Custom: RSD x Mickey Rourke ‘Loki’

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This ‘Loki’ build has been going on in a corner of RSD’s workshop for a couple years now. Unfortunately for Roland, I’ve been bugging him for a ride on the modified Sportster for just as long. Last week, with proud new owner Mickey Rourke looking on, I finally got the chance.

  • Justin Turner

    That thing sounds great.

    • Ben W

      It really does.

    • robotribe

      Beyond great.

  • Sean Smith
    • filly-fuzz

      well played sir

    • Campisi

      Is he really claiming that it’s still the same motorcycle, though? The wording of Mr. Robinson’s comment allows for multiple interpretations, and seeing as the Loki design was the desired end point of the endeavour it could be claimed that any motorcycle used as a starting point was just as much raw material as metal stock or buckets of paint.

      • Sean Smith

        But is any of the original bike left? If only the steering tube (the important part with the VIN number) remains, is it indeed the same frame? Only the dude at the CHP office can tell for sure…

        • Campisi

          So THAT’S how the philosophy majors have been getting work…

          • Grant Ray

            CHPs as philosophy majors? Oh man, that’s ripe.

            As for Theseus, Heraklitos would laugh and say, “Theseus, you stupid meathead, you can never ride the same motorcycle twice anyway, so who gives a shit about VIN numbers? Stop your blabbering and go back to slaying minotaurs like a good boy.”

  • Chris

    That bike is fucking ill. Love it. RSD puts out some really cool bikes, a few misses, but definitely cool bikes.

  • daniel dominguez


  • Charlie

    What is that…a Cafe Chopper Rune? Maybe it too so long because it was over designed/finished. But I like anything with high pipes and that motor.

  • The Blue Rider

    Damn. It sounds like there’s an old airplane engine in there… I half-expected Jamie to be checking magnetos and setting elevator trim before rolling off.

    • Scott-jay

      Agreed, ‘specially when bike almost took-off hitting a speed bump!

  • Keith

    I’m not much for Harley but I could get used to THAT one!
    Nicely done!

  • RT Moto

    Mmmmm dry clutch… I want a piece of that thing.

  • JMcMahon

    Sportster? Come on fellas… you can do better

    • Wes Siler

      Honestly, I can’t tell any of them apart. There’s more important things in life than knowing the diff between a Big Boy and a Fat Blow or whatever the fuck they call those pieces of shit.

      • Grant Ray

        I wouldn’t call a non-unit construction air-cooled v-twin motor a “piece of shit” when it’s capable of putting out over 130lbs. of torque.

        • Racetrack Style


          The motors are to be less criticized than the lack of creativity with those motors by HD….but stay tuned

      • JMcMahon

        Really? I am not a fan of beige toyotas, but I can the difference between a camry and corolla. Being ignorant to things does not make you cool.

        • Sean Smith

          Ha. Wes got told.

        • Ben W

          Slow clap.

        • bluemilew


  • paulo

    I would have never picked Mickey as a Chihuahua kind of guy.

    That bike does sound nice!

  • Keith

    “the diff between a Big Boy and a Fat Blow or whatever the fuck they call those pieces of shit.’
    Too funny Wes! Made my day :)

  • Rick

    Bourbon Street Pimp.

  • Jack

    Sounds great but looks like a pig in heels.

  • Zirq

    I don’t really get this. This site goes on record raising hell about the BABi.

    Isn’t this sort of the same thing?

    Excuse me while I throw up in my mouth a bit.

    I thought this site was all about riding not bling bullshit? Hardly anyone here can afford a Roland Sands custom. There was a time when hardly anyone here would care.

    Can we get back to real bikes, real riding and what HFL was all about?

    But I could be wrong and in that case I’ll be cancelling my subscription.

    • Ben W

      Zirq, your post is an example of the downside of the subscription model. The tiny shaking fist and the threat of withholding two bucks a month. Read the “About” section of the site again and, between that and the content you see, decide if you want to stick around. But please, don’t resort to threats.

