Well, the dry hump is done. This project is getting blown apart tomorrow and next time we show an update it'll be a wrap. The seat is at Duane Ballard's palace of pleats, Matt Ross gets the tins tomorrow and me and Rouser will finish up a few little fab details on the frame while Christian takes a load of parts to Tijuana for chrome. We've got a bunch of riding to do in April, so the timing is perfect to get some of this stuff into other people's hands.
This has been a pretty seamless project and definitely lots of fun. Using quality parts makes a big difference, and having a relaxed time line to work with kept it from feeling stressful. Having smart, talented friends to pitch in when needed has of course been a huge help.
When we show the finished machine, we'll also publish a full parts list. Huge thanks to Lowbrow Customs and Drag Specialties for pitching in so many neat bits to go along with the incredible S&S Cycle SH93 engine. I can't wait to ride this beast to Sturgis and then on to the 10th annual Gypsy Run.
The Fuel Cleveland show is a great time put on by our buds at Lowbrow Customs. This year is gonna be wild since it's held inside Ray's MTB park. We're pitching in by throwing a pre-party the night before at Hooples Bar at the corner of Columbus and Franklin.
Matt "The Beard" Bischoff's band:Moonbowwill be destroying your ears with maximum rock and roll. This is guaranteed to be a good time and the bar has plenty of bike parking, great food, and cold beer.
Party start at 7:00. We'll see you there! Click here for map.
Never heard of Robison Cycles? Let me give you a tourâ€¦ Robinson Cycles has been a fixture on the Daytona Beach bike world for six decades. Originally founded as a Harley-Davidson dealership in 1962, today the family business is owned and operated by Mr. Robison's son Jecoa and his grandson Jeremy. Father and son have done an outstanding job preserving the essence of their patriarch's vision, which is now and always has been focused on high performance. Every hop-up shop says that, right? Well how many can say this: for much of the '60s and '70s Robison Cycles was the Motor Company's winter race shop, building AMA Grand National dirt trackers and championship-winning drag bikes for some of the fastest men to ever pull on a set of orange, black and white leathers. Every nook and cranny of the cluttered old dealership is chock full of race memorabilia: one-off engine cases and fiberglass fairings, trophies, photos, track banners, riding gear, you name it. Look closely and you'll find a photo of Evel Knievel posing with Jecoa's mother, herself a trophy queen in winner's circles at Florida race tracks from coast to coast BITD. Robison Cycles is a crown jewel in the hot rod Harley scene, and should not be missed. And now, thanks to some help from our friends at S&S Cycles, Hot Bike, Street Chopper and ChopCult.com, you don't have to.
On Friday, March 11, 2016, The Biltwell Bash at Robison Cycles will kick off the second and final weekend of activities at Daytona Bike Week. In a sea of bedazzled baggers, the Biltwell Bash will stick out like a boner in sweatpants.
The fun starts 9:00 am with a swap meet in Robison's parking lot. Jecoa and his old man have squirreled away 50 years of crusty goodness, and much of it will be on sale. If old gold ain't your thing, there will be free donuts and coffee.
At noon the folks from Aunt Catfish's restaurant will be serving up fried catfish, grits and hush puppies. Come earlyâ€”the first 200 guests eat free! Everyone after that can stuff their faces for 7 bucks a plate. Of course free keg beer will be flowing during lunch and beyond.
Immediately following lunch there will be a bike show with cool handmade trophies and prizes. Three classes of bike will be on display, and entry is free. Bring your FXR's, your Street Trackersâ€”any brandâ€”and your choppers for 2:00 pm registration and stick around to see the winners unveiled at 4:00. Legendary motormouth Dumptruck will be the master of ceremonies, so it will be a good time.
Finally, when the sun sets on Robinson Cycles we'll be screening old biker flicks on the warehouse wall. The Biltwell Bash at Robison Cycles is all free, all day, so grab your chaps and 'do rag and let's party in the Sunshine State!
Our annual Parking Lot Sale will be coming up before you know it. We always have a good time and offload a year's worth of scratch-and-dent, samples and personal junk at discounted prices. We'll have around a dozen vendors selling various and sundry motorcycle accoutrements, etc. Hope to see you there
As Otto likes to say, here are the pertinent particulars:
This was a super basic event: free beer and camping, everything else is up to the riders. Awesome roads, some bad old movies at night, a bonfire and bars and restaurants within walking distance. Pretty much all you need, right?
You can count on this event staying simple but growing in size. We've already reserved the entire campground for 2016 so save the dates: October 14-16.
Anthem Films put together a great video edit of the event. Thanks, dudes!
