OCC Has Their Own Rollercoaster!

Posted in American Motorcycle, Biker News, Custom Motorcycle, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 19, 2008 by ArtBiker

Well, just when you thought the boys from OCC couldn’t get their fingers into any more projects or marketing schemes, they go from theme bikes to theme parks!  It’s true my friends, Orange County Choppers has their name on a new rollercoaster ride located at Darian Lake in Darien Center, NY.

This new Motocoaster was designed by Zamperia and places the riders on/in sportbike style cars.  Rider’s shoot around the nearly 1200 foot track at speeds up to nearly 40mph.  The coaster accelerates quickly, going from 0 to 38 mph in only three seconds. 

For any of you who freak out taking your bike over a long tall bridge, this could be therapy or a nightmare… depends on how you are feeling that day.  Regardless, being 44 feet in the air astride a sport bike has got to get the juices flowing.  I just wonder why they didn’t make the cars look like their new Splitback bike that received so many awards in 2008.  Maybe Paulie was trying for something “new.”

 

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,

ArtBiker

 

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House of Blues Opens in Houston

Posted in ArtBiker's Thoughts, Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle Event, Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 18, 2008 by ArtBiker

 

The weather in Houston was beautiful today, perfect for a spin on the sled.  As luck would have it, it was also the day of the House of Blues Rock Ride put on by two of the local Harley dealerships.  I had managed to score two of the tickets to participate and was looking forward to the day out with the Ol’ Lady.  But, as is apt to happen when you are a parent of small children, the plan changed.  The window of opportunity to potty train our oldest daughter threw itself wide open and Big Mamma jumped at the opportunity.  She also told me to go ahead and enjoy the weekend while she took care of business at home… just one of the many reasons I married the woman.

Anyway, a quick call to my Bro 8-Ball and the plan was set.  I met him at the gas station near my place and we started the short jaunt to the dealership where a police escorted ride led by Dan Aykroyd and Jim Belushi was staging.  The air was cool and refreshing as we rolled handlebar to handlebar on the way to the parade.  I heard the word “cop” as if it was whispered in the wind and my Bro and I instantly slowed to the posted 40mph speed limit.  I watched my mirrors for the next quarter mile while the police car followed at a safe distance.  It finally made a quick u-turn and without a look or nod, both throttles cracked open and we were back at a comfortable 80mph in a matter of seconds.

As we rolled into the parking lot, the other 500 bikes were already staged and ready to leave.  I led Baller around the building so we could line up in back.  As we ran the perimeter of the shop, we saw a separate group of bikes lined up.  We took our places at the end of the staging line and looked at each other.

“You know, that group we just passed behind the building is where we wanna be.” Baller stated.

“Ya think?” I said as I cranked my twin cam up again.

He said, “Go check it out, if I don’t see you back here in a few, I will come join you.”

Well, being self important, I pulled out of line, backtracked to the back of the building and lined up behind the bikes that were there.  As the bikes riders emerged from a huddle and began to mount up, my Bro sauntered across the parking lot and lined up with me.  Within moments we were intermixed with the owners and managers of various House of Blues establishments from around the country.  They had come out to join the festivities. 

We hit the highway and the 500 or so bikes that were waiting in the lot joined us on our escorted ride to the next dealership where we were picking up Dan, Jim, and the other 500 bikers who were lucky enough to get tickets to the party.  One thousand of us hit the road and the police escorts did an amazing job of shutting down the entire freeway system as we rode into downtown to celebrate the opening of the new House of Blues.  As we arrived, the celebrities we were intermingling with were whisked away as the rest of us parked our bikes in front of the club.

