While the winter doldrums curtail the ability to get out and ride for many, each January we’re able to shake off those affects by getting our fix at the annual Easyriders bike show tour. Easyriders’ entourage brings its traveling sideshow to five cities during the winter months, the event showcasing some of the best local talent around in an upbeat rally-like atmosphere of live entertainment, from performances by the Purrfect Angelz to music from the Fryed Brothers Band. Mix in guest appearances and guest builders and you’ve got an ideal avenue to shake the dreariness of winter with a weekend of biker fun.
The 2016 Easyriders Bike Show tour got off to a roaring start last weekend in Sacramento, California, as bikers from the Bay Area and across NorCal poured into downtown. The beat of drumming pistons and bellow of exhausts echoing off buildings started early Saturday morning and didn’t stop till the last revelers rolled out of town Sunday night.
You could hardly give away these police-style fairings when they first came out. Now they’re the rage.
Inside, approximately 200 custom motorcycles were spread about the cavernous Sacramento Convention Center according to Easyriders’ Event Manager Kari Roben. Just inside the door, Dirty Bird Concepts’ John Shope set up shop, his next-door neighbor Bagger Nations’ Paul Yaffe who brought along a big showcase of parts and a cool digital catalog. The Sacramento show serves as an excellent barometer of the bustling NorCal biker and building scene, from slammed and spoked choloed Harleys with intricate engraving to clubbers’ FXRs. Like the FXR, baggers continue to ride a wave of popularity, with ‘70s style diggers seeing a resurgence lately on the custom bike scene. As are FXRT police fairings, which is funny because you couldn’t give them away back in the day when they first came out. Now they’re hotter than ever.
One of this year’s special guests was mountain-of-a-man Rusty Coones, who played Rane Quinn on the popular Sons of Anarchy series. Coones is a man who wears many hats, from guitarist for the band Attika 7 to running a custom bike shop to heading up a chapter of the Hells Angels. For his latest endeavor, he’s teamed up with Paul Teutel, Sr. and the OCC crew for a new show called Orange County Choppers: American Made. While theme bikes will still play a role in the new show, the team reportedly expands into boats and other “one-of-a-kind machines” for clients. Having Coones on the show is sure to add a new element to the shop dynamics. Orange County Choppers: American Made is set to premiere on A&E Saturday, February 20 at 4 p.m. (EST)
You want me to sign what? The king-sized former SOA actor Rusty Coones has lots of female fans.
Another of Sacramento’s Easyrider special guests was Bobby Seeger and Indian Larry Motorcycles. A steady stream of Indian Larry fans strolled by to check out the twisted downtube goodness of Indian Larry-style bikes. Seeger said he just found a new guy that does wonderful castings and is looking forward to expanding the product line. He also said they’ve got a couple customer builds in the works. He was also promoting the upcoming auction of the “Question Everything” bike for the Veterans Sportsman Alliance. The motorcycle is the first one Indian Larry Motorcycles built after the departure of Keino and Paul Cox. It features a 93 cubic-inch S&S Shovelhead in a frame with the signature twisted downtube. Robert Pradke did the paintjob that tips its hat to Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, from the metallic hot rod flames running up the tank to the Rat Fink painted in its center. The Veterans Sportsman Alliance is auctioning the motorcycle off on eBay July 4, 2016, with “All proceeds going to the VSA to make a real difference in the lives of our injured and disabled veterans.”
We think Indian Larry himself would have been impressed with the caliber and diversity of work on display at the Sacramento Easyriders show, from a big block Chevy-powered trike to the S&S Knucklehead by Alex English of Old E Metalworks. One build that was impossible to ignore was Wild Bill’s 1966 H-D Shovelhead Motorcycle Hauler. First, there’s so much chrome on this rig it could blind you in direct sunlight. Secondly, it’s not every day you see an old Shovel outfitted with a platform with another full-sized motorcycle strapped down to it. According to the placard sitting next to the bike, the 74 cubic-inch Shovel with a four-speed tranny was built in the early ‘70s while the sidecar was recently added to fetch busted bikes from the infields of tracks like The Auburn Speedway and Sacramento Mile. The sidecar was built with help from the guys at Old E Metalworks (those guys are busy!), Cork’s Cycle, and Cook’s Truck Body. AAA Chrome gets an assist for slathering it in the shiny stuff. A drop-axle allowed them to place the removable ramp only four inches off the ground and the middle rail is adjustable to accommodate large and small motorcycles.
