Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wild Angels Dragon Bike Update

There's no way that this title would fly today.

Last December I did a post on the original dragon bike and showed these tanks.
Here's a direct link to that Original post

Sunday at the LB swap meet , I talked to the owner of what was left of the original Wild Angels Dragon bike. He informed me that he recently sold it. He wouldn't give any names but, says it's now been rebuilt and watch for it as it will surface soon at a museum. He said it's all been verified and photos were taken with Fonda etc. Several so-called experts confirmed that the tanks were painted by Von Dutch. It was supposed to be in Michael Lichter's Rebel Rousers Icons MC show at Sturgis this year but, he didn't think it will make it.... Well it looks like it might have?

Is this really it? Sneak peek from the Rebel Rousers show.

Inquiring minds want to know. Is this the original, how much of it, or another replica?

There are four problems with the bike as shown. 1. These tanks don't look right to me. They look repainted and like the after market ones which always look too fat at the rear. Perhaps, the original tanks weren't used because of the chips and were kept as a valuable relic of Von Dutch's work. 2. The original bike's license and tail light was on the right side (check the title picture at the top). 3. The ape hangers look too tall. 4. Not real sure about the thickness of that back rest?
I hate when they get stuff like this wrong and there's just no excuse.

One other thing seems to have been confirmed though. Big Scott, the owner of the Wax Museum replica and I were talking about the film bike and he mentioned how he thought it had a Bates sprung seat with a separate one piece pillion and back rest. It's was very hard to tell from the movie and stills. You could see the springs but not much else. It appears he is right.

I forgot to mention. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the private reception on Aug.4th. If I had been able to make it to Sturgis, I would have been able to check it out first hand. Damn!


Keith said...

Some friends and I drove 100 miles to see that flick when it first came out-it's still neat to see it on a late night movie channel now and then.
Too bad there doesn't seem to be a lot of good documentation about the bike, but I guess at the time it was just another cheap exploitation flick, so nobody would have been too concerned about it.
Sort of like what happened to the cars from 'American Graffiti"- I read that they could hardly get rid of them after filming.

Grumbler said...

Saw the Wax Museum replica Panhead back in May 1981 while visiting the area.

It's unfortunate that the original wasn't preserved/restored to how it looked in 1966. Then again, those homes alongside the canal in Venice don't look the same, either.

Ironically, I eventually became the webmaster for Davie Allan & The Arrows (soundtrack for The Wild Angels). They just released a new CD "Retrophonic" and one of the tracks is 'Heavenly Blues'.

Chris K said...

Grumbler, Thanks for your comments.

I'm sure, the people that live in those homes don't want them original.

When it comes to famous bikes, there's no excuse to not do it right.

As far as D.A. I always dug that song.

Mike UK said...

Yeah, the apes are way too tall compared to the original bike, licence plate wrong side,I dunno about the tank or the sissy bar. Like many replicas of 'film' bikes this one aint right. Half the Captain America bike replicas from Easy Rider are wrong in many details, why? Really bugs me! Oh, thanks for a great site!

Anonymous said...

My father dean lanza built and painted the bike. I saved all his photos!

All photos were taken at deans custom bike shop. 2350 Alesandro st in Los Angeles

Chris K said...

I saw the Dean Lanza photos. It's a different Dragon Bike.

The Dean Lanza painted one went to the Wax Museum. I know the guy who bought it. He said there were 2 bikes built for the film. The one in the movie is slightly different than the one that went to the Museum. The Dragon on the tank is different too. Its green instead of grey.

Jody Felix said...

Thanks Chris K! I would love to see a recent picture of the bike :-)

Chris K said...

Jody, email me and I can send you some photos.