CHOP CULT HOME
NEWS   FORUM   EVENTS   CLASSIFIEDS   BLOGDUMP   COMMUNITY   MEMBERS

21: Shamrock Fab's "Irish Rich" Ryan

 

Editorial pet peeve #74: I hate interviews that begin with any anecdote involving the interrogator first. This story isn't about me--It's about Rich Ryan. In the world of choppers, I'm a kook. Greener than Shamrock Fabrication's website. Rich has been shaping metal and the chopper scene for nearly longer than I have walked on Earth, and that's pushing 50 years. If there's a man who doesn't have to suffer fools like me, it's Irish Rich.

I met Rich four years ago at the front door of his modest Colorado home. Billdozer and I had driven to east Denver in the dead of winter to pick up a motorcycle for our friend "Mad Dog" Moeller. Before this meeting, my communication with the Sinners Nomad extended no further than the tech questions he answered online. No matter how elementary my inquiries were, Rich provided descriptions, perspectives and measurements for every dumb thing I was doing. His knowledge was relevant, his friendliness seemed genuine and his generosity was boundless. Bill, Chris and I spent nearly five hours stomping around every corner of Rich's home and garage that day, and he never once showed signs of tedium from our visit. I have family who grow tiresome after 90 minutes. How could a man I've never met find a kook like me even remotely interesting?

As it turns out, that's just the kind of guy Irish Rich is. Since our first meeting, Rich has continued to help me with any cockamammy chopper stunt I'm dumb enough to try next. And every time, his contributions are voluminous and his interest is real. If you are a student of the chopper scene, you can do no better than going to school on the teacher friends and followers call Irish Rich.

 

buddah_me.jpg

 

Name: Richard “Irish Rich” Ryan

Age: Hey, let's just say I'm old enough to do everything legally, OK?
 

Job: I have Shamrock Fabrication. I do motorcycle builds from the ground up, motorcycle part fabrication, and whatever else motorcycle related I can hustle to make a buck. I also freelance articles to various magazines
 

Town: I'm located in Broomfield, Colorado, “Tree City USA.” Broomfield is halfway between Denver and Boulder

 

RICH-GARAGE.jpg

 

Co-workers: I guess Steve Glennon is the closest thing I have to a co-worker, but he only comes in part time. He has a full-time gig as a bartender up in Boulder. Smart kid--he won't get rich working with me!
Riding buddies: I always prefer to ride by myself. That way I can come and go as I want. If I want to go 40, I go 40. If I want to go 95 all day long, I do. If I want to ride non-stop from sunup to sundown, I can. Riding with a group it's always “too fast, too slow, too hot, too cold, I gotta pee, I left my gloves on the gas pump, I'm hungry/thirsty, I broke down, etc, etc.” If I do ride with somebody, it's usually Steve. We do well on the road, because he doesn't fuck around
 

First time on two wheels: On a full-sized motorcycle? The “older” guys that I hung out with wouldn't let me ride until I could kickstart my bike. When I could, I started riding then. I was 14 or so, I guess. Never rode dirt bikes when I was a kid, but I did ride a bunch of minibikes
 

First hand-built motorcycle: That would be in '68, my '41 Indian Sport Scout

 

hollister_07d.jpg

 

Earliest two-wheeled adventure: I rode up to Crystal Beach, Ontario, Canada from Buffalo, NY by myself on a borrowed bike for a big party when I was 17. I picked up this girl that was a couple years older that I was. She got so drunk that I had to use her belt to strap her to the sissybar. She got us to her place, and I got her into the bedroom, and got most of her clothes off. She rolled over, and fell in between the wall and the bed, and passed out cold. I woke up in the morning, and she was still stuck there, bare-assed, snoring away
 

Most recent two-wheeled adventure: Part-timer Steve and I rode out to LA for the Sinners July Fourth Liberty Bash, and Steve rode his chopper we built last year. Never missed a beat. This year I also made my twenty-third trip to Sturgis since 1982
 

Current stable of bikes and projects: I have my '99 Road Glide, and my '04 CFL-framed Twin Cam A. I've got a VL-framed dual-carb Panhead I'm working on slowly.  That's for me. I still have the FXTT, but it's just a rolling chassis now--the drivetrain components went into a couple different clients' bikes. I just sent a project down the road, and I have two client's builds I'm working now, plus a shitload of frame mods and repairs. There's still room for more

 

diva_me_flygirllie2.jpg

 

Tools I wish I had but don't: A lathe, a mill, an upright metal bandsaw and a plasma cutter. I still make all my parts the old, slow way, cutting and working them by hand, and it's really time consuming
 

Tools I have, but wish I didn't: I can't think of one tool I wish I didn't have. Well, there is this one hammer: it's pretty fuckered up. I've replaced the head on it twice, and the handle three times. I should just get a new one, huh?
 

