Saturday, July 4, 2015

Born-Free 7 Invited Builders Part 2

Here's the second bunch of Invited builders bikes. 

Jason Moss brought out this Racy looking Panhead. It's competion like finish features carbon fiber rocker boxes and practically no chrome.

A very tidy Knucklehead by Matt Jackson.

Chrome frames seem to be back in style these days.

Mark Drews unusual take on using dual headlights. Unless it's a survivor it had a worn patina that may not be the best way to express this kind of show bike. A color other than black might have been a better choice for such a sculptured sixties style show bike.

On the other hand Go Takamine's Indian Chout (Chief in a Scout frame), had a faux aged paint job that worked because of it's old racer styling.
Since they have a dull finish the modern snow flake wheels seem to work. Some might say the rear disc brake doesn't fit in with the rest of the bike.

Mick Evangelista's specialty is early seventies style long choppers.

Oliver Jones high tech race inspired generator/alternator shovel. It's so much of a custom hybred there's hardly any thing shovelhead left of it.

Another high tech race inspired chopper by Church of Chopper's Jeff Wright. This time using a Kawasaki KZ 900. It was one of only two Japanese bikes in the Invited Builders Corral.


Nick Zazzi's Shovelhead. While it likely envolved as much work as many of the other bikes, it's somewhat conservative styling probably made it less of a stand out to many spectators.  Except on a Cobra Trike I can't say I've ever seen a fat tire sixteen inch brakeless wheel combo up front.

It appears that Paul Cox's knucklehead was not finished. I'd say he learned more of what the Born-Free crowd likes from last year's experience.

Another Knucklehead. This time by Shawn Long

Uwe Ehinger's Speedway inspired Flathead/Knucklehead hybred. While I'm not into high tech/vintage combinations, I can appreciate the engineering and craftsmanship.

Trevelen Rabanel of SuperCo just descrides his machine as a custom motorcycle. You can decide for yourself what to call it.

That's all of the Invited Builders bikes but for one. I didn't get a photo of Roland Sands 2-stroke Yamaha Racer. Although it was very trick, I don't think it fit that well into this type of show.

More of the show to come...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Born-Free 7 Invited Builders Part 1

These photos are from Saturday. The semi cloudy weather was nice but made taking good photos a bit difficult while dodging the crowds of spectators.

This first post shows half of Invited Builders Bikes starting with my four favorites.
I didn't hear who won best builder but (to me), this bike pretty much stole the center stage. A lot of us have seen the David Mann Roth poster Building a Chopper this bike is based on, but what a great idea and really good foresight to actually build it. Looking at the poster I always thought it was a weird design with it's winged tank and never really liked this type of seat or a curved springer, but it all works when it comes together. 

This is one wicked chopper! I call it a fifteen year old's dream since it's the kind of chopper that would rock your world if seen at that age. It goes against all my adult sensibilities but really re-kindles what's left of my dwindling teenage spirit. A big tip of the hat goes out to it's builder Arie Vanscyndel.

Big Scott's Banana Cream Dream (un-official name). It would be right at home at a sixties era show.

Scott is re-living his own teenage passions with it's Schwinn Sting Ray inspired elements. Besides the seat and bars, note the risers.

Jason Weber's Booger Sugar panhead was another sixties style favorite.

Despite being somewhat squeezed into a tight corner of the display field, I believe it earned 'Peoples Choice'.

Jeff Leighton's white Triumph rounds out my top four. Another jewel of a bike that would be right at home in a sixties era show. 

It's also another bike that would have shown better had it been in the center of the field instead of at the end by a fence.  I think bikes can get a kind of overlooked when on the end of the line up.  I had to shoot over the end barrier fence to get this shot.  In the future I'd suggest making sure the bikes on the ends get a bit more walk around space.

Bobby Middleton's blown Shovster digger didn't like it's picture taken. Every shot I took (except the one below), came out blurred. 

Lane splitter?... Not... with that far out carb!

Dalton Walker's Panhead was another Digger that didn't like it's picture taken. While I'm not the biggest fan of the Digger style, I will say he was very sucessful at capturing that late 70's early 80's vibe. The fabrication skills are impressive.

Jon Rispante's Heavenly Blues. In my opinion the extreme high bars and the scalopped tank both distract from the bikes overall good looks. His builder video on the Born-Free blog is a clever take off of the Wild Angels film's opening. 

Anyone who has seen Jon's bikes already knows he's a 60's Triumph show bike fan. The furry smokey display brings it home.

Jordan Dickinson's Knucklehead appeared to be unfinished. The bare metal shows off the metal fab skills but let's hope it gets painted.

The Show Class (People's Champ), by J.P. Rodman. Tons of work and fab skills but sorry... I don't get it... especially that seat?

