Tuesday, April 26, 2011

AMD Show - Swiss Harley Days - European H.O.G. Rally 2011

Swiss Harley Days finds a home in Lugano for 2011 The official announcement by Harley-Davidson management for a repeat of Swiss Harley Days was made. The city of Lugano will once again host Swiss Harley Days - This year's rally is July 8th & 9th 2011.

Also just announced. Harley-Davidson Switzerland confirmed that, this year's event at Campione d'Italia/Lugano, Switzerland will be a Modified Harley-Davidson World Championship affilate event.

With the Campione d'Italia/Lugano Modified Harley Class winner receiving prize money to be able to compete at the world Championships at Sturgis, USA courtesy of Harley-Davidson Switzerland. The affiliation represents another opportunity for a European authorised Harley dealer or private customer to "mis-it" with America's best and try to follow the trail blazed by current Modified Harley-Davidson World Champions Shaw H-D from the UK.

Here's the video of European H.O.G. Rally 2010 in Lugano!

International Female Ride Day - May 6th 2011

Women all over the world will unite by simply getting on their motorcycles for a ride on May 6th - In 2011 women riders throughout Canada, United States, Australia, England, The Netherlands, Greece, Italy, Poland, Israel, Hungary, Slovakia, India, Russia Germany and more- will contribute to the campaign in compelling numbers. 

International Female Ride Day whose simple theme asks women to “JUST RIDE”, is a designated day, aimed at bringing awareness to the existing and mounting numbers of women motorcyclists, a prominent escalating segment of the motorcycling community who ride just as much as their male counterparts. The is the fifth year for the global ride in unison, which is always staged on the first Friday in May.

 “We ride on a Friday to emphasize the fact that motorcycling for women is not only a hobby but something women incorporate into their every day lives," said Vicki Gray, founder of the International Female Ride Day and MOTORESS - a global online community and magazine for women riders that is based in Canada.

"Women ride to work, to school or to run errands, such as I do on my scooter in the city- it’s a reality in a woman’s life, and this day simply accentuates it. Women enthusiastically prepare to ride and unite around the world on this synchronized day - and if you look at the feedback by way of internet, it’s truly phenomenal!” said Vicki. “For the 5th year we’re so excited to welcome support and participation from National Russian Motorcycle Federation (NRMF) and equally a group of women in India who are totally on board with the action! This year many women have referred to the campaign as a ‘movement’ and really, its global size is certainly proof of that!”  

In Kingston, Ontario - The Motor Maids will be leading a women's -only ride followed by a coed BBQ at MotoSport Plus - In Toronto, there will be a ride & rally. You will find events posted from Aruba to Russia in the Facebook Group: International Female Ride Day.

Since its introduction in 2007, International Female Ride Day has continued to expand demonstrating magnificent growth. This has also been a result of the endorsement and support from the motorcycle industry and its prominent leaders, renowned female rider clubs, and international governing bodies such as Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme (FIM).

International Female Ride Day is supported by BMW MOTORRAD CANADA, HARLEY-DAVIDSON, HONDA, KAWASAKI, KYMCO, SUZUKI, ARAI, AFMQ (Association des femmes motocyclistes du Qu├ębec) , CMA (Canadian Motorcycle Association), CANADIAN BIKER, DRAGGIN JEANS, GEARING UP (Canada Safety Council), GO-GO GEAR, INSIDE MOTORCYCLES, RIDE FOR SIGHT, RIDERS PLUS INSURANCE, FIM (Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme).

See related articles about what Harley-Davidson is doing.. and photos from the first Aruba Women Rider's Day: International Female Ride Day.

Born Free 3 Vintage Chopper Show, California

The Born Free Show on June 25th 2011 at Oak Canyon Ranch in Orange County, California is about the love of old motorcycles and like minded individuals having a good time enjoying each others company & these bikes of the past. The list of participating builders is international - from professional to home-built. This is a family-friendly event - young and old a-like are welcome to come out and enjoy the day.The show is meant to unite people from all walks of life by bringing the passion that we all have of these old machines together for one day.If you come out to the event please be prepared to have a great time,enjoy some vintage bikes..lots of vintage bikes in a peaceful friendly family environment. There will also be a ride to the after-party  a few miles down the road.