Heaven on Earth: Eighty-degree temperature, unspoiled landscape, and a wide open road any place in the West. “The West is the best, get here and we'll do the rest.” Mr. Mojo Risin' said that
 

Proudest moment: The birth of my three sons. They've all grown up, and are pretty successful in their chosen fields. I'm pretty proud of that.
 

 Darkest secret: Those secrets will remain dark. There are a couple things I'm not too talkative about from the past

 

100years_1.jpg

 

Deepest fear: Not getting all my bills paid every month. You guys better start sending me more work!
 

Biggest regret: Not going to college, but overall, no real regrets. I'd do it all over again
 

Reason for being: Haven't a clue, I'm still working on that. I never figured to make it this far, so there must be a plan out there I don't know about

 

RICH-AND-MCGOO.jpg

Just how cool is Irish Rich? Cool enough to suffer the indignity of a Myspace portrait with a creepy stranger

 

If I lost my right arm: I do a lot of my work with both my right and left hands equally, I'm pretty ambidextrous. So, I think I could adapt pretty well. I know a pinstriper here in town that lost his right arm, and taught himself to pinstripe again left-handed, so if you want it, you can do it. I'd build myself a trike or a sidehack rig, and keep working and riding. Hey, I guess I'd have to switch deodorants too, I use Right Guard!
 

Thanks: Thanks to everybody that came before me, and took the time to teach and pass on to me everything I know now about motorcycles. If they hadn't taken me in, I wouldn't have a reason to get out of bed in the morning

 

Shamrock Fabrication

Rich's ChopCult profile


Comment with Facebook


 
 

Comment with Chopcult (15)

Commented on 12-11-2009 At 04:02 pm
 

Much Respect!

Commented on 12-11-2009 At 04:33 pm
 

very nicely written.

Commented on 12-11-2009 At 04:58 pm
 

Good stuff!

Commented on 12-11-2009 At 06:42 pm
 

ol rich is a good egg, and his work speaks for itself! and if ya can't dig a big twin in a vl frame, well, there's no hope for ya!

Commented on 12-11-2009 At 08:13 pm
 

I don't know Rich, but meant to call him while I was in Denver visiting family. Next time I'll give him a ring and see if he'll put up with a goon like me swinging by his shop. As Kim said, much respect.

Commented on 12-11-2009 At 08:25 pm
 

Rich is a good guy. Took my frame to him to get straightened and he said it was fine guess I just needed reassurance from an expert. Could have hung around and talked motorcycle dork with him all day. Thanks man, I'll have to stop by when I finally get this sucker done.

Commented on 12-12-2009 At 09:01 am
 

hey.
he`s the REAL SCHOOL
L&R Mario@MBLeathers

Commented on 12-14-2009 At 12:18 am
 

If you haven't met Rich make it a point.A real person,a real biker.I don't have time to listen to most,but hard to get away from real stories from such a friendly motor head.I salute Rich and his contribution to society.

Commented on 12-14-2009 At 01:49 am
 

great write up, a guy ive also never met but from what ive read its given me a lot of respect. cool to get a little insight

Commented on 12-14-2009 At 06:24 am
 

cool write up

Commented on 12-14-2009 At 06:33 pm
 

Much respect is due to this gentleman!!

Commented on 12-16-2009 At 10:35 pm
 

A walking "biklopedia" & "The Second Most Interesting Man on Earth". Ha!
Rich & I had an exhausting weekend last, but we TKOB! Look for our coverage of Mooneyes, Thy Will Be Done (metal/art show) & the David Mann Chopperfest, in up coming issues of The Horse.
Thanks for everything Rich!
-K

Commented on 12-19-2009 At 03:40 am
 

Gotta say...I approve of the 4th pic, but I'm biased....

Rich is the coolest, what can I say ;)

Commented on 12-21-2009 At 08:20 pm
 

great job!

Commented on 1-7-2010 At 01:49 am
 

YEAH -I DO KNOW RICH,AND HE CAN FAB ABOUT ANYTHING YOU NEED FOR A MOTORCYCLE! KNOWS MORE ABOUT THE HISTORY OF OLD IRON THAN MOST SO CALLED "EXPERTS". I CAN BUILD STUFF BUT THE DAILY GRIND OF A SERVICE RELATED SHOP CAN SURE PUT A DAMPER ON YOUR CREATIVE TIME. WHEN RICH WORKED FOR MYSELF AND BIG JOHN HERE AT DELUXE MOTOR COMPANY IS WAS SURE A RELIEF TO HAVE SOMEBODY CAPABLE TO HANDLE SOME CREATIVE STUFF! DON'T HESITATE TO CALL THIS CAT FOR SOME NICE WORK. CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE HOTROD PANHEAD-SUPERKNUCK

Please Login to Comment
Share This



NEWS   FORUM   EVENTS   CLASSIFIEDS   BLOGDUMP   COMMUNITY   MEMBERS
CHOP CULT HOME

 

Advertise    |    Contact    |    ©2009ChopCult    |    Report Abuse    |    Conduct


Chopcult on Facebook