Tamworth Trike Words & Pics Doc Robinson
Tamworth is a country town of some 48,000 people in the Australian state of New South Wales. And it is a 220 mile ride from Tamworth to Somersby on the NSW Central Coast, but as a wise man once said, “If you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door”. Well maybe not the world, but certainly enough customers impressed with your first class fabrication and mechanical work to keep you busy.
One of those customers is the owner of this very sweet trike, Kerry ‘Chic’ Geerligs, and to say that she is rapt in the work performed by Bub’s Customs of Somersby would be a serious understatement. Now given how much women like to talk, I’ll let Chic tell part of the story - but not all of it - as I had to tell her to put a lid on it after a couple of hours of non-stop gabbing.
“Being a pillion for nearly twenty years as well as having owned four bikes and mainly letting them sit in the shed, to my hubby Gerry’s disgust, I decided that it was a trike I really wanted. Finally my girl came to me via an advertisement for a 1992 Fat Boy trike, dark blue in colour. She looked great in the pics so down to Bungendore NSW we went. And on a zero degree day Gerry took her for a spin and came back with a look on his face that clearly said, “OMG what is she doing?”
Well we bought her anyway and from my very first ride I was rapt. All I wanted to do was ride. I couldn’t believe the freedom that I felt being in control of such a great machine. It was amazing! She had 42,000 miles on her then, but in the eighteen months since I’ve added another 7000 miles.
I took her to Queensland a few times and she loved the freeways and the corners that are smooth, but got a tad testy in the rough stuff, but still good fun. However, with my hubby Gerry belting along on his 2009 Fat Bob she was finding it a bit hard so it was time for a complete rebuild.
It was time to find someone who knew trikes and how to rebuild them and Bub’s Customs (www.bubscustoms.com.au) totally fitted the bill. Danny and the boys at Bub’s began the transformation by totally stripping her down to her bare frame and then assessing exactly what needed to be done.
The frame was tidied up, the frame rails straightened, the diff reconditioned and the old electric reverse gear replaced with a new Champion unit. The swingarm was sent off for chroming, along with the new exhaust turnouts Jeremy had made for her and, given that having a boot comes in really handy when you’re travelling, we didn’t want to take it off so the boys cleaned it up and polished the stainless fuel tank.
The chromed FL front end was a great find by the boys and the Viper purple paint is the perfect colour for her but at her core is the new S&S 96 cube motor that was transplanted into her and which has given her a lot more get up and go. And Danny tells me that being only a new motor she is going to get better and better as the kilometres pile up. Bub’s also fitted a new 5-speed transmission although they had considered a 6-speed before finding out that they couldn’t get a reverse to fit.
The wide western bars are great for putting her into the tight corners and are very comfy too. The roads are not real good around our area and, in fact, are pretty rough but with the rebuild hubby can no longer shake me off, even on the hills. Yes, I still need my wits about me but now I can relax and enjoy the riding a lot more. I was putting about a thousand kilometres a month on her before the rebuild but will be putting a lot more on her now.”
People sometimes ask Chic about the number plate and her reply is always, “What other number plate would you expect to see on a chick’s trike painted purple and whose nickname is Chic?”
Hey it works for me. And so does this very sweet trike that in my opinion is a cut above many other Harley-Davidson based trikes out there. It is superbly proportioned and exquisitely detailed. Front to back, side to side and even underneath there are no rough edges, no unfinished bits or pieces; it is a vehicle that could take pride of place in a Concours d'Elegance anywhere.
Silver and purple always complement each other and this beautiful three-wheeler is a perfect example of that with the highly polished S&S powerplant being the jewel in the crown and complemented by that super shiny stainless steel boot lid. A boot, I am told, that will hold two cartons. Way to go Chic! You can be my run truck any time.
And just in case any readers out there are sceptical about Chic’s ability to keep up with Gerry on his Fat Bob I can tell you from first hand experience that she flies along on this thing. I learned this when following her out to the site where I shot the trike. Slow down for roundabouts? Nah, not Chic, with those wide Burleigh bars for leverage she rips around them very briskly indeed. “Very briskly” of course being code for “I could hardly keep up”.
Now Bub’s Customs have done a first rate job on Chic’s trike and should be commended for it. Finally, as always, the female gets in the last word. Chic says, “I would like to thank Jeremy for his great artistry and forethought and Danny for helping sort things out and keeping us up to date with it all. You guys are great and Scotty is also”.
Pistons: forged flat top
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Cam: S&S 585
Rockers: S&S forged
Valve springs: S&S Sidewinder
Oil pump: S&S
Ignition: Super Stock
Carburetion: S&S Shorty E
Fuel: 98 octane
Air cleaner: S&S
Exhaust: Vance & Hines Big radius/turnouts by Bubs Customs
Type: H-D polished
Number of gears: 5
Gearchange/forward controls: Heel and toe with floorboards
Primary drive: Chain
Rear Drive: Chain
Other modification: Champion Trikes Reverse Gear
Modifications: Trike rear end fitted in 1993
Seat: H-D/Dave at Bad Arse
Front: H-D FL chromed front end/steering damper
Triple Trees: H-D FL
Rear: Fournales fitted
Handlebars: Burleigh 1-1/4" Wide Western
Grips/levers: PM grips/H-D levers
Risers: H-D/pull backs
Master cylinder: Late model H-D
Switchgear: Late model H-D
Gear change: Chicster shifter rod
Footpegs/forward controls: H-D
Rear brake master cylinder: H-D
Speedo/tacho/oil pressure: Late model digital speedo
Taillight: Cats eye LED
Any other modifications: Wind Vest screen
Front guard: H-D
Rear guard: Custom Fabricated
Fuel tank: H-D
Oil tank: Zodiac chrome horseshoe
Any other modifications: Fitted with an extra 20 litre Stainless drop fuel tank
Colour: Viper Purple