There are builds that make you do a second take, then there are those which photos don’t even begin to do it justice… Str8 Loco is one of these creations. The one-off 2007 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail® Classic owned by Steve Castillos is well known among the custom ride scene as a show-stopping masterpiece, which has won numerous awards since it first made its debut.
Growing up in Lowrider culture, thanks to his dad, Castillos was well versed in its lifestyle and the requirements of having a clean ride, something that would later continue on with his interest in bikes. Over the years, he’s had a few two-wheeled toys, but has always had a particular liking for Harley-Davidson motorcycles, describing them as more his style. “They’re more laid back than sport bikes and made for cruising and going out for a nice ride, which is what I’m all about,” Castillos describes.
After dressing up his father’s Harley, Castillos decided it was time to create his own beauty and began work on Str8 Loco’s first build, which was nowhere close to its current state. A few of its early modifications included: a custom gas tank, teal paint job, diamond-cut engine with no engraving, minor chrome parts, a stretched fender and an air ride suspension.
But after realizing how others were surpassing his bike at various shows, Castillos knew it was time to up his game and broke down the bike all the way to its frame back in 2009. “I noticed a lot of people were really taking it to the next level and wondered what I could do to make it better than theirs,” he admits. “From there I just kept doing things in stages and it was ready to show in 2010.”
For this makeover, Castillos didn’t want to do what everyone else was doing and opted to follow his own style while still pushing the limits. “You can do a lot to a Harley-Davidson, but you have to have a vision and be imaginative,” he notes. “Knowing there’s so many different ways to do a bike, I chose to make it extreme, but elegant. I just wanted to make a really nice, good-looking show bike.”
To make his vision come true, Castillos opted for custom one-off rims, a one-off seat, a candy teal paint job, more chroming and intricate engraving patterns that really accentuate the bike’s theme without making it seem too overdone. The paint job is clean with no wild murals, and just his “Str8 Loco” logo on the bike’s running board.
Giving his engraver, Hernan’s Custom Engraving (Montclair, CA), free reign, Castillos’ only request was that everything be kept in the style of the bike. “You can’t do one thing and do another section another way,” he explains. “I wanted my bike to have all its parts flow together, from the front to the back. You can’t break up what’s going on through the bike. I was actually a bit worried about the engraving and had some of it broken up so that not every piece is engraved. That looks too cluttered in my opinion. You need to break it up or you’ll lose track of what you’re looking at.” The candy teal paint was done by Steve Deman of Kolor Kings, who is well known within the scene as dressing up many customizations in beautiful colors.
Currently, his favorite part of the Harley is its unique wheels, which feature thick diamond-cut spokes that are painted the same color of the bike (with the brake calipers sporting the same look). “People have fallen in love with these wheels.”
Even though it looks as if it’s strictly a show bike, Str8 Loco is not only built to impress, but ride smooth, running and functioning 100%. “It’s a complete show bike, but it’s ready to roll if I pop off the calipers and change the one-off rims for some others,” he admits, noting that haters usually knock his bike because they don’t see it on the street. “This stuff isn’t cheap,” he tells of all the customizations. “If I want to ride it I can, but I choose not to because replacing these custom parts if anything happens costs a lot of money.”
For now, Str8 Loco, is finished, given the extensive work that’s been completed, but Castillos does mention that it will make more appearances on the show circuit and hinted that he’s debating on if he should change it up a bit. “I believe I’m done with it for the most part…only because I’m scared if I do something it’ll be too much and be over the top,” he revealed. “I don’t want to mess up the bike. It’s at a good stage right now and it’s getting the attention it deserves.”
