Even though the morning started with temperatures below freezing, plenty of bikers still bucked up and rode to the Sacramento Easyriders Show.
An adoring fan plants a big smooch on actor Ryan Hurst, aka ‘Opie’ from the popular TV show ‘Sons of Anarchy.’ People stood for hours in line for an opportunity to meet Hurst and have their picture taken with him.
The first motorcycle rolled into the parking space in front of the Sacramento Convention Center not long after the sun cracked over the eastern horizon, the solo rider layered in thick layers of leather to combat the bitter 26-degree morning. It wouldn’t be long before the rumbling exhausts of hundreds of other bikers would fill Sacramento’s Midtown area, the bass-filled notes bouncing off the surrounding buildings. Organizers of this year’s Easyriders Bike Show in Sacramento anticipated upward of 15,000 enthusiasts to pass through the doors of the convention center this weekend, the annual custom bike show and biker gathering a popular event in the NorCal motorcycling scene.
The impact of the show “Sons of Anarchy” was visible at the show, both in the parking lot and inside the convention center. Harley FX models with T-bars on high risers, quarter fairings on skinny front forks and raised tanks were everywhere, albeit many of these were ridden by legitimate club members. Inside the convention center, it was amazing to see how the line to meet Ryan Hurst, aka “Opie” from SOA, ran almost the entire length of the convention center. And his character isn’t even on the show any longer. Hurst wore a big smile as he joked around with fans, signing autographs, taking photos, and just hanging out. His appearance definitely was one of the most popular draws at the Sacramento show.
Easyriders did a good job of spreading out their entertainment lineup so something was always going on. If the band Jive Mother Mary wasn’t jammin’, then the Purrfect Angelz were on stage with their high energy act, from an Easyriders fashion show to their signature dance routine. Michael Ballard and Angie from the Full Throttle Saloon had lots of fans on-hand, the duo two of the hardest working people we know in their tireless promotion of the FTS brand. We just saw them in Texas at the Lone Star Rally, now they‘re on the West Coast as they travel with the Easyriders tour. Around noon the line to meet “Opie” started to snake around the front of the building, people easily standing a couple of hours to meet the former SOA star.
Another big hit at the show was the larger-than-life chain-linked chopper with a skeleton rider aboard that towered above nearby motorcycles. The “all-chain metal motorcycle” is the creation of Mark Marchan and Joey Nelson of ArcAngel Metal Artworks.
“We set out to build a bike that was looked exactly, dimensionally, to a Harley-Davidson chopper, all built out of chain. It even rolls,” said Mark.
ArcAngel Metal Artworks ‘all chain metal motorcycle’ was a big hit with the crowd at the Sacramento Easyriders Show 2013.
It took one year to build, Mark sharing with us how they linked out chain with a crescent wrench and threw it all in a bucket so “You can say it came out of a bucket of chain.”
The larger-than-life theme also attracted big crowds to the giant jet black, Batpod-inspired three-wheeler and its even more menacing armor-plated, machine gun-armed rumbler counterpart. The unique vehicles were built by Aloha Brothers Fab-Kreations, the “Tribute Rumbler” claimed to be the only street-legal replica of a military rumbler. It has an axleless front end with the largest radial tires, 33” tall EZ Wides mounted on 20”steel rims. The engine came from his Grandma’s 1970 Cadillac Fleetwood, now a 500 cubic-inch monster with 600 hp and 500 lb-ft of torque. It’s also equipped with .30 caliber Gatlin guns. It was built in tribute to the US Armed Forces in hopes of spreading the word to thank veterans and active duty service members for their service.
Their “Big Kahuna” is a reverse trike that was indeed inspired by the one used by the Dark Knight. It uses a static hydraulic system to steer and is powered by a 700cc V-Twin mated to an automatic tranny with reverse. This was also built in tribute, this time to honor Hawaiian Warriors and their fight to gain Native American status.
Between the People’s Choice and Judged categories, an estimated 120 -130 motorcycles competed in the bike show. The bikes garnering the majority of crowd votes were a 2000 Harley Road Glide owned by Mike Anderson out of Roseville, CA, and Raymond Clemons 1999 Road King, also out of Roseville. Gino and Denise Ilacqua earned top three honors as well in the People’s Choice ‘Best of Show’ category for their 2007 Custom Built motorcycle.
In the Judged category, Phillip Cannon’s 1995 Harley Hard Tail captured a stake in ‘Best of Show’ honors for Loose Cannon Fabrication out of Sacramento. Bryce Cole of Squaw Valley brought his 1948 Harley Panhead Digger to the contest and received a ‘Best of Show’ nod, too. Dalton Walker of Handord’s Sik Choppers was the third and final ‘Best of Show’ honoree for their 2012 Sik Chopper.
Walking through vendor’s row, Eb from Young’s Cycle caught our attention with the moveable, push-button controlled floorboards his partner Ross was demonstrating at their booth. The floorboards are called RoadRails and were developed by Randy Reading out of LA. The brake and shifter arm move in conjunction with the boards themselves, allowing riders to choose between stock or full forward controls and everything in between, based on the comfort of the rider. The motorized, adjustable floorboards are for Harley-Davidson motorcycles exclusively and cost $1640 plus installation. Eb said installation takes about three hours.
(L) Big Boy Cycles builds these great looking motorized bicycles that channel the styling of early Harleys and Indians.(M) This custom motorcycle takes Von Dutch’s ‘Flying Eyeball’ to a whole ‘nother level. (L) Michael and Angie from the Full Throttle Saloon are a hard-working couple, traveling around the States when they’re not manning the ship in Sturgis.
The crew over at Big Boy Cycles captured our attention with its array of motorized bicycles with boardtracker and vintage-motorcycle styling. The company makes some great looking Single-powered bicycles that look like early Indians and Harleys. They hand-build the tubular frames, use elastomer suspension on the front, drum brakes front and back, and utilize a high/low selector automatic transmission.
Continuing to stroll around, the work of Vindikta Handlebars also caught our eye. The SoCal-based company prides itself on making things the American way. Their Wild Cat Handlbers are made from 1.5-inch tubing and come in heights ranging from 12 – 18 inches with a pullback of 8.5 inches. These bars feature sharp styling and come either powdercoated black or chrome. Its ultra-tall Devil Dog Handlebars seemed to be a hit with the Easyriders crowd, too.
Before we left, we caught up with our buddy Paul Binford of Binford Customs. Binford is known for making baggers that haul balls, his 2004 Road King called “Que Paso” running a 131 cubic-inch engine while still flashing the design and style to win its share of shows. And even though his booth was filled with big-wheeled baggers and a rippin’ FXR, it’s the killer hillclimber he showed us a picture of that’s currently in the works that piqued our curiosity the most seeing how the project takes Paul far from his comfort zone.
We’ve been coming to the Sacramento Easyriders show for several years now and based on open space in the convention center, attendance and vendors felt down compared to a few years ago. It had to compete with extraneous variables like the 49ers playoff game that night and a sportsman’s show also in town. Unseasonably cold weather didn’t help either, but it didn’t stop plenty of Easyriders fans and hardcore riders from showing up to spice up Midtown Sacramento for the weekend.
(L) Cholo rides like this heavily engraved Harley we saw at the Easyriders Sacramento Show are a hit in the California custom motorcycle scene. (M) ‘Thors Hammer,’ a 1977 Ironhead chopper, was built to pay homage to ‘The Way it Was.’ (R) We were diggin’ this bike with the trick leaf spring fork, handbuilt frame, and wicked tank.