You can also buy the event poster for a chance to win at $25k knucklehead.
Details: Born Free Blog.

Here's the updated list of builders from all over the world who are planning to attend:

Andy, Pangea Speed, Triumph -
Barons Speedshop UK/Factory Metal Works Pre Unit Triumph
Bryan Thompson , Pre Unit Triumph - Caleb Owens, Cro Customs, HD
Dave Barker, Speedmetal, Panhead - Dave Polgreen, St Paul, Knucklehead
Gaku Okomizu, Hawgholic, HD - Harpoon, FMA, Knucklehead
Ian Barry, Falcon Motorcycles, Vincent - Irish Rich, Shamrock Fab, HD
Jason Craze, Eternal Combustion, Knucklehead
Jason Weber, ATR, Knucklehead
Jeff Leighton, Wing Nuts MC, Knucklehead
Jeffro, White Knights, Triumph
Jeremiah Armenta, Love Cycles, HD
Joe Lingley,Panhead Dragbike
John Copeland, White Knights, Shovelhead 
John Edwards, Old Tyme Custom Paint, Panhead
Jon Rispante, Las Vegas, Triumph/BSA - Kim Boyle, BCM, Triumph
Kosuke, Sunrise Cycles, Triumph - Max Schaaf, 4Q, Panhead
Mike Olsen, Vista, Knucklehead - Robert Hernandez, AZ, HD
Scott Craig, Chopperville, Knucklehead
Shawn Donahue, Chino, PanShovel
Todd, Small City Cycles, Triumph - Warren Heir, JR Cycle Prod, HD
Event details: http://www.bornfreeshow.com/

2011 Born Free 3 was another great success!               "We had just over 100 vendors at Born-Free 3 and I think everyone had a ball and did well. This is mostly due to us tailoring the show to our wants and desires, attracting people from all over the globe, and not charging an entry fee," said Grant of Born Free. A $50 discount is being offered for "early bird" vendor sign ups. Born Free 4 is coming to Oak Canyon Ranch, California on June 30, 2012.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Cody & Kyle Ives Stunt Show at 2011 Thunder Beach Rally

Cody & Kyle Ives are not typical teenagers. They have been doing freestyle stunt shows for nearly 10 years and you can see them April 27 to May 1st at Frank Brown Park during the 13th Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally in Panama City Beach, Florida. - See a video of their Thunder Beach 2009 Extreme Motocross, Steel Globe of Death Show.

The 13th Thunder Beach Spring Rally kicks off with a free GENEVA concert on Wednesday, April 27 and includes poker runs on Thursday, Friday & Saturday - Free outdoor concerts, free parking and 250 vendors at venues across beautiful Panama City Beach, Florida. Friday - Miss Thunder Beach Pageant with King Cotton Band (Blues w/Country edge.) Saturday - MS Thunder Beach (35+), Thunder Beach Parade, and Steel Horse Law Best of the Beach Bike Show. Sunday - Blessing of the Bikes and Scenic Ride. Details: http://www.thunderbeachproductions.com/

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Washngton State Bans Biker Profiling

On April 13, 2011 Washington State Gov. Christine Gregoire signed Senate Bill 5242 into law that bans profiling of motorcyclists by state troopers and local law enforcement officers. The new law is modeled after 2002 legislation that prohibits racial profiling. It requires law enforcement training and work within the motorcycle community to better understand and eliminate "motorcycle profiling."

In testimony last year, Donnie Landsman of ABATE Washingrton spoke out about law enforcement's use of a banned Biker101 service manual that discribes bikers as dangerous and prone to violence. He also described what he termed  "catch and release" stops used by law enforcement as an opportunity to search the motorcycle, photograph the biker's tattoos and fish for information about riding club affiliations. Here's the video.

Here is a copy of the new anti-motorcycle profiling law that was passed by the Washington State legislature on March 5th, 2011:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

National 2011 Sturgis Road Show Tour Launched at Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex

Dave Perewitz, Eddie Trotta, Cycle Source & Limpnickie Lot have joined the first-ever Sturgis Road Show that is underway this weekend at the Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Hershey-Harrisburg, PA.