So, when our buds at S&S asked if we wanted to build a bike around one of their engines, it only took a millisecond to answer back with a resounding "Hells Yes!" We mulled around different options, maybe an Evo since they never get any love, maybe a knucklehead? All good choices, but at the end of the day around here, we tend to lean towards the venerable old shovel engines. Now obviously this isn't your typical OEM 74" shov. Nope, this one is the 93" Alt/Gen style and we opted for single plugs and slightly lower compression just to keep things simple.
Otto's never been so happy.
The plan? Well, the basic idea is this: build a no-bullshit chopper that can hammer down the highway for days at a time but have a higher finish quality than anything I've previously built. It'll have brakes up front (for once) and will be kick-only. Kinda like our helmets, it'll look traditional but use a lot more modern technology than immediately meets the eye. We're going to use parts from our own shelves as well as stuff from our pals at Lowbrow Customsand Drag Specialties. Of course we'll make some stuff from scratch and visit some of our friends along the way to tap into their expertise. The goal is to have it wrapped up by Born Free and ride it from So Cal to New Jersey for the 10th annual Gypsy Run.
We will do a some blog and video updates along the way, and you can follow the hashtag #milemuncher to see updates on Instagram. Stay tuned!
Whew! Another Born Free in the history books. Grant, Mike, Huber and the whole crew sure know how to throw one hell of a bike show. We were glad to be a part of it yet again and we went big this year with a huge tent so there was plenty of room to relax in some shade, have a cold beer and chill out and soak it all in. Big thanks to all of our friends who let us display their bikes in and around the booth. We thought it would be fun to show off an eclectic mix that reflects our style, and that of our friends and customers.
This event has been the deep end of the talent pool since the first one held at the old Classic Cycles shop in Orange, CA seven years ago and 2015 was no let down. The Show Class magazine People's Champ party at Cook's Corner on Friday night was packed and the six proud finalists had their hard work on display while onlookers cast their votes for the ultimate winner who would go on to be an "invited" builder at Born Free the next day. The amount of time and quality of work that went into these bikes was every bit as mind-blowing as some of the more famous guys in the "Big Show". JP Rodman's insanely intricate and molded shovelhead rose to the top through the democratic process and was crowned the winner. Somehow, we didn't get any photos of his bike (sorry J.P.) but there are some video clips of it in our Part One video below.
Saturday and Sunday was packed and the grass area had hundreds of bikes worth looking at. Not all of the Invited Builder bikes were 100% finished and several dudes didn't even make the show, but every single bike on display was fantastic. Anyone who's ever turned a wrench can't help but admire the long hours, skill and hard dollars that was poured into each of these machines.
It's easy to get overwhelmed when checking out so many hand-crafted motorcycles in one place, but at the end of the day, you gotta pick a favorite. This has to be a difficult chore for the guys running Born Free. All of the bikes are creative and well-crafted, so narrowing it down to one just isn't a simple task. Mike and Grant get around this by designating a lot of different categories and awards so a big percentage of the Invited Builder bikes go home with some sort of win. Hell, just getting invited in the first place is an award in itself. My personal favorite was Jason Webber's Booger Sugar. It was show-quality but looked like a bike you could actually do some miles on and live with for a long time. -Bill
The official list of winners in each category is listed below:
Art & Fuel Paint contest - Richard Minino Born-Free Award - Elliot Grosshands Panhead Rider Award - Peter Jackson Panhead Philly AMCA Award - Larry Doane big inch VL Best Paint - Duane Boatrip '60 Panhead Alabama Best Competition - Mark Atkins Rusty Butcher Best Modern - Andy Carter Hot Bike Sportster build Best Bobber - Nick Toscano Harley UL in VL frame Best Chopper - Thom Jones panhead Best Japanese - Jeff Wright Church of Choppers Best British - Matt Machine Norton from Australia Best Pre Unit Triumph - Jeff Leighton Best Indian - Go Takamine Brat Style LBC/Tokyo Best Flathead - Uwe Ehinger Harley UL from Germany Best Sportster - Brandon Holstein Speed Merchant Best Shovelhead - Johnny Branch Best Panhead - Dalton Walker Best Knucklehead - Arlen Ness "Untouchable" Born-Free Founders Pick - Arie VanSchyndel People's Champ - JP Rodman Invited Builder 1st - Oliver Jones Invited Builder 2nd - Arie VanSchyndel Invited Builder 3rd - Dalton Walker Best in Show - Ryan Grossman "Quicksilver"
Winner of 2015 and 1977 Harley-Davidson Lowriders - Israel Cortes Winner of the PBR Speed Merchant Evo Sportster - Edward Givis Winner of the 1946 Knucklehead Chopper - Shonda Mullins