Cheri Welk and Rick Fairless by Cheri’s Sweepstakes Bike before it got its custom paint job.
Cheri Welk had not even gotten her motorcycle license yet when she entered the contest to win the Custom Rick Fairless Allstate Victory Vegas 8-Ball. “My friend wanted to check out the booth while we were in Sturgis together last fall,” says Welk, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. “Of course they had the beautiful bikes on display, so I registered.”
For years a passenger on the back of her husband’s motorcycle, Welk embarked on classes in March after feeling inspired by a friend who began riding. She recently finished. “I was teasing my husband I didn’t want to be behind him anymore,” she says. “I wanted to be beside him, on my own motorcycle.”
Painted on Cheri’s bike with Rick’s famous tie-dye color scheme.
Now she’ll most likely be in front of him.
Her stunning new bike, customized by the legendary Rick Fairless, is longer than the stock Vegas 8-Ball, and is tricked out with a taller front wheel and a more aggressive stance. “We fabricated a sport fairing to give the Vic a ‘Street Fighter’ look and feel,” says Fairless. “And we used my RF Custom ‘Motor Cages’ to give a different look to the Freedom 106 Vic motor.”
Fairless chose the Victory for its smooth, flowing lines and legendary reliability and had every detail of the design in his mind. “From the time Allstate and I shook hands on the new project, I pretty much knew what I wanted to do,” he says. “I can build a bike in my head before a wrench is ever picked up.”
Cheri Welk and her husband, with Rick Fairless and his wife, in front of Rick’s shop: Strokers Dallas.
Welk got a tour of Fairless’s legendary shop, Strokers Dallas, where they marveled at the sheer number of unique items Fairless had accumulated over the years—statues, posters, toys, and memorabilia. “We were amazed at the items he had collected over the years. It’s like walking through a museum,” Welk said. “His office is full of Dallas Cowboys and Marilyn Monroe. And he was so welcoming and personable.”
An image of angel wings and a cross that Cheri provided Rick as inspiration for his painting.
After the tour, they sat down with Fairless’s painter and airbrush artist to discuss what kind of paint job Welk wanted on her bike. She envisioned a deep blue with a cross on the front fender and angel wings on the tank. “It wasn’t religious,” she explained. “Everybody has a guardian angel. I just wanted mine on my bike. And beyond that, I said I just wanted Rick’s touch on it.”
“That could be dangerous, Cheri,” Fairless joked.
Cheri’s requested image painted perfectly on her bike by Rick Fairless.
Fairless’s team went to work, opting for a solid dark blue paint color instead of the psychedelic style that Fairless is known for. “For somebody of his caliber to take the time to do that says a lot about him,” says Welk. “He’s such a good person.”
Welk can’t wait to ride the bike in her husband’s National Guard troop poker run.
“My husband is so jealous of me now,” she says. “I told him he has to ask permission first before riding my bike.” Beyond that, she’s relieved that the motorcycle Fairless customized is light enough for her to manage. “It’ll have power behind it, but I’ll be able to handle it,” says Welk. “And with the Allstate hands on the seat, I keep saying my butt is going to be in good hands.”
Completed Allstate Sweepstakes Bike custom painted by Rick Fairless for Cheri Welk.
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Allstate Insurance Company is not affiliated with the National Guard, Rick Fairless, Cheri Welk, Marilyn Monroe, Dallas Cowboys, Strokers Dallas, Freedom 106 Vic Motor or Victory Vegas 8-Ball. Allstate makes no warranties or representations and is not liable for any goods or services provided by this individual or organization. The views presented here do not necessarily represent the views of Allstate.