Headliner Sturgis bands include: Bachman & Turner, Styx, and Tesla. Michelle Smith has joined the party with Vicious Cycle that is installing parts for Custom Chrome at the Sturgis Roadshow in Pennsylvania.

The Custom Chrome International Bike Show is a featured part of the Sturgis Road Show that is being presented by two Sturgis icons  - The Legendary Buffalo Chip and Loud American Roadhouse, in partnership with promoter Motoring USA and the Eastern Regional Harley-Davidson Dealers Association (EHDDA.)

"Not everyone can make the pilgrimage to South Dakota," said Rod Woodruff, owner of the Legendary Buffalo Chip. "But now they can experience what makes Sturgis the best motorcycle event in the world."

The 2011 Sturgis Road Show will serve up a taste of Sturgis in the Mid-Atlantic region with nightly concerts on "The Legendary Buffalo Chip Main Stage" and food and drink from Main Street Sturgis in the touring Loud American Roadhouse. Features include galleries of work by world-renowned motorcycle artists and photographers, vintage motorcycles and memorabilia presented by the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum, Custom Chrome International Bike Show, beauty & fashion events, educational and entertainment seminars, and motorcycle product displays and installations.

Here's the 2011 Custom Chrome International Bike Show Schedule:

Round 1 - North American Championship Powered By The Doc Pros at the Custom Chrome International Dealer Show, Santa Clara, CA March 19th and 20th 2011.

Round 2 – European Championship Powered by DHL Global Forwarding at the Custom Chrome Europe Dealer Show, Mainz Germany March 26th and 27th 2011.

Round 3 – Sturgis Road Show Championship - Sturgis Road Show, Harrisburg PA. Shows on Saturday and Sunday, with Awards Sunday April 17th.

Round 4 – European Bike Week Faak Austria September 10th 2011.

Local tourism officials see this event introducing the large number of cyclists within the Mid-Atlantic region to Pennsylvania's capital city of Harrisburg and America's chocolate capital of Hershey, The Sweetest Place On Earth®. Special lodging rates can be found at  HersheyHarrisburgHotels.com.

"Selecting this region of Pennsylvania was a strategic decision," said Bill Tull, Vice President of the EHDDA and owner of Susquehanna Valley Harley-Davidson. "Pennsylvania has the fourth most motorcycle registrations (329,750) in the United States surpassed only by California, Florida, and Texas. Neighboring states New York ranks sixth with 202,565, New Jersey has 163,070, and Maryland has 72,533 registered riders."Finding a central venue capable of hosting the elaborate event also played a role in the location," said Sharon Altland, HHRVB Sales Director. "Producers wanted the capacity to host large numbers of attendees, galleries, exhibits, and specialty option plus the capability to produce multiple special events and concerts under one roof."
The FSC is the premier event facility in the region with over one-million square feet of connected exhibit area, including two indoor arenas. As a tourism destination the region also provides ample lodging and easy accessibility for attendees coming from the Mid-Atlantic region.

"There are two kinds of riders in the world - those who have been to Sturgis and those who want to go," said John Detrick, CEO of Motoring USA. "We're taking the Sturgis experience to the world."

The Sturgis Road Show schedule will expand in 2012 to include more cities domestically and internationally. For more details visit http://www.sturgisroadshow.com/

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Harley-Davidson "Share The Road" License Plate Launched Today in Wisconsin

From its world headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin today, Harley-Davidson Motor Company in partnering with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation launched the first-ever Harley-Davidson branded "Share The Road" automotive license plate. The plate is available for automobiles, light trucks and motor homes in Wisconsin. 

"Rider safety is critically important to all of us at Harley-Davidson," said Matt Levatich, Chief Operating Officer and President of Harley-Davidson Motor Company. "We are pleased to partner with the State and help increase awareness and support for motorcycle safety programs that further enhance rider safety and driver awareness in Wisconsin."

The new license plate is the first and only Harley-Davidson branded plate available anywhere in the United States, and it is only being offered in Wisconsin – the birthplace of Harley-Davidson. The plate was designed in collaboration with the Harley-Davidson Motor Company Styling Team. The words "Share the Road" are displayed to emphasize the importance of motorcycle safety.

