Peterson Museum Throws Motorcycle Icon a Birthday Bash

Arlen Ness PhotoLos Angeles, Calif. (June, 2013) – Few, if any, have had a more prolific and respected career in custom motorcycle building than Arlen Ness, and the Petersen Automotive Museum is thrilled to honor the man himself and his creations with a Birthday Bash on July 12, followed by a motorcycle cruise-in on July 13 and a special summer-long exhibit titled Arlen Ness: Art on Two Wheels.

The Arlen Ness Birthday Bash on July 12 at 6p.m. will include cocktails and dinner in celebration of Ness. Friends of Arlen Ness will speak to honor the legend, who will also answer questions from the audience. Tickets are $95 and can be purchased at www.Petersen.org.

The exhibit will open on Saturday, July 13, marked with a V-Twin Cruise-In from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone who rides a motorcycle to the museum will receive free parking and two-for-one admission to the museum. Arlen Ness will be signing autographs at 11:00 am.

Arlen Ness: Art on Two Wheels, which runs through Sept. 8, 2013, will feature motorcycle masterpieces built by Arlen Ness that together embody a style and spirit that blends sculpture and the thrill of motoring on two wheels. Alongside Arlen’s bikes will be others built by his son Cory and grandson Zach—three generations of the Ness family have crafted some of the most stunning and trend setting custom motorcycles to ever grace the highway.

Ness began his career in the 1960s with the customization of a 1947 Harley Knucklehead. After entering the bike in local shows, he was noticed by future customers and started a business custom painting bikes. As his popularity grew and demand increased, Ness began selling custom parts and custom motorcycles with a stretched and lowered style which became the hallmark of his designs. After more than four decades, Ness has a large product line specializing in Victory and Harley-Davidson accessories and has received a variety of awards including Builder of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Awards and induction to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Million Dollar Custom Bikes? I Ain’t Buying It

it's worth a millionAs editor of this esteemed fish wrapper, it’s my job to stay abreast on the trends in the motorcycle industry, and, believe me, staying abreast is a full time job with me, and one I thoroughly enjoy.

The only thing I like better is a well placed double entendre.

But, enough about me.

I wanna discuss the time I wasted…er.. spent recently watching Sturgis Motorcycle Mania on the Travel Channel.

To be fair, the production value of the episodes was and is outstanding. Produced by Big Fish Entertainment (Bethesda Maryland) the camera work and post production editing are as good as any I’ve ever seen, and frankly much better than anything I’ve been involved with.

But I guess what’s eating my cheese is the ridiculous hyperbole the producers insert into the story line as artificial drama in whatever event they’re taping.

A case in point was their coverage of one of the bike shows. To hype the importance of this show, and create artificial tension between the participants, the narrator says that the value of the winning bike could reach as much as “1 MILLION DOLLARS!”

It was at this point when I paused the DVR, went into my garage and retrieved my bullshit flag. It was obvious I was going to need it a lot during the next 45 minutes.

Admittedly I’m not the foremost authority on custom motorcycles, but even with my head stuck up my proverbial arse most of the time, I think I would’ve heard about builders spending less than $30k in parts and fabrication building show bikes, turning around and earning a cool million when they win this bike show.

With stakes that high the builders would be hiring 24 hour security guards and installing wireless cameras to watch their bikes when they sleep.

This wasn’t the only “contest” on the show that was hyped way beyond the realm of believability.

I suppose the target audience of these type shows isn’t middle aged motorcycle magazine editors.

I suspect these shows are aimed more toward the non-motorcycle riding viewer. Or at least the viewer who has heard the legend of Sturgis and fantasizes that one day he or she will have the funds to participate in what has become known as the “Greatest Motorcycle Show on Earth!”

My apologies to the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus people for that blatant tag line rip-off.

But, truth be told the “Sturgis Experience” for lack of a better term is, for those who have yet to attend, the pinnacle of the motorcycle life.

The phrase “This year, I’m going to Sturgis” is to bikers what the phrase “This year, I’m going to Vegas” is to hard core gamblers.