TECH SPECS: 2007 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail® Classic
Hernans Custom Engraving in Montclair, CA
Steve Deman (www.kolorkings.com)
Custom Stitched Seat
Diamond Cut Motor and other parts
Diamond Heads in Herderson, Nevada
Platinum Air Ride
• Two-time Torres Empire Super Show Best of Show and 1st Place
• 2012 Saboba Casino Best of Show
• 63rd 2012 Grand National Roadster Show, Achievement Award, Outstanding Detail, and Outstanding Display
• 2012 DUB Show L.A. First Place
• 2012 Easyrider O.C. First Place
• 2011 Lowrider Magazine Super Show in Las Vegas First Place
Thank you to all my sponsors: Custom One Off Wheels – Sam of Ride Wright Wheels in Anaheim, CA and a special thanks to Buky Bars in Pico Rivera, CA for custom fabrication
Ethnicity: Indonesian and Czechoslovakian | Height: 5’5” | Measurements: 32-23-35
Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in eastern Washington, but spent most of my life living in the small town of Bellingham, Washington. I grew up on a horse farm and considered myself somewhat of a tomboy. It’s funny to see where I am now career wise and living in Cali because I was always so shy, and now I consider myself extremely outgoing. And I love being in front of the camera, although I never forget my roots and truly enjoy being kind of a wild one at times! I love anything to do with outdoor activities, shopping, spending time with my friends and traveling.
How did you get into modeling?
I was always into music and modeling my whole life, but was just too shy to push myself in that direction when I was super young. At 17, I decided that it was all I wanted to do and started to work with local photographers to create my portfolio. From there, I gained confidence and learned how to model and, of course, I knew that it was my passion! The rest is history!
What do you currently drive?
I currently drive a 2012 335i BMW coupe with the M series package. It’s black-on-black, fully loaded, and I love it.
What’s your dream car?
That’s a tough question because there are so many cars that I like! I think the Bugatti Veyron is insane! Do I think I’ll ever get it? Not sure, but I sure hope so...
What type of cars do you like your men to drive?
I like my men to drive nice luxury European cars or, of course, a spacious SUV, such as the Range Rover.
What traits do you look for in a guy?
The traits that I look for in a man are amazing humor, someone who loves to travel, great energy, physically active and fit, outgoing and spontaneous.
Any turnoffs for you?
Turnoffs for me would be bad hygiene, selfish, too cocky, dressing poorly, messy house or car and being obnoxiously loud!
What’s your idea of a romantic date?
I get asked a lot to what my idea of a romantic date would be and, honestly, I really feel like keeping it old fashion with great gentleman skills is always such a plus. This sounds so boring, but guys these days lack it! Maybe go wine tasting, go up in a hot air balloon, picnic, and walk on the beach to end the night.
How’s it feel to be considered a sex symbol?
I giggle at this question...It’s really a crazy feeling. Never would I have imagined being all over magazines, television, ads, etc and have men and women in awe. To this day, I still blush over it. It motivates me and it’s somewhat empowering. I’m lucky and feel very blessed.
What do you think is your best characteristic?
I think my best characteristic would have to be my humor. Laughter is so important and the fact I can make others laugh or cheer them up makes me feel good. It’s just healthy period.
What did you think of Str8 Loco?
The Str8 Loco bike was insane! Soo much chrome and engraving and beautiful coloring! I was amazed by how flashy it looked, but yet so muscular. During my shoot I was freaking out posing with it after I learned the cost if it and how much work was put into it. I was worried I’d accidentally tip it!
What was your first experience on a bike like?
My first time on a bike was on a street bike! I was nervous, but as long as I tilted with the motion of the bike, I was totally fine. It was kind of a rush. Feeling that light and zipping through roads like nothing was super fun! Second experience was on a cruiser bike - a Harley to be exact. That was relaxing and comfortable!
Are you a fan of pit bulls?
I actually used to own a blue nose pit before I moved to LA. I miss her so much and if I wasn’t so busy, I would definitely purchase another female. The pit bull on set was one of the kindest dogs I’ve worked with, to be honest. For how large and intimidating the male pit bull looked, he was actually really sweet! The only thing that was a little tough dealing with was when I was shooting with the pit because he was so strong, if he got up to walk away I could hardly hold on to the leash without almost falling over! It was actually pretty funny.
No Frontz Entertainment
Makeup by Carmela Argueta