New Ground Breaking Convertible Bagger By Jeff Nicklus Desperado Motorcycles

During the last 20 years I have seen and admired a few convertible motorcycles, but they were all conceived as concept motorcycles or show bikes. Privileging style over function, none of them were conceived for production, even a limited one, and none were letting you do the conversion yourself in a very short time. The challenge of manufacturing a true dual style and purpose motorcycle in 2 beautiful trims ready and able to endure the longest hauls is not easy task, especially if you want to offer its owner the option of going from one option to the other in just a few minutes, and this without any expertise or special tools…

It took almost 3 years to Jeff Nicklus and his Chief Designer Ken Hill at Desperado Motorcycles to fully research and engineer this limited edition convertible bagger project. Named “The Reckoning”, nothing on this bike (with the exception of engine, 6 speed transmission, tires and some bolts and nuts) existed before this project got started. On one hand The Reckoning represents a full blown custom Bagger that is ready for the open road. On the other hand this bagger motorcycle can be converted in less than 15 minutes into a “One-Off Style” custom bike trim, now ready for a bike night showing or show competition. For many, the best of both worlds in one unit…

Rear bags and fender can be removed by disconnecting the rear wiring harness and by removing 4 under-seat bolts, then just lifting off the rear bags assembly. The new shorter rear fender can then be installed with the same 4 bolts previously removed and just reconnecting the rear wire harness. Likewise, the front fairing can be removed by disconnecting the fairing wiring harness and removing 6 security screws and lifting it off. This is a one person job and can quickly be accomplished in less than 10 minutes. Each motorcycle comes with both the rear bags and the shorter rear fender assemblies sold as standard items.
Specifications: The power plant is the S&S X-Wedge Fuel Injected unit coupled to a Baker 6-Speed Right Side Drive Transmission. A 200mm or 250mm rear tire assembly is available. The bags and rear fender / gas tanks (5.3 gallon capacity) / hidden oil tank (4.8 qts.) / front fender / dash assembly and fairing will all be made of Carbon Fiber. The rear suspension is a load equalizing Mono Coil Over Shock. All lighting is high intensity LED. The instrument cluster is a glass screen with digital Speedo/Tach/Turn Signal Indicators/Neutral Indicator/High Beam Indicator and GPS. The front fairing is equipped with Bose Speakers/ iPod and iPhone Mounting Station and a Bose Stereo that is Sirius Radio Compatible and much more.  Estimated total weight of the bike, wet in full bagger trim is 742 Lbs.

To be used on this model, and not shown in these drawings (will feature them as soon as approved), Desperado Motorcycles is currently awaiting for approval on 3 Patents from the US Patent Office. There will be a limited production of maximum 50 units, 10 of them already ordered by former Nicklus’ clients. For orders placed this month, deliveries are now expected to start in January 2013. For a true convertible rider being 100% custom made with high quality American brands and parts, MSRP is a well worth $49,950.00. Info at 281-259-0550. Jeff Nicklus Desperado Motorcycles or Jeff Nicklus Customs

72 Responses to “New Ground Breaking Convertible Bagger By Jeff Nicklus Desperado Motorcycles”

  1. 1 Carter May 9th, 2012 at 8:21 am

    Wow. Putting the Harley CVO models to shame.

  2. 2 Jason Hallman (Steelchoppin) May 9th, 2012 at 8:22 am

    I do not know Jeff Nicklus but I want to say this: we need manufacturers like him in this business. Whether you respect his designs or no matter how you feel about a store built custom you need to respect anyone that is pushing to bring their product to the market in our American economy and support capitalism. Good luck to Desperado Motorcycles…the designs look class.

  3. 3 Jester May 9th, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Would like to see more of the fairing. Cyril, front view please.

  4. 4 Bernie Ashford May 9th, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Need to see full rear view too. But I like what I see. Bagger chic.

  5. 5 Kemper May 9th, 2012 at 8:34 am

    Rake? 23″ front wheel? Like everything except headlight, too sharp/angular.