En masse we headed upstairs to get in for the free food, drink, and the opportunity to hear the Blues Brothers go through their sound checks and warm up.  Problem was, as we got to the doors of the club, everything was locked up.  The 1000 bikers waited patiently for about ten minutes… at 15 minutes people started to get hot standing in the sun and were a bit agitated… at 20 minutes, the doors finally opened and we all filed in and headed straight for the bar.  Complimentary Coke, Diet Coke, and water were waiting for us, but there was a frightening absence of beer.  Not only was the booze not complimentary (as was implied), but there was no booze to be had at all… couldn’t even buy a beer if you wanted one.  There was some complimentary food: sausage gumbo, jerk chicken, and cornbread.  It was really good and everyone appreciated it.  I downed a couple Diet Cokes as we listened to the roadies do the sound check for the Blues Brothers.  Didn’t take us long to decide to split and find a bar with beer.  (update:  Note to self… patience is a virtue.  The Blues Brothers did take the stage and entertain the group.  I understand it was fantastic!)

We had met up with a few other Brothers from the Club and we all headed out to a nearby haunt where the beer flowed and the rest of the afternoon was enjoyed.  We were all glad to be included in the event and I would certainly do it again.

The  new House of Blues looked great, the food was good, and I bet those that were able to make the show this evening are having a fantastic time.  The bar should be open, the Blue Brothers themselves will be playing on stage, and everyone will be letting loose.  If you have not been to a House of Blues before, it is worth a visit, good music and a good time.

 

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe

ArtBiker

 

 

 

Trikes… part III

Posted in American Motorcycle, ArtBiker's Thoughts, Biker News, Custom Motorcycle, Motorcycle Industry News, Product Reviews, Uncategorized with tags on October 18, 2008 by ArtBiker

I have spoken about a few bike companies that specialize in trikes, but I have not mentioned them all… Here is a more complete list of OEMs in North America… again, there may be more and there are, of course, a lot of custom builders out there as well.  If you have someone to add, please do so, we would all love to know about them.

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe

ArtBiker

 

www.BoomTrikesUSA.com

www.BossHoss.com

www.CheetahTrikes.com

www.DFTTrikes.com

www.HanniganTrikes.com

www.Harley-Davidson.com

www.IronHorseTrikeworks.com

www.LVTrikes.com

www.LightningMotorcycles.com

www.MTCVoyager.com

www.mysterydesigns.com

www.RatRaceProductions.com

www.RenegadeTrikes.com

www.SantiagoChopper.com

www.sstrikes.com

www.TetraTrikes.com

www.TrikeEnvy.com

www.USTrikes.com

Cool trikes from the past… http://www.bikemenu.com/photostrikesorig.html

Trikes, Trikes (part II)

Posted in American Motorcycle, ArtBiker's Thoughts, Biker News, Custom Bike Show, Custom Motorcycle, Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle Industry News, Product Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , on October 17, 2008 by ArtBiker

 

 

 

Finally, the exciting world of custom bikes has not left the three-wheeled world alone.  We have all seen the Exile trike by Russell Mitchell and the crazy semi engine turned trike by Mr. Jesse James, but there are others out there that turn out really nice trikes for an affordable price.  Other custom builders like Covington’s cycles make the occasional trike as well as high end OEMs like Bourget Bike Works.  You can’t deny that the trike is becoming trick.

 

 

Besides the really nice kits we looked at in the last section of this blog, there are a few other builders/companies that turn out some sweet sleds.  Let’s start with Santiago Choppers.  This homegrown family business is built on five, count ‘em 5, generations of bike enthusiasts.  Alan Bernard is the man behind the scenes at this great shop in Gibsonton, Florida.  The trikes they turn out come in a softail and hardtail version.  They also make some kick ass Harley to trike conversions as well as some sweet traditional chops.  They have too many cool examples of their work to mention here, so I am going to send you directly to their site.  Enjoy! http://www.santiagochopper.com

 

 

Art Morris at Trike Envy in Sherwood, Oregon also creates some beautiful ground up customs.  These bikes remind me much of that big wheel I used to ride as a kid, long, low, and a mother of a back end.  These trikes come with HUGE rear tires.  We are talking funny car, dragster rubber.  Put yourself on one of these sleds and hang on! http://www.trikeenvy.com/

 

 

