Biltwell Inc.

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Going to Sturgis!

We’re finally going to Sturgis! We’ll have a booth set up all week from July 30 - Aug 8 in the all-new Sturgis City Park at 599 Lazelle Street, right at the end of downtown.

There will be good stuff going on in this area all week; stunt shows by our friends at Unknown Industries, our own custom-painted helmet show called the Gringo Garage and different bike shows each day. Our bike shows have no entry fee, so show up before 11:00AM enter your machine. Find out more about this new venue here: 

AUG 1 - 8
We’re proud to be a sponsor of our friend Michael Lichter’s exhibit at The Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s called “Naked Truth”. All 35 bikes will be displayed in raw metal–no paint or bondo to hide the craftsmanship. It is free to the public and will be open from Saturday, Aug. 1 through Saturday, Aug. 8 in the Buffalo Chip’s Russ Brown Events Center. More info here.

Roland Sands Design is a motorcycle, product and apparel company that has its roots in racing, custom bike building and design. Roland Sands will host 7 show classes to kick off the bike shows at the Sturgis City Park.

SUNDAY AUG 1 and 2
Named the “Elephant Run” in tribute to Metzeler’s iconic brand logo of the blue elephant, the race will take place over August 1-2 in Downtown Sturgis City Park. Sturgis AMA Supermoto Race will provide Sturgis attendees and off road racing enthusiasts with a chance to see quality race action from the world class series live on-site.

3rd Annual Sturgis FXR Show held in the historic Sturgis City Park. The first two years of the FXR Show have brought back what some have called the “Good Ol Days” in reference to the motorcycle shows in the City Park.

Biltwell and The Speed Merchant have paired up to present the The Custom Dyna show on Monday, August 3rd. Any modified Dyna can enter. Top 3 will win a Biltwell X Speed Merchant prize pack. Admission to this bike show is Free!!

Street Chopper Magazine is back in Sturgis for a down and dirty contest to find the world’s best custom chopper builders. No first -thru- fourteenth prizes, or honorable mentions, just a single winner per magazine will win all of the cash, glory and prizes!

Hot Bike Magazine is back in Sturgis for a down and dirty contest to find the world’s best custom motorcycle builders. No first -thru- fourteenth prizes, or honorable mentions, just a single winner per magazine will win all of the cash, glory and prizes!

Baggers Magazine are back in Sturgis for a down and dirty contest to find the world’s best custom bagger builders. No first -thru- fourteenth prizes, or honorable mentions, just a single winner per magazine will win all of the cash, glory and prizes!

Biltwell and the Rusty Butcher have partnered up to present the Street Tracker show on Friday, August 7rd. Top 3 bikes will win a Biltwell X Rusty Butcher prize pack. Admission to this bike show is Free!!

2015 El Diablo Run After Action Report

Well, that was the biggest El Diablo Run to date. Thanks to people who came from as far as Argentina (accidentally ending up on the EDR), Australia and a big group from the East Coast and all over other parts of America and Canada. I didn’t believe the facebook events page when 800 people swore they were coming. But the crowd was bigger than ever before–somewhere around 500 people. With attendance this high, I was worried that it would lose some of the original spirit but that anxiety proved unfounded. If anything, the added bodies made the whole thing feel more festive and interesting. There was zero shortage of neat, modified motorcycles. From custom Sportsters to scratch-built panheads, it was easy to find cool bikes to gawk at. The road conditions were the best they’ve ever been and the weather really couldn’t have been more perfect. Despite a lack of gnarly pot holes, there were still a half-dozen flats and plenty of maintenance and repairs going on under palapas. Our chase truck was filled to capacity when it crossed the border on Monday. With larger numbers, the field games were more fun since we had more participants and spectators. Adding a PA system and publishing the schedule of events helped things run a little smoother and McGoo did an awesome job of running the mic and keeping things on track. The new starting line for the Circulo de la Muerte was insane and the racing was tight and exciting right up until the finish. I’m still bummed that I bobbled in that sandy first turn and stalled my bike, but as they say–that’s racin’! I think we’ll require helmets during practice from now on after a near death experience nearly claimed Adam’s (@hairmetalgreaser) life. That bastard is tough as nails and he unbelievably went right into the Coctagon after being released from the hospital. That battle royal was off the hook and we had our first real Coctagon injury when Carl from LA separated his bicep. Gruesome as it was, he sucked it up and we helped get him to Ensenada and the border as soon as possible the next day.

Sometimes the photos of this event give the impression that it’s just one big filthy frat-party. Surely, that is part of it, but it’s not the whole thing. The monotonous stretches of brutal highway help to enforce that requirement of self-reliance and the act of helping people out along the way builds camaraderie that’s impossible to duplicate any other way. It’s a great feeling when you can give someone the part, tool or knowledge they need to make it the rest of the way. Handing someone your spare inner tube to get them back on the road doesn’t make a great insatgram photo, but it sure makes that other dude’s day better. Sure, the partying is real and nothing makes a person thirsty like a long ride through the dusty and strange landscape that ends at a beach where you sleep under the stars (or skyrockets as the case may be) but even our sober friends had a blast.