  6. 6 Brian May 9th, 2012 at 8:51 am

    Should be called: The Convert

  7. 7 Matt May 9th, 2012 at 8:54 am

    A great looking concept but maybe a few years late?

  8. 8 Maximus May 9th, 2012 at 8:54 am

    Nice lookin bike. Looks a lot like a Big Dog Bulldog Bagger.

  9. 9 BrotherTiberius May 9th, 2012 at 8:58 am

    I like the concept, but I’d also like to see what the faring looks like head on.

    The way it looks from the profile, it makes me think it’s not going to deflect air so much as catch it.

  10. 10 Jeff Talar May 9th, 2012 at 9:01 am

    I am certain there are a lot of people who can still afford a 50K full custom, especially if it’s a rider sold with a manufacturer warranty. 50 K x 50 buyers. 2,5 M of new business. Good deal, Nicklus.

  11. 11 Knucklehead May 9th, 2012 at 9:07 am

    I like the head light myself.

  12. 12 GuitarSlinger May 9th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Looks real good on paper . Fantastic even . Can’t wait to see one in the metal and on the road . If Mr Nicklus can pull this off in reality as well as he’s done in print I’ll guess more than a few will pony up and plunk down their $50K . When you think about it , thats two bikes for your $50K . A bonafide long distance touring M/C and a bar hopper to boot .

    This could be a winner and a trend setter to boot

    ( anyone wanna place odds as to how soon the likes of H-D – Victory and the Japanese will be tossing their own version of this bike , assuming its successful ? I’ll guess at least one will do so even before the juries back in on Nicklus’s bike )

  13. 13 Will May 9th, 2012 at 9:18 am

    Interesting design. Need to see more angle renditions to get the whole picture.

  14. 14 fuji May 9th, 2012 at 9:19 am


    Possibility that the movement to this type bike is re igniting lets hope so.

    Who dictates this more than a buyer.

    looks like a very well thought out proportioned bike bike and 2 for 1

    Good luck Jeff

  15. 15 Eric Maney May 9th, 2012 at 9:22 am

    I agree that it’s probably a winner because anyone trying to look as custom starting from a factory HD bagger will spend a total well above 50 grands. And who doesn’t want to look different from the rest of the bagger crowd? Cyril, show us the completed bike when ready. Success will be in the execution.

  16. 16 Bleeding Ears May 9th, 2012 at 9:23 am

    The styling is so 2002. No front brake, no rear suspension travel. No cornering clearance.
    Not to worry, it’s only a drawing and never going to happen.


  17. 17 Roger May 9th, 2012 at 9:23 am

    The bagger that Big Dog and Victory should have offered…

  18. 18 Drake May 9th, 2012 at 9:25 am

    Looks well thought. Want to see one.

  19. 19 Jones May 9th, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Bleeding Ears. It’s a drawing! I am sure Nicklus will put brakes on this bike. What about adjustable suspension? Whoever you are, jealous? Like it.

  20. 20 Rider2 May 9th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Umm no…. thanks…
    1. it’s not a bagger because of the degree in the rake…
    2. it’s a chopper with bags and a fairing, no matter if you can get them off or not.
    3. Redneck Eng. had a similar concept 3 years ago. Big Dog tried that one as well.

    Nice concept though, even at $50K

  21. 21 Dave Blevins May 9th, 2012 at 10:08 am

    Looks interesting… that appears to be an S&S X-Wedge motor in the sketch, will that be the engine used? Will there be any more detailed info at Desperado Junction at Sturgis this year?
    Hope you sell a bunch of ’em, certainly a better option than those weird looking Victory nightmares.

  22. 22 George Fuentes May 9th, 2012 at 10:12 am

    Is it a custom cruiser turn into a high end bagger, or a custom bagger turned into a high end cruiser? Doesn’t matter. You like or don’t like what you see, both versions. I like.

  23. 23 Insider May 9th, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Ness and Huze could have done this.

  24. 24 Chad May 9th, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Great bike, 2 times.