Those motorcycle riders who live as much for the lifestyle as the ride, see Sturgis as the one “must do” destinations before they die.

It’s a desire I completely understand.

There are very few opportunities for working stiffs such as you and I to participate in “epic adventures.”

That’s part of the mystique of the Black Hills Rally. Even if you’re not interested in the gratuitous nudity, the easy to find debauchery, or the simply weird beyond biker weird, travelling to Sturgis promises so much more.

Endless miles of breathtaking scenery. Endless miles of prairies, bisected with mountains wrapped with ribbons of blacktop that are as close to motorcycle riding heaven as you’re likely to see this side of dirt.

Add to it the distance involved just to get there and you have the perfect recipe for a bucket list adventure worthy of wintertime daydreams, without all the made up drama.

Now that I think about it, the biggest prize in Sturgis isn’t winning some bike show, or burnout contest, and there’s not drama involved. The most valuable prize is the experience.

And, as we all know, it’s the things we do, not the things we have, that nourish our soul the most, no drama needed.

Until next time, ride safe, and always take the road less traveled

HARLEY-DAVIDSON SEVENTY-TWO™ REVIVES A LEAN LOOK

Dark Custom Gets Some Color – A New Narrow Sportster in Sparkling Metal Flake Paint

MILWAUKEE (Feb. 1, 2012) – The Harley-Davidson® Seventy-Two™ motorcycle is a metal flake dream machine, a Sportster® on a trip back to the days when the cool kids rode a Sting-Ray and the big boys parked choppers in a row on the curb. Those motorcycles were long and lean; candy-apple color and gleaming chrome shimmering in hazy summer sunlight. From its Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint and ape bars to its narrow whitewall tires, the Seventy-Two is a respectful nod to that era, and to the influence of the custom culture that still percolates today along Whittier Boulevard, the legendary cruising street in East Los Angeles also known as Route 72. A new generation of custom builder is tapping into that era and making a fresh statement, not just in California but in garages across the country, even around the world.

 “In creating the Seventy-Two, we were also inspired by the vibe of the early chopper era,” says Frank Savage, Harley-Davidson Manager of Industrial Design. “Those bikes were colorful and chromed, but also narrow and stripped down to the essentials. You look at period examples and they are almost as simple as a bicycle. It’s a custom style that’s very particular to America and that California scene.”

 Metal flake, an iconic design element of the ‘70s, appeared in everything from dune buggy gel coat to vinyl diner upholstery, and on custom motorcycles. Harley-Davidson brings the sparkle back on the Seventy-Two with Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint. This new finish is created by applying a black base coat, followed by a polyurethane system that carries hexagon-shaped flakes that are more than seven times the diameter of metal flake used in typical production paint. Each flake is coated with a thin aluminum film and then tinted red. Four applications of clear coat, combined with hand sanding, create a smooth finish over the flakes. more after the poll

 

 “The final touch to the Hard Candy Big Red Flake paint is a logo on the tank top and pinstripe scallop details on both fenders,” says Savage. “Each was originally created by hand, and we recreated that art in a decal for production, so they still have the appearance of hand-applied graphics in that they are not exactly perfect. The graphics are then covered with a final clear coat application.”

A solo seat and side-mounted license plate bracket leave much of the chopped rear fender – and more of that paint – exposed on the Seventy-Two. The powertrain is finished in Gray powdercoat with chrome covers and a new round air cleaner with a dished cover. A classic Sportster 2.1-gallon “peanut” fuel tank adds a final period touch to the motorcycle.