The ride to Ensenada claimed a couple more bikes, but seemed less eventful than usual with the road being in slightly better condition than previous years. Once in Ensenada, the bikes poured into the parking lot at the Villa Marina and the scale of the crowd became quickly apparent. Our host JC from Baja Voyager worked his ass off making sure there was music and cold adult beverages at every turn and the cool weather was a welcome change. This part of the trip is always a nice contrast to the Sea of Cortez side the peninsula; cooler weather, hot showers and a real bed, insane strip clubs and plenty of cops. We sold some shirts, handed out the little rocker patches and worked on bikes, just like every year before. McGoo as always delivered succinct speeches as he handed out the three simple awards, and it was a wrap. Riding home the next day almost seemed easy and the whole time I was already thinking about the next one in 2017 and a few tweaks we can try to make it a little better without changing the original vibe or intent. We’ll see you and your time machines in two years, Amigos!

Thanks to Geoff Kowalchuk @twofoursixer and our buddies at Ivestor design @stewivestor & @sheldo117 for shooting stills and video. We’re editing the video now, and will put it up on our YouTube channel as soon as it’s done. This year was such a banger that it’s gonna be around 15-20 minutes long. Sometime over the summer, we are going to print a low volume of some high-quality, hard-bound photo books using Geoff’s images. The books won’t be cheap, but they will be memorable and should be a trip to look through again in twenty years or so. Also, thanks to our perennial chase-truck driver, Matt Frick. Matt is starting an off road expedition called Camp4Lo, so if you are interested in exploring northern Baja in a Jeep or other 4x4, hit him up here.

Thanks to our hosts in San Felipe and Ensenada: Kiki’s and Rubens Campos and Baja Voyager.

The awards:

La Cucaracha: @ChopperPhil

Hard Ass: @hairmetalgreaser

Best Bike: Rohan from Hungary. Anyone got contact info on him?

Photos on this blog post: Geoff Kowalchuk

Hashtags to check out on Instagram: #edr6 #eldiablorun #edr2015 #eldiablorun2015

The Sponsors:

Hangin' in Hanford

On May 16th 2015, Classic Cycle Events hosted the 47th annual Hanford Vintage Motorcycle Rally. Held at the King's Fairgrounds in Hanford, CA and in conjunction with a motorcycle parts swap, this show has always been a vital stop on the swap circuit. Real pickers arrive the day before and wait in line to be the first in and the first to score crusty gold, mined from the local central California valley. Friday nights are spent talking about old bikes and bbq'n a few dogs and tossing back some brews with the boys, both young and old. The fact the show and swap takes place in a grassy section of the fairgrounds gives it a back east feel that many of the other California swaps don’t posses. 

After a night spent sleeping in the dirt, the gates open up to spectators looking to grab what’s left of the parts for sale and lay eyes on some of the killer show bikes that make their way to the event. As people pour in, the bikes quickly get mobbed by guys talking about how they used to have this same bike but theirs was different. Marshall Baker, the man that hosts the show,  gives out a few awards in predetermined classes of bikes ranging from early dirt bikes to later model Brit bikes. The show concludes about noon and most of the vendors clear out a little bit earlier after having hopefully sold what they brought and loaded up with more junk for the following years meet.

Thanks again, Marshall for always hosting such a fun show and swap! More info at:


Fuel Cleveland Show

Thanks to our friends at Lowbrow Customs for putting on a banger first-year event: Fuel Cleveland.

There was no shortage of quality bikes inside or outside of the show, lots of cold beer, walls jam-packed with artwork and photos. It was good to catch up with some old friends and meet some new chopper nerds. I wanna go back next year on a bike so I can ride all those crazy bridges Cleveland has everywhere!

Here's a few snappies for those who couldn't make it.


Born Free 7 Party at Garage Company!

Save the date! March 21st at the Garage Company in Inglewood Ca. We are hosting the 4th annual Born-Free Party! Long bikes. Hot broads. Cold beers. Hot wings. Big giveaways. Good times. See you there!

Thanks to our buddy Dane Danner for the flyer artwork!

Quality Control Helmet Art Show

Written by: Ryan Loughridge

A taco shack, live music, raffle prizes, and a dozen custom painted Biltwell helmets! That’s how MotoLady likes to celebrate. To ring in the 4 year anniversary of MotoLady, Alicia Elfving and Jeff Wolf decided to get creative. They chose to have some fun and host a helmet art show: Quality Control. The third host, Dumptruck was kind enough to donate his garage space in Signal Hill, California for the event.

