It was ‘Motorcycle Parking Only’ in front of the Sacramento Convention Center for the Easyrider Bike Show.
Carlos Santana’s voice and guitar blared from 6” X 9” speakers mounted in a Harley’s hard bags, bags that opened up like wings with the push of a button. The motorcycle in question was parked in front of the Sacramento Convention Center entertaining the line of bikers waiting to get in for the annual Easyriders Bike Show. It was ‘Motorcycle Parking Only’ for riders who donned skull face masks and balaclavas to combat the cold chill in the air as they rode in from the Bay Area and beyond on a blustery day.
Easyriders’ Managing Editor Scott McCool and Events President John Greene had plenty of work to do as judges of this year’s show. Almost 200 custom motorcycles competed for prizes awarded in both spectator and judged classes. The bikes entered in this year’s show ran the gamut, from an old Triumph café racer wrapped in new carbon fiber skin to a world record-holding 2008 Harley Softail with a 214 cubic-inch V-Quad engine that ran 164.172 mph on the Salt. It was a blend of old and new, from Frisco tanks with gold flake paint and a panhead to ’71 shovelheads with springers, sissy bars and a vintage diamond-shaped tank. There was also no shortage of engines and fork gaiters with diamond cut edges and bikes lathered in high-dollar paint. One popular attraction called ‘Sledzilla’ featured killer all-aluminum bodywork which transformed the bike’s back end into a ’51 Cadillac.
During the show, we caught up with Michael Ballard and Angie of Full Throttle Saloon fame. Last time we saw Mike, cameras were chasing him all around the Saloon in Sturgis right after the hailstorm from hell. Now those shots have turned into the current reality TV show called Full Throttle Saloon that airs on TruTV. We also got a chance to chat with the lovely girls of Flaunt, headed by Mike’s better half, Angie, who was there along with two other girls from the burlesque troupe, ‘Ivanna Spankyou’ and ‘Mia Big Tease,’ who were busy meeting fans and promoting the ‘World’s Largest Biker Bar.’ The Full Throttle
Angie and Mike Ballard of Full Throttle Saloon fame mug for a shot with Motorcycle USA’s Eric Novisedlak.
Saloon is a true no-holds-barred biker bar, and you never know what you’re going to see there. Maybe you can get Angie to sit on your head there in between the midget wrestling matches. Like I said, at FTS it’s anything goes, so be sure to put the Full Throttle on your Sturgis to-do list. Mike and Angie will be in Charlotte, North Carolina next as they are touring the country with the Easyrider Bike Show.
We also got a chance to talk with the man behind the ‘World’s Fastest Motorcycle.’ Denis Manning and the BUB 7 Streamliner recaptured the title back in September of ’09 after clocking an astounding 367.382 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats at last year’s Land Speed Shootout. Denis told us about how challenging it was this time out to win the world title as the crew had to overcome numerous obstacles. We also chatted about ‘The Qwest’ and what it would take to break the vaunted 400 mph barrier on two-wheels. Denis informed us about what a formidable challenge that represents but guaranteed us that “We’ll try real hard.” Look for the full interview next week on Motorcycle USA.
And though it might not hold the lofty title of ‘World’s Fastest Motorcycle,’ we did get to hear the story behind ‘The Thing,’ an old school dragster powered by twin Knucklehead engines. While stopping at the Bozzie Custom Performance booth, Dave Bozzie of ‘Big Inch Racing’ recounted stories about his father, John, who used to show up at the drags in the early ‘50s with his twin engine Knucklehead drag bike and how the cars refused to race him. When John started ripping off low nines and high eights, their perception of this wild-looking, stretched-out dragger quickly changed. Now Dave says his 80-year-old dad wants to take the bike out to the Salt for one final blaze of glory.
We also met members of the crew responsible for a new mag called Vatos y Viclas, a slick quarterly representing the Hispanic motorcycling community. Based out of Riverside, California, the fledgling publication is filled with great photography of ground-skirting bikes with big apes, classy paint and tons of chrome. I didn’t have time to read through any stories in the lifestyle mag, but the ambitious crew already has a Super Show Tour 2010 mapped out for this summer and fall and has runs planned for Texas and California.
The Purrfect Angelz (l to r) Lisa, Kristine, Kelley and Lisa smile for the camera in between stage performances.
Checking out the vendor scene, we noticed the Evil Thirteen booth getting lots of traffic as people were digging the look of the Evil 13 logo. We also found humor in the fact that the Hells Angels’ booth was backed up against the Soldiers for Jesus stand. A biker’s system of checks and balances, maybe? The Hells Angels had both local and Nevada charters on-hand promoting the 81, selling merchandise like t-shirts and coffee cups. Plenty of smaller, local motorcycle clubs attended the show, but a heavy Sacramento PD presence ensured that it was an amicable affair.
Motorcycle USA took its Honda Fury project bike to the show and set up with the man responsible for hopping up our ride, Jim Guiffra of AFT Customs. We interviewed Jim about the AFT Customs cam and piston kit he put on the Fury for us (read all about it Friday), while the lovely AFT Customs girls distributed plenty of our MotoUSA magazines to fans who stopped by the booth. We’re also pleased to announce that our buddy Jim won the top prize in the specialty class for his custom 2005 Honda VTX3 called ‘LowLa.’ Creative touches like a hidden radiator, a see-thru Pyrex coolant tube, a hydraulic clutch conversion and slick black nickel anodizing on the wheels
and covers make ‘LowLa’ stand out from its peers.
Later in the show, we also got a chance to meet another talented young builder, Satya Kraus of Kraus Motor Co. Satya got an invite to the final Easyrider show in Columbus for the best-of-the-best bike show that pits winners from the regional Easyrider stops in a winner-take-all competition. Kraus’ bike ‘Snatch’ may have sourced a 91 cubic-inch Evo V-Twin for power, but its muscular stance, high performance components and hand craftsmanship made his bike stand apart in a room filled with dressed-up baggers and pro-streeters. Though his bike defied categorization, the judges recognized quality work when they saw it and made up
a category specifically to honor Kraus’ workmanship.
Despite the chilly weather, bikers endured the elements and made the trek to Sacramento for one of the first West Coast shows of the year. Despite being cold outside, Lisa, Kelley, Kristine and Sammie of the Purrfect Angelz heated up the stage inside with their energetic dance routines. Enough vendors were on hand to fill the Sacramento Convention Center with the smell of fresh leather and the Easyrider event had enough of the three B’s – bikes, beer, and babes – necessary to make it another successful show.