Breakout “like a prayer”
It doesn’t take much to create a great custom bike from a Harley-Davidson Breakout, and at Rick’s they can, of course, do a big customizing job, which they have proven many times over. But here it was a case of trying out the parts from their own production, with an impressive result, because it gives the bike a more individual look with relatively little effort.
Rick’s Motorcycles is not only a Harley-Davidson dealer for the Baden-Baden region, but also a manufacturer of custom parts, which are made there in small series production. As such the company has long made a name for itself, which stands for a perfect fit and timeless design. For the Harley-Davidson Softails from 2018 Rick’s Motorcycles has already developed numerous parts, which can be judged best when mounted on the bike. Only when all parts and components fit well together the guys at Rick’s will be happy, and it is worth taking a closer look at this Breakout. Did we mention that an air filter from Rick’s program is also being used? And did we say that these are now also offered with TÜV for the 2018 models? And even with Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust systems these filters are legal on the road, which applies to all Rick’s design air filters. Rick’s tried and tested side licence plate holders were among the first parts which were available shortly after the presentation of the new Softails. But also have a closer look at the belt cover, which is made by Rick’s in many designs and surfaces and can be considered to be the icing on the cake! Text: Peter Schulz Photos: Peter Schulz
It is well known that Rick’s has its own metal shop in which highly qualified craftsmen shape metal parts every day. But so that the parts for Rick’s production can be made to perfection in small series, a lot of preparation work is necessary, and a big part of the work starts at Rick’s before anybody picks up his tools. The first Milwaukee-Eight Softails arrived in Baden-Baden in 2017, and firstly all models were disassembled down to the last screw.
Layer for layer and part for part an elaborate 3-D scan was made with which the computers could be fed. In this way every desired part can be created relatively easy on the computer to ensure that afterwards a maximum fit can be achieved. In addition, a virtual, three-dimensional custom bike is created. Every new build part can therefore be viewed individually or as part of the bike, so perfection starts at Rick’s long before the production stage.
Even the fenders, which are all mostly elaborately handmade at Rick’s, were constructed on the computer. All radii, angles and measurements were set up before, and not only that, even welding templates and auxiliary tools could be designed and made beforehand. At first it takes a long time until the first part for sale is ready, but this consequent approach pays off well in the long run. The rear fender is almost a bolt-on part, and even seeing the blank surfaces can bring tears to the eyes of every painter. Matching seat base plate ready for covering and mounting kit are supplied.
On the front fender a few tricks were applied. Here the stock side holders are being used and a Rick’s steel fender welded on so that it closely hovers above the tire, but it is only a matter of time until also for this a completely in-house made part will be available.
Due to the mechanical requirements the foot controls were especially difficult to develop. Rick’s Motorcycles now offers these in various styles and designs, for example controls with OE position, plus 2 inches, or even plus 4 inches for longer legs, and black, shiny surfaces or blank polished areas between the here used round controls with rubber O-rings and grooved surfaces.
But we should have a look at the front end again. When they come out of the factory, the 2018 Breakout models have an acceptable headlight, but the back of this lighting unit lacks something. Rick’s has therefore developed a GFK lamp mask with which the unsightly back can easily be covered. Above this sits the handlebar, which is also a Rick’s part. It was actually specially developed for the Road Glide and Road King models and later thought that the tubing would also look good on the new Breakout. With a few, simple steps the part is mounted, and the grips sit 300 mm higher. The grips are, of course, also made by Rick’s Motorcycles and are black end pieces, which are also available in a polished version and supplied with rubberized grip surfaces. It goes without saying, that Rick’s adjustable clutch and brake levers were also used here.
Did we mention that an air filter from Rick’s program is also being used? And did we say that these are now also offered with TÜV for the 2018 models? And even with Dr. Jekill & Mr. Hyde exhaust systems these filters are legal on the road, which applies to all Rick’s design air filters.
Rick’s tried and tested side licence plate holders were among the first parts which were available shortly after the presentation of the new Softails. But also have a closer look at the belt cover, which is made by Rick’s in many designs and surfaces and can be considered to be the icing on the cake!
Text: Peter Schulz
Photos: Peter Schulz