Alas, we cannot forget the trikes of yore.  Yes, those three wheeled creations that meld the world of bikes and cages, the hybrid of the VW Bug and the stretched out chopper.  Big in the 70’s, these bikes are sure to come back with a vengeance, and the company who will lead the way?  Well, it could very well be Phoenix, AZ locals, Rat Race Productions.  These guys have been turning out badass VW based trikes for over 30 years.  I know you have seen their work in magazines past, but check them out today.  They are still on the ball and at the forefront of their craft. http://www.ratraceproductions.com/

 

 

The last few posts have focused on the trike as art form and ride able machine.  As stated, I do not have any personal experience on trikes, but am hoping to get a demo machine to try out soon.  As soon as I do, I will be letting you know.  Until then, keep your feet on the pegs for a change and enjoy profilin’ on a three-wheeled machine.  Next up?  Sidecars!

 

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,

ArtBiker

Trikes, Trikes, Trikes (part I)

Posted in American Motorcycle, ArtBiker's Thoughts, Biker News, Custom Motorcycle, Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle Industry News, Product Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 15, 2008 by ArtBiker

I have very little personal experience with these three-wheeled animals, unless you consider the Big Wheel I loved as a kid growing up in the desert of New Mexico.  Boy, I rode the wheels off that thing.  Anyway, I have had an eye on the adult variety of these machines for a few years now and have my own favorites.

I think it can be stated without too much dissent that the major trike manufacturers are Lehman, Motor Trike, DFT Trikes, and Boss Hoss.  Each has been in business for quite a while and turn out some beautiful products.  Motor Trike has its manufacturing plant and HQ just outside a little town called Troup in East Texas.  They have a few different models available, but I am partial to the “Trog” line.  The Trog is specifically set up for Harley Davidson models and works with the Electra Glide, Road King, Heritage, Fat Boy, and even the Deuce and V-Rod.  Motor Trike also makes kits for a variety of metric bikes and even has one for the Triumph for those interested in an English trike.  Drop them a note for more info on their various kits, conversions, and installation. http://motortrike.com/

DFT is located in Addison, Illinois and has been turning out wonderful kits for a long time now.  They have been adding new dealers all year and those include Genes H-D Repair of Smithfield, RI, Arnolds Motor Sales of Zanesville, OH, Texas Trike Werx of Belton, TX and Longbow Motorcycles in Rome, GA.  Truth is they have dealers all over the country as well as located internationally.  I suppose this lets you know their popularity.  DFT makes kits for both Harley and Honda and both sets are really good looking.  For more info on them, please be sure to check out their site at http://www.dfttrikes.com

Lehman makes the other, and perhaps most well known, trike on the market today.  They have a couple manufacturing plants with the original still residing in Alberta, Canada and the newest plant in Spearfish, South Dakota.  Mr. Lehman created the first trike for his wife because she could not take her kids on a standard bike… and the rest is history.  The brand took off and is now publicly traded on the market.  Lehman is also the only manufacturer to have a factory sponsored trike owner’s group.  But, perhaps the most impressive program that Lehman offers is the “Good Turn Trike” program.  This began in the 90’s when Lehman built a trike with special controls and components for a man who had lost his leg and could no longer ride.  This has become a regular program of the company and Lehman installs kits free of charge for customers on a case-by-case basis.  Now that is good PR.   Harleys, Victorys, and metrics accept the Lehman kits and conversions.  For more detailed info visit Lehman Trikes directly at http://www.lehmantrikes.com/

Lest we forget the Boss Hoss… this company has been making trikes for at least ten years and introduced the first V-8 powered bike in 1990.  In fact, in 2006 Boss Hoss received full vehicle approval from the European Commission making them the only globally approved V-8 motorcycle!  That is a pretty beefy achievement.  And speaking of beefy, you have not been on a muscle bike until you have been on a Chevy V-8 powered two (or three) wheeler.  Boss Hoss is famous for their crazy car like trike bodies.  They look like the back ends of a ’57 Chevy with a nice trunk and tons of space for two to ride comfortably and very, very quickly.  Check them out at http://www.bosshoss.com

Yup, it is a three-wheeled world all right and there is a lot more power out there than was available to my Big Wheel and me thirty some-odd years ago.  Check back for the next installment when we look at a few custom trikes and eventually get to sidecar hacks.

