AMSOIL Joins Lawbike.Com Best of The Beach Bike Show As Sponsor

Amsoil will give away free product to each person who enters the Best of the Beach Bike Show. (actual product may differ from shown)

March 10, 2014 Panama City Beach:  USRiderNews announced  that Amsoil will co-sponsor the Best of The Beach Bike show to be held May 3rd in Pier Park, Panama City Beach.  The semi-annual bike show is held in conjunction with Thunder Beach Bike Week and officially sanctioned by Thunder Beach Productions, Pier Park and USRiderNews.

Amsoil will be providing free product to each bike show entrant, as well as displaying their line of products for motorcycles and powersports equipment.

A total of $10,000 in cash and prizes will be given away from  industry leading companies such as Kuryakyn, Custom Dynamics,  HHI, RC Components, and Renegade Wheels.     Wizards Products has also signed on to provide FREE cleaning products to the first 75 bikes entered in the show (valued $20)   (gift certificates subject to change without notice)

Best of Show will win $1000 from

angels for educationProceeds from the show benefit the local charity Angels for Education.

In addition, USRiderNews will award a Kindle Fire to some lucky participant or spectator at 4:30 pm on Saturday afternoon after the awards have been announced.

The show benefits Toys for Kids Foundation, a local charity that provides to underprivileged children during the holidays.

Save $10 by pre-registering here


click banner to register online


Best of the Beach Bike Show Set for October 4, 2014

best of the beach bike show 2013The Thunder Beach Best of the Beach Bike show, hosted by USRiderNews in Panama City Beach is set for October 4, 2014.   The show will once again be held in beautiful Pier Park.  A total of $15,000 in cash and prizes will be given away.

The winner of Best of Show receives $1,000 cash from Thunder Beach Productions.

Joe Biggs, president of Thunder Beach Productions said, “USRiderNews has built The Best of the Beach into a world class bike show and we’re looking forward to another awesome event.”

Scott Cochran, publisher of USRiderNews said, “Thunder Beach is a premier event and it’s our privledge to work with them to to raise much needed funds for Angels for Education.”   Cochran said the show is the largest and most prestigious bike show in the panhandle of Florida.

angels for educationFor$10 savings with early registration and complete rules click here.  

Day of event registration for the Autumn show begins Saturday October 4th  at 9:00am and continues to 12:00 pm. Due to the heavy rally traffic, participants are encouraged to enter Pier Park from Hwy 98, or Back Beach Road as the locals refer to it and arrive by noon to have time to register their bike and get it set before cut off.  The show’s location has moved to the Main Street in the middle of Pier Park.

The show is held semi-annually and attracts a large crowd of spectators and participants.

Due to the large number of entries, and the time constraints, judging begins at 12 noon.   All bikes must be able to be started to be eligible for prizes.

Companies that are awarding gift certificates are;

Kuryakyn, Custom Dynamics, HHI, RC Components,  Renegade Wheels.    Best Western awards $50 and $25 gift cards to 2nd and 3rd place winners in each class.  Wizards Products provides FREE cleaning products to every bike entered in the show (valued $20)   (subject to change without notice)

To pre-register and get a t-shirt , click here

Make Helen Georgia Your 2013 Destination!

Helen Georgia is the destination for motorcyclists from all over the USA for the USRiderNews Reunion Run, May 29-June 2nd

Helen Georgia is the destination for motorcyclists from all over the USA for the USRiderNews Reunion Run, May 29-June 2nd

Helen Georgia is your destination for the biggest and best motorcycle rally May 29,  through June 2nd.  Sponsored by USRiderNews, the 13th annual Reunion Run has grown from a few dozen friends in 2001, to literally thousands of motorcyclists who travel from all across the USA.

Sylvia Cochran, of USRiderNews said Helen Georgia was chosen as the destination for the Reunion Run motorcycle rally because of the areas natural beauty and miles and miles of the best  motorcycle roads anywhere in the Southeast.

“After the first year we knew that Helen Georgia was the premier motorcycle destination our readers enjoyed and it’s grown larger and larger each year.   Our readers tell us they look forward to this event all year long.”