  25. 25 C JAYE May 9th, 2012 at 10:45 am

    Leave it to the master of engineering to come up with an affordable, street structured, extrememly well-designed bike. All Desperados and Nicklus One-Offs have proven to be ground-breaking and all too often copied bikes – this one will be no different. So looking forward to seeing this one upfront and personal! Nothing like this on the street and nothing like this in the past — sure to be a huge hit with all bike enthusiasts. You duh man!!!

  26. 26 burnout May 9th, 2012 at 11:08 am

    This WILL sell. Good job Big Guy!! peace

  27. 27 The Supreme Team May 9th, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I’m liking this Jeff. Obviously there’s a few folks on here that don’t realize this is an artist’s rendering (gee…no brakes?).

    Though the bike does look similar to a couple models mentioned, it also varies in plenty of its own ways. I do not recall seeing the entire rear fender removed with the bags on those other models…that’s just plain cool.

    Likewise…good point made up there…at $50K you can buy a fully loaded HD and add all the crap onto it you can imagine, or you can get it right off the hit without turning a wrench, with product that is….wait for it…MADE IN AMERICA.

    The first time I met Jeff at Desperado Junction this year, I saw a guy who bought an older used Desperado model come up to Jeff and introduce himself, then ask a few questions about some concerns on the bike. Brought his bike by later with something needing to be adjusted. This is a used bike, bought off another owner, wherein Jeff has no obligations to warranty it, or fix anything. Instead, Jeff had Conrad pull the bike up into the trailer, make the adjustments, let the guy verify everything was good, at which point they shook hands and the guy pulled away.

    When’s the last time Willie G turned a wrench on your bike? If so, did he have to find a set of metric wrenches?

    American parts, product quality, and manufacturer’s integrity…Anybody paying attention here?

  28. 28 Jeff Nicklus May 9th, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    As Cyril says in the write up:

    “To be used on this model, and not shown in these drawings (will feature them as soon as approved), Desperado Motorcycles is currently awaiting for approval on 3 Patents from the US Patent Office.”

    This applies to the front brake system as one item applied for and not shown in the drawing.Yes, it will have brakes.

    Thanks all! I will comment more later.

    Over & Out,


  29. 29 a 1 cycles May 9th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    love it jeff..kinda looks familiar to, good luck with it

  30. 30 Lambo May 9th, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Very well done…..

  31. 31 HMD May 9th, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    Yes, it looks like the redneck bagger…. Here is the dilemma I see with this kind of concept, most folks get baggers for the long haul, who is going to lay down 500 miles a day or even 100 on a bike like that. Having said that…. slick design.. keep thinking forward.

  32. 32 Rinke May 9th, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Well done job. USP is a bagger which looks good also without bags. There is nothing like this so you got 2 bikes for the price of an expensive one. Fair enough.

  33. 33 barney May 9th, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    Yet another paper sketch bike…..join the 500 others. Seen it done better before, ….nor would I buy a bike from Nicklus.

  34. 34 Conrad Nicklus May 9th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    Well, Barney, you wouldn’t be buying one from him, you would be buying one from Desperado. But, bets are, you wouldn’t be buying anything anyways.

    Back to the point, the bike is in the stages of production already and is looking awesome. Several things no one has done but after its release I am betting numerous parts people (all the copy cat baggers boyz that is) will be making knock off versions… Thank God for patents!

  35. 35 Jason Hallman (Steelchoppin) May 9th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Why do you always respond to the haters on here? You should be quietly proud and modest of what you guys are doing. There will always be someone willing to spread hate and venom. Desparado Motorcycles could very well be one of the catalysts that drive our industry back to where it needs to be. Just let the haters hate and keep your head down and work hard. There must be something to what you guys are doing…you are still in business. Good luck.

  36. 36 The Supreme Team May 9th, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    I’m not sure who said it…but I still love to say it….There’s an ASS for every seat!

  37. 37 Steve Carr May 9th, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    Just simply kickin ass and takin names my man!