 

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,

ArtBiker

The Future is Coming

Posted in American Motorcycle, ArtBiker's Thoughts, Biker News, Custom Motorcycle, Harley-Davidson, Motorcycle Industry News, Product Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , on October 13, 2008 by ArtBiker

Taking a queue from our Native American Brothers of yore, I have been keeping my ear to the ground.  What do I hear? A rumble.  But, there is something a bit different about this roar.  You can hear the bikes running side by side, two by two, flying down the highway as they come closer and closer.  Problem is, the engines are too in tune, the rpm’s too in time, the cadence of rubber to asphalt, too in sync.  It is almost as if the bikes are in perfect time.  One barreling forward as the other keeps time in a high and mighty wheelie, running perfectly alongside his Brother.  But that can’t be, can it? No, it is something else. I hear the future coming down the road and it is a three-wheeled world.

We all know that baggers are the hot things going right now.  I myself have been a big fan of Brian Klock of Klockwerks for about six or seven years, and I have really appreciated some of the newest works by Paul Yaffe.  Not that I wasn’t a fan before, quite the contrary, it is just that the new work he has been doing with Bagger Nation is really exciting.

It seems that as the current biker population continues to age, and as a new population of riders comes into the fold because of rising gas prices, and as those with certain physical limitations refuse to be kept back, trikes and sidecars are going to be more prevalent on the road.  As you have probably heard, the Motor Company itself has come out with their own production trike.  For Harley-Davidson to put it back into production, there has to be a market (their last trike, besides the servicar, was produced about 30 years ago). And as far as sidecars go, HD has had them available for a long, long time.

But the Factory is certainly not the only company with a foothold in this segment of three-wheeled fun.  In fact, they may not even be considered the leaders.   Depending on your point of view, there are a few industry leaders.  Everyone has his or her own opinions, and you are soon to be subject to mine.  Watch for the next few posts focusing on trikes and sidecar rigs.  And keep your ear to the ground; you can hear the rumble.

 

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,

ArtBiker

 

Myrtle Beach Update

Posted in Custom Bike Show, Motorcycle Rally, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 11, 2008 by ArtBiker

Well, the rally has ended and there are some really interesting results from this year’s Myrtle Beach Fall event. 

First and foremost, a lot of riders skirted the city limits of Myrtle Beach all together.  Attendence in town was certainly down, vendors were down, and a lot of local businesses lost the biker’s dollars.  I believe this had as much, if not more to do with the 15 new laws to curb the bikers vacation as it did the economy and gas prices.

Within the city limits, there were only three tickets issued for sound violations.  It seems the cops were giving the bikers a bit of a grace period and issuing a lot of warnings, but not handing out violations.  It has also been reported by the Myrtle Beach Police Department that there were a total of 17 complaints about sound.  This statistic does not tell us whether the complaints were about bikes, cars, trucks, music, or other possible sound nuisances. 

A break down in the numbers from the Mrytle Beach PD reads as follows:

37,125    in overtime pay for police officers

1537       calls for service

368         citations and/or charges

227         people arrested

6             DUIs

26           collisions

1             death

3             stolen motorcycles

Speaking of stolen motorcycles, there was a bust of a chop shop in nearby Andrews.  The three men arrested included Martin Grice, a jailer at the Georgetown County Jail, and Patrick Cumbee, an Andrew’s Police Officer.  The third man, Dedrick McCray, must have been the misfit of the bunch as he wasn’t involved in law enforcement at all.

All in all, the rally commenced and those that attended had a good time.  It is our hope that the MB City Council relaxes a bit and lets the bikers come for a good time.  You and I know that although we all love a good party, we are a good bunch, right?

As of now, there are three lawsuits against the city in an attempt to prove the new laws unconstitutional.

 

Love, Respect, and Ride Safe,

ArtBiker