Let’s play a guessing game, shall we? Do you know which film made by George Miller, the director of the four Mad Max films – Mad Max, The Road Warrior, Beyond Thunderdome, and Fury Road – is his most successful? Bet you can’t guess … are you ready for the answer? Really ready? Okay, here it comes – Happy Feet.

Words: Nik
Pics: Game Over Cycles

Yep, that’s right, the director of what are widely regarded as two of the greatest action films of all time (The Road Warrior and Fury Road) also made an animated kids’ film about singing and dancing penguins, and more people’ve been to see it than any other he’s made. Doesn’t seem right, does it? As the old saying goes, there’s nowt so queer as folk…

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When GOC Harley-Davidson Rzeszów, the largest Harley-Davidson dealership in Central-Eastern Europe, decided to build a bike to enter the 2018 H-D Battle of the Kings custom competition that’s run between Harley dealers all over Europe (and possibly the world too, I couldn’t be arsed to check), they decided that (a) they wanted to use one of the new for 2018 114 cubic inch (1868cc) Fat Bobs (as tested in the mag a couple o’ three issues ago), and (b) they were going to use Fury Road as their inspiration, and build an aggressive, fast motorcycle that could cope with every terrain, and ride both on and off road. And the combination of the base model name and the movie title gave birth to the vehicle’s name – Fat Max.

They passed it over to Game Over Cycles, their custom bike building arm, and Chris Bienkiewicz from GOC says: “In the Mad Max series the vehicles were built from parts that could be found in the post-apocalyptic world, in other words from scrap metal. Fat Max is the embodiment of dirt, chaos and aggression characteristic of the climate of the Mad Max films, while maintaining the reliable functionality of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. In construction it’s manifested by the use of new parts that’ve been selected or modified in such a way as to emphasise the aggressive nature of the vehicle yet, at the same time, be fully functional.

“The Fat Bob in its basic version is a pugnacious and very dynamic motorcycle, and the customisation based on elements taken from the Mad Max film series intensifies both its appearance and functionality. Basing it on the main motive of the films, the war for life and death, the constructors came up with not only a motorcycle that could be created in the post-apocalypse world, but also one which would allow its rider to survive in it. In a lonely fight, the hero escapes or chases, and his only companion is death breathing down his neck. Therefore, the modifications were based on elements that’d protect the body of the rider, and which also give the machine significant power and agility. Additional attractions to the design are styling cues taken from the ‘scrounge it’ world of the future (brass and copper parts), and quotes from the Mad Max films as elements of the paint.

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“The most obvious is the armoured windshield, which can be raised or lowered depending on conditions, and which protects against wind and flying objects, and the hand-guards, with the indicators mounted in them, that protect the rider’s hands and the levers/controls from the cold (it gets very parky at night in yer average desert) and, again, flying objects. There’s also the front plow that covers the front of the frame/engine, and gives the bike a more aggressive look and, at the same time, protects from stones that could fly out from under the front wheel and damage the engine, and on the rear left, the jerry-can converted to a pannier. Elsewhere there are copper and brass components, including the knee panels in the tank, some of which is from the Harley-Davidson Brass Collection, and the de rigeur matt black paint with airbrushing by Moto-Paint. The seat was made in leather to look a little battered and weathered by KM Leather Design, while the engine too has been hopped up with a bunch of Screamin’ Eagle performance parts such as an exhaust system, air-filter and Super Tuner.”

The finished bike, while evoking the spirit of Fury Road, is perhaps a little too clean, a little too pristine, to really fit in with the post-apocalyptic scene that’s sprung up in the wake of the films – events like the Wasteland Weekend and, in the UK, Apocalyptica. I do have a solution to this though; all GOC have to do is lend me the Fat Max for a summer and, I guarantee, it’ll look suitably battered and weatherworn by the time I’ve finished with it… trust me.

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