Owned by Johnny Cocktail, Palermo met his fellow bagger enthusiast while building his Road King custom. Working out of a little one-car garage in downtown Chicago, Cocktail noticed Palermo’s work and immediately knew he wanted his own crazy creation.
“We both lived in the heart of Chicago and in the city, there isn’t a lot of Harley-Davidson riders, just the damn hipsters and their Café Racers and Scooters. So it’s a rarity to have another bagger owner out there,” Palermo mentions about his first encounter with Cocktail. “We sat down and discussed what he wanted to do since he already had a 23” spoke wheel and wanted to stay with a spoke.”
Immediately up for a challenge, Palermo wanted to create a bagger with a 30” spoke since no one had done it yet. He called up his buddy Doug Mcgoon from Mad Wheels to further toss the idea around and after numerous attempts at cutting the lip and failing, he finally created the masterpiece wheel that adorns Gold Digger.
After perfecting the new spoke wheel, Palermo originally convinced Cocktail to transform all the chrome on the bike and switch it out for an all-black look. To do so, they needed to tear the motor down and every little piece to get it powder coated a custom matte black with custom gold accents by CPC Powdercoat. But after Palermo noticed how everyone was starting to do Road Glides, he decided to switch everything up and again coaxed Cocktail to let him “run with it,” which Cocktail readily agreed.
“I decided on keeping it old school,” he says. “I have never been a fan of chrome and flash since I love flats and powders; basically being different.” So he ripped the HHI tress off and powdered them gold. He also called upon Azz Kicker for their “crazy ass apes,” and found a nice headlight from a local swap meet and began making the necessary brackets and changes to give it that old feel. “I decided to go one up and add copper lines for the clutch and brake, and run them for the air lines in the front – with everything held in place by copper twisty wire.” He also chose to do all the metal accent pieces in gold instead of black like all the other builders were doing.
The big couldn’t be left without air, so his in-house front and rear air ride system was added, as well as a Speed by Design Center Stand. “By then, the boat was a rowing and all our Black Label Fiberglass came in and we got it all done by John at J&L Auto Craft in Crest Hill, IL. He’s a wizard at doing completely old school sh*t. He laid down a matte black and then a marbled House of Kolor bold along with some silver and gold leaf.” Since Cocktail was a well known bartender at one of Chicago’s biggest clubs downtown, he wanted his nickname on the bike’s gas tank, along with his second home’s “702” area code (which is for Las Vegas, NV).
With the bike almost done, all that was left was its audio, so he called up his boy Steve to work his magic with all the Rockford Fosgate components. “We ordered up some Dirty Bird lids and got to work. Each bag hosts two 8” Midrange/Midbass speakers, two 5” horns and one 6.5” mid-component speakers in the lids along with a 600W Rockford Fosgate Power Series amp… And that’s just in one bag! We’ve called out anyone who thinks they have a louder bag-only set up and did not have any challengers.”
According to Palermo, the system is so loud that you can hear it banging even as it does 65 mph on the road. “The stereo is a shocker and people literally drop their jaws when they hear all that sound come out of just the bags.” To complete the bike, they added a custom seat done by well known Customs By Vos, which features a pattern that matches the crown on the gas cap and has rivet holes to match the JH Choppers floor boards.
The bike was supposed to debut at the Chicago stop of the 2014 DUB Show Tour, but barely missed it. But it’s still making people drop the F-Bomb whenever they see it up close. Palermo has since then moved in to his official shop in Joliet, IL and continues to do f*cking explicit work!
2009 Harley-Davidson Road Glide “Gold Digger”
Owner: Johnny Vithoulkas
Builder: Antonio Palermo of F-Bomb Baggers
2009 Screaming Eagle 110 built by Minos Racing
Cylinders Minos Racing
Heads ported by Minos Racing
Air cleaner Precision Billet
Exhaust F-Bomb Baggers wrapped 2 into 1
Frame and Suspension
HHI Neck Kit
Front stock with F-Bomb Front Air Ride
Triple Trees HHI
F-Bomb Rear Air Shocks
Wheels, Tires and Brakes
Mad Wheels 30” Fat Spoke Double Lip front wheel
Vee Rubber 140/40-30 “The Monster” tire
JayBrake brake calipers
Matte Black with Marble Gold and Gold/Silver Leaf
Painted by Jon at J&L Auto Craft in Crest Hill, IL
Powder Coat by CPC in Crest Hill, IL
Black Label Baggers rear fender
Black Label Baggers gas tank
F-Bomb one-off Brass Crown gas cap
Azz Kicker 18” Apes handlebars
SJH Choppers floorboard
Old School Bucket headlight
Customs by Vos seat
Black Label Baggers saddlebags with JH Choppers latches
Audio by Steve at Sounds Extreme in Joliet, IL
(2) Rockford Fosgate Power Series Amps
(4) 8"Rockford Fosgate Mid Woofers
(4) 5” Rockford Fosgate Horns
(2) Rockford Fosgate 6.5” mids on the Dirty Bird Concept Lids
All Front Air Lines, Brake Line and Clutch Line were done it copper metal line. Lines and Exhaust Wrap held in place by copper wire and twisted. The 30” Mad Wheel is a true 2 Step Lip like a Truespoke wheel.