Many still recognize him as the Renegade, but Lorenzo Lamas now runs a distributorship of custom motorcycles, parts and apparel called Lorenzo Cycles, collaborating on custom builds with the likes of Eddie Trotta and Ralph Randolph.
Who’d have thought that a friendship started on the set of a reality TV show would lead to the formation of a brand which celebrates the artistry of custom motorcycles, promotes the motorcycle lifestyle and gives back to our country by conducting charitable events for the Armed Services? When producer/director Chad Greulach and actor Lorenzo Lamas met on the set of Gone Country while filming in Nashville back in 2007, the duo hit it off so well they ended up going into business together to form Lorenzo Cycles, a distributor of custom motorcycles, parts, and apparel.
I know what many are thinking. What the hell do two Hollywood types know about motorcycles? Lamas, like many of us, began riding dirt bikes as a kid, then graduated to the street with the purchase of his first motorcycle, a 1975 Honda 500T. In 1979, he would build his first chopper. Since then, he’s served as an ambassador to Oliver Shokouh’s Love Ride since the mid-80’s and is a staple of the Sturgis scene. He also played a bike-riding bounty hunter in a little show called Renegade, which at one time was broadcast in almost 100 markets throughout the world.
Greulach on the other hand started riding a little later in life. That doesn’t mean he didn’t embrace it with gusto. Anybody who buys a Kawasaki ZX-10 as one of their first bikes means they’re not afraid of diving in headfirst. Greulach’s career choice meant he had to put his passion for motorcycles on hiatus for a few years. During that time, though, he was the producer that helped cast and launch a little show called American Chopper, helping the Teutul gang from Orange County Choppers become a household name, so he wasn’t out of the scene altogether.
Lorenzo Lamas and Chad Greulach met in 2007 on the set of Gone Country and soon would venture into business together, opening up Lorenzo Cycles. The duo is busy promoting their Rumble for the Heartland, a fundraising effort which benefits Operation Homefront and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. (Below) The Patriot is based on Lamas’ favorite Harley, the FXR, and is being raffled off with proceeds helping the organizations above.
We met up with Lamas and Greulach recently at Sturgis during the fourth annual Legends Ride where they were not only supporting the causes of the benefit ride, but were doing double duty promoting their own fundraiser called Rumble for the Heartland. A couple of days later, the duo would lead a pack of riders from Devils Tower to the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground where participants were treated to a BBQ dinner and a private concert by Nashville Duo, Moccasin Creek. After that, riders were privy to a concert by Toby Keith and Poison who were performing on the Buffalo Chip’s main stage. The event was two-fold as funds raised went directly to Operation Homefront and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. It also got more exposure for the bike they are raffling off for Operation Homefront, a motorcycle called The Patriot, a rippin’ FXR-inspired hot rod with a 124 cubic-inch S&S Twin Cam engine built by custom builder Ralph Randolph.
Lamas and Greulach intend on replicating the business model they’ve created with the Rumble for the Heartland through 2012, holding rides from a national park or major event to headliner entertainment while showcasing the FXR-style raffle bike with money raised going directly to support our military members and their families. Raffle tickets for The Patriot are $100 and can be purchased at their site, Lorenzo Cycles, with the winner being announced at Daytona Beach Bike in March 2012. Operation Homefront is a national non-profit that “provides emergency assistance for military troops, the families they leave behind, and wounded warriors when they return home” while the work they do at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center needs no explanation.
The Patriot will be on display in Southern California soon at Bartels Harley-Davidson before it heads to Oliver Shokouh’s Glendale H-D dealership in preparation for Lorenzo Cycles next philanthropic endeavor, the Love Ride. The Love Ride is a benefit run started by Shokouh which at one time was hailed as the “world’s largest one-day motorcycle fundraising event.” Lamas has been a friend of Shokouh’s for many years, has been participating in the Love Ride since 1984 and sits on its Board of Governors. This year, Lorenzo Cycles will meet at Bartels H-D in Marina Del Ray for the ride out to Castaic Lake for a day of rally-style fun highlighted by Montgomery Gentry in concert. Lamas and Greulach will have that smokin’ FXR-inspired hot rod on hand as they continue to drum up support for our troops.
After that, Greulach said they’re hoping to take The Patriot and The Patron Bike, a sweet board tracker also built by Randolph, to Clarksville, Tennessee, for display at Appleton Harley-Davidson over the Veterans Day holiday. Appleton happens to be the official H-D dealership of the 101st Airborne. Their goal is to get the bike in front of as many military supporters as possible in an attempt to raise more money and awareness for the cause. Another Rumble for the Heartland ride may also be in the works with Appleton H-D as the starting point.
