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Riding a Triumph Back Into the ’60s

Ma, you know I own a company called RF Custom Parts (www.rfcustomparts.com). Well, that company specializes in making cool custom parts for Victory Motorcycles.

Fair_Blackie-5-23-16-1[dropcap]D[/dropcap]ear Ma, I hope you’re doing well up there in Heaven. I am physically and mentally drained down here in Dallas. Our business is somehow different this year. I can’t quite figure it out (I’m a simple minded boy), but it seems that election years are always “off” and slower I guess. I don’t know why, except for maybe it’s the uncertainty of the future direction of our country.

Ma, I know you love politics and I hate politics, but this election year is like nothing I’ve ever seen. This one is truly a circus. I mean, we have a career politician that nobody seems to like, running against a TV personality that causes rioting in the streets because so many people are vehemently opposed to the changes he’s proposing.

Somebody has to win this election and whichever way it goes, lots of people are going to be unhappy. I’ll keep my political opinions to myself, although, I will say that I would absolutely vote for Condoleezza Rice if she were running, or maybe even Herman Munster.

Ma, you know I own a company called RF Custom Parts (www.rfcustomparts.com). Well, that company specializes in making cool custom parts for Victory Motorcycles. I started the company about five years ago and it is really doing good. We have been working hard on parts for the new Victory Octane. I recently released a slip-on exhaust for the Octane and Ma they look and sound awesome! I worked with D&D Exhaust right here in Fort Worth. Together we came out with an exhaust that I am very proud of and it’s selling great all around the country. I am also working with D&D on a 2-into-1 system for the Octane. Plus, we have developed an exhaust for the Cross Country.

We have and will continue to develop lots of custom parts for Victory Motorcycles. It’s tough Ma, because developing parts is a slow process and it’s very expensive. I have a minimum of three guys working full-time, eight hours a day, five days a week, just developing custom Victory parts for us. That’s a huge payroll expense every week.

Plus, the stuff we are working on now will go through months of R&D before hitting the market. But the thing is, I really believe in Victory Motorcycles and I love ripping them apart and putting my creative mind to work coming up with custom parts that will not only look good, but also perform well.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to tell you, I took my old 1961 Triumph Trophy 650 for a ride last week. I haven’t started it in six months and it started on the first kick! I tickled it just right and – BANG – it popped off on one kick. I keep it in my office, right between my Bettie Page and Frank Zappa posters.

Remember the story? Dad’s best friend James “Blackie” Blackstone bought it new in 1961 and got killed on it in 1964 while on his way to our house for supper. His parents gave it to Dad because they wanted nothing to do with it. Dad sold his BSA 650 and kept Blackie’s Triumph. Randy and I played on it as kids. Dad never had the heart to get it running, so it just sat in the garage all those years. After I grew up, I talked Dad into letting me take a stab at getting it running. One of my finest memories was when I called Dad to come over late one Sunday afternoon. Once he got there I started the bike for the first time in 25 years. He cried and I cried and I asked him what he was going to do with the Triumph. He said, “I want you to have it and give it to your kid someday.”

Out of the dozens of bikes I own, my 1961 Triumph is my favorite as it’s a family heirloom. I can’t describe how cool it is to ride that Triumph. There is something different and special about riding an old motorcycle. It’s like you are transformed back into the “days gone by.” Or in this case, the 1960s. Old bikes are not particularly fast and they are not generally comfortable. But the cool factor is off the chart! It’s a blast to ride and I want to ride it more often; Dang work keeps getting in the way!

Anyway Ma, I gotta go for now, we are customizing another new Victory for my good pal Herschel Walker and he should
be here anytime. Herschel likes to say that I “Herschelize” all his bikes.

I LOVE you Ma!

P.S. Ma, if you run into Marilyn Monroe up there in Heaven, please tell her that your boy Rick Fairless is the young man in the 22nd row! t

Rick Fairless owns Strokers Dallas Motorcycle Shop and RF Custom Parts among other business interests, including his Strokers IceHouse Bar & Grill.

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