Within the past few years we have seen the tire craze go from really wide rear wheels to very tall front wheels, especially on baggers. This Softail bagger built by Richard Balicoco of Richard Balicoco Designs (RBD) is one fine example.
Richard, a carpenter by trade, builds bikes in his spare time out of his home. His shop operates as a family business since his only help comes from his wife, Crystal, and their two young sons, Nick and Alex.
Looking at this bike you would never guess that it was once just a bone-stock Softail Standard, but that’s exactly how its life began when Richard first acquired it from a friend who was moving to the mainland. Toward the end of last year, Richard decided to redo the Sofail as his personal bike and debut it at the Ride for the Fallen charity ride, which honors law enforcement officers that have been killed in the line of duty.
Having already worked on a few Softails in the past, Richard pretty much knew exactly what he was going to do to his bike. It would have to have a big 26-inch front wheel and tire, pretty much a standard for all the bikes Richard builds. He also wanted to turn it into a bagger because he loves the look of Street Glides, but with times being as hard as they are, he decided to make something similar to an FLHX showing how to transform a plain Softail Standard into a really cool bagger.
For his tall front rim, Richard went with a 26-inch SMT Machining Simply Sinister forged billet wheel, which was bolted up to a Paughco Springer frontend. When it was time for the front fairing, Richard says that he put in a lot of hours heavily modifying the Harley-Davidson Street Glide fairing. He said that he wanted it to have a really low, slammed Hot Rod look, yet still be functional. It turned out being the most challenging and time-consuming part of the build for him. To make the fairing even more trick, Richard shaved the headlight and mounted two smaller spot lamps hanging from the bottom of the fairing to take its place. Completing the bagger transformation is a set of stretched Sinister saddlebags. Other than dressing it up, Richard pretty much kept the engine stock. One nice little modification he did though was to move the coil to the stock horn location, an idea Richard says he got from a Deluxe that I did a few years ago. Needless to say, I was very flattered when he pointed that out to me—it’s probably the best part of the whole bike …
With the mockup completed, it was then time for the paint. As usual, Richard left the choice of color up to Crystal. She chose a black base with gold stripes and accents. Everything needing to be sprayed was then handed off to Richard’s trusted painter, Jason Ko. When Jason returned with the finished pieces, Richard says that the black and gold colors reminded him of the New Orleans Saints football uniform, hence the naming of the bike, “The Saint.” With the help of Crystal, Nick, and Alex, the Balicoco clan finished up the final assembly. Once completed, Richard then called Stripes & Things to do some gold pinstriping.
Richard finished his bike just in time for the Ride for the Fallen run, and as you would expect, the bike had a really good response by everyone there. In fact, a few people even had a hard time believing that it was actually a Softail.
But as is often the case when a builder does a bike for himself, it didn’t stay his for very long. Before the bike was even shot for this feature, it was bought by Bong Padilla, a very well-known tattoo artist and a car and motorcycle enthusiast in Hawaii. Bong was one of the many who were impressed with what Richard debuted at the event, so much so that he had to have it!
|Bike Owner||Bong Padilla|
|Shop Name||Balicoco Motorworks|
|Shop Phone||(808) 306-0401|
|Build Time||Five months|
|Manufacturer Front||Paughco Springer|
|Manufacturer Rear||Shotgun Shocks|
|Special Features||Air Ride|
|Wheels, Tires, and Brakes|
|Manufacturer Front-Type||SMT Sinister|
|Wheel Height-Width||26x3.75 inches|
|Graphics||Stripes and Things|
|Fairing/Windscreen||H-D Street Glide Fairing/Red|
|Gas Tank/Cap||Low Profile|