In addition to the Reunion Run, the Helen Balloonfest is also held on the same weekend and features dozens of hot air balloons in a Race to the Atlantic.

The host hotels are the Best Western and the Super 8.   To reserve your room you must call Sylvia at 478-237-3761 or fill out the registration form here.  DO NOT call the hotel directly, they will tell you they are booked.

VIP packages are available and include everything you need to enjoy the weekend (except your lodging) Event T-Shirt, Event Pin, poker run registration, bike show, VIP party Thursday night May 30th (Free Beer and Food) and access to the VIP tent all weekend long with free refreshments.

( $85 value if purchased individually) Price $35 per person, or $60 per couple  until April 1st.  Price increases $10 after that. 

To reserve your VIP registration click here to register online

View Pictures of past events

2010  (opens in Facebook)

2001-2009 (opens in Facebook)



Smoky Mountain Rumble Permits Delayed

Aldermen for the town of Franklin North Carolina deferred issuing street closure permits for the Smoky Mountain Rumble after several of its members brought up concerns and potential problems with the location of the focal points of the three day rally.

USRiderNews Publishers Scott and Sylvia Cochran came before the Town Board April 2nd requesting permission to close Main Street for the three day festival.

The most vocal opponent of the closure and the rally, Alderman Bob Scott, restated the concerns he brought up a month earlier in a Main Street Merchants meeting.  “This is not in the best interest of Franklin,” Alderman Bob Scott said. “Why are you just now coming before this town board, right now, when this has the potential of disrupting this town for three days?”    Alderman Scott had previously raised concerns the Smoky Mountain Rumble would attract the “outlaw” motorcycle clubs into Franklin.

Cochran assured the Mayor and Alderman that the Smoky Mountain Rumble wasn’t geared toward the 1% club members and few, if any, were likely to show up.  Cochran said there wasn’t an active dispute between rival clubs and there was no threat of violence erupting during the event.

Several Aldermen expressed concern over closing Main Street for three days.  Mayor Joe Collins said, “I don’t know if DOT will allow us to close US Hwy 441 for three days. ”   Collins asked, “Can you get by with just Saturday?”     Cochran explained the vendors need more time to set up and tear down, Some set up 18 wheelers with complicated displays that require longer than popping up an Easy Up tent.

Several Alderman expressed support for the event.   Sissy Pattillo said, “We’ll never know until we go through this one time,” Pattillo said. “If we go through this one time and it doesn’t work, that’s it.”

Cochran plans to meet with the new Chief of Police in the next few days to work out  a plan that’s acceptable to the Town Aldermen.  Cochran said downtown is the best spot, but he was willing to compromise.  “Despite Alderman’s Scott’s objections, this event would be a tremendous boon to downtown Franklin.  The Tourism Development Authority support it, and the downtown retail merchants support it.  But, if the Alderman block it from happening downtown, we  will seek an alternate location.  We’re too far committed to turn back now.”

Cochran plans to submit a more detailed plan at the next earliest opportunity.

Steel Horse Law Best of the Beach Bike Show Winners

The Best of the Beach Custom Bike Show,  by USRiderNews , in  Panama City Beach Florida was held April 30th in beautiful Pier Park shopping complex.  This is the official bike show of the Thunder Beach Rally is the most prestigious show on the Emerald Coast and has the largest prize purse of any show in Florida.   Leading motorcycle industry companies Kuryakyn, RC Components, Mustang Seats, HHI, Renegade Wheels, Wimmer Performance, Jireh Cycles,  Custom Dynamics, Wizards Products and R &  R Trikes provide cash and prizes worth over $15,000 to the class winners.  Additionally, the Best of the Beach  is the only show during the Thunder Beach rally which is sanctioned by the International Master Bike Builders Association.

Scott Cochran, show coordinator and Editor of USRiderNews said the magazine uses only IMBBA judges for the Best of the Beach shows.  “There is $15,000 in prize money and gift certificates on the line for this show and it’s critical that we use individuals who are qualified to judge the technical correctness of the entries.  This year we had some wild entries in several categories which would have stumped amateur judges.”

more after the photo gallery

Dave Enting was one of the “wild” entries with his homemade trike.  After the show, Dave praised the judging methodology used by the IMBBA.     “I wanted to  explain that “technical correctness” was the primary driving force for the design of my trike because this is what raises safety to its highest level…(Isee) what IMBBA is all about is technical correctness. I support the IMBBA 100%.

