Screamin’ Eagle Harley Davidson Road King – Photograph by Victory Jon
Kristin Carlson is a firm believer in “Loud pipes save lives,” although the same could be said of sparkles. Her motorcycle bling endeavors started off small with just a few hundred Swarovski crystals adorning her helmet. When she realized how the shiny stones made a significant improvement of being seen by other vehicles on the road she continued to embellish her entire helmet in a colorful array of the glimmering Swarovski stones. Inspired by her shining lid in a radiant rainbow of twinkling gems she went on to transform her Screamin’ Eagle as well. Her custom Harley motorcycle—bling’d with a dazzling display of inspirational quotes from family and friends—is truly a sight to see.
A Shiny Reputation
Kristin never intended for her Harley Davidson Screamin’ Eagle to draw so much attention, but having a motorcycle bling’d in its entirety with shiny rainbow crystals will absolutely do just that. She has met a lot of wonderful people who are fascinated about her motorcycle bling, and she has formed new friendships in the process.
“The bike has been very, very well received by women and men alike, riders of all backgrounds and social/cultural circles. I feel as if I have broken the stereotype and lowered the barriers between non-riders and riders. I have motivated women to start riding—and others to bump up into bigger bikes.”
It is no surprise that Kristin’s custom bike has been photographed a multitude of times, but one occasion holds a special and honored place in her heart. She had just completed the design on her bike and was riding Mulholland by the Rock Store when the photographer Victory Jon (noted for taking Highway Photos along California’s coast ) took her picture. He later asked if she would do a photo shoot so he could use the images in his advertising. He admitted that after photographing tens of thousands of motorcycles, hers was his favorite. Kristin was thrilled to hear this and she was honored to take him up on his offer.
Motorcycle Bling Continues to Grab Attention
To this day Kristin is still amazed at the reputation her custom bedazzled Harley Davidson Road King has earned and the attention that her bike constantly receives from people whom she has never even met. Recently her husband rode it to a private hanger at the Burbank Airport where he works so that he could have the back tire replaced. Later that evening a friend told her about a video that had been posted by a custom motorcycle site called the Cartel Baggers, who had featured her motorcycle as their “Bike of the day.” By the time Kristin saw the video it had already been shared hundreds of times and had been viewed by thousands.
“That led to meeting new people, and ultimately, this interview. I’m still so very astonished!”
In 2010, a year after getting her motorcycle endorsement, Kristin had been out riding on her first bike, a Suzuki C50. She had entered into a blind sweep when another motorcycle rider had fixated on her and crossed over into her lane. She successfully maneuvered to avoid a head on collision but she was not able to escape serious injury. The accident shattered her foot, ankle and nearly severed her leg. Unfortunately, her injuries continue to plague her to this day with needing additional surgeries, yet this still doesn’t slow down this exceptional woman.
During Kristin’s initial recovery she was determined not to let the anxiety of the accident get the best of her and she turned to “sparkle therapy.” While she was still on crutches she busied herself by embellishing her helmet in glittering Swarovski crystals. She also bravely regained her confidence by getting right back on a steel horse and continued to ride pilon with her husband.
On one occasion they headed out to a Bikefest in Las Vegas. Her crutches were strapped to the handlebars of her husband’s bike and she was sporting a bling motorcycle helmet that she had designed with a few hundred shimmering crystals. It didn’t take long for her to realize how noticeable the Swarovski stones glittering in the sun made them in traffic.
“One driver even pulled us over to tell us.”
Afterwards Kristin decided that she would cover her entire helmet in a dazzling display of colorful rainbow crystals. She ended up dedicating 8-hour days over the next few weeks to create her glittering custom lid.
You may wonder, “how does she keep it clean?”
Kristin tells us that cleaning the Swarovski crystals is a breeze and she uses Costco aerosol glass cleaner that contains no ammonia. After letting the cleaner soak in she uses an old toothbrush to work out the bugs. Afterwards she blots it dry with no-lint rags.
After Kristin’s accident she couldn’t return to her former career as a personal trainer and sadly had to close her bustling fitness business. While she continued to recover from her extensive injuries she incorporated her sparkle therapy into a new business called Mystic Icing.
She turned her large kitchen into a design studio of sorts, setting up bins of different sizes and colors of Swarovski crystals. She worked with the assortment of crystals and created amazing custom designs on helmets, motorcycle parts and clothing.