Motorists who wish to display the "Share The Road" specialty plates will pay an additional $15 issuance fee and an annual $25 donation. The annual donation will help support safety initiatives throughout the state. The plates can also be personalized (standard annual fees apply) and can be purchased at any time, not just when a motorist renews their registration (actual costs will vary based on time of purchase).

For more information about the Harley-Davidson/Share the Road license plates, visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website at http://www.wisconsindmv.gov/.

SOURCE Harley-Davidson, Inc.

Best 15 Motorcycle Roadways in the USA

This month's issue of the American Motorcyclist magazine, published by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) ranks the top 15 scenic highways and byways across the USA, as chosen by AMA members. Four are in California but the most popular ride is Beartooth Highway through Montana and Wyoming.

* I have personally been on more than a half dozen of these scenic motorcycle roadways, including the North Pacific Coast Highway in California where this photo was taken at Big Sur. Other photos were also taken on vacation in California in 2009.

"When it comes to the best places in the country to ride motorcycles, no group of riders is more knowledgeable than AMA members," said AMA President and CEO Rob Dingman. "No group puts in more miles, samples more asphalt or rides more roads.

"By publicizing our favorite roads in American Motorcyclist magazine, AMA members will seek out these destinations and bring tourism dollars into local communities through the purchase of food, fuel, lodging and more," Dingman said.

The editors of American Motorcyclist magazine used the 230,000-member, non-profit association's website, AmericanMotorcyclist.com, to accept nominations and tally votes for members' favorite roads. Nearly 100 roads made the ballot, and the magazine published the top 15 roads in the April issue as well as a list of "honorable mentions."

"Some of these roads are familiar to motorcyclists, and others may not be," said Managing Editor James Holter. "They all have one thing in common: They're the best roads in the country, as chosen by AMA members."

A countdown of the top 15 routes:

15. Washington Route 129 and Oregon Route 3, Clarkston, Wash., to Enterprise, Ore.
14. Ohio Route 170, Calcutta to Poland.
13. California Route 58, McKittrick to Santa Margarita.
12. U.S. Route 33, Harrisonburg, Va., to Seneca Rocks, W.Va.
11. Natchez Trace, from Natchez, Miss., to Nashville, Tenn.
10. Angeles Crest Highway, California Route 2.
9. U.S. Route 12, Lolo Pass, Idaho and Montana.
8. California Route 36.
7. Cherohala Skyway, North Carolina and Tennessee.
6. Going to the Sun Road, Glacier National Park, Montana.
5. California Route 1, Pacific Coast Highway.
4. U.S. Route 550, from Ouray to Durango, Colo.
3. U.S. Route 129 -- The Tail of the Dragon -- on the North Carolina-Tennessee border.
2. Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina.
1. Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming.

Honorable mentions:
•Highway 12, Colorado
•Route 191, 180, 78, Arizona, New Mexico
•U.S. 191 (Alpine to Morenci) Arizona
•U.S. 16A (South Dakota)
•U.S. 50, Nevada
•Farm to Market 336, Texas

* We also loved everything about the scenic roadways in Tennessee, North Carolina, Arizona, Nevada and West Virginia. Wyoming is our next place to visit.

Source: American Motorcyclist Magazine.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kansas City W.A.R. Rally For "Wounded Warriors"

The 1st Annual - W.A.R. - Warrior Appreciation Rally is a special Armed Forces Day event planned for Saturday, May 21st to honor, support and raise awareness for our Military's Wounded Warriors. Come early to ride in the Patriot Motorcycle Ride. A “Cars 4 Heroes” vehicle will be presented to a needy veteran in the KC Metro area.

Click poster image to enlarge.

The Patriot Motorcycle Ride - 9 to 11am - rolls out from Worth Harley Davidson North at Interstate-29 and Tiffany Springs Road and ends at the Brass Rail, Hwy 152 & N. Brighton in Kansas City. Registration open at 7am $10 per rider includes rally admission.

First Place Winners of the Cover Girl Search, Bike Show and Bikini Contest will be featured in Chromed Out Magazine. Details about this event and how you can donate to the cause can be found at http://www.chromedoutmag.com/

BANDS: Outlaw Jim and the Whiskey Benders, Bob Harvey Band, Blues Society, Shelter and Sharp Dressed Man (ZZ Top Tribute) Band.