    Steve Carr

  38. 38 Mike Greenwald May 9th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    Y’all gotta run the bike before the mouth. Jeff Nicklus builds bikes that run. Roll with it or not.

  39. 39 Woody May 9th, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    I like it. A lot of folks like to point out how useless many choppers are for anything but a poker run, so a convertible is a very useful concept. In this price range/trim line it makes a lot of sense, unlike major mfr. “production” bikes that need to sell tens of thousands of units to pay for themselves. Glad to see this coming down the pike.

  40. 40 roscoe May 9th, 2012 at 6:30 pm

    Looks good. I’d love to see the real deal in person. The bags look Victory Vision style..

  41. 41 THOMAS May 9th, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Extremely similar bars on this rendering Patented Vampire handlebars by Vicious Cycle Works are patented by the US Patent Office and owned by Vicious Cycle Works llc. US Reg. Patent # D507
    216S , Nice bike

  42. 42 Badams May 9th, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    As far as the overall style, over 10 years ago Keith Ball had a very bike styled by Tim Condor and built by Jesse James( way before the WCC growth) and this looks very much like a 2012 interpretation of Condor’s vision and JJ’s past execution. Additionally, HD has produced convertibles over the years, as have a slew of import manufacturers.

    No disrespect to t he vision as I think its neat to see the chopper scene still has a pulse beyond lame backyard jobs, but is this really “Groundbreaking”?

  43. 43 Greeko May 9th, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    Badams. It was exactly 17 years ago. I know the bike. It was red, quite ugly (not Jesse’s but client’s fault), and had absolutely nothing to do with the bike above. It was a skinny chopper with bad bags and an horrible front chin. And it was not a convertible!. What do you smoke? HD and others can call convertible any motorcycle that you can dress and undress in 2 hours or more. If it’s true that this one can go for one look to the other in a few minutes, with both looks being cool, it’s new

  44. 44 John E Adams May 9th, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Looks great Jeff, can’t wait to see it on the road!


    John E Adams

  45. 45 Allen May 9th, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    Whoever thinks this a touring bike only tours around the block. Which is a plus because the saddlebags are probably only big enough for your starbucks gift card and skull face mask. This bike is priced for the person who wants to say look whats in my trailer for sturgis, instant badass. I guess the owner of this company saw a need to compete with big bear choppers and all their success with their touring bike the gtx. Wait didn’t they go bankrupt? I wish the company good luck but maybe they should build an affordable riders bike and not an overpriced impractical look at me bike.

  46. 46 Badams May 9th, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    @ Greeko—-As far as the execution of JJ’s bike, I agree it fell short to Condor’s rendering, however I wasn’t there at the shop to recognize the limitations that may have inhibited the initial concept. If Nicklus’ concept is ambitious enough to generate a niche demand for a longbike convertible, hat’s off, as the BBC attempt should have been relegated to a prop house for the remake of Logan’s Run.

  47. 47 RUB May 9th, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    hmmmm , where have I seen this before ????

  48. 48 Red May 10th, 2012 at 7:01 am

    Nice cartoon.

  49. 49 Wiz May 10th, 2012 at 7:14 am

    Jeffy, Good Job! Like I told ya I want a half-a-dozen of ’em in Chartuse, Camo, Teal, Orange-Cream, PlumCrazy Purple, and of course Tuxedo Black fer when I’m feelin’ classy! Have ’em all ready for me at Desperado Junction, I’ll leave room in my booth! I’ll just move over sum of my own bagger/choppers which go for $80,000.+ Yuk-Yuk!! Wiz

  50. 50 heath May 10th, 2012 at 8:10 am

    Jeff, Conrad,

    Haters gonna hate. Don’t let them bother you. I loved it when Redneck did it, and I am sure I will love this one. No front brake? ever heard of 360 brakes? it was done once, it can be done again. Can’t do 500 miles on this one? If you need a test pilot, just let me know. I don’t have 50K, but I have at least one published article for a rider magazine. I’d be glad to do a review.

    keep up the good work.