Regrettably the business was not very cost-effective, coupled with how extremely time consuming it was to create the custom designs, and ultimately Kristin had to make a choice. She decided to go back to school to work towards a new career and completely changed her life. Currently she works as a Physical Scientist in the USAF.
A Rainbow of Crystals Intertwined with Inspiring Quotes
When Kristin bought her 2007 Screamin’ Eagle Road King CVO in 2011, “safety first” was foremost on her mind. That led her to begin to customize her bike by adding a few Swarovski crystals to increase its visibility. She initially had no real plan or design in mind when she started and soon she was adding more and more sparkly Swarovski stones to truly make the bike her own. She then looked to her family and friends for inspirational quotes that she could work into her ever growing creative design.
“The entire motorcycle is covered, except the chrome. But I am tempted.”
Kristin’s swirling multicolored design is interwoven with images that have special meaning to her along with inspirational quotes that her family chose that reminded them of her. (Photographs by Victory Jon)
Kristin creatively hid some of the quotes on her motorcycle while she left others in plain view.
“She was a vixen when she went to school, and while she be but little, she is fierce” (Shakespeare’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
“She had not known the weight until she felt the freedom” (Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, The Scarlet Letter)
On the tank:
“Milwaukee Vibrator” replaced the Harley Davidson logo. (A tribute to the iconic feel and where Harley Davidson originated, Milwaukee, Wisconsin)
“Quoth the Raven Nevermore” (Edgar Allen Poe’s, The Raven)
“Not all who wander are lost” (J.R.R. Tolken’s Lord of the Rings)
Two and a half years and about 250,000 Swarovski crystals later, Kristin’s quoted bling motorcycle was bedazzled in an array of colorful sparkles and she considered it finished. At least she thought it was. Now Kristin plans to add a future fairing and will be reaching for the glittering Swarovski crystals once again.
“People are surprised that I have not entered it into any contests… I had never thought it was worthy… but maybe one day I will. I’m always seeing how I can improve it, and want to fix it before I enter it… maybe after the fairing.”
Additional Motorcycle Customizations
Kristin immediately beefed up the exhaust and installed Rinehart slip-ons to improve the sound. In anticipation of her future fairing she replaced the handlebars with 17” bars that are specifically for the fairing she will be adding. She also added blinker button extenders and chrome button covers.
A Bike of Many Colors and Names
(Video by Kristin)
One name just wasn’t enough for this dazzling beauty of a bike but whatever name you want to call Kristin’s bike we think it is an absolute jewel. “Cabaret Dancer” is what Kristin likes to refer to her Harley and it certainly is a very fitting name with all its vivid glittering gems. However her husband likes to call it “The Spectacle” for its visual impact.
Her friends and family refer to her bling motorcycle as “Blingy” because of her custom license plate “I BLINGY,” but most people who now encounter her bike call it the “Milwaukee Vibrator” since she covered over the Harley Davidson logo.
Bling Motorcycle Accessories
Kristin’s creativity and talent for creating amazing designs with Swarovski crystals on her helmet spilled over onto her favorite motorcycle jacket and vest.
“One can’t have enough sparkle in their life”
Various designs decorate her Angel Wings Jean Jacket.
She added a blingy candy skull to her vest that also includes Patriot Guard Riders’ tags and pins.
Kristin’s Favorite Rides
Living in Santa Clarita, California Kristin loves to ride along the spectacular coastline with her husband. They have a favorite quaint resort that they frequent in Morro Bay and spend time sightseeing along the California coast. Another favorite, and consequently her first experience riding a Harley, was when she had the opportunity to ride the breathtaking coastline in Hawaii with her husband. Kristin frequently rides with the Patriot Guard Riders, and has a passion to support veterans and their families.
“After spending months in Italy, I have caught the travel bug.”
When her husband was sent to Italy to work for three months they spent time in Rome, Marsala and Sicily. Although she never got a chance to ride there the experience inspired her desire to travel. She has plans to travel to Spain and Portugal with her daughter in the new year.
Along with her talent for creating dazzling designs with Swarovski crystals, Kristin enjoys painting wall murals and dabbles in interior design. Kristin is also a big fan of shopping at rallies and encourages others to do the same. She is adamant that you can always get amazing things that you would never find anywhere else and a firm believer in shopping locally.
“I know how hard it is to make a small business successful, so I’d advise women (and men) to stay local and buy from small businesses.”
Connect with Kristin
Do you have a bling’d out bike? Are you fashionably styling while you ride? Then check out How to get featured as a Biker Girl Bling’n It.