Las Vegas BikeFest 2009 Preview

September 16, 2009
Bryan Harley
Bryan Harley
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Our resident road warrior has earned his stripes covering the rally circuit, from riding the Black Hills of Sturgis to cruising Main Street in Daytona Beach. Whether it's chopped, bobbed, or bored, metric to 'Merican, he rides 'em all.

Probably not the best shot of .38 Special  but I wasnt man enough to elbow my way to the front.
Fremont Street and the Vegas Strip will be overrun by 30,000 bikers during the first week of October for the Ninth Annual Las Vegas BikeFest celebration.

Sin City, baby. Motorcycle USA is going ‘All In’ as we head to Vegas for the Ninth Annual Las Vegas BikeFest. The event has continued to grow annually and now is one of the motorcycle rallies to attend on the West Coast. I mean, c’mon, like bikers need an excuse to go to Vegas? Last year more than 30,000 motorcyclists hit the strip for a weekend-long bash. This year’s event kicks off with a Las Vegas BikeFest party on Thursday, Oct. 1, and keeps going until the ‘It ain’t over ‘till we say it is BBQ’ at the Hogs & Heifers Saloon on Sunday evening.

High on the list of things to do is the Artistry in Iron Master Builders Championship. The event pits 20 of the best custom builders around in the 5th Annual Master Builders’ competition. The list of builders scheduled to attend include Todd Silicato of Todd’s Cycles, who we know just won top honors at the 7th Annual Metzeler Custom Bike Show in Sturgis, and other familiar names like Scott Long of Central Coast Cycles, Kris Krome of Kris Krome Customs, Gard Hollinger of LA County Choprods, Bryan Fuller of Fuller Hot Rods and more. Last year, Canada’s Roger Goldammer of Goldammer Cycle Works was voted as the champion by his peers. Who will ride away with the prestigious title this year? What’s cool about the event is that BikeFest attendees will get an opportunity to meet and greet the custom bike builders, as autograph sessions will be held both Friday and Saturday from 12 – 2 p.m. and 3-5 p.m.

Sin City certainly lived up to its name.
I’m sure that there’ll be plenty of bikers out there who take up the suggestion on her t-shirt and ‘Sin a Little’ at Las Vegas BikeFest 2009.

For those who take pride in wrenching on their own creations, BikeFest’s Custom Bike Show will be held at the Cashman Center on Saturday, October 3. The winner of the Radical Class will ride away with a cool $3000 and an invite to the 2010 Artistry in Iron Master Builders’ Championship. Top bikes in the other classes will receive $400, while the popular People’s Choice Award will pocket $300.

What I’m looking forward to is some high stakes poker. No, I’m not entering the BikeFest Poker Tournament they’re holding nightly at the Sahara, but I do plan on participating in the $100K Poker Run sponsored by Count’s Kustoms. The 140-mile run will start at BikeFest’s Headquarter Hotel, the Sahara, and then heads out through Nevada’s picturesque Valley of Fire State Park before looping back around to the Vendor Village at the Cashman Center. Organizers say that ‘no matter how bad your hand may be, you’ll want to finish this beautiful ride for a chance to win $100,000 if you have the Lucky Hand.’ Gotta love Vegas for its big stakes.

We’re also hoping to get a sneak peek at the new movie, Easy Rider: The Ride Back. We talked to the cast in

Hi-ho  Honda Fury  away! I did my best impression of the Lone Ranger while riding the Honda chopper through Nevadas Valley of Fire.
We’re going ‘All In’ for the $100K BikeFest Poker Run, which will chart a route through the scenic Valley of Fire (above).

Sturgis and learned all about the prequel to the classic cult biker film. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about Wyatt, then the new movie professes to have the answers. We’ll keep you updated on how the premiere goes.

Because besides movie premieres, it’s Vegas, baby, so there’s a long list of live musical entertainment on the docket. The host hotels have a few gigs going on, as Southern rockers Molly Hatchet will be playing at the Sahara and a Johnny Cash tribute band, CASH’D OUT, will be performing at the Hard Rock Hotel’s Wasted Space. But headliners for the Las Vegas Bikefest Concert Series include Randy Travis at the Texas Station Casino, AC/DC at the MGM Grand, Journey at The M Resort & Spa, and The Guess Who at the Cannery Casino Hotel. Maybe I’ll get lucky on the slots and win $100 to cover a ticket for the AC/DC show.
If not, the Vendor Village has a steady stream of live music scheduled throughout the day, and who doesn’t like a little free music? Like Vince Neil’s concert at Count’s Kustoms on Saturday night. Custom motorcycle shop Count’s Kustoms is holding its 4th Annual Motor Psycho Open House from 3-10 p.m. Saturday. The highlight of the open house

Counts Kustoms put on a huge and elaborate display for their hometown event including a simulated graveyard  a hearse sitting room  and this El Camino transporter with the Ozzy bike on the back.
Count’s Kustoms goes all out for their hometown event. One year they had a simulated graveyard, a hearse sitting room, and this El Camino transporter with the Ozzy bike in back.

is a free concert by Motley Crue’s frontman, Neil, and all beer, food, and raffle sales will benefit the Skylar Neil Foundation. The foundation was founded by Neil in honor of his daughter Skylar, with money going to cancer and AIDS research, so not only will it be a fun gig, but it goes to a dynamic cause.

There’s also a slew of standard debauchery to participate in. Las Vegas Harley-Davidson is holding its wet t-shirt contest on Friday, with $1000 going to the winner, $500 to second place, and $250 for third. It that’s not enough, the Las Vegas BikeFest Bikini Contest is Friday too, with the hottest bod pocketing $500, with $300 awarded to second place, and $200 to third. There’s also a beefcake contest for the ladies. A Mr. Las Vegas Bikefest competition will be held Friday, with a $1000 cash prize for the winner, and $250 going to the runner-up. It’s too late to put down that six-pack and start working on your six-pack, but a

Tan courtesy of San Diego sun. Curves courtesy of good genes.
        Did we mention the bikini contest?

thousand bucks isn’t chump change.

Over 250 vendors are slated to be set up at the Cashman Center’s Vendor Village. Las Vegas Harley-Davidson will also be a busy place, offering daily demo rides on the 2010 Harley-Davidson lineup. Then there’s the standard Vegas fare – live shows, casino games, killer clubs and bars, restaurants, celebrities, and the world’s largest gentleman’s club. Climb on with Motorcycle USA as we bring you daily reports from the scene. Because not everything that happens in Vegas needs to stay in Vegas.