  51. 51 donnie May 10th, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Nice lines and all of the comments do have some validity .Redneck did do this several years ago and DID IT WELL ..It was not as modular for the conversion.. hmmm …50 K …well it does have the X-wedge motor which is bit different than the earlier offerings ..wish them well …

  52. 52 Blackmax May 10th, 2012 at 9:59 am

    Very Nice !!!!
    Would luv to see actual photos of one or in the “flesh”
    maybe at this year;s V-Twin ????

  53. 53 Zipper May 10th, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Wow, 50 G’s. A lot of cash for “ANY” bike unless it’s a classic or any bike that will appreciate in value as time goes on.. Guess I don’t have the big picture or the cash. ..Z

  54. 54 CafeSportyTC May 10th, 2012 at 11:41 am

    50 G’s is probably about right for the amount of labor, Cost of materials and tooling to just about break even or a a couple K profit.. I don’t see alot of profit potential becuasethis bike wont be mass produced like Harleys or Victory, there is a price to be paid for low production numbers and American Craftsmanship, if you cant afford it , quit bitching, I know im just as guilty about price bitching as anyone so I’m not trying to be a hypocrite even though i am 🙂

  55. 55 rumble May 10th, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    Bags and a faring on a softail chopper don’t make it a distance tourer. they just make it a softail chopper that you can carry stuff on. If it’s a softail chopper, it’s still gonna ride like one. If it’s a rubber mount, with say a monoshock, you might be slightly more comfortable.

  56. 56 Imaginos May 10th, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    I have to say this is a nice design Jeff. I would really like to see this from all angles. I would think that 50 sounds about right for a handmade low production design with no off the shelf products.. It is a bagger I would be extremely curious as to long distance comfort and ride.

  57. 57 Rick Fairless May 10th, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    Congrats to Jeff for trying something different. He’s standing at the plate taking his swings & that’s all you can ask of a company. I like this design & I hope you sell a million of them! Go Jeff go!

  58. 58 Darin Maltsberger - Instructor @ MTI May 10th, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    Awesome lines and cool concept. I Look forward to the transition to production. Great job Jeff. Your creativity always inspires my students and reminds me how many talented minds are at work in our industry.

  59. 59 What May 10th, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    What RF… you hope he sells a million of these? Really! BDM couldn’t do it…

  60. 60 Joe Cree May 11th, 2012 at 1:06 am

    Not totally accurate Cyril. I built a limited edition convertible bagger model in the late 90’s. Corbin and I collaberated to build the Nomad Convertible. It had easily removable bags, fairing and chin spoiler. They came off in under 5 minutes. The glass parts and seats were done by Corbin. The chassis was a rubber mount for the best ride and a 200 rear tire for optimum handling. I still ride number 1 of that model on a daily basis.

  61. 61 Bigwillie May 11th, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Nice Job Jeff You know I like bikes in this style give me a call when you get time the whole bike flows really well and looks smooth thru-out. I am not sure I am in love with the xwedge yet unless S&S got the final Fuel injection system cleaned up. The last one I ran had miles of wiring and dual ECU’s ran well I just had to get real creative finding places for the equipment. Are you using the softtail style rear suspension or are you going to use the rubber mount cradle system. I know how much work this is I hope you sell them all. 50k may be too cheap for all the work.

    All the best Bill R

  62. 62 Larry R May 11th, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Jeff, Even though I’ll never be able to afford one of your bikes, I really like the design. I wish Desperado much success with it and hopefully will see some in our area in the near future.

  63. 63 cooldaddy51 May 11th, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Remember seeing early concept drawing of BDM bagger, very similar.

  64. 64 Billy bear May 11th, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    Joe Cree,
    Not to say youre attempting to toot your own horn but wow, can you try to not be so stuck on yourself in the future?? Looked at your stuff, needless to say, it all looks like typical modified harley shit that was built in the 90s by everyone else… Times have changed bud… Also, as for your “rant” on your site about US Kustoms, thats funny… Welcome to BUSINESS!! No one, including yourself can honestly say they have looked at something and lliked it so they built similar or said similar, etc. You are just another one of the followers.. Get off the high horse nobody, Jeffs design is the first of its kind and it seems to be pretty neat.

