I Love Olive Juice

Written by  Story By Johnny Pants Photos By Jack “Only In My Martini” Cofano Friday, 25 August 2017 15:10
Published in Bobbers
   You know you learn something everyday whether you want to or not. Today, surprisingly, it was something I guess I should have known considering it involves adult beverages. I enjoy a good James Bond martini from time to time and occasionally I’ll ask for it “dirty” which just means adding a bit of olive juice to the mix for a different flavor. I never thought about it much as I just pour some straight out of the jar the olives came in. But, here’s where it gets tricky, in a bar, they have bottles of just olive juice minus the olives.


   It never dawned on me that such a product was for sale, but I guess a highfalutin watering hole would never be caught pouring off the liquid out of a jar. Olive juice in a bottle, ain’t America great? But that’s not all I learned about olive juice. I also learned it was a color especially for hip clothing. The very most important thing I learned about olive juice today is I’m completely in love with this absolutely stunning Harley-Davidson Softail called Olive Juice. This build just knocks me out like five or six dirty martinis in a row. 

  To no one’s surprise, this is one more super imaginative Smoke Out ride that really gets ridden and to reinforce that, it’s got a current Florida plate on it. The builder more than put their refreshingly unique stank on a late model Softail that’s a true head-turner in a bike made for street use as well as holding it’s own at any show. Some bikes just have “the look” regardless of how much money was spent simply because the builder had a vision of something that’s stand-alone proud while still retaining the everyday ability to hop on and ride to a store for, say, more olive juice. 

   No cutting or hacking was involved prepping the Softail frame and that’s cool as there’s no sense trying to modify it as stock (but lowered) is just fine as is. Up front, though, there’s a new sheriff in town as the hydraulic fork has given way to a custom girder that looks pretty damn good to me. I thought this might have been a Bad Land girder as they’re pretty trick stuff or maybe a Relic from Voodoo Vintage, but I don’t think so. Easily could be a one-off by the builder, but all I know is that it looks damn good and adds just the right amount of vintage to a vintage influenced build. All I know is that any girder benefits like not diving under hard braking is not going to happen anyway as there’s no front brake. 

   Rolling stock consists of a 23-inch laced spool wheel up front wearing a knobby tire for a look that screams vintage. It looks like it would be perfect for an old Harley when roads didn’t really exist. The rear wheel is a stocker with the stock caliper working a custom rotor more in tune with the spoked wheel. A classic square-tread tire just looks right and somehow goes well with the knobby front. 

   What is unusual is how the rear brake is worked by the quite high mid-mount foot controls that are unusual to say the least. Check out the shifter side too. Those aren’t passenger pegs either, but an alternate foot position for the rider. Those lovely mini-apes appear to be control free but I don’t think that’s the case here. An internal throttle on the right works the engine while another internal throttle on the left works the clutch. Very unusual stuff, but apparently that’s the way the builder wanted it so that’s what it got. 

     The black and chrome Twin Cam is sitting pretty while wearing a pair of Barnett H-D GM Mark Barnett’s favorite aftermarket bits, Panhead-style valve covers, to give an Old School vibe to a modern power plant. The small louvered chrome air cleaner for the EFI system looks like it was once a part of a tri-carb set-up off a hot-rodded 327 Chevy small block. Oh those were handsome little devils. The aggressive looking DEI Titanium wrapped headers make sure you hit every combustion note the engine makes. I’m sure it’s incredibly audible, maybe too much, but I bet it does sound good going through the gears. The wet primary was exchanged for a bad boy open belt primary with an important message on it. All in all, the engine’s sitting pretty cool as far as looks, power, sound and reliability. 

   But, the biggest piece of nostalgia on board has got to be that lever arm hanging off the right side of the transmission. Yes, it’s kick starter of all things and I’m pretty sure those are on the motorcycle endangered species list of parts. That big rubber pedal on the kicker makes you wonder what engine vintage this is before you’ve really checked it out. To me at least, if a bike’s got a kicker, it’s one of the first pieces of equipment I notice for some reason. Don’t know if it’s used or not, but it sure looks the part. 

   Bodywork is about as nice as one could hope for with a tank that’s small and dropped down low for a look more old bike than new. The old horseshoe oil tank was slimmed up considerably to allow space for the master cylinder for the rear disc brake to be mounted right underneath it. Again, unusual stuff, but it looks like that’s what those high mid-mounts require. The tight-fitting rear fender with that tiny molded-n taillight is just a peach with the cleanest and simplest fender mounts possible. No need to go curlicue fancy just for the hell of showing off, the design focus of the build came first and benefits from good taste.

    The thing that really makes this build come together is the paint work which is so nostalgic looking I can’t stand it. Even though it makes me think 1928 Harley JD, it’s not a copy cat paintjob. It’s a reinterpreted design using familiar colors from the vintage Harley catalogs of color. Who knew that the paint on an old JD would be called olive juice today? Painting the whole bike olive juice including the frame, swingarm and fork brings it all together with a flair for the past. It’s just a looker that I can’t stop looking at.

    So whoever you are that built this gorgeous homage to Harley-Davidson’s illustrious past we still worship today, I gotta tip my proverbial hat to you for creating such a beautiful machine and thank you for teaching me all about olive juice too.

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