Sunday Dress Slim – a noble “distinguished” Softail Slim FLSL 107
Many words have been written already about Rick’s approved “modular” or “kit system” for creating outstanding custombikes, but as much as the term “kit” is true, it may sound a little like a downgrade of the inherent craftsmanship and individuality of Rick’s unique and often built-to-order parts in each individual custom built at the Baden-Baden workshops. Genuine high-class metalwork and extensive labor are the formula for Rick’s “Heavy Metal” components, in this creation from a solid metal-made front fender over an elaborate fuel tank extension back to the massive tailends that easily support rider and passenger weight while offering short-cut elegance. There are countless examples of the excellent combination options of Rick’s Motorcycles parts – but this project by Rick’s certainly represents a class its own: Not just by the very effective choice and combination of its individual components. A Softail “Slim” in a “Sunday suit”, a subtle and decent color combination, super-clean finish, in one word: a true eye-catcher!
The “Softail Slim” was already “customizers favorite” in Twin Cam years, a fact that has not changed with the “Milwaukee Eight” powered version 2018-up. However, the FLSL was already discontinued for the US market in 2022 – in Europe the very popular model was still available in model year 2022. At Harley-Davidson Baden-Baden for example. Originally designed as a “Factory Bobber”, the Rick’s team creates “rolling works of art” from the basic “Slim” model, which in stock actually rolls out on 16 incher wheels. And the customizing can go any many different directions! With the chosen Rick’s Design Wheels, wheel size is increased to 18 inches, front and rear – but the fat 300 Metzeler rear size makes just as much of a difference as Rick’s One-Piece Cast Wheels in “Seven Sins” design. They make you forget the classic spoke stock wheels quickly.
That such a noble looking and at the same time radical custom job today can be performed without any interventions into the main frame structure and/or engine/drive train/transmission is thanks to Rick’s Motorcycles, which have developed the necessary components for this conversions for years – and adapted these exclusive parts to match the ever-present Harley model changes and upgrades. The sophisticated “Fat Ass” Swingarm Kit by Rick’s is available for many Harley-Davidson models – and its advantages are clearly present on this bike: Unrestricted view onto the design wheel mounted to the rear. The complete brake system is moved “Drive Side” and behind the drive pulley. All parts machined in “Seven Sins” design, of course. With the sophisticated Fat Ass swingarm system, even the fattest rear wheel runs precisely centered in the chassis, the power transmission offset is performed by a jackshaft near the swingarm pivot point, a construction detail which also relieves the now two drive belts of tensile forces during suspension operation. The swingarm kit is also available from Rick’s for the “narrow” frame of the “Slim” and “Softail Standard” – engine, drivetrain and frame stay stock.
The clean “Fat Boy” style fork – ancestor is the 1949 Panhead “Hydra Glide” – takes the upgrade from 16 to 18 inch front wheel with ease: with a tight fitting Rick’s front fender. The visually perfectly matching 13” brake disc retains its stock calipers thanks to Rick’s adapters. If you think the classic “Fat Boy” headlight is set too high in the photos, you’ve forgotten one crucial factor: When riding, the installed Air Suspension lobs the chassis to impressive ground clearance for riding – then the headlight points exactly where the light is needed. For riding. For the photos, of course, the bike is parked in the lowest position. Compressor and air suspension shock are cleverly hidden, so this detail is often overlooked.
Numerous Rick’s Customparts complement the “noble” look: Grips, “porthole” style cover, offset license plate and the already established Kellermann “Attos” with almost invisible LED signal lights. The “Good Guys II” air filter is also available with the matching “Seven Sins” cover – with the installed Vance & Hines “Short Cut” system, the rear wheel on the right remains completely free. The “Sunday suit” paintjob in black and gray with white trim stripes and its own HD brand lettering adds to the elegance – numerous parts on this exclusive ride are coated in glossy black. The elegant “Sunday dress” style draws both from the minimalism of the paintwork and through its quality: if you look closer on the details, you can see the repeating “theme” spread out on tank, front fender, tail section and even oil tank. Not too much, but not too decent either. A touch of “retro” style is added by the stock Harley floorboards: in this case, a good choice and perfectly in harmony with the theme. With this bike you can leave an impression not only at the “Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride” – the elegance is already inherent in the design and craftsmanship – visible and even tangible in the images! A true Rick’s Motorcycles custom masterpiece.