The next Steel Horse Law Best of the Beach bike show is scheduled for Saturday October 1st.  Pre-registration is $35 and may be purchased online here.

Congratulations to the Spring 2011 Winners;

American Mild WINNER-  Pam Miller
2nd – Wayne Gregory
3rd – Christopher Knowles
American Wild by Kuryakyn WINNER- Tom Godwin
2nd – Matt Gibby
Metric Mild WINNER – Ray Boyd
2nd  – Barry Parrott
Sport Bike Mild by RC Components WINNER – Joshua Blackburn
Mfg Custom by Wimmer Machine WINNER- David Guth
2nd – William Shanahan
Radical by HHI WINNER –  Steven Deal
2nd – James Martin
3rd – Shane Martin
Bobber/Chop by Renegade Wheels WINNER- Jim Labar
2nd – Dennis Theut
3rd – Monty Martin
Bagger Mild WINNER-  Greg Bauer
2nd – Thomas Barker3rd – John Gallagher
Bagger Wild by Custom Dynamics WINNER-  Jim Labar
2nd – Josh Hubbard
Trike Mild by R & R Trikes WINNER –  Ronald Castner
2nd -Jim Harvey
3rd – Kathy Collins-Lantz
Trike Wild by R & R Trikes WINNER –  Dave Enting
2nd – Richard Cramer3rd – David Rice
Antique Stock WINNER –  Ronal Dunagan
2nd -David Clegg3rd – Larry Proctor
Antique Custom by Mustang Seats WINNER –  Jeff Lane
2nd – Jim Griffin (Bud Light paint)
3rd – Jim Griffin (Budweiser paint)
BEST RAT- Sam Green
BEST PAINT by WIZARDS – Josh Hubbard
BEST OF SHOW – Steven Deal

Lucky Facebook Fan Will Receive Lifetime Subscription

April 26,2011 – (Swainsboro Ga) Sometime in the next twenty four hours, one lucky motorcycle enthusiast will visit the USRiderNews Facebook Fan Page and click “like” and instantly win a lifetime subscription to USRiderNews.   Sylvia Cochran, President of Thunderwind Publishing said  the magazine remains committed to print but has embraced social media.  “We’re excited to reach this milestone” said Cochran.  “Social media is another way to engage our readers and USRiderNews has the largest Facebook fan page of any motorcycle specific magazine.”  Cochran added, “Connecting motorcycle owners and riders with our advertisers is part of our mission.  The other is to educate and entertain our readers and fans.”

About USRiderNews:  Founded in 2000 as Dixie Rider National Motorcycle News by Scott & Sylvia Cochran. Dixie Rider quickly grew into the most widely read advertising-based, free publication in the southern United States. In 2004, a unique state insert program was launched to bring local news and ride reports which are unavailable in other national motorcycle publications. In 2005, responding to readers and advertisers request, the name was changed to USRiderNews and distributed nationally. In 2010, a Facebook Fan page was established and quickly grew into the largest online presence for any motorcycle magazine.  The print edition of USRiderNews is published monthly by Thunder Wind Publishing and is available free in motorcycle dealerships and at events, rallies and online in flipbook format.


GADSDEN, AL—FEBRUARY 22, 2011—There are two types of motorcycle riders- those who seek out the best roads to ride and those who seek out the best rallies to ride to.  Gadsden, Alabama has something for both: a good location in the middle of some of the best riding roads in Alabama and a new rally to ride to.

On May 13-15, 2011, motorcycle riders from all over the Southeast will be welcomed to the inaugural Gadsden Bike Fest, presented by USRiderNews, in conjunction with the Etowah County Tourism Board and Downtown Gadsden, Inc.

Etowah County Tourism Board Executive Director Hugh Stump, also a motorcycle enthusiast, said Gadsden has a vibrant motorcycle community and will welcome riders with open arms into Gadsden and the surrounding area.  “We are excited to bring motorcyclists from across the region to experience the great riding and hospitality that can be found in Etowah County.”  Stump added, “They’ll be sure to find a great weekend of fun riding, along with great food and music.”

Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain range, Gadsden is located on I-59, and State Highways 278, 431, 11, and 77 also provide access.  “We have motorcyclists come through Gadsden all the time and the comments I hear are how much they like the town and the roads in this area,” said representatives for the local Best Western Hotel and Suites, who first approached Scott and Sylvia Cochran, owners of USRiderNews with the idea to promote a motorcycle and music festival in Gadsden.

“They came to Helen, Georgia and met with us during one of the motorcycle events that we promote and convinced us that Gadsden would be as welcoming to riders as Helen.” Sylvia Co­­­chran, with USRiderNews said.  “We made a couple trips over here, met with potential local partners, and fell in love with the town and the area.”  Cochran added, “A bike fest is a perfect fit for downtown and we think it has the potential to grow into one of the premier motorcycle events in the Southeast.”

The three-day event will bring riders downtown to interact with local shops and local and regional vendors, bike games, a poker run and outdoor entertainment from local as well as regional music acts.  Local businesses will sponsor the “Hot Rods and Rides” Bike Show and Invitational Car Show.  Kay Moore, Executive Director for Downtown Gadsden, Inc., said “Downtown Gadsden is looking forward to a great weekend as we welcome motorcyclists to our historic downtown.  We know they will enjoy our wonderful restaurants, stores and boutiques.  We are excited to showcase our area and make them feel right at home.”

USRiderNews believes the number of motorcyclists that could visit Gadsden and the surrounding area during the rally would be very significant.

A tentative schedule of events is listed below:

Friday May 13th.

12 noon:  Vendors open and entertainment on Downtown stage
3 pm:  Bike Wash competition
9 pm:  Kick-off party with welcome from the City
9-12 pm:  Local bands and street dance
10 pm:  Miss Gadsden Bike Fest preliminary

Saturday May 14th

9 am:  Vendors open
Live Music Downtown stage all day
10 am:  Hot Rods and Rides Bike Show & Invitational Car Show begins
12- 1 pm:  Bikini Bike Wash Competition
9 am- 12 noon:  Poker Run Registration, last bike in @ 5:30
6 pm:  Bike Games
8:30 pm:  Miss Gadsden Bike Fest finale – Downtown stage
9 pm- 12 am: Live Music and Street Dance- Downtown stage

Sunday May 15th

8-10 am: Pancake Breakfast – Downtown (benefits local charities)
9 am-2 pm:  Vendors Open
11 am:  Christian Motorcycle Assoc. Worship Service, Downtown
2 pm:  Vendors close

Additional contacts:

Scott Cochran, Event Producer, USRiderNews, 478-494-3760
Kay Moore, Executive Director, Downtown Gadsden, Inc., 256-547-8696

Vegas Shop Owner Says He Was Fooled By Employee

shop owner name tarnished by employee

(previous post)

More details are emerging in the case of Alley Rat Custom Cycles and Nicholas Ghafouria, 26, of Las Vegas,Nevada accused of operating a prescription drug scam in which thousands of pills of Oxycodone were illegally obtained and sold to individuals in Alaska.

In an exclusive interview with USRiderNews, Troy Powell, founder and owner of Alley Rat Custom Cycles said he first learned that Ghafouria was in trouble with the law on October 28th when he arrived at his shop and found Federal authorities executing a search warrant in his shop.

Powell said when he got there the agents were already inside his business and he was told that “this has nothing to do with you or the shop but that Nick (Ghafouria) is in a lot of trouble.”

Powell said he later learned that earlier (6:30 am) agents executed an arrest warrant at the home of Ghafouria.    According to Powell, Ghafouria admitted to agents that no one else at the shop was involved in the alleged drug distribution ring.

He said Ghafouria cooperated and gave agents his keys to the shop and his personal toolbox.  “Thank God he gave them keys to the shop and the alarm code  and keys to his tool box because they would’ve broke this place up getting in.  But they were very respectful; they went through everything and didn’t tear anything up.”