Riders can have photos taken with their bike in front of a real US Army Apache Helicopter.

Money raised during this one day non-profit event will support two causes: Camp Hope - Chris Neil Farm in Southeast Missouri that was started by a family after their son was killed in Iraq in 2006; and the Wounded Warrior Project that assists wounded warriors with their day to day needs.

About the Wounded Warrior Program: The Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) is the official U.S. Army program that assists and advocates for the most severely wounded, ill, and injured Soldiers, Veterans, and their Families, wherever they are located, regardless of their military status, for as long as it takes.

About the Wounded Warrior Project: The Wounded Warrior Project is a private national non-profit organization set-up to further assist injured soldiers with a wide range of
rehabilitative care issues. WWP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization headquartered in Jacksonville, FL with additional program offices located in New York City and Washington D.C. WWP was founded in Roanoke, Virginia by a group of veterans and friends who took action to help the injured service men and women of this generation.

• The Purpose is: To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members. To help injured service members aid and assist each other. To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

• The Mission is: To honor and empower wounded warriors.
• The Vision is: To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded warriors in this nation's history. For additional Information on the Wounded Warrior Project go to; http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/ Non-Profit #20-2370934

About Camp Hope - Chris Neal Farm: The Chris Neal Farm is a private local non-profit organization located in Southeast Missouri set-up to assist injured soldiers with recreational
rehabilitative care. Established in 2007, Camp Hope is located 70 miles south of St. Louis in the plush land of Farmington, MO. One hundred and seventy acres of beautiful rolling hills and hardwood ridges are available to our veterans for their year round enjoyment, recovery, and well being. Camp Hope is located in an area that has a lot to offer American veterans. State and National Parks surround the area with numerous activities such as fishing, canoeing, hiking and golf. Chris Neal Farm is a partner of Camp Hope and is dedicated to offering some of the best hunting in Missouri. It is our hope that these fine Americans will experience lasting memories and perhaps lasting relationships at Camp Hope.

Today there are over 2.3 million disabled veterans in the U.S. All of these veterans had dreams about the future, but many of these dreams were lost due to injuries suffered in the line of duty. Camp Hope has been established to thank these great men and women and show them that there is indeed still hope for their dreams. William “Mike” White’s family has a vision born of sorrow that is now becoming a reality which will be able to reach out and help the heroes of our Nation. For additional Information on the Camp Hope – Chris Neal Farm go to: http://www.chrisnealfarm.com/ Non-Profit #N00807910

About the Missing Link Motorcycle Club: The Missing Link Motorcycle Club is a National AMA Chartered Motorcycle Club which was established in 1982 in Columbus Ohio. The MLMC - Midwest Chapter was established in Kansas City in June of 2010. On a National level the MLMC, with its hundreds of members, supports a wide range of non-profit organizations, including “Toys 4 Tots”. The MLMC - Midwest Chapter was started by a group of former and current military professionals who served in different Special Operations fields. Getting behind a military cause was an easy choice for MLMC-Midwest, due to one of its own members being a Wounded Warrior, the member was injured when a roadside bomb detonated near his patrol in Iraq.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Interview with World-Class Bike Builder Stephen Galvin

Stephen Galvin of Wikked Steel has probably won more major bike shows in recent years than any other bike builder in North America, including back-to-back "Best of Show" wins at the Rat's Hole 2011 Daytona Bike Week and Leesburg Bikefest Shows. Here's his advice.

You can move to Southern California when you become as rich and famous as Jesse James. But if you want to make a name for yourself by winning bike shows, you should probably move to Florida where there are a lot more big-name bike shows and bike rallies.

“We only had three bike shows to look forward to when I was building bikes in Southern California - LA Calendar Show, Love Ride and Santa Maria Bike Fest,” said Stephen, who relocated to the Tampa-Saint Petersburg area in 2005.

