Rich Phillip Cycles in St.Louis Missouri specializes in producing leather motorcycle seats, hand crafted tool rolls and saddle bags. Founder Richard Grabbe also makes some amazing custom motorcycles.
Rich has been building one off custom motorcycles since about 2007. His first custom bike ‘Early Bird’ was a competitor at the 2007 AMD World Championships of Custom Bike Building Freestyle class finishing in a very respectable 23rd (Stay tuned we will be featuring this bike soon!)
The bike we are featuring today is called ‘No 9 The Blade’ and is based on a 1998 Harley-Davidson Sportster. According to Rich the inspiration for this bike came in part from the speeder bikes in ‘Return of the Jedi’, an aircraft designed by Howard Hughes and the legend himself Shinya Kimura.
The frame for this build was hand crafted by Rich and is made of 4130 chromoly for slight weight savings and stiffness. For the powerplant Rich chose the Sportster platform for its simplicity and compact design. It started out as an 883 but Rich rebuilt the motor up to to a 1200 with an s&s e carb.
The biggest challenge for this bike was the hand crafted aluminum rear cowl, which went through many changes until Rich was totally satisfied with it. Lots of other parts on this machine were hand crafted from scratch. The aluminum pieces along with the stainless parts underwent a lot of sanding and polishing to achieve the great finish.
According to Rich “It rides and handles amazing aside from the fact that people mistake me for a bicycle while I’m riding it”
The outstanding craftsmanship skills Rich has can be clearly seen on this bike and the goods he produces, for more visit his blog and online store.
We have also added the Video of this beautiful machine, part of the video takes place in Rich’s shop and the other parts are taken at places near his home.