 Key features of the 2012 Harley-Davidson® Seventy-Two™ include:

  • Air-cooled Evolution® 1200cc V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), rated at 73 ft. lbs. peak torque at 3500 rpm.
  •  Powertrain is finished in Gray powdercoat with Chrome covers.
  •  Paint color choices include Hard Candy Big Red Flake with period pinstripe details on fenders and fuel tank, Black Denim, and Big Blue Pearl.
  •  Classic 2.1-gallon peanut fuel tank.
  •  Dunlop® white side wall 21-inch (MH90-21) front and 16-inch (150/80B16) rear tires.
  •  Chrome Laced wheels.
  •  Ten-inch mini-ape handlebar mounted on a two-inch high riser.
  •  Chrome, eight-inch round air cleaner cover with center screw mount.
  •  Chopped rear fender exposes rear tire.
  •  Side-mounted license plate bracket.
  •  Chrome, staggered, shorty dual exhaust with slash-cut mufflers.
  •  Solo seat with black textured vinyl cover.
  •  Handlebar-mounted speedometer with chrome cup.
  •  Chrome rear fender struts.
  •  Chrome coil-over pre-load adjustable rear shocks.
  •  Forward foot controls.

 

The Powersport Institute Students Build Custom Bike for AMD World Champ Competition

NORTH RANDALL, Ohio – Students from leading tech training school The PowerSport Institute (PSI) spent the last several weeks building a custom chopper-bagger style bike they named “Students’ Pride” to enter in the World Championship of Custom Bike Building competition.

The World Championship of Custom Bike Building exists to showcase and promote international custom motorcycle design and engineering quality, craftsmanship and innovation; and to promote the evolution of custom motorcycling in ways that help secure the unique enjoyment of custom motorcycles for future generations of riders.

“Students took pride in building this motorcycle, spending countless hours customizing and building the custom bike,” said Bernie Thompson, PSI campus director.  “Participating in the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building competition gives our students a chance to combine the technical training they’ve received at our school with their raw creative skills like metal fabrication and welding.”

PSI students modified the bike with products donated by numerous aftermarket companies: an S&S Cycle engine; Baker Drivetrain transmission; ACCEL digital fuel injector, coils and spark plugs; Diamond Heads cooling system; Sherwin Williams paint; Gardner-Westcott Company chrome plated and stainless steel fasteners; apc parts and accessories; Supertrapp performance exhaust; Tricky Air & Billet shocks; Cometic Gasket high-performance gaskets; JIMS performance parts; Frame Lock motorcycle clamping system to prevent tipping during hauling; Corbin seats and saddles; Avon Tyres tires; Daytona Sensors, LLC sensors.

The PSI bike will debut at the 2011 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which takes place on Main Street, Aug. 8-14, in Sturgis, S.D.  The World Championship is a free-public-admission four-day event that opens Sunday, Aug.7, with an awards ceremony at 3:00 pm MST on Wednesday, Aug. 10, 2011.

PSI, which is an official sponsor of both the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame, Inc. as well as World Championship of Custom Bike Building, offers a 9-week course as part of the American V-Twin Program that focuses on custom bike building and performance combining technical training with creativity and design elements including metal fabrication, welding and finish painting.  Students start from scratch and build a rolling chassis and frame, as well as learn how to add engine, drivetrain, transmission, wheel and suspension components and a variety of aftermarket performance parts, which are popular in the motorcycle industry.

“PSI is the first motorcycle training facility to formally train and accredit students to achieve the skills necessary to customize motorcycles,” added Thompson.  “Partnering with the World Championship allows us to offer our students the best resources in motorcycle customization.  Plus our students can participate in exciting, rewarding industry events like Sturgis.”

To learn more about PSI’s custom bike building program, call 800.322.7000 <tel:800.322.7000> or visit www.psi-now.com.  Follow PSI on Twitter (http://twitter.com/PowerSportInst) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/Power-Sport-Institute) and visit their YouTube page at www.youtube/Power-Sport-Institute.

About the PowerSport Institute
The PowerSport Institute, the largest motorcycle and powersport training campus in the U.S. set on nearly 15 acres, is dedicated to providing premier technical training by pursuing industry alliances, providing outstanding training equipment and focusing on the needs of students.  As the branch campus of leading automotive tech training school Ohio Technical College, PSI draws students from all over the United States.  The PowerSport Institute offers comprehensive diploma programs in power sport technology including motorcycle, ATVs, snowmobiles, personal watercraft, American V-Twin training including custom bike building and an opportunity to earn an AAS degree in Powersport Technology.  For more information, contact PSI at 800.322.7000 ext. 211 <tel:800.322.7000%20ext.%20211> or visit www.psi-now.com

 

 

 

Sturgis Buffalo Chip® Presents The Limpnickie Lot at the West Gate

Buffalo Chip Campground, SD (July 1, 2011)- The Sturgis Buffalo Chip® is proud to announce the partnership they have embarked upon with the Limpnickie Lot to showcase the next generation of motorcycle builders.