He now has 8 Rat’s Hole trophies for “Best of Show” and 1st Place wins at Daytona Bike Week, Daytona Biketoberfest and Leesburg BikeFest, 2008 to 2011. He has “Best of Show” trophies from the Boardwalk Shows – Daytona Bike Week & Biketoberfest, and he won “Best of Show” at the 2010 Thunder Beach Rally Spring & Fall bike shows, as well as “Best of Show” Easyriders – Atlanta 2010 and New Orleans 2009; and “Best of Show” Great American Bike Show – Atlanta 2008; and “Best of Show” - Pro Builder Rick Fairless Bike Show 2010 in Dallas. He won the Florida Bike Builders Invitational in 2008, 2010 & 2011 and was the 1st Place People’s Choice Award at the Ultimate Bike Builder’s Show at Daytona Bike Week 2011.

“My first experience with bikes was with my brother's Triumph 650 Bonneville chopper,” he said. “Cool bike but it WAS English so I was the one to keep it working.”

Stephen grew up in the suburbs of Boston, where he worked on bikes and played guitar. He followed a career in music to California, and for several years owned his own music store. “It wasn't until the late 80's that I started really focusing on bikes and went to work for Bartels Harley-Davidson. Bartels was THE hotbed of HD customizing at the time.”

Working on his own in a 2-car garage, Stephen learned the art of steel fabrication by way of books, videos and experience and became totally hooked. “With each bike I build, I learn new things and apply what I’ve learned to the next bike,” he said.

He decided on the company name Wikked Steel to emphasize his passion for steel fabrication. “Because of the complexity of the shapes in my bike builds, many people incorrectly assume they must be fiberglass,” he noted. “But they are all hand-crafted steel fabrications.” - http://www.wikkedsteel.com/

In 2008, Stephen built a Dragon bike that collected a string of “Best of Show” wins.

Click images to enlarge.

“I finally understood just how much you have to focus on every detail, and I’ve been doing that ever since.” The Dragon bike was built on a Pro-Street frame with a 45 degree rake, 6-inch stretch and stock height; Springer front end, Ultima El Bruto 120-inch engine with a Trik-Shift 6-speed gearbox. It has a 330 Avon rear tire and 120-70 front tire with wheels from Tight Customs in California.

In 2009, Stephen built the Yamaha SpeedStar Warrior that landed one of six spots in the Yamaha 2010 company calendar. His bike, Geisha built with Will Robertson will be featured in the Yamaha 2011 company calendar.

The SpeedStar was built with an extremely modified Road Star frame, retaining just enough frame to cradle the Yamaha Warrior engine and highly modified transmission with a custom dual carb manifold.

Stephen then went on to build "Area 51," the Ultimate Bike Builder People's Choice Award winner and "Best of Show" at Rat's Hole Daytona Bike Week 2011.

"This bike began as a challenge to myself to design and engineer as many unique parts as I could on this bike," said Stephen "I wanted to create a design that looked like it had either come from the future or from some other place entirely. I knew that this meant that I would have to fabricate almost every element myself to have that level of unique design, but I felt confident that I could muster the necessary effort to make it happen."

He started with a one-off frame custom built by Pro-Tube Frameworks with 45 degrees of rake, -2 in the dual downtubes, 5 inches of stretch in the front and 4 more inches of stretch in the rear. The oil bag is incorporated into the chin fairing(s) and holds almost 6 quarts of oil.

"The sheet metal work was all done in-house as that is my favorite part of fabrication," he said. "The front end design was probably the biggest challenge both from a design and functionality standpoint. The fork legs are chrome-moly and boxed in with 16 gauge steel. The front swingarms are solid billet and were CAD designed by me. The steel fork tips, pegs, grips, axle block covers, exhaust system and many of the other unique parts on this bike are also proprietary designs. I spent a great deal of time teaching myself Solidworks in order to create these elements myself and not have to rely on someone else to interpret my ideas."

The wheels are one-off 7 piece designs created by Pickard USA that use the design of the tank as the spokes and the shape of the rear fender as the elements in-between the spokes.

A Baker 6 speed transmission designed for Big Dog was used, as well as a modified Baker DSSC open primary drive. "I love the narrow design and by moving the starter back and down it kept the space under the seat open and clean," Stephen noted.

The engine started out as an Ultima El Bruto 120 CI, which has become Wikked Steel's powerplant of choice. "I then re-designed the heads and cylinders to have a more modern and unique design and to add to the mystique of the bike," said Stephen. "The Ness pushrod covers and lifter blocks complemented their design nicely."

