AFT Customs unveiled its newest creation named “Kemosabe” at the Los Angeles Motorcycle Calendar Show.
The annual Los Angeles Calendar Motorcycle Show and Music Festival took place adjacent to the historic Queen Mary ocean liner in Long Beach, California, on Sunday, July 18. The event was marked by perfect Southern California beach weather, a variety of attractive custom cruiser and sportbike motorcycles and the outrageously gorgeous girls on the pages of the 2011 FastDates.com Calendar. Despite the size of the event being downsized slightly compared to years past there was still a fair number of vendors showing off all the latest gear for the summer riding season.
The coolest thing about this year’s show is just how large of a presence the custom sportbike scene has. This motorcycling culture is one of the fastest growing genres in sprawling and ethnically diverse cities like Los Angeles. One of the flashiest sportbikes on display was a 2004 Suzuki GSX-R1000 customized by local bike fabricator, Carlos Navarro. Named “Ultra Violet” this one-off Gixxer is the definition of eye candy with its lustrous multi-tone violet paint work.
The bike sits so close to the ground that it doesn’t even look rideable but Carlos says he actually pilots it on occasion. The majority of the hard parts are fully chromed with the exception of the stretched singled-sided swingarm, which is covered in purple paint. The bike literally looks lethal with sharp points on each of the controls. The wheels are machined in such a way that they reminded us of a multi-edged cheese grater slicing through air when spun. A chrome exhaust snakes its way underneath the tail section and neatly terminates right above the fat Pirelli tire. Other impressive aesthetic touches are the HID head lamps flanked by a blue LED light strip.
There were many other Suzukis on display and were by the far the most popular brand of bike being customized. Another one of my personal favorites was this well, I don’t even know what it was. If you know, leave a comment and
(Above) Named “Ultra Violet” this one-off Gixxer his the definition of eye candy with its lustrous multi-tone violet paint work.(Below) What is this bike? Leave a comment below and the first correct answer gets a Motorcycle USA t-shirt.
the first right correct answer will get a Motorcycle USA t-shirt. From what I could see, this Suzuki was powered by an old school air/oil-cooled GSX-R1100 engine. The motor was decked out with a variety of Yoshimura performance parts and even had a racing-style dry clutch. The chassis looked totally custom with a reinforced aluminum swingarm and eccentric chain adjusters, Works Performance coil-over shocks and an inverted fork with top-shelf Brembo brakes.
With all the cool-looking machinery on display, inevitably you’re going to feel like riding. Thankfully, Wheelie Rampage was onhand with its wheelie machine. For $20 you can experience the thrill that is wheelieing a high-performance sportbike. The Honda CBR1000RR is physically tethered to the platform so you can’t loop it out. While it is fun it still isn’t quite the same as wheelieing a street bike at speed but for $20 and zero chance of injury it’s well worth the price.
In the hard core cruiser sector, Northern California’s Binford’s Custom Cycles had an incredible baby blue Harley-Davidson bagger on display. “Que Paso” had custom engraving on all its super flashy sparkling chrome parts, from its pipes to its engine covers to the wheels. I can only imagine the looks you’d get on the road if you were at the helm of this bad boy. Other nice touches were the oversized front spoke wheel with its low profile tire.
Last year the crew at AFT Customs took home top honors, winning the bike build-off competition with its “LowLA” motorcycle designed around Honda’s VTX1300. This year they unveiled their latest creation named Kemosabe. Based off a V-Twin powered Honda VT750 Kemosabe is a classic bobber-style cruiser. It was assembled with assistance of some of AFT’s model’s, two of which will be racing it at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
(Above) This is one of the girls that will be racing AFT Custom’s Kemosabe machine at the Bonneville Salt Flats. (Below) This trike designed and built by Concord, California-based U.S. Kustoms was the coolest looking cruiser-style motorcycle at the show. Cost to build it was in excess of $100,000.
“Kemosabe means faithful friend in Comanche,” says Jim Guiffra, owner/designer of AFT Customs. “AFT Customs is all about our friendships. All the AFT Model Agency Girls are working together with me to build this bike, just as they have with all our past Calendar Show bikes. We are like a family. We wanted our close friends in the Northern California custom bike-builder community to be a part of this build as well so that it represented the Nor Cal scene. The build is being fully documented and filmed for an upcoming TV show, which has been a lot of fun.”
Perhaps my favorite bike of the show technically isn’t even a motorcycle. Concord, California-based, U.S. Kustoms showed off its recently completed trike. Built at a cost in excess of $100,000 the three-wheeler is an ode to classic motorcycle design that provides an uncluttered view of the air-cooled V-Twin engine. Front suspension consists of a Springer-style fork, it has a brass-knuckle suicide shifter, two-tone paint and a center mount luggage compartment.
A host of aftermarket companies were also on-hand pitching their wares. One of the neatest products I saw was a Harley-Davidson air ride suspension system built by Shotgun Shock. For a price starting at around $1500, the Santa Ana, California shop will install a pair of electronically activated air shocks that allow you to adjust the ride height of the rear suspension with a flip of a switch. Even more impressive is that the set-up actually increases suspension travel and allows for both compression and rebound damping. We look forward to testing the system in the upcoming months.
The ability to hear is something that many of us take for granted. Unfortunately one of the inherent dangers of motorcycling is excess road noise. Southern California’s Flashbang Gear believes it has the solution with its affordable custom silicone ear plugs. For $50 they will make you a pair of custom-fit earplugs while you wait. The process is painless and only takes about 30 minutes from start to finish. The ears plugs fit snuggly in your ear and almost completely eliminate all noise. In fact, it’s almost scary how deaf you become when they are in your ear. Flashbang travels to a number of events each year so make sure to check them out online in order to get you a set.
Throughout the show, many of the beautiful calendar babes pictured are either performing on the stage alongside the talented female musical acts or just roaming around the show posing with fans and taking in the scene. This alone made the $25 admission fee worth the price. There were also vendors on hand with some extra greasy food and ice cold beer to wash it down with. That wraps up this year’s L.A. Motorcycle Calendar show. If you’re looking to check out the latest and greatest bikes and gear make sure you attend next year’s installment you won’t be disappointed.