When we got word we’d be attending and exhibiting at the 2022 AIMExpo in Las Vegas once again, we immediately began to think about what we could put in our booth. The conversation quickly turned toward a custom motorcycle, and our own Jacqui Van Ham had just the guy.
Vegas local, Mike Rabideau, built “Gold Rush” around 10 years ago, but his custom V-twin looked brand new to us when we saw it on the AIMExpo show floor. Rabideau owns his own shop, called Majik Mike’s Designs, where he produces breathtaking garage-built vintage Harleys for customers. Located just a mile north of the Vegas strip, he’s amassed a following of loyal customers and enthusiasts just waiting to see his next build. Gold Rush was one of his first.
When it comes to custom motorcycle builds, there are very few criteria that a builder needs to follow in order to separate it from the rest. However, few custom bikes are able to truly stand out from the crowd. An even heftier task is building an eye-catching custom bike that can still be used regularly as a daily driver or cruiser.
“I probably have the most miles on this of all the bikes that I have,” Rabideau says. “It’s just a small, short little bobber bike with a small tank, obviously we’re not going to go across country on this thing. You just ride around town and for Vegas, these bikes are not that well known around town, so when this one shows up, it’s gets some attention. This is one of my favorite ones for sure, and it showcases my style.”
Powering the motorcycle is a 124 cubic-inch V-Twin engine from Total Performance Engineering paired with an open belt drive and some custom piping done by Rabideau. With such a large engine, Rabideau says the rest of the bike was essentially tailored around it.
A goose-necked front end gives the bike it’s signature look, adding 2.5 inches out front and allowing for a 19-in. wheel in the front and a smaller 16-in. wheel in the back.
Just before AIME, Rabideau got the updated touches to the bike finalized, including a new gas tank and new coat of paint.
“This is basically a second rendition of the first paint job,” he says. “My friend Daron at Liquid Illusions did it for me, the gold leafing is all-new and the extra gold stripe around the black is all new.
“There’s no front brake, but besides that, it’s standard shifting. When I have people that come into town, if they want to borrow a bike, this is the one that I’ll let them borrow because most of my bikes are foot clutch and hand shift, which is a little tricky for some people.”
Next time you’re in Vegas, make sure to look out for “Gold Rush” near the strip, because you might just see Rabideau (or a friend) cruisin’ by.
If you have a motorcycle, ATV, UTV, snowmobile or jet ski you’d like to feature in MPN’s Ride of the Week series, please email MPN Content Director Greg Jones at [email protected].