Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Born Free Bike progress

Both Dave and I have been crazy busy trying to get our bikes done for the show. So we apologize for the lack of posts. Here is a picture of my 65 Panhead born free bike moments before I took it apart so Scott can paint the frame and have all the polish and chrome done.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Wes White Four Aces cycles

My good friend Wes was involved in a hit and run bike accident last week. Wes is a one man show over at Four Aces cycles and the downtime from his surgery is gonna make it rough. If you can show him and his Bonneville race effort some support and buy one of his new shirts at http://fouracescycle.bigcartel.com/category/t-shirts-patches-and-stuff

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

(close to) Final Mockup of BF4 Bike

This past Monday, I ended a pretty much non-stop 4-day marathon of fab work to get my Born Free bike close to the finish line. I still have to fab up handlebars, metal finish a bunch of parts, get stuff chromed and polished, build the top end of my motor and rebuild the transmission--but compared to where I was a week ago, it seems like a real short list to me. My very good friend Pretty Ricky Brandt has saved my ass by doing a ton of machine work for me that I either don't have the time, ability or equipment to do. My friend Chris Lampman has been helping me with some general fab work and welding, he is so great to work with, he's one of maybe three people in my personal circle I would trust to make something that I would just slap on my bike and run without worrying. I dropped the frame off at my friend Andy Bebe's place, he is molding the frame/tank/fender for me before I ship it out to Harpoon for paint. Thank you Andy. So, here it is. I probably won't post anything else on it until after the show. I love it!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Caleb Owens BF4 Video

Caleb's panhead that was in the show last year is one of those sneaky bikes, hard to fully appreciate right away. Under close inspection, you can really see the attention to detail and craftsmanship. I have no doubt his BF4 bike will be the same. I love the style of bike he is doing, that 80's muscle bike style is near and dear to my heart. I've done one bike in a similar style and have at least two more in my head I want to build before I die. Anyway, here is his video, good stuff:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Jeff's Born Free Builder Video

Jeff is apparently not capable of posting his own video, so I have to help him out:

Kickstart BF4 Video

Walter is a good dude. Super funny guy too. I want to put up all the other builder videos at some point too--I don't know Tyler or Joe that well, but I am sure they will bring really nice bikes to the show--I'm particularly looking forward to seeing Joe's big twin flathead chopper, I think it's gonna be really nice.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Pangea Speed BF4 Video

Andy is one of the nicest guy you will meet. He loves motorcycles, is an amazingly talented fabricator  and builds some of the nicest bikes around. He is a friend of the Wretched Hive (he even wore our shirt in his video) cant wait to see what he pulls out this year at BF4

Jeff & Dave

Friday, May 11, 2012

Dave Polgreen Born Free 4 Builder Invite Video

My buddy Brian from Speedclub Inc. here in St. Paul put together this little video as part of the builder invite deal for Born Free 4. Check it out if you want. Thanks for the help, Brian.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


A week and a half ago Dave and I were able to head to Japan for the Joints show. The show was fantastic, but it was really just a good reason to get to spend some time with some of the nicest people in the world, and who I feel lucky to call my friends. Here are some random pictures from our trip

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mastercraft Tail Light

I am in search of a Mastercraft Tail Light for my 65 Panhead that I'm building for my invited builders Born Free 4 bike. Any of the 4 lens will do. If you have one and want to part with it email me at JeffxLeighton@gmail.com
Thank you


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Hive invades Japan

Yesterday Dave And I flew to Japan for the Joints motorcycle show in Nagoya. Our good friend Gen from Love Ear Art was so nice and picked us up. We had a chance to go by his shop and see where he creates the amazing paint jobs that he does. I will be trying to post as much as I can when I find WiFi

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Greasy Kulture Issue 4 Gone!

Wow, it seems like yesterday that this issue of Greasy Kulture came out with me and my old shovelhead, Mr. Roboto, on the cover. My friend T.C. Worley shot that cover shot and the article pics as well. Guy just posted on his blog (http://greasykulture.blogspot.com/2012/04/missing-you-already-issue-4.html) that this issue is sold out. Crazy. I am forever grateful to Guy for running my bike in what has now become one the best chopper rags around. My good friend and Wretched Hive co-conspirator Jeff Leighton graced the cover of issue 21, Mark Kawakami from Joyride Arts Co. took the photos. I must say that Guy has great taste, ha ha:

Born Free Builder Wil Thomas

Wil Thomas, AKA Chicago Wil AKA Gouty AKA Ten-Hut! AKA Mr. Knee Twista has his Born Free Builder video done, it looks awesome:

I met Wil through my Bravetown friends when we went to California for Born Free One in the summer of 2009. He is always a gracious host, a funny guy and has great taste in bikes. I'm looking forward to seeing what he puts together for the show.

2012 Donnie Smith Show and Swap Part 3: We Be Swappin'!

Some great scores went down during the swap. I got a bunch of stuff, but the two best things I got are pretty neat. The first is a crazy narrow Gatto springer. I've only seen one other Gatto springer, which was owned by Warren Jr., he was selling it at Davenport this past summer. Warren's was really, really narrow. Unbelieveably, this springer is even skinnier. I don't think even a 2.75" tire will fit:

You can see that there are reliefs cut out of the lower part of the front legs. I assume this was so a tire could fit in there (the rear legs are slightly wider). It is 18" or so over stock length. I will probably end up using this springer as a template to make my own springers, but maybe an inch wider than this one.

The other awesome score was this wild molded Wassell tank. Someone spent a ton of time and/or money on this tank:

What a crazy tank, probably a little too over the top to run on something, but who knows. I've pondered using it on my '37 UL project and making it a nutty 60's-style showbike, but it will probably be a wallhanger.

All in all, it was another good Donnie Smith show, and I'll be back next year.

2012 Donnie Smith Show and Swap Part 2: Show Bikes

There were a few bikes that caught my eye at the show. First up is a compact little drag ironhead sportster sporting dual DC linkert carbs. The guy had a neat little display and I've heard he plans to race it on the vintage drag circuit:

The following bike was in the "pro" builder class, which was generally filled with the worst bikes ever. This bike stone cold rules though, a fully kitted-out late shovel FXRT! So sweet.

The next few bikes are all diggers. I love the digger style, always have, and am building a digger for Born Free 4. These three are all classic Donnie Smith diggers. This first one is a simple ironhead digger, a classy machine:

This next digger is a nice machine, it had a great paintjob with intricate pinstriping by local legend Dave Bell (known for being the cartoonist for early Street Chopper mags. What a great stance!

This last bike stopped me in my tracks. Donnie built this bike back in the digger heyday and it looks as good now as it did then. I had the man himself pose with this beautiful machine:

That was it! New Kevin, Hot Bobby and Speedclub all had neat bikes in the show, but whatever, they are friends of mine so I see them all the time. Congrats to Hot Bobby, whose fresh panhead build won best chopper--of course, no pic of it. . .

2012 Donnie Smith Show and Swap Part 1: EFMC Bikes

The Donnie Smith show was held here in St. Paul two weeks ago. It is the biggest "chopper" show in the midwest--"chopper" in quotes to indicate that as is to be expected, many of the bikes are not my style and could not be called choppers. However, there are always a few nice bikes at the show, and more than a few were owned by El Forasteros. The Forasteros have some incredible choppers, and if you are reading this blog chances are you already know that. Tom Fugle's panhead has been seen a million times, but it is a classic:

This clean panhead was owned by EFMC member Sioux City John. A classic chopper in every way:

This tough looking FXR is owned by Pat, a local EFMC member in the twin cities:

Much respect to the EFMC.