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 ( 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.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Some Friends and a few of me doing what we love

The one and only Frank Kaisler ruling it
Me riding the 68 shovel i built last year
Matt and Brittany on the 1936EL riding in class

Dave Polgreen bringing the Diamond to life
Pete and Kevin straight out of the Twin Cities

Kevin killing it on his insane shovel
Blasting down the road on my 1938 UL, i miss this bike