Easyriders’ esteemed editor Dave Nichols gave us the heads-up on another “must-see” motorcycle, Dalton Walker’s 1964 Panhead Digger. Raked and stretched with a fatanstic Prism tank cascading down its back, Walker’s Fresno-style Digger chopper looks like it rolled straight out of the ‘70s. While the Harley Panhead looks like it is suspended in air, look close and you’ll see a post running through the front cylinder head as the engine serves as a stressed member of the frame. The stroked engine has been built up to an impressive 96 cubic-inches. Its right case is from a 1964 Harley while its left is a Cal-Products Bonneville replacement case from the 1970s. Dalton’s Digger also features ‘70s velocity stacks jutting off the left side teamed to twin SU carbs. The frame is fabbed out of eight-inch-thick sheet metal that requires an intricate layering process. The fork legs of the Springer front end are each comprised of a single piece of sheet metal. Many of the motorcycle’s bits and pieces are gold plated, from its fork spring to spools, while its paint, pinstripes and gold leafing push it over the top.
Andrew Ursich’s Knuckle chopper called “Stardust” has been racking up awards lately and added First Place in the Radical Custom class to that list at the Easyriders Bike Show in Sacramento.
And while Walker’s scoot looks like a product of the ‘70s, another bike at the show, an Arlen Ness digger called “Chariot of the Gods,” actually came from that period. Arlen’s digger sports a 1966 Harley XLCH Sportster engine with ported and polished heads that bump displacement up to 900cc. The engine is outfitted with Sifton racing cams and dual spark plugs to go with its dual magnetos. Special fabrication and plumbing had to be done to accommodate the fuel induction turbocharger. A twist throttle unleashes its power. The clutch is bolstered by Barnett plates and a Ness easy-pull clutch cover. The beefed-up engine hangs in a chrome-moly rigid frame with a one-piece rear fender. A two-inch under Springer stretches off the front. The split-wing gas tanks feature an oil tank concealed in the bottom half of the right one. The tanks, fenders and bodywork are covered by two-tone plating, gold and silver leaf, and painted murals. It was a treat to see a modern interpretation of a digger in the form of Walker’s work and be able to compare it to Ness’s original.
Another standout at the show was “Stardust,” a 2015 Knucklehead chopper built by Andrew Ursich of Long Beach. Every inch of the motorcycle has been gone over with jewel-like precision. “Stardust” features a polished and chromed S&S Knucklehead engine spooned into a modified Paughco frame that has an oil tank molded into it. The frame’s downtube had to be cut out so it could be plated and engraved before it had to be welded back into place. Ursich handbuilt the girder front end, welding rods into its center in order to have it engraved. The chopper rolls 21-inches tall up front on a spool hub, Ursich opting to go without a brake to keep the front nice and tidy. The handlebars, also built by hand, feature an internal throttle. The headlight is a spotlight from an old ‘50s GM. Danny D gets credit for the paint, while Hernan “Engrave It” put the defining touches on an immaculate build. Ursich’s Knuuckle chopper has been cleaning house at bike shows lately, most recently earning “Best in Show” at David Mann’s Chopperfest. Now it can add First Place in the Radical Custom class at the Sacramento Easyriders Bike Show to that ever-expanding list.
- I hope I'm still ridin' when I'm as old as this guy!
- Dalton Walker's SIK 1964 Panhead digger attracted a lot of attention at the 2016 Easyriders Bike Show in Sacramento.
- Can you blame this guy for wearin' a sh*t-eatin' grin?
- Flames and FXRs go hand-in-hand.
The 2016 Easyrider Bike Show Tour heads to Long Beach this weekend, SoCal a hotbed for the custom motorcycle and hot rod scene. If you’re in need of a fix for your moto-jones, head over to the Long Beach Convention Center Saturday and Sunday to feed your addiction.