A far departure from your typical lowrider-style bike, this one is quite different as it sports no flake, no candy paint, and no murals. Instead, she’s a sleek two-wheeled machine finished off in some menacing colors and engraved to the bone.
But the beauty of the bike is nothing compared to how the owner, Robert Martinez Jr., acquired it. In fact, the bike means so much to the owner that he cherishes it as a family heirloom and sees it as an investment to his namesake and lineage. “Everything I do is for my family. Some invest in houses, some invest in the stock market, but I put my money into cars and bikes,” the proud owner says. “The day the good Lord comes for me, I will leave behind my legacy, and I will leave behind my rides.”
Unlike most builds, which start off with a Craigslist hunt or a trip to the dealership, Robert’s Street Glide came about as a surprise-literally. Years back, his father came down from Cali to visit; he came not only with a plan, but with a gift. Unbeknownst to Robert, his wife and father had made plans to meet up early and head to the local Longhorn Harley dealership. Once they arrived they did the paperwork on the Harley, and once complete, his father hopped on the bike and drove it to his house. “He drove it up to my canton and surprised me with it. But don’t get me wrong, I still make payments but the bike would have never existed had this not happened,” Robert says.
Building a project bike is already a task in itself, but throw on the self-inflicted pressure of trying to get it done by the next Lowrider Super Show and the pressure multiplies tenfold. With the Super Show just seven months away, Robert was determined to get the bike done, and that’s when he called in for backup.
For starters, he hit up homie Javier Gutierrez “El Engraver” in Fort Worth. Surprisingly enough, this was the first bike he had ever engraved but it came back with heavy nods of approval. The powdercoating and the frontend assembly was taken care of by Metroplex Kustoms. Feeling like it needed a bit more customization, the parts were sent back to Gutierrez so he could engrave over the matte black. “I wanted a different look, appeal, and dimension, and doing that extra custom work over the matte black really separated the bike’s colors and chrome theme,” Robert says.
Not wanting to change the look of his dash, he left the factory radio but mated them to a pair of 6-inch Alpine speakers in the front fairing, a pair of Alpine 6x9s in the hardbags along with an 8-inch sub, all of which are powered by matching Alpine amps.
With the bike done, it was literally loaded up at the shop, dropped back to Robert’s home where it was again loaded back on a trailer to then take a road trip from Grand Prairie, Texas, to Vegas. As soon as it landed in Vegas, the bike was dropped off to his friend Rosendo’s garage, and waiting in anticipation was Lokey to get to work ‘striping the bike. “Lokey threw down some lines in red and white, and followed it up with accents to make it pop,” Robert says. “I was blown away and all I can say is that Lokey is a stand-up homie.”
Now if you’re lucky enough to hop on this Street Glide, you’ll know right away that she is by no means a trailer queen. She was built to ride and enjoy, and 16-inch apes, which are powdercoated matte black and fully engraved, navigate it. The clutch and brake levers were also chromed and engraved and a pull on the clutch lever will get you through all six gears by way of a 103cc engine that has been diamond cut and engraved as well. Getting power to the ground is done through a set of one-off 26-inch wheels, which are engraved and fitted with black spokes accented with fire red nipples and matching hub. The bike sits 2 1/2 inches in the front, raked out 11 degrees at the trees. To help aid in altitude adjustment and comfort, the rear was fitted with an air ride system using 4-inch extended ‘bags with dual exhaust ports at the rear.
They day after, the bike was set up for the Las Vegas Super Show and that’s when all the hard work and effort paid off. The bike wound up on the firing side of hundreds of cameras; it was accepted with admiration and respect. In the end all the hard work and hustle paid off as La Morena took her class in the competition-a definitely proud moment for both Robert and his family.
But the celebration of his win came with an added bonus. When asked about how it felt, with a smile Robert said, “My dad was there with me for his birthday and to be honest, one of the best things in life is time spent with family, so being able to do that alongside my jefito, Robert Martinez Sr., for his birthday and with the grandkids was amazing. To see his face when he finally saw my bike was priceless and even better was that he was there to see La Morena win. It was so special to me that I had to give him the First Place plaque.”
In closing, he’d like to wish the lowrider community all the best and insists that we all stay low and slow. He is also quick to reiterate that everything he’s done is for his family and in the end the only thing that matters is that you leave behind your legacy and your family morals to ensure the brightest future for the kids.
2012 Harley-Davidson Street Glide
Robert Martinez Jr. & Family
Grand Prairie, TX
Rafael Polishing in Garland, TX
Javier “El Engraver” Gutierrez, Fort Worth, TX
Crush Alvarado, Metroplex Kustoms, in Pantego, TX
Ride Wright wheels/whitewall tires