Daytona Bike Week is a huge event for everybody involved and what better place for Allstate Insurance to unveil this years Grand Prize for their “Allstate Motorcycle Sweepstakes”. Not only do you have the chance to win a new Victory Vegas 8-Ball motorcycle, but it will also be customized by non other than Rick Fairless. You no doubt know of Fairless and his 2 wheeled works of art, or you might have heard of his little enterprise – Strokers Dallas. On Friday, March 7, Allstate Insurance Company and legendary motorcycle builder Rick Fairless wowed the crowds at Daytona Bike Week with his latest custom creation – a reimagined Victory Vegas 8-Ball. Our very own Operations Manager Kevin Plummer had the opportunity to sit down with Rick Fairless and talk with him about the bike and what it means to him to be chosen by Allstate.
For those of you who know Rick Fairless the bike builder, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Tie-dyed everything. One thing is for certain, when you take a look at Rick Fairless, he is a man that stands out in a crowd. He is always dressed in his shirt of choice which seems to be a tie-dyed t-shirt and sporting his long hair. Though the years I have seen Rick in numerous magazines and at many of the dealer shows I’ve attended. But I most remember him in the TruTV show “Mommas Roadhouse”. I quickly learned that Rick seemed to be a very busy guy, and had a very keen way to handle business. I have to be honest before I started the interview with Rick at K and G Cycles ThunderAlley at Daytona Beach, during Daytona Bike Week 2014, I was a little nervous. I didn’t know if I would be speaking with someone that is just here doing the P.R. leg of the gig and the obligatory interviews with the press, or if I was going to be talking to a normal guy that happens to build some really great bikes. I must say, Rick was a very friendly and seemed genuinely interested in the questions I was asking. I hope you enjoy this interview as much as I enjoyed speaking with Rick Fairless.
Allstate Insurance contracted you for this year’s custom motorcycle, now that its completed, do you know what their plans are for the motorcycle now?
“When Allstate Insurance asked me to build this year’s bike, they asked for one that really fit the image of its riders. I knew I had to push the limits a little with this bike because they insure so many different kinds of folks,” Fairless said. “We ended up with a bike that is really going to turn some heads. This ain’t a bolt-on custom.” Rick also explained that the winner of this years motorcycle will receive an all-expenses paid trip to come and hang out with Rick and the Strokers Dallas crew for a couple of days while Rick and his crew will help the winner come up with a customized paint job for their new 2014 Victory Vegas 8-Ball. I told Rick when I arrived at the booth to do the interview I was shocked to see that the motorcycle wasn’t Tie-Dyed as I expected it to be like most of the custom motorcycles he’s done in the past. Instead it was very hip with the flat black and checkered board pattern, I felt it appealed to both younger and older motorcycle riders.
Why did you pick the Victory motorcycle?
“Because the Victory Vegas is a cool looking bike. It has that little edge to it, and I felt that it would appeal to a wide range of motorcycle riders.” Allstate Insurance provides insurance to a diverse set of motorcycle riders, and he felt by offering this motorcycle it would hopefully appeal to the many types of enthusiasts. Rick wanted a truly “Rideable Custom” for the winner.
What are some of the things you crew did to this Victory Vegas 8-Ball ?
“My crew at Stroker’s Dallas added a 23” wheel called the Southern Cross. Strokers also changed the rake of the forks on the front of the motorcycle. They even added Black Fork Gators and a signature Fairless front fender. They didn’t stop there, they changed the handlebars, changed the hand controls, and added a chin spoiler from Arlen Ness giving the bike that Sons of Anarchy look. If you look closely at the tank you can see a ghost checkerboard pattern that is blue and black.” Rick is a fan of adding mesh to a motorcycle, he feels it gives a rougher edge to the design of the motorcycle. I would have never thought of some of the great looking accessories that he came up with on this ride, but they all work together to make a great looking bike. Some of the mesh designs Rick incorporated in the build include the mesh chain guard, mesh webbing on the handlebars, mesh covering the head light, but the most noticeable item that stands out on this motorcycle are the mesh motor cages that cover the jugs of the engine.
How long have you been working with Allstate Insurance?
“It’s been 3 Years now and I really enjoy the relationship with the company as they aren’t here to just sell insurance, they care about motorcyclist and the industry. Allstate Insurance truly wants to make motorcycle riding safer. Allstate has done studies to see what intersections are the most dangerous, and worked to make those intersections safer for motorcyclist.”
What is the #1 safety tip you could offer up to new motorcycle riders?
“Be alert and pay attention to everything around you because someone is going to try to kill you if you aren’t careful.”
Towards the end of the my interview time, I had become very relaxed and Rick made me feel welcome and made the interview very enjoyable. I would like to thank Allstate Insurance for all of their assistance in coordinating this interview. Most of all I would like to say “Thank You” to Rick Fairless for taking time out of his day to provide me with a great interview, but also assisting Allstate Insurance spread the word about motorcycle safety.
Following the unveiling, the Allstate Insurance Victory Vegas 8-Ball, along with Allstate’s other custom creations, will be on display in 2014 at the Allstate Rider Protection Zone at the following motorcycle rallies:
- Daytona Bike Week: Daytona Beach, Fla. (March 7-15)
- Arizona Bike Week: Scottsdale, Ariz. (April 2-6)
- Leesburg Bikefest: Leesburg, Fla. (April 25-27)
- Americade, NY: Lake George, N.Y. (June 2-7)
- Thunder in the Valley: Johnstown, Pa. (June 26-29)
- Roar on the Shore: Erie, Pa. (July 16-19)
- Sturgis Motorcycle Rally: Sturgis, S.D. (August 2-9)
- Delmarva Bike Week: Salisbury, Md. (September 11-14)
- Bikes, Blues & BBQ: Fayetteville, Ark. (September 24-27)
- Biketoberfest: Daytona, Fla. (October 16-19)
- Lone Star Rally: Galveston, Texas (November 6-9)
Participants can enter the Allstate Vegas 8-Ball Motorcycle Sweepstakes through February 28, 2015, online at www.allstatemotorcyclesweepstakes.com, or at the Allstate Rider Protection Zone which visits select rallies across the country (see above). The winner will be announced in March 2015.