry and myself were organizing our trip
to Sturgis, when Bandit contacted me an asked how would I like
to ride the Road King to Sturgis. Immediate thoughts were
Wholly Shit, I've read all about the King on Bikernet and watched
the different stages Bandit has put it thru, so I was very familiar
with it, and for Bandit to be asking me was really a big deal,
meaning, I felt honored enough when Bandit invited Kerry and
myself to join them on the ride, let alone ride his bike. So you
probably guessed the answer was a big >>>>>> Yes Sir !!
thank you very much.
For the readers who aren't familiar with the Road King, I'll
enlighten you. It started life as a stock 2003, 100th Anniversary
Bandit said he designed the bike be a big bad assed, blacked out
touring bike with heaps of attitude. Bandit and his crew wanted
to use as many H-D parts as they could to prove you could build
a mean assed bike out of Harley Davidson's catalogue. They
started by blacking out the dash, a set of one inch lowered air
shocks and a detachable back rest along with some neat touring
components. With the help from a dealer for some more
involved tech mods to gain horsepower and some low-down
torque, they came up with a formula by adding performance
cams, Screaming Eagle Heads, air cleaner kit and two into one
pipes powder coated black, giving them 68 horses compared to
60 and torque was 76 pounds with a 6 pound increase. Next
they installed a factory oil cooler which Bandit tested on a run to
Barstow saying how it kept the oil at a very reasonable
temperature which is critical for long term, Twin Cam reliability.
Fast forward to Sturgis, August 2005 and Kerry, my
wonderful bride, and myself arriving at the Bikernet
Headquarters being greeted by Bandit and the lovely Nyla. We
were enjoying a beer while having a grand tour of their
unbelievable home when Bandit said, “Get ya helmet Goddamit,
we're going for a ride.”
It's hard to explain the excitement that was welling up
inside of me, especially when I first laid eyes on Bandit’s bare
boned, mean as shit Shovel, I swear it had a look like,
let’s go, I'm ready. And right beside it sat the Road King
It definitely looked like it
was ready to do some very serious miles, man. It looked
beautiful, all blacked out like a road warrior ready for action,
16-inch apes reaching for the sky, a very comfortable looking
seat and a detachable back rest for Kerry. I gotta tell you these
two bikes were like chalk and cheese, the Road King
had all the creature comforts and Bandit’s Sturgis Shovel had
absolutely nothing, except
a little back fender and a sprung seat, Shit !!! and he's
riding it to Sturgis, tough sonofabitch, I thought to myself.
Bandit trying to fondle my wife in Arizona.
Just as the sun was setting over Long Beach we fired those
puppies up and peeled out of the Bikernet Headquarters like two
crazed maniacs going for their first ride after a long cold winter,
( sound familiar Bandit ). Seriously thou, we cruised around Long
Beach taking in the sights and both of us getting used to our
rides. We both had grins from ear to ear, especially when we
twisted the wick on these babies, I was blown away, the King
with it's sheer size and weight, had some serious acceleration,
man. I was impressed plus having a lot of fun and Bandit’s
shovel went like a rocket, with it's power-to-weight making it
This was going to be my 4th trip to Sturgis (beginning in
Australia) and I knew 100 percent this trip was going to be very
special, I was feeling right at home on the Road King,
everything was perfect except for the bloody windscreen, I think
it was set up for Bandits 6' 4'' frame and I could not get used to
it, but Harley had it covered. Two seconds and it was off, no
Famous Bandit “Map Check” stop.
I would love to tell you about our trip to Sturgis, but it's
been covered by Bandit and Johnny Humble, the young gun
from Texas, both really great stories and you can still
check them out by going to The Events Coverage in Bikernets
That's Charlie out front riding a 124-inch Evo
a sidecar. In back from left to right is Glen, the author, Chris
Tronolone, Johnny No-Notes and Bandit.
It's hard to put into words, the true feeling of this road trip
with such great company, I will say that we were very privileged
to get to ride with them, even thou we live on the other side of
the world, I know that Kerry and myself have forged life-time
friendships and hopefully will get to do it again some day.
Glenn and the famous Queen Joerline.
I have been privileged to ride a lot of bikes in my time and I
must say the Road King was bloody brillante, we
covered 4000 miles all up, came across all types of weather (as
we all do) including high altitudes where the King never missed
a beat with it's superb fuel injection and very smooth motor.
Seating was great, and I just loved the apes. Not only do they
look really cool with an attitude, they were really comfortable.
There’s nothing like apes, even for Glenn who is
I gotta tell ya, nothing like doing big miles across your beautiful
country and checking out the scenery thru a pair of 16-inch
apes Awesome. Not forgetting the handling was unbelievable,
even two up and loaded made no difference.
I will post some photos of our trip that you haven't seen and
would like to do a follow up of our trip from where Kerry and
myself parted company from the rest of the crew, returning to
L.A. via Denver, Santa Fe, Sedona and Vegas.
I would like finish up by thanking Bandit and Nyla for their
friendship, hospitality and giving us such a great time, not
forgetting the use of their Road King.
Nyla and her lovely daughter Karley. They
managed the back-up truck.
Okay guys thats a wrap, hope you like it.