Rick Fairless Custom Parts Builds “Ethel” the Evil Octane

Custom Victory Octane by Rick Fairless

Rick Fairless is one of biking’s colorful characters and has been an advocate of Victory for sometime, even manufacturing and selling custom parts that can be fitted to all models.

He owns Strokers Dallas motorcycle shop, is a Victory Dealer and has been building custom motorcycles for the past two decades.

“I also own a bar/grill and get over a thousand bikes here on the weekends and have done so for the past 20 years,” he enthuses. “Bikes, babes and beer plus live music every weekend – it doesn’t get any better than that.”

His latest build, called the ‘Ethel, the Evil Octane’, is a departure from his usual colourful customs. Featuring grey and browns, sharp and aggressive lines, it’s unlike anything he’s made before.

“I wanted to make Ethel a tough, street fighting broad! I love the lines of the Octane, so I wanted to make one mean and nasty,” he explains. “My wife and I own three old English sheepdogs. The youngest one is six months old and she is extremely cute and lovable, but she is wild and crazy, like a demon dog. Her name is Ethel and that’s why I named this bike ‘Ethel, the Evil Octane.”

The build took four months with Rick using his own RF Custom Parts to transform the Octane, all of which can be bought and shipped from his online shop.

Rick Fairless Custom Octane "Ethel"

Rick says the toughest part of the build was designing and making the Girder Front End, but this and the 180mm front tire are the design features he’s most proud of. Others would argue the exhaust is the highlight; a beautiful 2-into-4-into-1 number.

The only geometry changes Rick made were to front end and the rear, which was lowered a couple inches.

The Octane’s standard front fender was widened 5/8” while the rear fender was shaved and widened by 2”.

The remaining parts, such as the handlebars, seat, grips, pegs, belt guard, licence plate bracket, gauge mount, fairing mount, headlight, rock guard, shift sleeve, skid plate, clutch arm cover, radiator grill, cheese wedge and bolt covers are all RF Custom Parts.

“Every bike I build is built to be ridden,” Rick says. “Ethel runs great. I took her out for a long ride just yesterday. She feels, looks and runs like a “Mean, pissed off woman” with a bad attitude, compared to a stock Octane which is like a sweet gal next door.”

“My objective was to build an Octane that was different from what any other builders have done. I am very happy and proud with the outcome of Ethel.”


Builder: Rick Fairless Strokers Dallas & RF Custom Parts
Owner: Rick Fairless
Bike: 2017 Victory Octane
Motor: Victory 1179cc Liquid Cooled 60 degree V-Twin
Transmission: Victory 6 Speed
Painter: Gary Queen – OSC
Front Wheel: 18” x 5.5”
Rear Wheel: 18” x 8.5”
Front Tire: Dunlop 18” 180mm
Rear Tire: Dunlop 18” 240mm
Front Fender: Victory – Widened 5/8”
Rear Fender: Victory – Shaved & Widened 2”
Side Bags: RF Custom Parts
Fender Struts: RF Custom Parts
Headlight: RF Custom Parts
Taillight: Custom Made – RF Custom Parts
Rear Suspension: Victory Piggyback Shocks with RF Custom Lowing Blocks
Front Forks Girder – RF Custom Parts & Voodoo Vintage
Exhaust: RF Custom Parts – 2 into 4 into 1
Handlebars: RF Custom Parts
Seat: RF Custom Parts
Pegs: RF Custom Parts
Belt Guard: RF Custom Parts
License Bracket: RF Custom Parts
Gauge Mount: RF Custom Parts
Headlight Mount: RF Custom Parts
Fairing Mount: RF Custom Parts
Rock Guard: RF Custom Parts
Grips: RF Custom Parts
Shift Sleeve: RF Custom Parts
Skid Plate: RF Custom Parts
Clutch Arm Cover: RF Custom Parts
Radiator Grill: RF Custom Parts
Cheese Wedge: RF Custom Parts
Bolt Covers: RF Custom Parts

Knights at the Roundtable: Allstate’s Bike Week Moto Masters

We were a motley crew. A spunky South Dakotan girl in knee-high boots and flared vintage riding pants standing next to a tie-dye shirt and Chuck Taylor wearing long-haired Texan. There was the steely-eyed Northern Californian with movie star looks, thick arms and a hat sitting backwards on his head chatting with an ultra-hip SoCal urbanite with close-cropped hair, tattoos of motorcycles on her arms and an ever-present smile. And then there was me, a denim-wearing, middle-aged Oregonian hiding behind black Oakleys and a Vans hat. Yup, we were a funky bunch.