      As a sidenote, it surprises me that this is the first article that stands out to you as “bling bullshit.” Such content has been here before and I’d be shocked if it’s not here again. It’s one aspect of motorcycling. Unless there’s bling bullshit that appeals to you, like massively tarted up Ducatis or any number of articles stamped with the “Custom” tag.

      • Zirq

        Well, my mistake. I was of the impression that Hell For Leather was about motorcycle existentialism and boiling things down to their truest applicable nature.

        A tiny shaking fist is a fist none the less. I won’t be one to sit by and let what I believe in burn down without saying something. I’ve never read the About Page of HFL until now. I came to HFL many years ago and I liked the content quite a bit. I stuck around when they were subscription based, but as of late do wish that one could donate by article. I feel as though the content has changed a lot.

        I was simply under the wrong impression and I don’t want to, nor will I, support journalism that in lieu supports the things that I do not believe in.

        • Ben W

          Zirq – The tone of my comment sucked. Thank you for the respectful reply. Your more detailed criticism makes sense and I agree. The content of HFL has changed quite a bit. What you’ve said here means considerably more than a threat.

          For some time now, there have been promises of a return to form and apologies for slow content in the name of upcoming projects. Things I loved about the site, such as the awesome bike/shop reports with Grant’s photography, seem rare lately. It’s certainly disappointing.

          Our perceptions of what HFL represents are different, as I imagine everyone has their own view of what it is or should be. There’s plenty of dissonance between the writers and, to a point, I appreciate seeing that. There’s too much antagonistic and self-righteous media out there. My hope for HFL is to be equally offensive to all of us (because we’re all a bit silly), entertaining, and that they maintain critical integrity.

          • Zirq

            Overall, I can best phrase what appears to be happening to HFL as grotesque eclectic hipsterism.

            It started with the instagram-like photos (which I do enjoy at times as a photographer) and made an unfortunate transgression to fancy jeans and RSD. By my count, and I could be wrong as I’ve been swinging by less, it’s been quite some time since the last ride report / adventure. It seems like HFL is nearly akin to the ducatistas sipping fancy triple foam half caf beverages in their leathers at Starbucks.

            It seems as if that content has shifted to Ride Apart. Though I will say that I do enjoy the episodes, generally over dinner.

            On that – Is that coming back now that the first season is over?

            I will add however that Ride Apart does not seem completely free of influence. Jamie Robinson is quite the character, but the incessant brash of Alpinestars logos is a bit much. I quite enjoyed when Wes and Sean were on the program more as I enjoyed when they wrote firsthand accounts here. When they write or interact it feels as if it’s just two guys chatting as me and my friends do. It’s honest, forthright and very good natured.

            The stories filled me with wonder, laughs and reminded me what I love about riding. If Wes, Sean and the like are past that point, that’s fine. I know Sean was in a big wreck. I’ve been there. It changes you.

            I suppose it’s a bit like an impending breakup. It’s awkward and I miss the HFL that I knew.

            • Grant Ray

              I can only speak for myself, of course, but I apologize that I haven’t been digging around shops with my Leica more often. I miss doing those as much as the rest of you. The truth is that producing RideApart on a weekly turnaround, as well as the usual business chores, has taken up every bit of my time, which in turn meant all of my wanderings, adventures and interviews that were usually reserved for large-format Frontlines features like Sierra Nevada as well as all of my photo essays were instead turned into episodes for the show.

              To answer your question, Zirq, the show is on break till the next season, starting in October. I also don’t sip triple-whatevers, but I did just nearly kill myself the other weekend while jumping off rocks into Kern River. Unfortunately, my fiancée panicked and didn’t get the shot of me bouncing down the giant boulder and into the pool below. I promise, it would’ve been pure comedy.

              • Zirq

                I loved Sierra Nevada.

