WEST SPRINGFIELD, MA – It has a cigar box filled with stogies to cover its battery and a brightly-colored serape rolled up and strapped up front above the headlight. It also has ape-hangers and a wrapped exhaust that could be used to roast jalapeńos.
All “El Mexicano” lacks is a cupholder for either salsa or a margarita. Otherwise this black and red 2001 Harley-Davidson Sportster that has been turned into a stunning bobber by Steve Vasquez of Malden, MA is hotter than a habanero.
Excuse that obvious cliché but “El Mexicano” is one distinctive and standout bike, which received a lot of attention Saturday from attendees at the Springfield Motorcycle Show at the Eastern States Exposition.
“My buddy had that eight-ball shifter and I wanted to build a hot rod motorcycle,” Vasquez explained, noting the knob atop the shifter lever on the right side of the bike. He found the Sportster two years ago and spent six to eight months turning it into “El Mexicano.” “I already had it planned out years ahead,” he said.
The name “El Mexicano” refers to his Mexican ancestry – his grandfather rode with Pancho Villa – and the fact his friend “calls me The Mexican.” The bike hasn’t been ridden that much. “Last year was just the break-in year,” Vasquez said.
It’s the little embellishments, such as the cigar box, that help it stand out.
But so do the sprung seat, bobbed rear fender, red rims with white-wall tires, and the face of the sombrero-wearing character painted on the right side. The exhaust is cool, too.
While “El Mexicano” is a one-off model, it might also be the only custom that Vasquez ever does. Or not. “This is just a hobby. I’m a printer by trade,” he said.
The Springfield Motorcycle Show wraps up its two-day run today.