Pilgrimage to Davidson Cottage in memory of biker

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The family of a biker who sadly died before he could see his custom-made motorbike finished brought the machine to the Angus birthplace of Harley-Davidson.

Family and friends of Tarves man Mike Davidson, who passed away at the age of 62, brought the bike to the Davidson Cottage at Netherton, near Brechin, in his memory.

Alexander and Margaret Davidson, along with their six children, lived in the cottage until 1857 when they moved to Wisconsin, USA.

Three of their grandchildren - Arthur, Walter and Willia - went on to co-found the Harley-Davidson company in 1903 with Englishman Bill Harley.

The cottage has been restored to honour the Davidson family and is a pilgrimage site for Harley-Davidson riders.

Mike, son of Pearl Davidson and the late Jonathon (Tondy) Davidson, owned a motorbike since the age of 17 and was always a keen rider and member of various biker groups.

His sister, Yvonne Rennie, said: “Mike always dreamed of owning a Harley-Davidson and bought a black / dark Iron Sportster bike in 2012.

“In 2014 he was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer which he bravely battled, even taking part in clinical drugs trials to help other people with the disease because that was the kind of man Mike was. He was so kind and always helping others.

“In August 2015, Mike was given a short time to live and discussed his dream of customising and converting his Harley-Davidson with his close family members.

“Mike then added this task to his bucket list and, with the help of his close family, the search was on to find someone to complete the work in the short time left.”

Mike already had a design for the bike and his search took him to see Gus at Muddy Beach Customs, Bo’ness.

Gus found Harley-Davidson mechanic Colin Rutherford, from House of Custom in Clydebank, and Mike’s bike was then transported from Aberdeenshire and his dream became a reality.

Yvonne added: “Sadly Mike’s condition became weaker and he was admitted to Peterhead Hospital. Every day, Gus and Colin sent photos and updates via Mike’s close family of the Davidson Legacy Bike progress and he was delighted with the work.

“House of Custom kindly added extras to the bike from their own and customers’ donations and Gus worked often into the small hours and holidays to complete the bike in an amazing 15 days from start to finish.”

Sadly, Mike passed away just before the bike was completed, but his ‘Davidson Legacy Bike’ was pride of place at his funeral. As per his wishes, the bike will remain within his close family.