Allstate's Moto Masters Roundtable Bike Week 2016

The motley crew of Allstate’s Moto Masters Roundtable (L-R) Zach Ness, Brittney Olsen, Alicia Elfving, Rick Fairless, and me, Bryan Harley.

Somehow, though, Allstate Insurance saw something of value in us. Why else would they invite us to be the five panelists on its Moto Masters Roundtable at Daytona Beach Bike Week? The Roundtable was a live-streaming event from Allstate’s Rider Protection Zone at Daytona International Speedway. The five Moto Masters were each asked questions in their particular area of expertise, the questions coming from Allstate’s Facebook page, the live audience, and pre-prepared ones from moderator Courtney Lambert. Topics ranged from safety tips to trends in the industry, favorite routes and favorite bikes. Live-streaming the event gave people who couldn’t attend the 75th anniversary of Bike Week a little taste of the rally thanks to Allstate. And Bike Week wasn’t the only one celebrating a big anniversary. Allstate was celebrating its 50th year of insuring motorcycles and wanted to do something big at Bike Week. Hence, the Moto Masters Roundtable was formed.

And though motley might we be, we brought a breadth of experience to the table. The spunky South Dakotan? That was Brittney Olsen, a girl wise beyond her years. Olsen is the co-owner of 20th Century Racing, proponents and torchbearers of antique motorcycle racing. She’s a fearless boardtrack racer who’s passionate about old motorcycles and can talk shop with the best of them. Being married to Knucklehead savant Matt Olsen doesn’t hurt any in fueling her passion.

Brittney Olsen Bike Week 2016

Beneath Brittney Olsen’s smile lies a fearless boardtrack racer. 

The long-haired, tie-dye and Chuck Taylor-wearing Texan? None other than Rick Fairless, one of the hardest-working men in the industry. Fairless is a renaissance man, a master with paint, custom bike builder, writer, TV personality, entrepreneur, and big chief at one of the most popular biker bars in the country, Strokers Dallas. Fairless’ empire was once the fodder of a truTV series called “Ma’s Roadhouse.” His colorful style has become his signature as there’s no mistaking a Fairless custom.

Rick Fairless Bike Week 2016

Rick Fairless has no shortage of flair. 

The steely-eyed Northern Californian with the movie star looks and burly arms? Zach Ness, third-generation custom bike builder and part owner of Arlen Ness Enterprises. Yes, Arlen is his grandpa. And sure, Zach was born into this industry, but he doesn’t simply ride coattails. He’s paid his dues, sweeping the floor of the shop, picking up tools, listening and learning. Zach’s come into his own. Most recently Victory enlisted his services in creating a prototype to its new liquid-cooled cruiser called the Octane, Zach’s take an American muscle bike called the Combustion. He teamed up with the National Geographic Channel for a TV series called “Let it Ride” and proudly carries on the Ness bike building tradition of his grandfather and father.

Zach Ness at Bike Week 2016

Zach Ness having a little fun at Bike Week during Allstate’s Moto Masters Roundtable.

As for the uber-cool SoCal girl with the half-shaved head, cool tattoos and ever-present smile? Most know her as the MotoLady, Alicia Elfving. She’s a road warrior, loves to wrench, loves to ride. Elfving honed her skills on the mean streets in and around Portland, did a stint with MotoCorsa, customized a Ducati Monster 750 that was featured in BikeExif, then moved to sunny Southern California so she could ride year-round. Now she runs one of the hottest moto-sites for women riders, engages fans on her various social platforms, and inspires female motorcyclists by fully immersing herself in the lifestyle. She has energy and zeal that’s infectious, evident by her rising popularity in moto circles.

Bike Week 2016 The MotoLady Alicia Elfving

Alicia Elfving, aka The MotoLady, visited Bike Week for the very first time to be a member of Allstate’s Moto Masters Roundtable.