Kyle Edgar's Flathead is nice but the pipes and narrow bars don't quite cut it for me. If the bottom pipe was longer it would look more balanced. Maybe I'm just an old coot but I don't get the obession with extemely narrow bars a lot of guys have these days.


That will do it for now. More Invited Builder's Bikes will be coming shortly....

Saturday, June 20, 2015

One Week To Go

Can you believe year 7?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Juxtaposition Is Everything

More from Angel Mark

Marc says: Larry and I were roommates at one time. We did a lot of riding together and to make it easy when we parked, we would use one chain through both rear tires to lock the bikes. Well with my Jewish star and his Nazi gas tank, we got a lot of looks.
Little Brother Larry (AKA Kansas City Larry), and his Nazi Helmet gas tank. 

Angel Marc pushing his Pan.

The photos are cut because they were once part of a collage under the glass of Marc's coffee table.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Kerry Scores

A few months ago there was a post on the Born Loser blog of a Panhead belonging to Kerry but without any information other than something like he plans on getting it back on the road. The pictures looked old. A bit later Kerry emailed me with another photo explaining that he scored an old buddy's Pan.
Sitting in a Long Beach garage for the last 22 years. It looks a lot like Kerry's Blue Velvet and Arte's '65 Pan.

The two photos below are the photos which were posted on the Born Loser Blog.

Nice Score!

Since antique bikes were getting all pluck up I had predicted some years ago that vintage choppers would become the next barn/garage finds.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Roy's Beer Keg Trike

Somehow this photo was left out when I posted Big Roy's trike a few years back. It's been in a few post. Click here for another look or search the 'Trikes' label for more.
Photo courtesy of Kerry Crist

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Mysterious Model Maker

This was sent a little bit ago by Dr. Sprocket with no explanation or any details other than the subject line 1912 H-D. Work like this blurs the line between model making and fine art sculpture.
From what I can read on the plaque: Dave Kafton 1912 H-D, 2010 Cannonball.

He also made a very cool trophy for Born-Free a couple of years ago.  Perhaps we are witnessing a whole new career is in the making.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

A Wild One Favorite

One of the best scenes from The Wild One.
One of the coolest bikes in the film too.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

More South Bay Coolness From Marc

Angel Mark sent these follow up photos of the South Bay Originals.
Filthy Frank wheelies while Marc (to the left), and others watch.

Marc says Big Chuck was not holding the bike up, just worried as the bike was firmly planted. That said, it does look a bit precarious.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

What to do with a 65 Panhead?

As stated in an earlier post, Every now and then I do little thumbnail sketches to explore ideas floating around in my head.

Although I have all the parts to put my '65 Panhead back to it's former police orgins, I'm thinking of  having some fun with it before doing so. I even have an extra frame I could hard-tail if the urge is strong. Basically, I have almost enough extra parts to build another complete roller.
Anybody can build a nice rigid, but swingarms can be a challenge. 

The style below is practical since it's an easy bolt-on process to go back to stock.
It aint much other than sort of a Dick Hirshberg style Fat Bob. Due to the rear shocks some pipes styles (like up-sweeps), don't work well with a swingarm. A Dick Allen style collector fits the style well. 

Saturday, March 14, 2015

It's A Small World After All

From The Better Late Than Never Archives

Kerry & Arte
A Short Tale of The Brotherhood Between Builders

5/27/2014
Hello Chris, how is everything?  Still liking your MC art blog. Always interesting and informative. Anyway I was really liking your story and pics about your friend Arte. I remember meeting this guy at the swap meet too, I think he bought some stuff from me. He had this red and black panhead in Supercycle that I really liked. Found out we had a mutual friend so I got together with him and went out to his place.  Back then he was the only guy that had a disc on his VL front end. So he let me measure everything up so I could do it to my bike. Very cool of him to do that. Had a great day with him checking out some of his work. Back then I thought he built some of the nicest bikes around. Saw some of his other builds in Supercycle. I agree with you that he has a certain style and that he is still building killer bikes! Does he still have that sweet pan in the pics? Man he should ride that out to born free and let some of these youngsters check out that. Do you know if he might be going? Like to say hi again. Glad to see he is still out there doing it.


Arte still has this Panhead and it looks as new as in these photos. The collector is a Dick Allen unit but Arte built the header pipes. A Cal Mag brings up the rear.




Kerry's Panhead. Other than more chrome it's pretty much the same formula from the bars to the brake. Both bikes also feature Fat Bob tanks with emblems, rear disc brakes, dual button seats, tool box and bullet (guide type), running lights.

Kerry continues:
I liked his style and simple paint jobs so much I used some of his ideas on a couple projects I did up here in Placerville. Candy red and black shovel I put together for someone and a paintjob for another guy. Sorta looks like a Arte bike.  Thought you might get a kick out of these pictures.