  65. 65 JC May 11th, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    I agree with Rick. Jeff is still open for business which means he is doing something right.
    Good job and good luck Jeff and all involved.

  66. 66 nicker May 11th, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Jeff & Conrad,

    Nice lines!
    Can’t wait to see one.


  67. 67 a 1 cycles May 12th, 2012 at 7:45 am

    love the design..did it in 2007, jeff has the customers and ability to run it in production..i didnt. congrats amd kick some it

  68. 68 Jeff Nicklus May 12th, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I want to take a few minutes to thank each of you for taking the time to comment on our project. Whether your comments were positive, which the vast many are, negative or somewhere in between they each are special to me and I try to learn something from each. Thank you!

    This project, as Cyril said, has been ongoing for almost three years now and finally we are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel (hopefully the light is not that of a freight train LOL). It is amazing to me that only six people in the world (Cyril Huze being one of those 6 people) knew of this project and until the release of the article on this blog the secret was maintained.

    On another note I thought I would bring everyone up to speed on what our time line is on completion and release of “The Reckoning”. My plans are not to have “The Reckoning” in SD this year. We will have some printed material, and possibly some photos, available at our display at the Desperado Junction in Lead should you care to stop by and pick it up. We have now moved into the 3D Modeling phase of development of the bike. With the help of the 3D Model we will see if all of our dimensions work together or what, if any, corrections may need to be made. My goal is to start the prototype build by mid June or early July, time permitting, and have testing complete by late October early November. If we can maintain this schedule then we will start delivering bikes in January 2013 and make the official product release in Daytona at Bike Week 2013.

    One last thing and then I will shut up. This motorcycle is going to be 100% American Made if at all possible. Further, we are going to involve as many small parts manufacturers here in the United States to produce parts for the bike as possible. We are using, and working closely with the engineers at S&S for the engine, Baker Transmissions, Supreme Legends and many others in hopes that we all can benefit from the development of this motorcycle and do our small part to help this economy.

    Again, Thanks to everyone for taking the time to look at our project.

    Over & Out,


  69. 69 Boss Hawg May 13th, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Desman….its all good.

    Bike looks sweet and I am sure it will be tweaked to perfection when debuted upon your return to Daytona.

    All the best Brother!

    Boss Hawg.

  70. 70 Englishman May 14th, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Seriously ugly looking bike(s). I can’t imagine spending 50K for a 750 pound bike that in all reality, will never get any serious miles on it.

    That said, hopefully you’ll sell a boatload and help companies like S&S and Baker stay strong.

  71. 71 Road Rage May 14th, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    Nice design by Jeff Niklus and Desperado Cycles.

    I applaude Niklus for the engineering feat of converting the bagger to a Pro Street in less than 15 minutes. That’s a feature that would certainly help these 50k + bikes appeal to more of the rich and infamous.

    HOWEVER, it looks just like the Big Dog Bagger, which is a beautiful bike i might add. It also resembles most of the other “One Off’ custom Baggers” that grace these pages and biker mags every month. It’s called a “trend” people. Just like fat tires and raked out choppers were a trend over the last 10 or so years. Then came the Bobber trend and now back to Baggers.

    A year ago some kid designing bikes for Yamaha or Honda graced this blog with pics of a bike that looks very much just like the one from Niklus. And all the Haters just kept bashing the bike saying it was nothing that wan’t done before and the kid just copied some good old Harley boys design. And that the japs couldn’t engineer it on there own, blah, blah, blah.

    You may want to take a closer look at some of the engineering H.D. is/has borrowed from our friends across the Pacific. You may just realize that your great rides have a lot to do with their innovation as much as HD’s.

  72. 72 barney May 19th, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    $50,000, Bwahahaha…

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Cyril Huze