Markos Rivas is in the business of making others comfortable. Whether it’s following through on a requested wake-up call, or catering to high-profile clientele, Markos is no stranger to service. Being in the hospitality game as a manager for Holiday Inn near the Miami Airport has taught Markos one thing: he likes to be taken care of too. And by enjoying the finer things in life by way of a custom Harley-Davidson, well, that is definitely something we all can appreciate, right? Which is why customizing his very first Street Glide into a rolling sound machine covered in candy metalflake was in the cards for Markos Rivas.
Though he owned many bikes in his day, he’d never made the jump to a Harley-Davidson bagger … until now. Let’s just say, after diving into the customizing world with both hands and feet, he’s been hooked on personalizing his 2012 Street Glide. After owning metrics, from sport bikes to cruisers, Markos noticed that his riding habits had changed and that he was starting to enjoy longer rides, rather than being propped in the praying mantis position. Markos started placing more emphasis on the comfort of the ride instead breaking speed limit laws, and Harley was always at the top of his list. After a field trip to a Miami Harley dealership, Markos became punch drunk from the rubber, oil, and new part smells wafting toward his senses. “I was totally defenseless!” Markos says. “The red Street Glide caught my eye, and after a testride it was a done deal.”
After some getting-to-know-each-other-better time, Markos became more interested in the custom scene happening in baggerland. Living in Homestead, Florida, and on his way to work, Markos had seen many custom baggers heading toward Key West for a Poker Run one weekend. One of the bikes in the pack happened to sparkle bright with a candy red paintjob. Of course Markos envisioned his Glide with a similar sheen. The lines of the H-D baggers, in their classy yet sexy elegance, were the perfect platform in Markos’ eyes to start a custom project. “I knew that I wanted to experience what that rider was feeling that day and I have been working toward creating that experience ever since,” Markos recalls.
Markos took the Glide to Unique Customs Miami to transform the stocker into the candy custom featured here. Being that music makes up a large part of Markos’ identity, it was decided that sound would take hold as the theme of this project. The saddlebag lids were stuffed with four MMATS Pro Audio Speakers (two in each bag), and an MMATS amp to give the speakers the ultimate oomph they deserved. “I get a lot of compliments on the sound system,” Markos says. “The speaker lids do add a custom touch that you don’t see every day.”
Unique tried to match the factory paint, but after many attempts realized that the paint being used to match looked a helluva lot better than stock, so it was decided the whole bike would be painted in the unique metallic red color with a touch of burgundy, which really glistens when the sun pokes through the clouds.
Being a newer Harley rider, ripping apart the stock mill to do a full-blown engine rebuild would be set aside until Markos’ next project; however, a set of Rinehart True Duals with a Screamin’ Eagle air cleaner gave the stock 103ci Twin Cam a much-needed attitude adjustment in the looks, power, and sound departments. The 103 definitely ain’t no slouch though. “The addition of the Arlen Ness Flush Tag was a nightmare to make fit on the custom fender and the exhaust tips needed to come out with a tight fit from the back, but Eddie from Unique spent hours working it out and he did an excellent job,” Markos remembers. Also added to the Unique-built bagger was the DNA Specialty 21-inch FatSpoke front wheel packaged tightly in the Yaffe front fender.
Markos is thinking about taking the plunge and adding a 26-inch front wheel along with some other custom items. “The custom options are endless and I am only in the beginning stages. Some airbrush is also in the plans to offset the red on the bike.” Send us some pics of version two when it’s done!