The builder: Rick’s Harley-Davidson Of Baden-Baden, Germany. Yes, the Rick famous for his gorgeous wide dark wheels, his ultra-custom parts for V-Rods, his drag/muscle/fat tires (dront & rear) custom bikes built in a very aggressive style, the way germans love them to burn rubber at very high speed on the country’s autobahns… The client: idolizing Steve McQueen, especially in the role of Delaney, Gulf Team Porsche 917 racer in the 1971 “Le Mans” cult movie. Common point between Steve McQueen racing car and the Harley V-Rod? Porsche engine technology, of course. Reason of affinity between Rick & the client? Rick’s, among other activities, has built many custom V-Rods using his own proprietary parts.
Both Rick and the client being convinced that if McQueen would be alive he would race, or at least ride, a custom V-Rod, they decided to use this Harley model as the base for a tribute bike to the actor. Rick’s team watched and watched again the “Le Mans” movie, observing and figuring out how to adapt the McQueen’s blue racing car styling to a stock 2010 V-Rod .
First step was to tear down the V-Rod to bare frame, to fully disassemble the motor/transmission to prepare each head, cylinder and covers to a dark sinister paint treatment treatment. Powdercoating was extended to the frame, to Rick’s Apollo wheels, to stock brake calipers, to fork parts and many other covers. Always a very tedious process taking weeks, but required when looking for the Full Custom appearance.
German V-Rod riders still love fat rear tires. So much that this modification is one of the most requested to Rick, both by clients and by fellow Harley dealers. Yes, with the right components a V-Rod can take a 10.5″ x 18″ rear wheel wrapped in Metzeler 280/35 18 rubber. And it will even look better if you fit it on an extended swingarm then pair with a front wheel in size 3.5 x 18″. All this a “standard” conversion that Rick does using his own parts from wheel to drive line offset pulleys and spacers for perfect alignment.
Single seat, air-box cover with scoops, “short cut” front fender and adjustable Legend Air Suspension belong to the Rick’s package to turn the V-Rod into a mean low stance ready-to-race machine. All other modifications are either for comfort, safety and looks. On this McQueen tribute, like on most of his creations, Rick used Ness rubber hand and forward controls for great grip at high speed, mini Kellermann turn indicators, etc. Racing Blue & Orange paint job by Wild Air Hörby. Work time for such a result is 3 months. Cost? Around $45,000. Rick’s Harley-Davidson Baden-Baden. (photography copyright Horst Roesler for Cyril Huze)