The Reno Rocket aka The Patron Gran Platinum Bike, has styling influenced by board trackers, comes with a choice in engine options, and features a rigid rear. Fortunately, the seat has a couple of small springs.
While their primary focus is to develop Rumble for the Heartland, building on the foundation they’ve established with Lorenzo Cycles is also a priority. There’s quite a bit of interest in the licensing and distribution platform they’ve created, with many calls coming in from the European market. They’re currently establishing distributors in Germany and Spain, are looking to expand into Latin America, and are seeking to venture into the burgeoning Indian market as well. It helps that their spokesperson has a devout fan base overseas thanks to syndication of Lamas’ Renegade TV show.
A big part of Lorenzo Cycles’ success is their ability to ally themselves with major players in the custom bike building world. Lamas doesn’t claim to be a fabricator or builder, but he does have an eye for design and plenty of ideas about motorcycles running through his head. In August of 2009 Lorenzo Cycles enlisted the services of Eddie Trotta to build a couple of customs, their flagship production model called The Icon and a bagger called The Badlander. Lamas and Trotta corroborated on the design, but Trotta was responsible for the fabrication. The Icon is a sweet ride, a Shovelhead chopper with timeless styling, tall apehanger handlebars and a stretched Springer front end. The frame sports a tall neck and plenty of open space above the 93 cubic-inch S&S Shovelhead. An Evil Engineering RSD open primary and a Thunder Cycle Velocity Stack added to its ill disposition. The tank has a bit of a Frisco design and the rear fender is integrated cleanly into the frame. A small patch of gator hide serves as a buffer for the backside (Trotta does reside in Florida, after all). One sweet ride, the only drawback is its Trotta-eque price tag, a whopping $63,000. Eddie’s services don’t come cheap.
After working with Trotta for a couple of builds, the guys at Lorenzo Cycles next hooked up with custom bike builder Ralph Randolph of Knockout Motorcycles in November of 2010. Greulach and Randolph were friends before Chad met Lorenzo. When the two were introduced, Lamas and Randoplh hit it off right away.
When Lamas met custom builder Ralph Randolph, a friend of Greulach’s, the two hit it off from the get-go. Randolph now builds a couple of the bikes offered by Lorenzo Cycles and is currently building a bobber for them.
“Ralph and I connect on a personal level,” Lamas said.
Lamas was eager to make his own bike, one that could be ridden hard and came with a price point which would appeal to more riders. The result was the FXR-inspired Patriot bike, based on Lamas’ favorite Harley of all times. For The Patriot, buyers are given engine options, from an 80 cubic-inch EVO to a rippin’ S&S 124. Of course, it features the FXR front end and twin shock rear suspension. This is a no-frills bike, ditching the glitz and glam for rawness and performance. A Lorenzo Cycles Sidewinder Air Cleaner and twisted Fight Dirty pipes by Ralph Randolph Design (RRD) dress up the right side while an Evil Engineering open belt primary and grippy Bear Trap foot pegs add to its hot rod styling on the left. Mini apes by RRD and a small signature cowling deck out the front. This is the ultimate bandito bike, the type of motorcycle where if you didn’t have an attitude before riding one, you would after.
“It actually handles and goes. It’s a snarling beast,” laughed Lamas.
Best of all, at $24,900 it’s priced more within the means of the average working man. That’s not bad considering owners will have a bike assembled by a world class custom builder that should run like the devil. It also showcases the different building philosophies of Trotta and Randolph. Overall, it gives Lorenzo Cycles four very different styles of motorcycles to offer riders, a chopper, bagger, hot rod and a board tracker styled bike. Having Randolph onboard works well, too, considering Lorenzo Cycles’ goal of giving back to the military and Randolph’s history as a US Marine. Lamas also enjoys bouncing ideas off Randolph and getting his creative input back in return. Randolph is already working on their next project, a Lorenzo Cycles bobber, which hopefully will make its debut in the coming months.
Lorenzo’s still got it. Motor Maid Gloria Struck’s eyes sparkle like she’s a girl getting asked to the prom by the most popular boy in school when she gets a hug from Lorenzo at Sturgis.
Like many out there, I was quick to draw preconceived conclusions about the Renegade simply for the role Lamas portrayed on TV. But after seeing and riding with him in Sturgis’ Legends Ride for the last three years, I realize Lamas and Greulach are riders just like you and I. They’re ambitious and eager to build kick-ass motorcycles people can really ride while promoting the lifestyle in a positive light. After getting to know them better, I realize their hearts and heads are in the right places. Bike sales to them take a back seat to giving back. Lorenzo Cycles continues to build on the foundation they’ve established and the motorcycling community stands to be beneficiaries of their vision and commitment.