A Harley-Davidson Road King Classic worth showing off
Going old school for show bike competition
Some may think it weird to mount tall handlebars on a tourer like the Harley-Davidson Road King Classic.
But that was exactly what Mr Deep Singh did when he entered his Chicano-style Road King for a show bike competition at last month's Wicked Wallop.
As it turned out, it was the right decision.
The judges awarded him five trophies, among them for Best Show Shine, Best Paint and Best of Show.
Said the 40-year-old owner of a security company: "When I was called to the stage to receive my first trophy, I was happy and satisfied. I didn't expect to go up the stage four other times that evening. It was a shock and (a) shiok feeling."
The competition held at Carros Centre in Kranji had more than 30 categories, including some for cars. In all, there were 89 entries, said Wicked Wallop organiser Jap Loh.
Mr Singh said he was inspired by the US TV series Mayans M.C., where Harley-Davidson motorcycles are featured in the Chicano style.
To replicate the look, he worked with custom bike builder Matthew Lim of Vicious Cycles as well as Indonesian master painter Yosafat Anggoro, better known as Yoes from Brushead Tattoo in Solo.
Together, they embarked on a five-month project to transform the bike into one flashy, chromed-out ride.
Fishtail exhaust ends and ape hanger handlebars were ordered, as well as a 21-inch, 50-spoke front rim that defines the Chicano look. Tucked away under the motorcycle is an air suspension system, but proudly visible are original Harley-Davidson chrome components.
Mr Lim, 40, said: "While Harley and the local bike scene have moved away from chrome by using matte colours, we're hoping to bring chrome back. Chrome is classic, but requires a lot of maintenance."
At the same time, the $42,000 Road King, bought two years ago, was given a paintwork which rivalled its chrome bling.
Mr Singh had invited Mr Yosafat for a two-week stay in Singapore to work on the 1,590cc Harley. With the paint concept agreed upon, Mr Yosafat began his work of putting six different shades of red and silver flakes onto the fuel tank and fenders.
There are 10 layers of lacquer. The paint job went through a tedious process of outlining and leafing, sanding, buffing and high-speed curing.
"The elaborate paintwork was not as simple as it looks," said Mr Singh. "All the paints and even the top-mounted bottle for the air gun had to be bought from overseas."
A week before the competition, Mr Yosafat came back to Singapore to re-touch his work alongside a professional motorcycle groomer.
All the effort - not to mention the additional $18,000 worth of parts and work done - paid off.
Mr Singh knows he's holding on to a winner as he was made an offer for his motorcycle at Wicked Wallop. But he said: "I'm not selling it because I still want to enjoy my motorcycle."