"After the bike was completed and assembled I decided that, as a result of the rear stretch in the frame, my chain was very long (130 links) and not very attractive. I then got on the computer and designed the billet covers for each link and thus turned a negative into another point of interest on the bike. My speedometer is a Garmin GPS which also plays a slideshow of the build when on display."

In an interview during the recent Daytona Bike Week, Stephen said, he loves watching the reactions of people to this build as they explore all of the intricacies of the fabrication. "I also love their reaction when I explain that this and all of my bikes were built in a 2-car garage behind my home. No fancy shop with thousand of dollars worth of machinery."

Click images to enlarge.

Along with other changes, Stephen also disassembled the bike completely for a new paint job by Jason Trimbach Artistry. "It made me crazy to look at the previous paint job and I felt it compromised all the work I had done," he said. "Now she is truly finished and I am proud of every square inch!"

The Area 51 bike presented a number of challenges, and when it first showed at a Rat's Hole Bike Show in 2010, it placed 4th in it's class. A very disappointed Stephen Galvin sat down with Wolfgang Knitterscheidt, a German manufacturers representative and long-time International Rat's Hole Bike Show Judge, who is also a world renowned private collector.

"I saw the Area 51 Bike first appearing in 2010 and I already liked some of it's appearance," said Wolfgang. But in his personal opinion of the bike, he told Stephen he would have to make a lot of changes to improve the bike's ratings in the major bike shows.

"I did not think that he would put himself through all this," said Wolfgang, " But Surprise, Surprise! I saw the bike coming into the Rat's Hole Show in Daytona, and I was flattered. He did 100 percent what I told him he would have to do.

"I asked him if it is for sale and secured it for myself before it was even judged," said Wolfgang "Area 51 is a real beauty. I can't wait to ride this baby all over Germany and see the crazy reactions of all the jealous people!

"I am a collector of over 1000 Radical - still the King's class. I simply bought THE BEST. If anyone knows I should know. 

Damn ....... Area 51 will be amongst some of the nicest bikes ever built in the last decade: The World is not Enough, Triangular, Purple Hooter, Moulin Rouge etc. not to forget all my rideable Vintage Harleys.

"Thanks Stephen," said Wolfgang "This year you were the best!"

(c) 2011 by MJ Lloyd-Reynolds, all rights reserved.

An earlier version of this interview was published in the Leesburg Ratty Rag, April 9, 2011. No part of this interview can be reproduced without written permission.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Laconia Bike Week 2011, June 11 to 19 Event Schedule

Laconia, New Hampshire is home to one of the biggest and oldest rallies in the United States., dating back to 1923 and drawing crowds of 400,000 to ride in the beautiful New England countryside. Wherever you look, there are bikes on the scenic highways between Laconia and Loudon.

This year's rally is June 11 to 19, 2011.

June 11 - Swap Meet in Ashland, NH - at L.W. Packard Bell Field. Free to attend. Vending spaces $35.

June 11 - 4th Annual Rally for Kids in Crisis - 8:30am start at the 1st Assemble of God Church - 45 Myles Drive in Auburn, NH. This is a 100-mile scenic regional ride. $25 rider fee and $10 passenger fee includes lunch. Details: ManchesterAssembly.org

June 11 - 5th Annual Peter Markris Memorial Ride Around The Lake - Starting point 11am to 1pm NASWA Resort and Beach Bar in Laconia. - details at http://www.naswa.com/

June 11 - Blessing of the Motorcycles at Laconia Bike Week - 3 to 4pm on opening day of the rally at United Baptist Church in Lakeport, followed by 4 to 5pm church service and a spaghetti dinner, 5 to 7pm for $10 donation.

June 11 - Laconia Kickoff & NHMRO 35th Anniversary Party at Deerhead Sportsmen's Club in Hooksett, NH - 1 to 9pm with good food and live music.

Enjoy a beautiful ride to Kancamangus Trail and Mt Washington.
Mt. Washington "Ride to the Sky" - Mt. Washington Auto Road is celebrating a 150th anniversary in 2011. Open every day during Laconia Bike Week - Motorcycles Only on Monday, June 13th and Thursday, June 16th. "Ride To The Sky" Motorcycle Ride with guide vans for extra passengers and vendors begins at 10am June 16th.