As for me. I’ve been lucky enough to be a motojournalist for almost the last ten years. I’ve ridden and reviewed more motorcycles than I can remember, crashed a few, and lived to tell the tale. I’ve earned my stripes by covering bike shows big and small, from the AMD World Championships to the Rat’s Hole. I make the rounds at motorcycle rallies around the country and call the Sturgis Buffalo Chip my home-away-from-home for 10 days every August. Now I’m American Iron’s Online Editor and a contributor to the magazine, a new role I’m beyond excited about.

Allstate’s Moto Masters Roundtable took place in the shadows of Daytona’s renovated International Speedway. I’m still in awe every time I visit the Speedway as I can sense the spirit of the racing history it has hosted. It was an honor to be a part of Allstate’s history, its first Bike Week Moto Masters Roundtable. Hopefully it will become an Allstate tradition at the rally.

Over the course of a live-streamed hour, our Roundtable fielded a gamut of questions. When asked what he anticipates will be the next trend in custom bikes, Fairless said he sees choppers making a comeback. Zach added that rallies and bike shows are a great way to see what’s coming next. Hailing from South Dakota, Olsen was the perfect person to talk about winterizing a motorcycle, from emptying fluids to putting batteries on trickle chargers. Elfving, a big proponent of “All The Gear, All the Time,” encouraged riders to wear a full-face helmet, listed some of her favorites (Icon, Shoei, Arai, AGV) and shared sources to research before buying. When questioned about helpful tips for riders, I emphasized the importance of a pre-ride check – tire pressure, blinkers, cables, leaks. When asked for tips that would help novice riders, I recited my mantra – ride like you’re invisible. Never assume when it comes to other drivers. If you can envision something happening, act on your intuition and do what it takes to make sure it doesn’t.

Allstate also used the event to unveil the grand prize for this year’s “Motorcycle Sweepstakes,” a 2016 Polaris Slingshot given the patriotic red, white and blue treatment by Fairless. The Slingshot is a blast to ride. It’ll lay down a pretty good patch of rubber in the first couple of gears, sticks to the road like glue but can still be drifted it when time comes to have some fun. Somebody’s going to take this rig home. Why not you? Click this link for a shot at winning. :https://www.allstatemotorcyclesweepstakes.com/

While we may have arrived at the Roundtable as casual acquaintances, we left as friends, the love of motorcycles and our industry a common bond that brought our panel of Moto Masters together. I’m honored to have sat at the Roundtable with each of them and look forward to when our paths cross again.

Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys Official Attorney Sponsor of the Lone Star Rally 2012

-press release-

Expected to attract over 500,000 motorcycle enthusiasts from November 1-4, the Lone Star Rally is North America’s largest four-day rally an Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys are proud to be the Official Attorney Sponsor.

The Lone Star Rally is like no other and in eleven years has become the largest weekend rally in North America. With the weather starting to get cooler in the North and the motorcycle riding season coming to a close the Lone Star Rally has something to offer all riders especially for those who will soon be checking off their bike winterizing list.

The Lone Star Rally takes place on Galveston Island, just south of Houston, Texas and offers stunning beaches, scenic rides and, if the weather cooperates, motorcycle enthusiasts can enjoy incredible summer temps – add that to all the Lone Star Rally has to offer – great concerts, the Official Lone Star Rally Poker Run, some of the worlds top bike builders including Eddie Trotta, Rick Fairless, The Martin Brothers, John Shope’s Sinister Industries and Brigette Bourget. Charlie Hunnam, “JAX” from Sons of Anarchy, will be making an appearance, there is also a special Lone Star Rally Bay Fishing Trip, you can see a World War II submarine and destroyer, the Official Tall Ship of Texas (The ELISSA), a sunken ship, drill rigs and much more including the ‘big hearted’ hospitality Texas is known for. And please be sure to drop by the Toys for Tots booth in Harborside and donate a toy to make a child’s Christmas better.


About Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys:

Since 1975, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, Brown Koro & Romag, LLP have been providing legal services to motorcyclists hurt in motorcycle accidents across the country. Motorcycle Lawyer Russ Brown created the BAM (Free Breakdown and Legal Assistance for Motorcyclists) benefit program, which offers free roadside and legal assistance for motorcyclists nationwide. The BAM motorcycling community of riders helping riders has over 1.5 million members, is growing stronger every day and offers assistance to riders twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.