This year the Limpnickie Lot will be featured at The Buffalo Chip®, near the West Gate (where the large Buffalo Sculpture is located) in the free area. They will be creating their own FREE Limpnickie village complete with over 20 Limpnickie Lot motorcycle builders and a skateboard ramp.

The Limpnickie Lot brings with it two great Cycle Source Magazine events to Chip, The Cycle Source Free Night Time Chopper Show will take place on Friday August 12th, which is free to enter and features prizes from Legends Air and 10 classes to enter. The fifth annual Cycle Source Black Hills Run will start and end at The Sturgis Buffalo Chip® this year with a host of great destinations throughout the Black Hills. The ride will take place on Tuesday, August 9th at noon.
Rod Woodruff said “We have watched what Chris and Taber have created over the last few years and feel like the Buffalo Chip is the perfect place for them to realize their fullest potential in Sturgis. We see this as a long-term partnership that will round out the world class attractions that the Buffalo Chip already offers.”
“This new free area of the facility will be a combination of the laid back Limpnickie attitude and the world-class destination of the Chip.” Said co-owner of the Limpnickie Lot Chris Callen.
The Limpnickie Lot took the motorcycle industry by storm in March of 2008 during Daytona Bike Week when the original 11 Limpnickie Lot members took over the parking lot in front of the Stone Edge Skatepark. It was the first time young builders and small parts manufactures had joined together in an effort that would combine their passion for custom motorcycles and their cultural identifiers like skateboarding, punk rock and metal music.

They had a successful week that changed the face of motorcycling and finally gave the rising next generation of motorcycle builders a united voice. “We wanted to have our own kind of rally and found other like minded next generation builders who shared our common interests. It has blown up over the last few years and we are really stoked to be at The Buffalo Chip this year.” Said co-owner of the Limpnickie Lot, Taber Nash.
The Limpnickie Lot addition is the crown on an already packed 30 Years Strong Celebration at the Legendary Buffalo Chip. This year the Sturgis Buffalo Chip will feature Charlie Brechtel, Edgar Winter, Alice Cooper, Pop Evil, Bachman Turner, Styx, Williams and Ree, Sweet Cyanide, Buckcherry, Def Leppard, Toby Keith, Poison, Lukas Nelson, Greg Allman, Lynrd Skynrd, Jeff Bridges and Friends, Saving Abel, Puddle of Mudd, Tesla and George Thorogood and the Destroyers.
For thirty years the Legendary Buffalo Chip has proven itself as the heart of Sturgis Rally Week. Poised and ready to once again offer their visitors the complete biker experience, the Legendary Buffalo Chip has rounded up an enormous selection of biker-centric fun and festivities in addition to offering the summer’s biggest and most authentic music experience of Rally Week. Reservations for multi-day passes or daily admissions are available online at BuffaloChip.com or by calling 605-347-9000 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (MST) Mondaythrough Friday.

Prisons Compete With Custom Builders

CANON CITY — Eager to do more than make license plates, inmate workers here are bustin’ out.

Canoes and custom motorcycles are among the newest products being made by inmates working under the Colorado Correctional Industries program. Fishing rods and flies also are recent additions.

Correctional Industries oversees about 60 inmate work programs in the agricultural, manufacturing and service fields. Offerings range from furniture making to a commercial fish farm.

The managers of the programs say they’re always willing to think outside the fence — and also eager to tap inmates’ specific work talents.

So when inmates at the fiberglass shop at the medium-security Fremont prison aren’t building fish tanks, they’re making fiberglass-sealed canoes. Read More..