Bike builder Antonio Palermo is into old school WWII memorabilia and building the sickest baggers around the Midwest. So when it came time to name his shop, he went with the most popular word that people used to describe his creations – the F-Bomb. Sporting a logo that takes you back to old nose art from WWII planes, F-Bomb Baggers churn out expletive-dropping customs like the Gold Digger bagger.
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.
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! By: dubmagazine