“I love working on my bikes as much as I love riding them.”
When Brandi Hoel road pillion with her husband on a motorcycle trip in 2010 to the largest motorcycle rally on the west coast—the Laughlin River Run—two amazing things happened. First, she vowed to finally turn the dream she had since she was a little girl into reality and ride her own to the following year’s event. Second was to get her hands dirty customizing her ride in the process.
Not a Little Girl’s Dream Anymore
A year later, true to her vow, Brandi’s dream came true. While at the very moment she was finishing the motorcycle course and getting her motorcycle license from the local college in her hometown of Las Vegas Nevada, her husband was at the dealership signing paperwork for her 2009 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe.
“The Bike that started it all…my first bike.”
Brandi’s Softail Deluxe was to be the start of her newfound passion for customizing motorcycles. As her very first project she wanted to keep things simple and start with only a few modifications. Brandi ordered the parts online with the help of her husband, and together they worked to bring Brandi’s vision into a reality.
She added a progressive front end lowering kit and then changed out the wheels to 18” Ride Wright Wheels on the front and 16” on the back. Brandi also replaced the bars with 16” ape hangers. To complete the transformation, she picked out an awesome “Day Of The Dead” theme that was painted by Devious Design in Las Vegas.
Girls Can Ride Big Bikes Too
Not long after finishing her Softail Deluxe Brandi came across a fellow rider, “Misfit Kelly” on a customized Harley Davidson Road King. Instantly, Brandi was intrigued to see a woman on such a large motorcycle. The image was to become the driving force behind Brandi getting the courage to move on to riding a 2013 Harley Davidson Road Glide.
“I admired her for riding such a big bike like all the guys.”
Getting the Road Glide also gave Brandi another opportunity to get busy customizing this motorcycle to make it her own. As much fun as Brandi has when she is working on a motorcycle she also accepts that it takes a lot of determination and plenty of hard work to put the finishing touches on it.
Customizing the Pink Bagger
When it came to the overall style for Brandi’s “Pink Bagger” she took some design elements from her first bike, the Softail Deluxe and then meticulously picked out the rest of the details for her newest creation. She utilized aftermarket parts like the TOL Bars, Bags, Fender and Side Covers, Mad Wheels and Dirty Air. Brandi loved the “Day Of The Dead” theme so much that she again had Devious Design custom paint her new ride.
At the shop of TOL Designs Brandi wired her new bars. A task she says can be very frustrating, but with a little patience and encouragement from her husband she persevered.
Brandi is rewarded with a smooth, seamless look for her bike.
Brandi is so proud of her custom Harley Road Glide she started entering her striking “Pink Bagger” into a couple of local motorcycle competitions to show off her hard work.
Every show she has entered puts her nerves on edge and she always feels that her very “Pink” bike won’t stand a chance in the male dominated competitions. But to Brandi’s surprise her “Pink Bagger” has ended up with a win of 1st Place or Best of Show every time.
This Girl Has Custom Build Skills
At the end of August Brandi had an accident on her Harley Softail Deluxe and unfortunately it was totaled. We are happy to report that she was fine and didn’t let her misfortune get the better of her. Instead she turned it into an opportunity to start on another custom build. She is currently working on a Harley Davidson Softail Slim S and is using it as her travel bike.
Brandi didn’t want to go too extreme on this build, instead her top priority was strictly for comfort. Her love of travel and camping played a major role in what she altered on her Softail Slim. To keep the sleek design of the bike she added a sissy bar to tie down her gear, eliminating the need for saddlebags. She also replaced the bars and exhaust. Plans to powder coat the pipes are in the works to complete the bikes edgy look.
To add to her growing collection of motorcycles Brandi also has a Harley Davidson Sportster Forty-eight. She uses this bike for her “around the town” outings. It is apparent that all of Brandi’s motorcycles need her signature accessory—those awesome bars that she masterfully wires herself.
From what I have gotten to know about Brandi, it probably won’t be long before she decides that the Sportster needs just a little more tweaking to it to make it a true “Brandi Original.”
Customizing Motorcycles and Inspiring Women
Brandi not only likes to work on her own bikes she enjoys helping other women with customizing their motorcycles. What better place to do that than where she works, Evil Empire Designs.
This newly launched parts and accessories store located in Las Vegas is owned and operated by women. Their goal is to also branch out and create a parts line just for women who customize their rides.
What is next for Brandi? Well, she loves a challenge and what better way to put her talents to the test than with a competition?
Brandi along with three of her friends, Sheila Cunningham, Malyke Smith and Cindy Kline, entered the “Blue Collar Build Off” put on by the Saddle Sore Ranch.
Starting March 1st, 2017 they will begin to build a motorcycle from scratch from a mere $1,000 budget and only have 30 days to build it and then ride it 100 miles to the ranch. TOL donated the frame, tank, and fenders to get them started.
Some of Brandi’s Favorite Things
Brandi’s favorite piece of gear is her Belhaven Brown Harley Boots. These boots have an awesome badass look with the added benefit of some serious safety features added in for cruising the open road that Brandi can attest to.
Aside from customizing motorcycles Brandi loves riding with her Sin City Moto Girls group to Babes Ride Out every year in Joshua Tree. This year they setup at the campground with the biggest tents on site and had all the comforts of home to complete their own little tent city within the campgrounds. To document their rides throughout the weekend they had photographer Michael Spain-Smith follow along.
“We had our own Sin City Tent City”
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