Polish the stinkin’ motor!

Publish Date: 
Nov 1, 2013
By Rick Fairless

Dear Grandma and Grandpa,
I hope ya’ll are doing well. We are good and hot down here in Texas as I write this. It’s 100-plus degrees, but this is Dallas and we grew up with it and we’re used to it.

I was traveling a lot this summer. The American Victory Rally was held in August in Spirit Lake, Iowa, where Victory Motorcycles are made. It’s a cool deal because there are several thousand bikes in attendance and they are 99.99 percent Victory Motorcycles. (I passed a bar with 200 bikes in the parking lot – 198 Vics, one Fat Boy and one Gold Wing.) Victory was giving tours of the factory where riders could see where their Vic was born. It’s a great rally, and Lena and I really enjoyed it.

The week before the AVR, I was in Sturgis. This was my 27th year in a row to attend. This year I took Lena (Bigun) with me. It was her first trip. The first year I went was 1987 and Bigun was 7 months old. That year I rode my 1982 Shovelhead. This year was Lena’s first year and she rode that same 1982 Shovelhead, along with my other custom bikes. It made me very proud.

She had a blast. She was like a big Great Dane puppy, just running around trying to see everything and meet everybody. At one point she told me this was the best trip she’d ever been on. I told her, “Sure it is, I’m paying for your room, I’m paying all your expenses, buying your food, and you’re riding around on all my high-dollar RF custom motorcycles. What could be better than that?”

Suddenly she was at a loss for words.

The main reason I took Bigun was because I was inducted into the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame. I wish you could have been there. It’s a huge honor and I am very proud to be a member.

(Hey, Grandpa, recently, me and Ran were talking and he asked me how much money would I pay to spend one more day with you and Grandma. Without hesitation I said, “Every dime I got!” Ran agreed, and you know he’s a lawyer and he has lots more money than me. Heck, the mailman has more money than me, but I have more fun!)

Anyway, the Sturgis Motorcycle Hall of Fame is something I will be proud of for the rest of my life, and I’m very happy that Bigun was there to share it with me.

It was a very classy ceremony and I just kept thinking somebody was gonna come up, tap me on the shoulder and tell me that they made a horrible mistake and that I should probably leave the premises, PDQ! But that tap on the shoulder never came and I was inducted, so I guess it’s all legal. Without a doubt this was one of the highlights of my goofy life.

I work very hard to make the Fairless name something to be proud of. Actually, when I sign autographs, I sign Fairless first then I sign Rick. Bigun asked me one time why I did that. I told her that I could care less about my first name but my Fairless last name is very important to me. My Grandpa gave me that last name and I don’t want to do anything to screw it up — and she had better not screw it up, either. (continued)