Jagermeister Promos - Laconia Bike Week Jun 11 - Jun 19, 2011
Rally Headquarters - 11am to 5pm - Broken Spoke Saloon - 5 to 7pm - Bullwinkle's in Ashland - 7:30 to 9:30pm every day of the rally.

Flat Track Races at Big Daddy’s Speed Bowl in Rumney, NH - Three shows will be available, daily - plus bike wash, massages, music, food, and beer.

Biker Build-Off at Lobster Pond - June 13 to 18 - six shops competing for prizes. Builders include Irish Choppers (Dudley, MA), Pitoniak's Custom Cycles (Belchertown, MA), Ready Customs (New Hamptom), Vintage Custom Cycles (Sandown, NH), Deadwood Choppers (NY), and Masshole Moto (Cape Cod) - according to the official rally website: http://www.laconiamcweek.com/

Thursday, April 7, 2011

18th Miracle Ride Around the Indy 500 Track

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is celebrating 100 years of racing that will include the 18th Annual Miracle Ride on June 5th to raise money for the Riley Children's Hospital. More than 5,000 motorcyclists will enjoy the magic of riding around the historic Indy 500 track in a Sunday morning parade lead by the Indiana Motorcycle Drill Team. The Miracle Ride is a two-day event that includes a poker run and bike show on Saturday, as well as an auction, raffle and concert on Sunday.

"Over the past 17 years, the Miracle Ride has raised over $3 million for Riley Hospital and hopes to bring in another $400,000 in 2011," said Holly Farabough, director of marketing and sponsorship for Miracle Ride Foundation.

James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children is Indiana's first and only comprehensive children's hospital, saving lives and helping thousands of children every year. Many of the life saving programs at Riley are ranked as some of the top programs in the nation, setting a benchmark for other programs that help children. Riley is a not-for-profit hospital, so it relies heavily on donations from outside sources.

The Bob & Tom Show - nationally syndicated radio show presents the Miracle Ride.

On Saturday the 4th the Miracle Ride kicks off with six poker runs with starting locations all over the state of Indiana. All poker runs will end at the Wyndham Indianapolis West Hotel, where the winners of each poker run will compete for six major prizes. The Wyndham will also be host of a Miracle Ride bike show and silent auction. Vendors will be available and there will be live music until Midnight.

On the morning of Sunday June 5th, 5,000 plus Miracle Ride participants will gather at Allison Transmission. Bob & Tom from the Bob & Tom Radio Show will be on stage introducing guest speakers, giving some special presentations, and of course making everyone laugh. The Indianapolis Motorcycle Drill Team will perform and then participants will rev their engines for a very big parade ride.

The ride will leave Allison Transmission for a lap around the legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway. It will then go past Riley Hospital for Children where doctors, nurses, families, and the children who are able, wave to all the riders and hold up signs of gratitude. This is a very touching moment that can bring you tears and definitely makes you feel good for supporting the cause.

The ride will end in Shelbyville, Indiana outside Indiana Live! Casino. Every participant will receive a complimentary lunch. Then Bob & Tom will do a live auction, announce the winners of the grand prize and most money raised prize, and the totals for the weekend will be announced. To end, anyone over 21 will be invited into the Casino to determine the winners of the Miracle Ride Raffle items.

It is a $50 minimum pledge per person to participate in the Miracle Ride. With this minimum pledge, adult participants receive access to all events both days, Sunday lunch, Saturday night camping, and an event t-shirt. Participants will also receive one chance at the grand prize, which is a 1200cc Harley-Davidson Sportster. For each interval of $50 donated, participants receive a chance at this grand prize. The individual who donates the most money to the Miracle Ride will receive a 2011 Harley-Davidson Sportster 883. Children who pledge $25 are eligible for a TTR 110 Yamaha or an Agility Kymco 50cc Scooter. Children under eight are free and children 8-15 pay $25 to participate.

Major sponsors of the Miracle Ride include: Lucas Oil Products, Inc.; The Indianapolis Colts; The Bob & Tom Radio Show; AAA Insurance; Allison Transmission, Inc.; UAW Local 933; Indiana Live! Casino; and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Please visit http://www.miracleride.net/ for more information or to pre-register.