Powell said authorities confiscated a couple of guns Ghafouria had hidden in his tool box as well as some prescription pills.,

Besides the guns and pills, authorities took the computer in the office and the surveillance server.  Powell said they looked through the entire shop.  “There was nothing else here and they (told me) you run a very clean shop. And that was it and they left.   And I hadn’t heard a word from them since.”

Powell said he didn’t hear from Ghafouria or law enforcement and although he knew Ghafouria had to be involved in something serious, he had no clue his business was about to be involved until  he returned from the SEMA show a week later when the indictments were unsealed.  He said he arrived at his shop and a TV news crew showed up.   “I’ve got a camera and a microphone shoved in my face and I didn’t know what was going on.”

Powell says after he read the Federal indictment he began to piece together what Ghafouria was up to.   “While I’m in the back working, he’s got people in the front coming in giving him money or pills or whatever he’s doing.”   He said.  “I feel like such an idiot this would happen in my business without me knowing it.”

Meeting Ghafouria

Powell says he started the business in 2003 in his dad’s garage while he was living at home.  From there he has had several casual partners in the business all helping him move forward.

Powell said he met Ghafouria in February of 2010 (corrected from earlier report) through another customer, Scott Thompson (who was also arrested in this sting by Federal authorities).  Thompson previously owned a motorcycle shop in Vegas and Powell did paint work for him.

Thompson told Powell that Ghafouria had expensive cars he rented to celebrities when they came to Vegas and occasionally they would be damaged and Ghafouria was looking for someone else to do the body work.  After repairing a few cars and some repeat business he and Ghafouria became friends.  Powell says one day the subject came up about the two of them becoming business partners and Ghafouria came into the business with the intention of helping Alley Rat Customs reach the next level.

But, the level went down instead of up. “I thought I’d hit a home run with this guy (Ghafouria) but he was nothing but a liar and a drug dealer and he put us all in a really really bad situation here.”  Powell continued,”Not only did he fool me but he fooled everyone who works here. He fooled even his father.  His dad is devastated and upset; he’s ruined the family name.”

Laundering Drug Money

In the Federal indictment Ghafouria is accused of having control of 9 separate bank accounts.  Powell says the business only had 3 accounts it used for operations and those were the only accounts where both men were signers.  Powell says the way the media made it looked is that Ghafouria owned Alley Rat Cycles  and ran 1.2 million dollars through the business and that’s simply not true.  “When he got arrested all three of our Wellls Fargo accounts were in the negative.”

He said Ghafouria opened the other accounts separately and used Alley Rat’s accounts as a way to attempt to launder some of the money.  “They told me the reason (the business) got listed is he would do transfers, he would put money in (Alley Rat accounts) and move it back and forth.”

Powell said the amounts were insignificant compared to the other accounts.  ‘The most was about (corrected) $31,300 run through one account.”

My whole life is wrapped up in here.  Every screwdriver I’ve ever bought and paid for.  It’s all in here.  I don’t own a home.  I have everything in this building. This is my life, my passion, and it’s the only thing I’m really good at. I’m devastated that I have to defend myself over something so stupid as (him) trying to sell prescription pills. “

Going Forward

On advice from his lawyer, Powell is planning to remove his name and dissolve the corporation Kolor Kreations USA dba Alley Rat Custom Cycles, that Ghafouria filed without his consent.      “I did sign the papers, but that was one step.  We didn’t have an operating agreement yet, and we didn’t have a lot of things in place first, which you’re supposed to do.  That paper was supposed to be left in a file until all these other things are met, and that didn’t happen and he went ahead and filed it anyways.”

Powell said Ghafouria also put people on the incorporation papers who were not even employees

Powell says he has no plans to change the name of the business.  “I’ve had this name for 10 years and I did nothing wrong. I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of with that name, other than it does have a black eye now.  My feeling is that if you change the name, then you’re trying to hide something.   I’m not going to hide from this because I did nothing wrong“

(This story was edited Nov. 11 4pm est to correct the date Powell says he first met Ghafouria and to change the amount of money that was run through one of Alley Rat Cycles bank account)

Band Changed For Helen Ga Reunion Run

City Park Helen Georgia during the USRiderNews Reunion Run

Due to a scheduling conflict, JB Walker and the Cheap Whiskey Band will not be appearing in Helen for the 10th anniversary USRiderNews Reunion Run.  “Of course we’re disappointed that JB won’t be in Helen for the Reunion” said Sylvia Cochran, president of ThunderWind Publishing, parent company of USRiderNews.  “JB played at the very first Reunion in 2000 and it’s always been our intention to have him return in 2010.”  Cochran said a scheduling snafu resulted in JB booking a gig at the Tennessee HOG Rally on the Friday night of the Reunion.  “He had the dates in his mind wrong for us and thought he was playing Saturday night instead of Friday night.”

