Writer's Ramblings

Interview with Rick Fairless

Written by  August 31, 2006

Rick Fairless may be the hardest working man in motorcycles. With a work ethic second to none, Rick has turned Strokers Dallas into not only a world class bike shop but also a world class party destination with his Stroker Ice House Bar. I receive Rick’s newsletter and the man has some type of great event at Stroker every single week. Rick’s friendliness and attention to fans is legendary, and I have no problem stating he is one of my most favorite people in the business.

CC: Rick, how was 2005 for Strokers Dallas?
Rick: 2005 was good, and we did a lot of the same things that we have been doing over the past 10 years, and we just want to continue to build on what we’ve been doing.

CC: On the Strokers Dallas e-mail list, you have a lot of big-time events there all the time. Do you attend them all?
Rick: Oh yeah. I mean, with the bar next door that I own, it’s like a big compound. We get so many people coming in every weekend that we try to have some type of big event every couple of months.

CC: I hear you recently bought your building after renting it for 10 years. Is it a load off your mind to be the owner of the property now?
Rick: Yes. It’s an old building that was built in the 40s and I occupy about three-fourths of it, but I only occupy about half the land. So, the guy has been telling me for 10 years that he is going to sell me the building, and so finally he sold it to me, and once I get him out, which should be this fall some time, then I can really do some cool stuff and expand it. I’m going to open another bar. I’ve got the one bar there, and I want to do another one back in the back. I think it’s going to be really cool, and we’re really excited about it.

CC: Have you found a new network home for Texas Hardtails yet?
Rick: No, we haven’t. I don’t really get involved in that too much. The producers are doing that. I don’t understand how all that boloney works, so that’s their gig. I was doing good before the show and I’m doing good now. I’d like to get it placed somewhere, and if we do, that will be good, and if we don’t, we just keep on working.

CC: What are you working on in your shop currently?
Rick: I’m doing a little bobber for myself. You know, I’ve never built a bobber for me, so I’m building a little bobber for me that I want to debut in Sturgis this year. I also have the “Strokers Sturgis” every year in the Thunder Roads compound. That’s a big deal and we’re really looking forward to that.

CC: Have you seen any new trends in the Easyriders Tour this year that are different than the past?
Rick: No, the only thing that I’ve seen is the bikes keep getting cooler and neater and neater, and the guys who are building the bikes that are exhibiting at the tour are doing some cool stuff and they’re doing their homework, and it looks like they are building some quality stuff. You always see some stuff that is not functional or not what it should be, but for every one of those, you will see a hundred that are awesome.

CC: What are your thoughts on the new EPA regulations regarding motorcycles?
Rick: Horse shit. That’s the first thing that comes to mind. I don’t understand all that, and we don’t know how the EPA or the government is going to enforce that. I don’t think it’s going to bother me much because we don’t deal with that many custom bikes. We do 10 or 12 a year which is a good number. That’s not good for the industry and there are so many bigger problems out there, why are those guys pickin’ on us?

CC: The metric build-off series, Metric Revolution, will be coming to television this fall. Do you think people seeing more customized metrics will hurt the Motor Company’s sales at all?
Rick: No. I think it’s going to be good for the industry. A friend of mine, Mike DuSold, is part of that. He’s a Dallas guy, and I’ve got to see what he is working on which is absolutely awesome. Anytime you can get exposure for the industry, it’s great. Can it hurt the Motor Company? Well, the Motor Company is this big, huge machine. You couldn’t do anything to hurt the Motor Company.

CC: Do you have any thoughts on the new noise regulations that are popping up everywhere?
Rick: Yeah, it’s more horse shit. I’m an old school guy and I still believe in the “loud pipes save lives” stuff. I don’t know what’s going to happen with all that.

CC: How about the Motor Company dumping their Screamin’ Eagle line, even at the dealership level, their stance on the quiet bikes. Does that seem kind of like a knife in the back for those of us who have ridden for a hundred years?
Rick: No, I don’t think so. I think those guys know they are the biggest game in the world, and if the United States government is going to crack down on somebody, they’re going to go after the big boys. Probably losing the Screamin’ Eagle line isn’t going to amount to one percent of their business, if that. I don’t think it’s going to hurt them at all, and it doesn’t bother me. They’ve gotta do what they have to do.

CC: Do you think the custom bike craze has slowed down any over the last five years?
Rick: No, I think it continues to build, and shows like that metric custom build-off are going to get more and more people in it, and what’s good is, it’s not only the old guys that are in this thing. The new guys are coming around and they’re doing some of the same things and they’ve got new ideas, and when you’ve got like Aaron Greene and Matt Hotch and Jesse Rook, and Roland Sands and these young guys, they’re going to keep this thing going and it’s all good.

CC: Are there any Biker Build-offs in your future?
Rick: Not anything scheduled right now. If they call me I’d be glad to talk to them, but I don’t have anything planned right now.

By Loney and
Stephanie Wilcoxson