Including his own work, Jeff Wolf of Wolf Designs invited 5 other artists to each submit two painted Biltwell helmets. One of each of the artist’s helmets would be raffled off and the other would be sold. The artists included the likes of Spencer Getty of Spagetty’s Garage, Bryan Scott, Bombshell Deluxe, Jason Prouty of Garage 31, and Jeff Yarrington. Each artist brought a unique style and approach to their Biltwell lid, showcasing a broad assortment of artistic expression.

With tons of people heading home with custom painted helmets and some other goodies from the piñata the Quality Control show was a hit. Congratulations to MotoLady on the 4th anniversary and a great show. 

Biltwell Parking Lot Sale 2015

Alright! It's that time of year where we collect up all the scratch and dent merch and our own personal moto-junk and throw it all out in the parking lot at a deep discount. See the above flyer for details. We'll have Dang Brother's Pizza slinging hand-made pies and McGoo and GF Paula are going to be your personal baristas at the free coffee bar. Four Aces Wes, Johnny Surprise and Tiger Shack Ryan are all going to have their race bikes on display. We've got a bunch of friends bringing parts and junk to sell, so show up with that bundle of Christmas cash granny sent ya' and be ready to party!

Here's the list:
Big O
Johnny Surprise

Saturday January 3rd • 42349 Winchester Road, Temecula, 92590 • 9:00AM - 2:00PM

McGoo's CB450 Street Tracker

The finicky canine with his back to this little CB450 is my life partner Willis. Among all creatures great and small, no one has watched me suck at motorcycle maintenance more than he has. Willis's zen approach to ambivalence is highly motivational, and his casual demeanor is the polar opposite of my own manic obsession with getting shit done. Taoist dogs and tempests in a teapot make strange bedfellows, but we mange to find balance. Sometimes, unfortunately, that balance might take a house pet's lifetime to materialize.

An old friend whose day job, like mine, always seems to get in the way of the stuff he'd rather be doing gifted me this basket case in 2007. Not wanting to insult Maximum Bob's generosity, I enlisted the help of Duane Ballard and our friend Alex Cardone to bang out the machine you see here: a stripped-down, spruced up custom street tracker of eclectic pedigree. Both gentlemen have badass CB750s in their personal quivers, so I knew their collective skills would be helpful.

The frame on my fun-sized custom is a '72 CB450. Kutty Noteboom helped me shoehorn a '77 CB750 swingarm into the chassis by sectioning and narrowing the stock construction perpendicular to the pivot shaft. The forks and trees are from a Sportster, onto which I grafted a custom lathe-turned and TIG-welded steer tube extension. This was required in order to install the H-D trees on the longer loose ball neck on the stock frame. After sussing the basic chassis I cut off various bits to clean things up and to accommodate the installation of bodywork and tank from GP Glassworks.

I'm fussy about wheels, and this bike features some doozies. The 18-inch rear is a 32-spoke Excel alloy hoop laced to a '75 CR250 Elsinore drum hub with Buchanan spokes. The 19-inch front is a 40-spoke number on a matching powder coated alloy rim grafted to an H-D Midglide hub from which I shaved 4mm off the rotor mounting surface to squeeze it and an XL caliper between the shaved sliders. I could have simply groped around for a Sportster hub, but I was too stupid at the time to know there was a difference. Bottom line: she stops like a champ, with millimeters to spare between friction bits.

Uncle Bitchin' did a stellar job spraying the '70s Elsinore MX livery I envisioned for my CB's paint. Gold leaf in the Honda wings on each side of the tank is a nice touch. During the initial build I skipped lining the fiberglass gas tank on the promise from its maker that no such fuss would be required. Bullshit. A couple months after her maiden shakedown, residual gas broke down the resin inside the glasswork, turning both 26mm Mikuni carbs into a gummed-up mess. All this happened in 2008.

It took me 42 dog years to finally exorcise my street tracker's demons, but today she is a high-revving screamer. Not the fastest bike in the Biltwell stable, but certainly one of the most fun to ride. To determine the best jetting and ignition settings for my rice rocket, I enlisted the talents of a wily old Japanese motorcycle vet from Orange County. After he returned the CB to my stable I installed a Biltwell Mako taillight, a set of 7/8-inch Tracker bars, two Biltwell mufflers and a pair of Thruster grips.

I'm particularly happy with the look and sound of my CB450's exhaust. I used a section of 1" x 1/4" 6061 alloy to cobble a pair of simple muffler hangers, then employed one Biltwell Muffler clamp on each side to create a mounting point for both pipe/mini muffler assemblies. The look is super clean, and no welding or cutting was required.

It took me six years to finish it, but my new-and-improved street tracker makes me smile. Willis doesn't seem to give a shit, but that's because this little CB450 is the only thing in my life that gets more love than he does. – McGoo



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