JB Walker said he was sorry for the confusion.  “I have been looking forward to the anniversary since the first party! ”

To replace JB Walker, Cochran said there wasn’t any doubt who to call.  “Zip Holland with Another Fine Mess in Resaca is a great band with a huge following so we knew we wanted them if they were available.”   Luckily Another Fine Mess was open for Friday and the deal was done on the phone. “That’s what I like about Zip and his band.  We can agree on the phone and handle the paperwork later.  We’re very fortunate the band had an open date.”

Allman Sound will once again be handling the sound board and getting the full potential from each band.

The host hotels in Helen Georgia are booked for the Reunion weekend, June 4-6 with most of the remaining hotels/motels reporting only a few rooms available.  Cochran said that while the Reunion Run has grown every year, it’s still an event with a small rally atmosphere.

“This rally has grown with the magazine” said Cochran.  “Every year it keeps getting bigger and bigger.  Because of the Reunion, the Ga State HOG Rally was held here in August 2009, and will probably return.”  Cochran said before the magazine began this rally, motorcyclists were not well received in town. Now the businesses all welcome us.”

Helen Georgia officials say the Reunion is a boost to local tourism and say that the USRiderNews event has gone a long way towards changing locals perception of what a motorcycle rally is.

“This has been a good for the City of Helen” said Jerry Elkins, City Administrator.  “Scott and Sylvia Cochran do a tremendous job and we’re always glad to see the motorcycles come to town in June.”

This year’s schedule of event begins Thur June 3 and runs through Sunday June 5.

Thursday June 3

VIP party for early attendees and vendors in the City Park from 7-9.

Friday June 4th.

12pm  Vendors Open.

2 pm  –  Band in City Park.  TBA.

7pm  300 Mile – Festhalle

8pm  Last Ride Ceremony – Festhalle

9pm  Another Fine Mess – Festhalle

Door prize drawings at Festhalle from 7-12pm  Friday night

Saturday June 5th

9 –  all day   Vendors Open in The City Park

9-12  Poker Chip Run Registration  Pavilion City Park

12-7 Battle of the Band, City Park  $500 Cash Prize

11-2  Bike Show City Park

2:00  Bike Show Awards

3:30  Last Bike In, Poker Chip Run

4:00  Dice Roll for Chip Run winners Sponsored by:

5:00  Bike Games City Park

8-12  Battle of the Bands winner plays in the Park.


10:30  CMA Sunday Service, Pavilion City Park

Motorcycle Rally In Georgia’s little Germany

USRiderNews announces that JB Walker and the Cheap Whiskey Band will headline the 2010 Reunion Run in Helen Georgia Friday June 4th at the Festhalle.  The rally now in its 10th year is held in the Bavarian re-created town in north Georgia and is free and open to all motorcyclists.  Riders can pre-register for a package which includes a t-shirt, poker chip run entry, bike show entry and entry into the party Friday night at the Festhalle.  The fee is $35 per person until May 1st.  Couples get a discount for $55.00 for the pair.

Sylvia Cochran, President of USRiderNews said, “What started out with just a few vendors and a few hundred attendees has turned into a four day event with a park full of vendors and every hotel in Helen Georgia and most of the campgrounds filling up!”

Held on the same weekend as the Balloon festival, the USRiderNews Reunion Run features vendors, a poker run, bike show, live music and a battle of the bands on Friday and Saturday.  “When the weather is good, the balloons going up are certainly something to see” said Cochran.  She added, “Helen is a typical tourist town with plenty of distractions for everyone in the family, and the riding is some of the best in the south!”

Cochran said there were still some rooms available and anyone interested can contact her at 478-237-3761 (x 11) and check availability.