                Grant, it sounds like you need your very own GoPro feature. Hopefully nothing is broken but your pride.

                When does Ride Apart come back?

                What kind of schedule does it follow?

            • ike6116

              Zirq, you are not alone.

              HFL seemed to manage much better in NYC without the “access”

              • Grant Ray

                Pfft. Ike, do you know how many press bikes I had access to the last 8 months I lived in Brooklyn? Absolutely zero. Do you know how many adventures I went on? I got an outside gig to photograph the entire Hammarhead line on The Farm that I traveled to in a rental car. That was it.

                I miss all my friends, hanging out at and drinking beer at Works, or dropping in on the Deth Killers, maybe seeing what the fellas at Brooklyn Moto are up to, meeting up at Matchless or No Name. That whole scene is fucking rad. But, for HFL as a media business covering any aspect of new motorcycles, I couldn’t stay.

                • Zirq

                  San Diego is a craft beer mecca.

                  Come south my friend.

                • Scott-jay

                  Is HFL about press bike quantities?
                  Observing recent comments, HFL goals are seemingly oriented toward new products.
                  Believed “here’s a new/better thing to purchase” was spontaneous, more than objective.

              • Zirq

                That depends if you’re referring to riding access or celebrity access. I think the riding access has been great for them. I think their SoCal born stories are some of their best. Celebrity access is another story.

                I may be in the minority, but celebrity endorsements mean nothing to me. If anything, it’s a detraction. I wouldn’t be caught dead in an Alpinestars shirt. I’m not a walking billboard and I don’t wear their gear. I’m half curious to know if they make more money selling shirts to douchebags who don’t ride or on motorcycle gear. But hey, I guess a dollar’s a dollar in the corporate world.

                That being said, I’m not interested in supporting the flip-billed, no the egotistical. I just want to ride and they’re getting in the way. I’d punch off their mirrors if it didn’t have the chance of marring my supple baby kangaroo and stingray hide no name brand Held gloves.

            • stempere

              I don’t consider this bike “bling bullshit”, i do fear the ergos aren’t that good, considering Mickey looks to be taller than Roland and he seems a bit cramped on the main picture but i may be mistaken.

              Over the last few month, i think the LA move was a blessing, the site may have lost a bit of it’s NYC flavor and attitude (fuck potholes, bad weather and the police) but gained something else (fuck the CHP and posers?).
              I regret not having news of previously treated stories like the nice nimble electric bike from Brooklyn Motorized, but the positives outweigh the negatives.

              My biggest gripe would be that content is too sparse, we all know it’s because of behind the scene stuff and Ride Appart but it’s been quite at the expense of written content here on HFL, what we all originaly paid for.
              Maybe you tried to do too much too fast (the move, shop, ride appart and other things we don’t know about were quite close to one another) and you ended up over-extending yourselves. In my opinion future offerings shouldn’t have prevented you from doing what we paid you to do.
              On the plus side you’re not just collecting checks and doing more of the same, trying new stuff is good but, as we’ve all seen, risky.

              I guess the “big announcement” will have to deliver if you want to regain some of your audience’s trust and interest.

              Please be tolerant if my phrasing of things is a bit convoluted, english isn’t my first language and i’ve been in front of my computer for 26 hours straight.

  • Charlie

    My 2 cents is that variety is the spice of life and HFL covers all things motorcycle like no one else. Do I think Skank is my motorcycle kin…no, but at least he gets to express his unvarnished opinions. And how many things can HFL do, for the pittance of their subscription fee? I think this bike looks like shit but what do you expect if it’s named after a chihuahua? It was amusing to hear Mickey string a few words together. I will stop dropping in when it’s get boring. LA, NY – neither is boring. Keep stirring the pot Wes, acrimony is a good sign.

  • Barry

    RSD is to motorcycling as Donald Trump is to buildings. Both have about as much taste, and apparently both don’t give a darn how much money they throw at stuff so long as it’s gaudy. Blech.